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The Acies[1] is a viewfinder camera for full- or half-frame pictures on standard 35 mm film, made by the FAF (Fabbrica Apparecchi Fotografici) company in Pordenone (close to Venice) for a few years from 1947, and distributed by wholesaler Giorgio Moretti of Venice.[2][3]

The body of the Acies is aluminium, with an elongated octagonal shape when seen from above. The lens is mounted on is a shallow superstructure on the front, and there is another on the top, containing the viewfinder. Some of the surfaces of the camera are covered with black leatherette; the top and bottom are painted with crackle-finish paint.

The Acies normally has a 5 cm f/4.5 Elinar anastigmat lens, with front-element focusing; an unusual example seen at Westlicht has an f/5.6 lens.[4] The camera has an in-lens shutter with four speeds 1/20 - 1/150 second, plus 'B'. Dario Mondonico states that the lens is a screw-fit in front of the shutter, but there are no accessory lenses for it.[3] It has a reverse-Galilean viewfinder, with a tiny eyepiece. Film advance and rewind are by winding knobs, and there is a frame counter on the top housing.

The original Acies is unusual in having a control on the base to select between full- ('G') and half-frame ('P'); it seems that the format could be changed mid-roll. Two later versions of the camera in 1948-9 are full-frame,[2][3] but otherwise similar; an example of the Acies III shown on the Mistermondo site has a shutter with speeds to 1/300 second, and a slightly different frame counter than the original model.[3]

One contemporary user, Colin Smedley,[5] describes the Acies as 'an innovative but truly awful camera',
and tells how he traded his in against a Braun Super Paxette three weeks after buying it.


  1. 'Acies' can mean 'eyesight' or 'sharpness' in Latin.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Danilo Cecchi (2002) L'Industria Fotografica Italiana: Terza Parte: Le 35mm dal dopoguerra ai giorni nostri (The Italian Photographic Industry: Part 3: 35 mm from the Second World War to the Present Day). Article hosted at Nadir magazine; text in Italian.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Acies and Acies III and some FAF company history, at Dario Mondonico's
  4. Acies with unusual f/5.6 Elinar lens (the auctioneer's notes describe the camera as a prototype) offered but not sold, at the 21st Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 23 May 2012.
  5. Colin Smedley: The Incredible Oscar Story at Oscar's Open House.