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Art Deco Cameras

Spartus Box 120


Spartus Box 120
Spartus Box 120
Manufacturer: Spartus
Produced: 1942
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:105mm
Focal Range:8ft - inf.
Aperture Type:fixed
Shutter Type :Rotary
Shutter Speeds:T, I*(1/30s)
Size Open(w x h x d):92 x 173 x 112 mm
Size Closed(w x h x d):92 x 124 x 112 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

star star
Acceptable: Modest and restricted

  • Produced after the main Art Deco period.
  • Moulded Bakelite body.
  • Ribbed on each side of body.
  • Leather pattern on rear door.
  • Geometric pattern in aluminium and black on face plate.
  • Art Deco font on front panel.
Spartus Box 120
Spartus Box 120 with attached flash


Alternative face
Alternative Design

Spartus Camera Corp. of Chicago, USA, offered a series of simple box cameras having different attractively-finished face plates. They had a ribbed bakelite body with a removable back plate. The camera was capable of capturing eight full size 2¼ x 3¼ inch pictures on 120 film. A variety of designs were produced, some with flash connectors and others without.

The main lens is fixed focus with an aperture of f/18. It has a Time-Instant shutter the function of which is controlled by a lever. The objective lenses of the dual right-angle waist level brilliant finders appear to be made from perspex or similar transparent plastic. The bezels of the viewfinders and lenses are all one piece of clear plastic. Film advance is controlled by a red window which does not have a built-in cover.

The camera shown above has connections for flash on the left hand side which is connected via a pin and knurled nut.

No tripod mounts are available.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which is easily available from photographic outlets.

As the shutter speed is only 1/30s, it is advisable to hold it against a wall or other solid object. For quick snapshots, hold it firmly against your body.

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.

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 1/30s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/18+3 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/18+2 Stops
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/18+1 Stop
OvercastBarely visiblef/18Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/18-1 Stop
Open Shade
Nonef/18-2 Stops
Not Acceptable