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Art Deco Cameras

Dacora Daco I


Dacora Daco I
Dacora Daco I
Manufacturer: Dacora
Produced: 1949
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2¼ x 2¼ in
No. of Images:12
Lens Type:meniscus + close-up
Focal Length:95mm
Focus Type:variable
Focal Range:1.5m and 4m-inf.
Aperture Type :Multihole
Apertures :f/11, f/16 and f/22
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:T, I*(1/120s)
Size (w x h x d):85 x 90 x 100 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention

I consider this camera to warrant 3 stars for the following attributes:


The Daco I is a medium format box camera made by Dacora and introduced in 1949. The body is made from Bakelite with slightly curved sides and rounded corners. The rounded nature of this camera reflected the Streamline Moderne era in American Art Deco. The camera uses 120 film taking twelve 6x6cm images per roll.

It has a two speed rotary type shutter supporting instant and time modes. The lens is a meniscus f/11. The controls on the front gives a choice of apertures f/11, f/16 and f/22. Normal focus range is 4m to infinity but a close-up lens can be swung into place to focus down to 1.5m. It has a single reflecting viewfinder for waist level operation. It has a single tripod mount.

It is similar to the Daco II which was introduced in 1950 but this has an f/8 lens.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which is widely available. It is advisable to cover the red window except when winding film in low light.

The aperture choice is f/11, f/16 or f/22. The measured speed on this camera was 1/120s. As the shutter speed is only 1/120s, it is advisable to use a tripod or hold it against a wall or other solid object to get shake-free images. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

The table shows how this camera will perform using ISO 100/125 film. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Modern 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 1/120s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/11Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/11-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/11-2 Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/11-3 Stops
Not Acceptable