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Art Deco Cameras

Agfa Ansco No.1 Readyset Royal - Silver Fox


Agfa Ansco No.1 Readyset Royal - Silver Fox
Agfa Ansco No.1 Readyset Royal
Silver Fox
Manufacturer: Agfa Ansco
Produced: 1931
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Bed
Bellows Deployment:Sliding Rail
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Antar Meniscus
Focus Type:fixed
Focal Length:100mm
Focal Range:10ft - inf.
Aperture Type:Variable
Aperture:f/14, f/20
Shutter Type :Readyset
Shutter Speeds:T,I*(1/50 sec)
Size Closed (w x h x d):75 x 175 x 33 mm
Size Open (w x h x d):75 x 175 x 125 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star
Significant: Pronounced and self evident

  • Produced during the main Art Deco period.
  • Genuine leather 'Silver Fox' covering.
  • Decorative shutter plate.
  • Shutter mounted on chrome standard.
  • Ornate chrome struts.
  • Chrome highlights on viewfinder.
  • Decorative chrome film winder.
  • Bright metal back latch.
  • Art Deco lettering on table stand.
Silver Fox Markings on Back
Silver Fox Markings on Back


Readyset No.1 and No. 1A cameras were folding cameras constructed of metal and manufactured by Agfa Ansco between 1925 and 1932. These cameras had a lack of adjustments: fixed focus; one shutter speed; fixed apertures. However, Readyset Royal cameras were made distinctive by their coverings which included Ostrich Skin, Silver Fox and Morroccan. The features of the 'Readyset Royals' were similar to that of the regular Ansco Readyset having a simple instantaneous and time shutter. These cameras should not be confused with the Agfa Ansco Royal cameras (not readyset) which were technically more advanced having variable aperture and shutter speeds.

Silver Fox

In 1931 this Silver Fox version was produced. It has a genuine leather covering but it was dyed brown and black to look like the fur of a silver fox which gives the camera a truly unique and enduring design. The exposed metal parts are painted with grey enamel and the bellows are black. It has Art Deco lettering on table stand.

It is a sliding rail folding camera. The decorative shutter plate is mounted on chrome. The struts are chrome and ornate. It has a brilliant finder that swivels to cater for both portrait and landscape views. It does not have a red window cover. A tripod mount is provided on the folding bed and the side of the camera. It has a socket for a remote cable release.

The shutter is a T/I type with only one speed of about 1/50s. The meniscus lens has an aperture of f/14 when used in Instant mode. However, when the pointer is set to Time, a smaller aperture of f/20 is brought into play. This recognises that a smaller stop is regularly used for time exposures. This is a helpful feature, only found on Ansco cameras.

The camera is focused such that the focus range is between 10ft and infinity.

How to Use

Find the manual for this camera here:- Agfa Ansco No.1 Readyset Royal Manual

This camera takes 120 film which is easily available from photographic outlets.

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide below. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Film is so forgiving and will produce acceptable results even when over-exposed by 2 or 3 stops or under-exposed by 1 stop.

The table assumes the shutter speed of about 1/50s.

The tables also assume that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day (May - August) in the UK.

The shutter speed is slow so you may want to use a tripod to stop shake. If not, brace it against something solid or hold it firmly against your body.

Using ISO 100/125 Film

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/14+3 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/14+2 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/14+1 Stop
OvercastBarely visiblef/14Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/14-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/14-2 Stops
Not Acceptable