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Art Deco Cameras

Coronet Popular Twelve


Coronet Popular Twelve
Coronet Popular Twelve
Manufacturer: Coronet
Produced: 1952
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Solid Body
Film Type:120/620
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:6 x 6 cm
No. of Images:12
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focal Length:75mm
Focus Type:fixed
Focal Range:8ft - Inf.
Aperture Type :Fixed
Apertures :f/16
Shutter Type:Fixed Speed Leaf
Shutter Speeds:I*(1/40s)
Size (w x h x d):90 x 125 x 100 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention


The Coronet Popular Twelve is a quirky viewfinder roll-film camera made of Bakelite by Coronet in England. It is similar to the Coronet Dynamic 12 Camera. The use of Bakelite allowed the designers' imagination to run wild, resulting in a most individual camera in which the curvilinear nature of the film compartment is juxtaposed to the box nature of the lens compartment and viewfinder. The camera can use both 120 and 620 film rolls and produces twelve 6 x 6 cm exposures. It has a large brilliant viewfinder, ever-set leaf shutter and a silent winding key. The viewfinder has a ribbed metal cover. Several versions of the camera exist. Some have a larger curved viewfinder body.

This version of the camera only has instantaneous shutter mode even though there is annotation on the front plate which shows both I and T. Other cameras in the series have the T/I switch and flash contacts. The shutter release is below the lens box and it has to be pushed up to trigger it. This is both inconvenient and uncomfortable. Film advance is by a knob on the side and exposures are counted using a red window which has a swinging metal cover. It does not have a tripod mount.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which is easily available. It supports instant(I) mode only with a speed of about 1/40 sec. It has a single aperture settings of f/16. With a shutter speed of only 1/40 sec, make sure you brace the camera against your body or something solid and press the shutter smoothly to avoid camera shake.

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 over-exposed by 2 or 3 stops or under-exposed by 1 stop.

The table shown assumes the shutter speed is about 1/40s.

The table also assumes that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summers day 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.

So, on a nice sunny day, it's simplicity itself. Just load film and snap away.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/40s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/16+2 Stop
SunnyDistinctf/16+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/16-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/16-2 Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/16-3 Stops
Not Acceptable

Photographs taken with this Camera

Kodak Portra 160, 120 film. Developed in Tetenal

St. Mary's, Whitchurch, Cardiff, Wales
Hafod Lwyd, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales
Milepost, Canton, Cardiff, Wales
19 High Street, Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales