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Art Deco Cameras

Bilora Box


Bilora Box
Bilora Box
Manufacturer: Bilora
Produced: 1946
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focal Length:90mm
Focus Type:Fixed
Focus Range:10ft to inf
Aperture Type :Multihole
Aperture :f/11 and f/16
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B,I*(1/50 sec)
Size (w x h x d):83 x 115 x 125mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Acceptable: Modest and restricted


The Bilora Box camera was manufactured by the Kurbi & Niggeloh Company of Radevormwald/RHLD, Germany from 1935. This 1946 post-war version of the camera is capable of capturing 6 X 9 cm exposures on 120 roll film. It is made of metal with imitation leather coverings. It has a fixed focus lens with two aperture settings. It has a simple time and instantaneous shutter.

Red Window

There are two brilliant finders, one for portrait and one for landscape. A cable release socket can be found under the shutter release lever. Film advance is by red window which has a sliding metal cover. The red window has a cross cut-out but I have no idea why. It has two tripod sockets. The camera is opened by pressing on two small chrome buttons on either side.

How to Use

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

As the shutter speed is only 1/50s, it is advisable to use a tripod to get clear shake free images. However, holding it against a wall or other solid object would work as well. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

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

The tables 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.

Remember that the exposure guide in the manual may not be helpful as it is based on the use of old film with a low ISO value.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/16+2 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/16+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/11Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/11-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/11-2 Stops
Not Acceptable