Jump to: navigation, search

The London camera-makers Adams & Co. made several cameras named Vesta. They might all be called strut-folding cameras.

Simple strut-folding Vesta, with no bed

A quarter-plate (3¼x4¼-inch) example of this first style of Vesta, from the 1890s, is shown at Early Photography.[1] It is a strut-folding camera, with an unpleated leather bellows folding out of a shallow wooden rear body. At the front, it has a lens with rack-and-pinion focusing (a focus mechanism within the lens barrel, as seen on many Petzval lenses), and a simple shutter. It has a brilliant finder. The notes at Early Photography state that even the design of this first camera changed several times.

Vesta with scissor-struts and folding bed

The second type of the Vesta has a metal body, with leather covering, with a folding bed at the front. The front standard pulls forward on simple rails, supported from the body by scissor-struts. Focusing is by varying the extension of the struts and bellows. Most examples of this camera are for 2½x3½-inch (6.5x9cm) plates. The camera illustrated here is larger, probably quarter plate. Smaller cameras are also seen, down to 4.5x6cm.

In earlier examples (1908-10, according to the notes at Early Photography[2]), there is a radial focusing lever and scale at the front of the bed; the standard intercepts this as it is pulled forward. Around 1910 this focus mechanism was replaced with a screw at the front of the bed. The example shown here still has a radial scale on the bed: not all cameras have this. The camera allows front rise. Some cameras have the viewfinder shown in the photograph here, which adjusts upward with the rising front.

In a few years, cameras were introduced for roll film,[3] and with a focal-plane shutter.[4]. There is even a stereo model.[5][6]


  1. First-style, quarter-plate Vesta with 5½-inch Wray Rapid Rectilinear, at Early Photography.
  2. Vesta cameras with a folding bed at Early Photography: three 2½x3½-inch cameras and one quarter-plate, and notes on the sequence of different models, lenses, etc.
  3. Roll-film Vesta at Early Photography.
  4. Focal-plane Vesta] at Early Photography.
  5. Stereo Vesta at Early Photography
  6. Vesta Stereo camera for roll film or plates, with 4¼-inch f/4.5 Cooke Anastigmat lenses, sold at the 27th Westlicht Photographica Auction, in June 2015.