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Art Deco Cameras

"Vena" by Vena Amsterdam


"Vena" from Vena Amsterdam
Manufacturer: Vena of Amsterdam
Produced: 1948
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2¼ x 3¼ in (6x9cm)
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:90mm
Focus Range:10ft to inf
Aperture Type :Multihole
Aperture :f/16, f/22
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B,I*(1/40 sec)
Size (w x h x d):83 x 118 x 130 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

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Acceptable: Modest and restricted


The Vena box camera was manufactured by Vena of Amsterdam circa 1948. It is a simple box camera constructed of metal and capable of taking 6 x 9 cm exposures on no. 120 roll film. It has two brilliant viewfinders, one for portrait and one for landscape.

It is fitted with an uncoated internal meniscus fixed focus lens. The front has a plain glass cover. It has an instantaneous (M) and time (T) shutter whose function is controlled by a knob on the front. The knob also has a locked (S) position. A lever on the side provides the returning shutter release. There is a tab on the side that can be pulled out to change the aperture size:- In (f/16); Out (f/22).

Two tripod sockets are provided, one for portrait and one for landscape. The red window has a sliding metal cover. The diagonal strap on the top is real leather.

How to Use

As the shutter speed is only 1/40s, it is advisable to hold it against a wall or other solid object to get shake free shots. There are no tripod sockets. 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 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.

The camera has 2 aperture values available controlled by a metal tab. Aperture values are:- f/16 (Tab In); f/22 (Tab Out). If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the lower light level.

Using ISO 100 film - shutter speed 1/40s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
Tab Out
+1 Stop
SunnyDistinctTab Out
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesTab In
OvercastBarely visibleTab In
-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNoneTab In
-2 Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
NoneTab In
-3 Stops
Not Acceptable