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Art Deco Cameras

Ansco Clipper


Ansco Clipper
Ansco Clipper
Manufacturer: Ansco
Produced: 1947
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Extending Body
Film Type:616
Film Width:70mm
ImageSize:2⅜ x 1⅞ in
No. of Images:16
Lens Type:Unifo Double Lens
Focus Type:Fixed
Focal Length:70mm
Focal Range:6ft - inf.
Aperture Type:Fixed
Shutter Type :Rotary
Shutter Speeds:B, I(1/50s)
Size Open (w x h x d):130 x 95 x 80 mm
Size Closed (w x h x d):130 x 95 x 50 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star
Acceptable: Modest and restricted

  • Produced after the main Art Deco period.
  • Chevron pattern on body covering.
  • Curvilinear shape
  • Stepped feature around viewfinder

Ansco Flash Clipper
Ansco Flash Clipper
(Image courtesy of Steve Winnie)


Clipper Extended

The Ansco Clipper camera was manufactured by Ansco of Binghamton, New York around 1947. This one was the first of a series of variations to this model, including, two flash versions, a colour version, and a special version. The camera was constructed of metal. The lens board extends by pulling out and retracts to produce a compact camera when not in use. It takes 16 images on standard no. 616 roll film.

The Ansco Clipper features a fixed focus Unifo Double Lens. The instantaneous and bulb shutter is activated by a lever on the side of the lens board. A separate side-out tab on the top of the lens board is used to select bulb mode. It has a direct optical view finder. There is no tripod socket but it does have a table stand built in to the lens board.

The flash version has connections on the lens board and an accessory shoe on the top.

How to Use

Find the manual here:- Ansco Clipper Manual

Adapting for use with 120 film

To adapt this camera for the use of 120 film, please see here:- Conversion of 616 film camera to take 120

Don't forget to cover the red window with black tape except when advancing the film in low light. Modern film is sensitive to red light.


The aperture is f/14. The measured speed on this camera is 1/50s.

The table shows how this camera will perform using ISO 100 film. 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.

So, on a nice sunny day, it's simplicity itself. Just load film and snap away.

Using ISO 100/125 film - shutter speed 1/50s

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailApertureExposure
with sharp edges
f/14+2 Stops
SunnyDistinctf/14+1 Stop
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/14Good
OvercastBarely visiblef/14-1 Stop
Heavy OvercastNonef/14-2 Stops
Not Acceptable
Open Shade
Nonef/14-3 Stops
Not Acceptable