Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot  –  Vintage Camera

Herco Imperial (three quarters)

Herco Imperial (three quarters)

Herco Imperial (three quarters)

Herco Imperial (three quarters)

Herco Imperial (front view)

Herco Imperial (front view)

Herco Imperial (rear view)

Herco Imperial (rear view)

Herco Imperial (top view)

Herco Imperial (top view)

Herco Imperial (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Herco Imperial (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Herco Imperial (three quarters)Herco Imperial (three quarters)Herco Imperial (front view)Herco Imperial (rear view)Herco Imperial (top view)Herco Imperial (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot Specifications

Manufacturer: Herbert George Co.
   
Origin: USA
   
Made in: Chicago, IL, USA
   
Introduced: 1955
   
Type: Box, Viewfinder
   
Format: 620 Film
   
Dimensions: 7.2 x 9.8 x 8.9 cm

Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot Review

The Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot is a simple plastic box camera that was manufactured by the Herbert George Co. of Chicago (which would later become the Imperial Camera Corporation). This and other box cameras like it were initially sold under the brand name “Herco” and then, somewhat confusingly, under the “Imperial” brand. While doing my research, I found this camera being referred to as both the “Herco Imperial” and the “Imperial Herco.” This camera will be referred to in this article as the Herco Imperial because it just makes more sense given the hierarchy of text on the camera itself.

The Herco has fixed-focus lens that’s locked in at an aperture of f/11. The shutter is fixed at 1/60 seconds and can be activated by sliding the small silver knob downward. The Imperial also features a simple viewfinder on the top as well as two sockets for an optional flash attachment. There’s a red window on the back to check your frame count and a rubber handle so you can take the camera with you on the go.

As its silver Art Deco inspired faceplate suggests, the Imperial takes 620 film (basically modern 120 film with thinner spools) which means that if you really wanted to shoot this camera, you could roll 120 (or even 135) film onto a 620 spool. The frame is advanced by rotating the big grey plastic knob although I’ve seen specimens that have a knurled metal knob instead.

This particular Herco Imperial was given to me as an unexpected and very thoughtful birthday gift by a good friend of mine during my university years. I’ve got to say, I’m quite fond of this little guy. It’s very charming in its simplicity and manages to straddle the line between classy and humble pretty well. And to top it all off, it was made right here in sweet home Chicago.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 271.

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