|Manufacturer||:||Coronet Cameras Limited|
|Image Size||:||2¼ x 3¼ in|
|No. of Images||:||8|
|Focus Range||:||4ft to inf.|
|Shutter Speeds||:||B, I*(1/40 sec)|
|Size (w x h x d)||:||95 x 110 x 130 mm|
|* Measured on this camera|
Art Deco Credentials
Limited: Minor and insubstantial
- Produced after the main Art Deco period;
- Octagonal shaped front plate with Gratispool logo;
- Chrome body latches.
The Gratispool camera was manufactured by Coronet Ltd. for the Gratispool film company. Gratispool was arguably the first and famous UK photographic film processing company. It dealt directly with the public via mail order. It operated from the early 1930s through to the early 1980s.
The Gratispool is a simple box camera and is identical to the Standard Conway except for the annotation on the octaganol face plate. It was designed to capture 6 x 9 cm exposures on 120 roll film. It's body is constructed from card on a wooden frame with a metal film transport system. It has two brilliant finders for horizontal or vertical photos. The viewfinders are covered with hinged protectors. On the top, it has a ribbed plastic handle. It has no tripod mount.
There is a lever on the front with two positions labelled DIST and NEAR. When the lever is moved, the lens is moved forward and backward to give different focussing distances. 'DIST' covers from 10 ft.(3m) to infinity but 'NEAR' is for subjects between 4ft to 9 ft (1-3 m).
It only has a simple time and instantaneous exposure shutter. A tab on the side is pulled for 'Time' mode.
There is a built-in retractable green colour filter that can be slid into place using another tab on the side. A green filter is mainly used for photographing plants as it helps separate the green foliage from the brightly-coloured flowers and buds.
The film advance is not coupled to the shutter release so double exposure is possible. It has a red window with swinging cover to view frame numbers.
How to Use
This camera takes 120 film which is easily available.
As the shutter speed is only 1/40s, it is advisable to use a tripod to get hold it against a wall or other solid object to keep the camera steady. 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 1/40s
|Weather Conditions||Shadow Detail||Aperture||Exposure|
with sharp edges
|Slight Overcast||Soft around edges||f/14||+1 Stop|
|Heavy Overcast||None||f/14||-1 Stop|