Large-format ARFO-4 is a 6.5×9 format folding plate camera. This camera was a continuation of the large format ARFO-3 Soviet camera.


In fact, ARFO-4 is similar in design to ARFO-3, but of a smaller format. In fact, this is almost a medium format camera, as the most common frame size for medium format cameras of that period was 6.5×9. ARFO-4 was produced from 1935 to 1938.

ARFO-4 Specifications

  • Type: 6.5×9 folding camera
  • Manufacturer: Foto-Trud
  • Production period: from 1935 to 1938
  • Format: 6.5×9
  • Lens mount: fixed lens
  • Lens: ARFO anastigmat f4.5/135
  • Shutter: leaf shutter with speeds of 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100 sec. plus B and T
  • Viewfinder: ground glass
  • Lighmeter: none
  • Flash synchronisation: none
  • Selftimer: none
  • Weight: 1000 grams
soviet large format camera arfo-4
ussr large format camera
soviet large format camera arfo-4
soviet large format camera arfo-4

The camera has a double bellows extension. Also, there is a mechanism for vertical and horizontal movement of the lens panel. In addition, a diamond-type viewfinder has been added, which simplifies framing.

ARFO-4 has a central inter-lens ARFO shutter with shutter speeds of 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, B, T, and Anastigmat ARFO lens (4.5/12) of the Tessar type.

It should be mentioned, that it’s easier to find an ARFO-4 in a good condition than cameras of earlier versions. The lens is good enough and the camera gives quite classic-looking photos.

soviet large format camera
soviet large format camera arfo-4

But the format is quite unusual, and now it’s hard to find a 6.5 x 9 film. So if you want a camera of a similar format, you can buy a Moskva 6×9 rangefinder camera. This format is something between the medium and large format.

So what about personal feelings? Like all other cameras of this type, the ARFO-4 provides a unique experience with old classic photo equipment.

And like most of the cameras created in the Soviet Union, ARFO-4 is a kind of clone of German cameras of the early 20th century. Therefore, using similar conscience cameras you are more likely to gain experience working with German cameras.

camera ussr
Soviet camera

What is your favorite Soviet camera? Do you have Soviet cameras? If so, which ones? If not, do you want to buy a Soviet camera? Write to us about this in the comments on this article.

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