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Art Deco Cameras

P & B Audax


P & B Audax
P & B Audax
Manufacturer: P & B (Italy)
Produced: 1939
Classification:Medium Format
Body Type:Folding Bed
Bellows Deployment:Self Erecting
Film Type:120
Film Width:62mm
ImageSize:2¼ x 3¼ in
No. of Images:8
Lens Type:Anastar
Focal Length:105mm
Focus Type:Variable
Focal Range:1.5m - inf.
Aperture Type:Iris
Aperture:f/8, f/11, f/16
Shutter Type :leaf
Shutter Speeds:T,B, I(1/25, 1/50, 1/100)
Size Closed (w x h x d):90 x 170 x 34 mm
Size Open (w x h x d):110 x 170 x 120 mm

Art Deco Credentials

star star star star
Significant: Pronounced and self evident


This camera was made in Italy, by P&B of Turin in the years 1939-42. It's name was derived from Latin and means bold and audacious which was typical of this company that produced cameras with high sounding names.

It is a self erecting folding bed camera producing 6x9 cm images on 120 rollfilm. It has an Anastar f/8 lens that can be stoped down to f/11 and f/16.

The shutter supports T and B and the normal range of shutter speeds - 1/100, 1/50 and 1/25s. The shutter has to be primed before it is released. The shutter release in on the body of the camera. It has a connector for remote cable operation.

It has front focussing allowing focus down to 1.5m. The pop-up viewfinder is on the side of the camera. It has two tripod sockets for portrait and landscape use. The bellows are retracted by pressing a chrome plated bar under the lens plate.

I found it offered for sale new in the Hull Daily Mail, Yorkshire, England on Friday 12 July 1946 for £8. That's £340 in today's money.

How to Use

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

If you don't want to bother with an exposure meter, follow the guide shown, using shutter speeds are 1/25s, 1/50s and 1/100s only. 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 table assumes that the sun is at least 30 degrees above the horizon - that's 10am - 5pm on a summer's day (May-August) in the UK.

If you are not sure about the light level, err on the side of overexposure - i.e. assume the smaller f number.

Where there is a choice, a larger f number will give a larger depth of field.

For the slower speeds, you may need a tripod to stop blur through shake.

The results shown in green show perfect exposure. The results shown in amber will give acceptable results. Results in red are unacceptable.

Using ISO 100/125 film

Weather ConditionsShadow DetailShutter Speed (s)
with sharp edges
Slight OvercastSoft around edgesf/16f/16f/11
OvercastBarely visiblef/16f/11f/8
Heavy OvercastNonef/11f/8f/8
Open Shade