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Art Deco Cameras

Gnome Pre-view


Gnome Pre-view
Gnome Pre-view
Manufacturer: Gnome
Produced: 1952
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Pseudo Twin Lens Reflex
Film Type:620
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2 x 2 in
No. of Images:12
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:75mm
Focus Range: 6ft to inf,
Aperture Type :Fixed
Aperture :f/16 &f/22
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B, I*(1/40 sec)
Size (w x h x d):100 x 115 x 94 mm
* measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

Limited: Minor and insubstantial


The Pixie Pre-view was manufactured in Cardiff, Wales, UK. It can be described as a pseudo twin lens reflex camera. It isn't a true TLR because the top lens is just part of the viewfinder and does not aid focussing. It takes twelve 5.3x5.6 cm images on 620 film. It has a leatherette covering to the metal body.

It is a simple camera with a fixed focus viewing and objective lens. The reflecting finder is very large and bright.

A push/pull lever on the side is used to change the exposure. You can choose between Brilliant(f/22) and Cloudy(f/16)

The shutter has both Instant and Bulb mode. The shutter function is changed by a small lever on the top of the camera. The shutter makes a reassuring loud 'clunk' when it is activated. A Flash synchronisation connection is provided on the front of the camera.

A spring clip releases the back to load the film. The red window on the rear has a cover. There is no tripod mount.

How to Use

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.

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

The table assumes that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day (May-August) in the UK.

This camera has an aperture of f/16(cloudy) or f/22(Bright) and a shutter speed is 1/40s.

As the shutter speed is only 1/40s, it is advisable to try to hold the camera against a wall or other solid object. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body. Only open the cover of the red window to wind on in subdued light.

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

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/22+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/16-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/16-2 Stops
Open Shade
Nonef/16-3 Stops