The Vesta is a Japanese subminiature made by Ginrei in the late 1940s or early 1950s, taking 14×14mm pictures on 17.5mm paper backed rollfilm.
The Vesta is little different from the average Hit-type camera. The film is advanced by a knob on the left, as seen by the photographer. The back is hinged to the right, has an uncovered red window in the middle and a spring-loaded latch on the left.
The lens is a fixed-focus Venner 20mm f/4.5. The shutter is everset and only gives Bulb and Instant settings. The shutter plate is normally inscribed VESTA at the top and GINREI. CO., at the bottom. The name VESTA is also engraved on the top plate, together with G.R.C., an acronym used by the Ginrei company. The leatherette at the bottom of the back is embossed MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN on at least some examples.
The Vesta exists in two major versions. The single finder version has a direct vision finder only, in the middle of the top housing. The dual finder version has a direct vision finder slightly offset to the left and a waist-level finder offset to the right.
Minor variations are known in the engraving on the lens rim, which is either one of these:
At least one example is known with a plain silver shutter plate instead of that described above.
- ↑ Dual-finder camera pictured in this page at Subclub.org.
- ↑ Single-finder cameras pictured in McKeown, p.345, and in this page by Nigel Richards.
- ↑ Single-finder cameras pictured in Pritchard, p.75, and in this page at Submin.com.
- ↑ Single-finder example pictured in Pritchard, p.75.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), ISBN 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.68 (brief mention only).
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Pp.345 and 391.
- Pritchard, Michael and St. Denny, Douglas. Spy Cameras — A century of detective and subminiature cameras. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-874485-00-3. Pp.75–6.
- Vesta at Submin.com
- Vesta at Subclub.org
- Vesta in Nigel Richards' website
- Vesta among other subminiature cameras at the Subminiature site of Gary Sivertsen