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Bilora Bella

Bilora Bella

Style, film format Viewfinder camera using 127 film. Negative: 58mm x 42mm

Lens, shutter Two-element  f/8.0 achromat (probably 50mm or 60mm)

Photo quality To come ... keep expectations in check.

Ergonomics Nice little camera

The name just rolls off your tongue: Bilora Bella. I was sure it was Italian, so imagine my surprise when I turned the camera over and saw "Made in Germany" on the back.

BiloraLet's get real for a moment. The Bilora Bella isn't going to be found hanging from the necks of a sports photographer. It is what it is, as we like to say in the United States. But that shouldn't take away that a simple camera can be fun. After all, that's what amateur photography should be about.

The Bilora Bella came to me through unknown destination, which means that I forgot where I found it. Perhaps the Goodwill or maybe as part of a group of cameras. Nonetheless, I dug it out and cleaned it up. The all-vinyl soft case had been thrown away as it was in disgusting condition and couldn't be saved.

The Bella is one in a long line of simple cameras made by Bilora.

The Bella's features are modest. A two-element achromat of unknown focal length. Because it uses 127 film, I figure it's somewhere around 50mm or 60mm, which would be normal. There is a three speed shutter, two (1/50 and 1/00) if you don't count B. There are two aperture choices: f/8 and f/11. The lens can be focused down to 3.5 feet. It's a bit uncommon that a camera of such modest specifications would have a lens that could focus. Well, that's a nice little feature and one that I intend to test.

Like many German cameras, the back is removed for film loading. Film runs right-to-left, and is advanced by turning that big wheel that you can see on the right side of the camera.

Most call this a 6cm x 4.5cm camera, but the resulting negative actually is closer to 58mm x 42mm -- I suppose that's close enough to 6 x 4.5.

There's not much else I can say about the Bilora other than to check back later after I've had a chance to use the camera.

For more information about Bilora, visit the company's Web site. They still make tripods.