Coronet Twelve 20: - As English as Yorkshire Pud


Right- ho, now pay attention. I am becoming increasingly aware of this new fangled digital photography malarkey running about the place with its full screen sensors and 12 point whatsit thingumy bobs, auto focus hocus pocus, image stabilizing face recognition mumbo jumbo nonsense. And I for one have had enough. So the boffins in the lab put their thinking caps on and over a hot cup of tea and pipe invented a camera so fiendishly simple that a dead dog could use, well maybe not that simple but you get the drift. So with out further ado and no more egging the custard, Mildred draw the blind, Jerry start the projector lets admire the Coronet Twelve 20 in all its glory.

image taken here

Now, you will notice straight away that the shape of the camera somewhat goes completely with convention being that it is a box, a no frills, good old fashioned, like they were in my day box. None of your continental rhomboids here thank-you very much, we shall stick to what we know and what we know is boxes.

The slightly more observant amongst you will have also realized that there is not one but two, yes two count them if you don’t believe me, see I told you there were two, lenses. Making this a TLR, that’s right a Two Lens Rupert camera. Now during testing, and when I say testing I mean good old fashioned English “So, you forgot your P.E kit then do it in your knickers” testing, some of the lads noticed that crumbs from their digestive biscuits were getting stuck in the view finder so a simple hatch has been added for extra protection. Take care of your hatch gentlemen and it shall take care of you.

Now when you are in the field, most of you will know that timing is of the essence. I am sure that you will not need reminding of the many young Lomographers we have lost to digital, the dark side where they don’t have to think about f-stops, or shutter speeds or distance or, god forbid, all 3. So this little gem has been designed with two, yes two, count them if you don’t believe me, see I told you there were two, a lot of time would be saved if you just believed me, settings. Now pay close attention because this is where it gets complicated. If you want to take a picture of something near to you then you set the cameras aperture to the “near” setting. If perhaps you want to take a love shot of the rolling hillside in the Lake District then you use the “distance” setting. Does anyone need me to repeat that? Next slide please Jerry.

Now lets turn our attention to the side you will see there are two, yes two, count them if you don’t believe..oh I do beg your pardon there are three levers on the side. The first operates a little like a grenade it that you pull it out and it sets of a timer but don’t throw it at the enemy you fool, actually you might try that it may win a prize or at least some piggies. The second lever is to apply a filter to the lens, but use this with caution, as the label on the camera informs us “IN BRILLIANT SUNSHINE USE THE BUILT IN COLOUR FILTER FOR CLOUD PICTURES, LANDSCAPES, ETC BUT NOT FOR PORTRAITS”. I need not remind you what might happen if you do use the filter with a portrait. And the final lever is of course the shutter. And there we have it. Simple elegant, English and above all: Boxy. This medium format machine is ready for action, though many are called few will answer but the Coronet Twelve 20 will claim its place in plastic cameras history. We shall shoot them on the beaches, on the streets, and in the air. We shall shoot them from the hip and with little to no thought, we shall cross process. We shall carry our coronet Twelve 20s everywhere because never before in the history of Lomographic conflict has so much been owed by so many to something so plastic. Thank you now please make sure you leave your chairs in an orderly fashion as the WI are in here after us and we don’t want to upset them.

written by mattcharnock on 2008-12-14 #gear #black-and-white #120 #review #lake-district #english-cam #old-camera #x-pro #coronet


  1. strangelilgirl
    strangelilgirl ·

    A+ and a great gallery to boot

  2. dirklancer
    dirklancer ·

    Another awesome review, Matt.

  3. anarchy
    anarchy ·

    Wow, I'm in love with it already =)

  4. roryeaglestone
    roryeaglestone ·

    best review yet - hilariously written old chap.

  5. vtayeh
    vtayeh ·

    Nice Review! I love reading about cams I never knew about! Good Job!

  6. zark
    zark ·

    I love it!

    Cheers mate!

  7. babo
    babo ·

    OMG! This is probably the BEST camera review I have seen in my life time!!!

    Love the text! Love the pictures! And I think I just have fallen in love with the camera!
    Damn... I want one of those!!

  8. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Fantastic review and camera!! And great dreamy pictures, love the n°15!! Surely a camera review of the week!! :))

  9. lomollete
    lomollete ·

    Great review and the camera is amazing too

  10. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Because of you, I bought one.... ;))))

  11. mrs-paul
    mrs-paul ·

    Wow what an article! and I just picked up a Coronet twelve-20 in a charity show today... woo hoo I feel like the cat that got the cream! Awesome photos mattcharnock, looking forward to getting my first roll back...

  12. maelstrom
    maelstrom ·

    Ok, I'm seriously in love with her now!

  13. hanschu
    hanschu ·


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