The Vester-Lette is a vertical folding camera, with three-part folding struts inspired from the Ikonta. The folding optical finder is in the middle of the top plate, and its front part folds above the rear one. The folding bed release is to the right if the viewfinder — as seen by a photographer holding the camera horizontally — and there is no body release. There are thick film flanges at both ends of the top plate. The advance knob is at the bottom right, and there is a tripod thread at the bottom left.
The back is hinged to the left for film loading and contains two red windows at the top. It is locked by a sliding bar on the right.
The GRC logo of Ginrei is engraved on the folding struts, and the name VESTER-LETTE is embossed in the leather covering at the front.
|Announcement of the Vester-Lette in Asahi Camera September 1937. (Image rights)|
The camera was first announced in the May 1937 issue of Camera Club. It is also featured in the new products column of the September 1937 issue of Asahi Camera, reproduced on the left. The document attributes the camera to Ginrei, and mentions a Venner f/4.5 lens and a Vester 1 shutter (T, B, 25, 50, 100). It also gives the price of ¥45.
Various surviving examples of the Vester-Lette have been observed. They have an Anastigmat Venner 75mm f/4.5 lens and a Vester.1 shutter giving 200–10, B, T speeds (the range of speeds quoted in Asahi Camera was perhaps wrong). The front plate is black and is marked G.R.C. Co at the top and VESTER. 1 at the bottom.
- The camera is wrongly attributed to Kyokutō in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.340–1, Sugiyama, item 1260, and McKeown, p.592. The Vester-Lette was perhaps confused with the Kyokutō Semi-Tex, which is described on the same page of Asahi Camera September 1937.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.340–1.
- Column in Asahi Camera September 1937, p.524.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.340–1, mistakenly says that the shutter is called Venner.
- Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1260, in this page at Itō Sadanobu's camera collection, and observed in an online auction.
- Asahi Camera September 1937. "Atarashii kikai to zairyō" (新しい機械と材料, New equipment and machinery). P.524.
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Item 237.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.592.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Item 1260.