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Art Deco Cameras

Roto Elvo


Roto Elvo
Roto Elvo
Manufacturer: Roto
Produced: 1938
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Strut
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:6cm x 4.5cm
No. of Images:16
Lens Type:Elvo-MAF Acromatic
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:65mm
Focal Range:2.75m - inf.
Aperture Type:Fixed
Shutter Type :Rotary
Shutter Speeds:T, I*(1/30 s)
Size Open (w x h x d):125 x 85 x 85 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):125 x 85 x 55 mm
* Measured on this camera

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The Elvo is a brown Bakelite strut folding camera. It was made in Turin, Italy by a company called Roto. It takes 16 4.5x6cm frames on 120 film.

The lens and shutter mechanism springs out on struts. The lens is an f/11 Elvo-MAF Acromatic with fixed focus and aperture. The shutter release is below the lens. There is an Instant/Time shutter switch above the lens which is marked I(Istantaneo) & P(Posa) which is equivalent to Instant and Time.

The body has a flip-up frame finder on top which has two lenses. The film advance knob has the camera's name etched on it. The back is held on by a sliding latch on the right-hand side. The whole back detaches for easy loading of film. There is a red window on the back to view the frame numbers. A tripod mount is found on the bottom of the camera.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which easily available from most photographic outlets. Don't forget to cover the red window with black electrical tape except when advancing the film in low light. Modern film is sensitive to red light.

Shutter speed is 1/30s. The aperture values is f/11.

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 tables assume 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.

Because of the slow speed of this camera, you may need a tripod or hold the camera firmly against your face to stop blur through shake.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/30s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/11+4 Stops
Not Acceptable
SunnyDistinctf/11+3 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/11+2 Stop
OvercastBarely visiblef/11+1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/11Good
Open Shade
Nonef/11-1 Stop