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Art Deco Cameras

Altissa Box D

Specification

Altissa Box D
Altissa Box D
Manufacturer: Eho-Altissa
Produced: 1948
Type:Box
Film Size:120
Image Size:2¼ x 2¼
Lens Type:Altissar Periskop
Focal Length:70mm
Focus Type:fixed
Focal Range:5ft - Inf.
Aperture Type :Multihole
Apertures :f/8, f/16
Shutter Type:Fixed Speed
Shutter Speeds:B, I(1/25s)nominal, *1/42s
Size (w x h x d):80 x 120 x 75 mm
* Measured on this camera

Art Deco Credentials

star star star Noteworthy: Worth giving special attention

Description

The predecessor of Altissa Box D was the Altissa Juwel which is almost identical. The Juwel was produced from 1938 to 1948 - with the obligatory pause of World War II - and Altissa Box D was its successor from 1948 to 1953. The front is decorated with a sunburst motif. It gets its Art Deco appearance from the 1938 Juwel and even further back from the Altissa Box 200

The camera itself is very striking with the triangular housing to viewfinder. This large viewer is extraordinarily clear. The German word "Durchsichtsucher" means viewfinder which is where the "D" in the name of the camera comes from.

The lens is of the periscopic type and has two meniscus lenses in a symmetrical position on both sides of the shutter and aperture. A sliding tab allows the selection of an aperture of f/8 or f/11. The red window has a metal blind that can be drawn over it. It has a cable release socket. It has a tripod socket in the base.

How to Use

This camera takes 120 film which is widely available.

The aperture choice is f/8 or f/16. The speed quoted on the front of the camera is 1/25s but the measured speed on this camera was 1/42s. As the shutter speed is slow, 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.

The table shows how this camera will perform using ISO 100 film assuming the stated speed of 1/25s. It is based on the 'Sunny 16' rule. Modern 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.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/25s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
Sunny
Snow/Sand
Dark
with sharp edges
f/16+3 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
SunnyDistinctf/16+2 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16+1 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
OvercastBarely visiblef/16Good
Heavy OvercastNonef/8+1 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
Open Shade
/Sunset
Nonef/8Good

However, the measured speed of this particular camera was 1/42s. This being the case, the table would have to be adjusted as shown.

It is always better to overexpose rather than underexpose so where you have a choice of apertures, one which gives underexposure and one that give overexposure, it is always best to choose the aperture which gives overexposure. Hence the choice of f/8 over f/16 in some cases on the tables.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/42s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
Sunny
Snow/Sand
Dark
with sharp edges
f/16+2 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
SunnyDistinctf/16+1 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/8+1 Stops
Overexposed
Acceptable
Heavy OvercastNonef/8Good
Open Shade
/Sunset
Nonef/8-1 Stops
Underexposed
Acceptable