The Vester Klapp (ベスタークラップ, besutā kurappu) is a Japanese 6.5×9cm strut-folding camera, made by Ginrei in the 1930s. The camera is called "Vesta Klapp" by various modern sources, but the name Vester and a serial number is engraved above the lens, and the company Ginrei was using the brand name Vester for most of its products before 1945.
The Vester Klapp was inspired by the Ernemann Klapp. The rectangular front standard is mounted on four straight folding struts, mounted by pairs on spring-loaded axis. The lens is a Vengor or Venner Special 105/4.5, mounted on a focusing helical and surrounded by a sort of hood. It was probably made by Ginrei itself.
The rear part of the camera contains a vertically travelling focal-plane shutter, wound and set by a large knob on the photographer's right, giving T, B, 10–500 speeds. The release button protrudes at the front of the right-hand side plate, and there is a thread for a cable release just below. There is a leather handle on the photographer's left, helping to hold the camera. There is a folding Newton viewfinder at the top, copied on that of the Ernemann Klapp, and a viewing bead hinged above the lens.
The camera was featured as the Vester Klapp D (ベスタークラップD型) in the September 1936 issue of Asahi Camera, and was advertised as such in the January 1936 issue of Ars Camera. In the advertisement, the camera is said to be "made by G.R.C. Gōmei" (G.R.C.合名製造), and the price is given as ¥135, with a Vengor 105/4.5 lens and T, B, 10–500 shutter speeds.
The only surviving example observed so far is shown in Sugiyama; it is indistinguishable from the model pictured in the advertisement. It is presented as an "early version" dating from 1931, but this date is dubious. It has an Anastigmat Vengor 105mm f/4.5 lens, surrounded by an aperture ring graduated from 4.5 to 22 and inscribed Vester N°447 at the top.
The Vester Klapp H (ベスタークラップH型) was advertised in the October 1936 issue of Camera Club and in the November 1936 issue of Asahi Camera. The November advertisement says that the focusing system was improved for smoother operation, and the pictures show some sort of wheel next to the lens. The price is given as ¥120, with a Venner Special f/4.5. The camera was supplied with three plate holders, a film pack holder and an ever-ready case, for use with film packs only. Various authorized dealers are listed in the advertisement: Konishiroku Honten, Asanuma Shōkai, Misuzu Shōkai, Yamashita Shōten, Hagi Kōgyō Bōeki and Mizuno Shashinki-ten.
No surviving example of the Vester Klapp H has been observed so far.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.340; Sugiyama, item 1259; McKeown, p.345.
- Shutter speeds: Sugiyama, item 1259, only says B, 10–500; the January 1936 advertisement for the Vester Klapp D reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.92, says T, B, 10–500.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.340.
- Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.92.
- Sugiyama, item 1259.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.340.
- Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.92. The bottom pictured is upside down in the original advertisement.
- 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. Items 235–6.
- 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.345.
- 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 1259.