Vrede Box cameras were made in many flavors and colors. In fact, through the 1950s and 60s, Vredeborch GmbH of Nordenham, Germany manufactured an enormous number of cameras that were sold under other brands, in addition to their own line.
Like many box camera manufacturers, naming didn't always follow a strict system and thus one can find many different features on cameras of the same name. Pictured at right is the "Standard-Menis" version (with a missing strap), which seems to be the most common in our research.
Some obscure branded cameras made by Vredeborch are very rare, and often, very beautifully styled - but they all are born of the Vrede Box.
The Vrede Box Standard-Menis is quite a feature-packed but lightweight machine, with a lot of advantages for maintenance and usage. It scores well above average on our scale. If there is a drawback to this camera, it's that the very thin all-metal body can can be prone to rust, and the faceplate and film door may need adjustment to fit tightly in a well-used camera.
This camera begins a strong feature set with a Time mode and an extra aperture, each on separate pull-out tabs above the shutter. The shutter is a snappy "Always Off" style (as we call it), and just below the shutter - a socket for a cable release!
A small knob on the front of the camera slides a yellow filter into place. Unlike the similar feature on Agfa Ansco cameras, this filter can be used with either aperture.
Being a camera of the 1950s, it has three features we really love - 2 standard tripod sockets for portrait or landscape orientation - and a PC socket to attach any electronic flash or studio lights.
The viewfinders are exceptionally bright. The taking lens is inside the camera, however there is also a glass protector lens in the faceplate!
The Vrede Box is very easy to disassemble should you need to clean the viewfinders, filter or protector lens - or to adjust the tiny brush that fires the flash, should it cease to work reliably (a common issue easily solved!)
Rounding out the outstanding features, is an all-metal film holder that keeps your rolls tight.
Make no mistake, we like this camera even more than the rating would suggest!
APERTURES: f/8 and f/16
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/30 (?)
MIN. FOCUS: 3m/10ft
BEST FILM: 50-100 ASA
BUILD: Pressed sheet metal construction, metal parts, vinyl covering, glass lenses and viewfinders
MFBOXCO RATING: 13
Our #3 highest-rated camera is hiding in this somewhat plain package!
Do you have experience this camera? Any helpful tips? Have you seen one at your local flea market? Do you know some trivia about the history the company or other knowledge you'd like to pass on? Add your stories below. We will periodically select the best tips and other bits to include above.