So tomorrow (29th June) is national camera day! An excellent chance for you to treat yourself to a cheap, vintage camera and conveniently(!) I have just listed a selection over in my etsy shop! They start at £5 and are all in good condition!
Please spread the word!
Photography. I love the way it changes how I see the world.
To start with I liked this camera. its a nice size and easy to use because you don’t have a lot of control options. You can set weather and distance and shutter speed.
The first thing that turned me was the catch to get into the back. It’s fiddly and stiff and needs holding open to open and close the back. The first roll of film didn’t stay connected to the take up rod. So attempt number two. You have to remember to reset the shutter cock for each photo. Bit irritating but I’m sure you’d get used to it.
To rewind you need to pull out the rewinder and turn it whilst depressing the shutter release. Another negative in my opinion with my rubbish hands… And then the final straw for me; my rewind wheel was stuck. Nothing I did would change this so I went into a dark part of my house, got the film out and pushed it back into the canister as best I could. This is probably quite simple if your hands work, mine do not work well at all*.
So expecting nothing I took the film to my friendly photo shop and didn’t get too excited. And wasn’t surprised when I got nothing. I was a bit disappointed. I’d hoped for at least one image but I wasn’t very surprised…
*I have a condition called ehlers danlos syndrome which causes me joint and muscle pain, fatigue and full or partial dislocations amongst other things.
The only camera I have two of is this one. They both came in my job lot of cameras and both seemed in pretty good condition. The only difference seems to be that one no longer has the logo on the front. I put a roll of film in both, same type and, in eagerness, I used up the rolls pretty quickly.
This was the second roll I went through and I was with a friend and tired and it shows because Ive forgotten to change focal length a few times. But it’s pretty much the same quality as the first camera. And it seems to be nice for taking shots of people (in the sun at least), i have a nice shot of a friend and baby but would prefer not to have it on my blog.
Nb, these images are tablet photos of the printed photos, the image quality is sharper in real life as you’d expect. I just haven’t had the patience to scan them yet.
This 35mm is lovely. It was produced between 1974-1989, it feels lightweight (233g apparently) and has weather symbols to help you with settings. It wad also easy to load. My favourite thing about this though is the cocking lever. It has a pleasing mechanism which, unlike some film cameras, seems to be placed so that it’s a really intuitive step to take after shooting. Wind on wheels etc on some of the cameras I’ve got are in strange places, such as underneath the camera which makes it easier to forget (it probably didn’t at the time of making but digital has spoilt us!).
I was pretty chuffed when I got the pictures back – all of them came out and the only issues were user error (not changing the focal distance mostly which results in blurry images). I even managed to get some pics of the ducklings and a local cat!
Note to self: to unwind, you need to press the button underneath the camera whilst turning the rewinder.
This camera was a charity shop find which turns out to take 126 film which is no longer made… But is for sale on ebay although it’s quite expensive given that you have no idea if it’s still usable or not… In my case it wasn’t…
In my job lot of cameras I also got a 224, 233 and 333-x which were made between 1963 and 1974. Instamatic are a series from kodak of inexpensive and easy to load 126 and 110 cameras.
I’m probably not going to test all of them, simply because of the price of 126 film. There are hacks you can do to use 35mm instead but my hands aren’t up to it. I suspect I will end up keeping the Instamatic 25 (sentimental reasons – I’ve used it and it was my first one) and selling the others. If you’re interested in buying them, let me know and make me an offer. Otherwise they will probably end up on etsy at some stage.
Today I’m going to look a a few cameras together, the non functional ones. Well, the ones I know are non functional as I’m sure there’ll be some in the job lot that don’t work.
Agfa Super Silette
This beautiful camera with it’s case was introduced in 1955. I haven’t had any luck opening the back of it but the camera is special to me all the same. I recieved it from a close friend and it belonged to his grandad. In the back of the case there are some notes written on the back of a cereal box to remind him how to use it.
In my job lot of cameras, I’ve got an Agfa Silette from 1953. The Super Silette has the same body as the Silette but has a coupled rangefinder which can help with focussing.
No 2 Brownie model F
Made in Canada, this camera was released in 1924. Mine is missing some of it’s inside parts and the wind on lever is stuck. But it’s a nice piece to own. As a simple and inexpensive camera, the Brownie series made photography more accessible and wikipedia claims it introduced the concept of the snapshot. Perhaps then the forebearer to selfies?
This camera always puts me in mind of You Press The Button, We Do The Rest by Duke Special.
No 2 Folding Autographic Brownie
A present from my sister, this camera is a thing of beauty! And purely for decoration. They were made between 1915 and 1926 and mine includes the stylus which I think is pretty cool! You would lift the metal flap on the back of the camera and use the metal stylus to write. Once developed your words would appear in white on your photograph.