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Art Deco Cameras

Gevaert Gevabox 6x6


Gevaert Gevabox 6x6
Gevaert Gevabox 6x6
Manufacturer: Gevaert
Produced: 1950
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:6 x 6 cm
No. of Images:12
Lens Type:meniscus
Focal Length:85mm
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Range:1m - inf.
Aperture Type :Multihole
Apertures :f/8, f/11
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:T, I*(1/100s)
Size (w x h x d):105 x 105 x 107 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

star star
Acceptable: Modest and restricted

I consider this camera to warrant 2 stars for the following attributes:


An almost cubic Bakelite box-camera with curved edges. Capable of taking 6x6 cm images on 120 film. The camera was made from for Gevaert by Hermann Wolf GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany from around 1950.

Single-speed + B shutter actuated by a push button on the top. The knob around the shutter release is for show only to give the camera a symmetrical character. A button on the side allows you to choose M(oment) for snapshots or Z(eit) for timed exposure. Film advance is not linked to the shutter so double exposure is possible. There is a threaded port close to the shutter release to allow for the use of a cable release. The nominal shutter speed is 1/50s but on this camera it measured 1/100s. The lens has a nominal f/8 aperture but can be stopped down to f/11. The front focussing gives a range from 1 m to infinity. The markings on the rotating lens bezel are 1, 4 - 2 and 5 - ∞ and are in metres.

It has a single waist-level brilliant viewfinder. Film advance control is via red window. Sliding catches on the sides give access to the film transport system. The back of the camera is removed to load the film. It has a single ¼" tripod mount on the base of the camera. There is also a synchro version with flash contacts on the bottom plate.

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 nominal aperture choice is f/8 or f/11. However, aperture calculations reveal that these are more like f/10 and f/14. The nominal speed of the this camera is 1/50s. The measured speed on this camera was 1/100s. I have used the measured values to construct the table below. This shows how important it is to measure the aperture and shutter speeds of vintage cameras before attempting to use them if you want reasonable exposures. Using the nominal values to calculate exposure could lead to under-exposure by up to 1½ stops.

As the shutter speed is only 1/100s, 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.

The table shows how this camera will perform using ISO 100 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 1/100s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailNominal
with sharp edges
f/11+1 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/8Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/8-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/8-2 Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/8-3 Stops
Not Acceptable

Photographs taken with this Camera

Ilford FP4+.
Developed in D76(1+1).

Chapel Bar and Restaurant, Cardiff, Wales
Chapel Bar and Restaurant, Cardiff, Wales
New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales
New Theatre, Cardiff, Wales
Park Lodge, Marquis of Bute, Cardiff, Wales
Park Lodge, Marquis of Bute, Cardiff, Wales
Wood Sculpture, Bute park, Cardiff, Wales
Wood Sculpture, Bute park, Cardiff, Wales