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Art Deco Cameras

Vernak Popular


Vernak Popular
Vernak Popular
Manufacturer: Vernak
Produced: 1950
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Box
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
Image Size:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Meniscus
Focal Length:110mm
Focus Type:Fixed
Focus Range:10ft to inf.
Aperture Type :Fixed plus Green Filter
Aperture :f/16
Shutter Type:Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B, I*(1/50 sec)
Size (w x h x d):95 x 110 x 125 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

Limited: Minor and insubstantial


The Vernak Popular Box camera uses rollfilm No.120. It is a simple box camera designed for capturing eight 6x9cm pictures. It is constructed in two parts. The front is made from ribbed Bakelite with a decorative metal front plate. The rear is a cardboard box. It features black hinged view finder covers over two brilliant finders for landscape or portrait photos. It has a nice ribbed plastic strap. The red window on the back has a swinging metal cover.

The meniscus lens has a fixed focus. The shutter has two settings: instant or time, although the time setting is more like 'bulb'. There is a tab to pull to switch between instant and time exposures. The film advance is not coupled to the shutter release so double exposure is possible. A built in green filter can be pulled into place by a lever on the side. The green filter can be used for photographing plants, separating the green foliage from the brightly-coloured flowers. It can also be used in landscape photography to boost the appearance of grass and trees.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which is easily available. Keep the cover on the red window except for winding on in low light. Modern film is sensitive to red light.

As the shutter speed is only 1/50s, 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.

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 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/16+2 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/16+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/16-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/16-2 Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/16-3 Stops
Not Acceptable