Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot Camera

Herco Imperial 620 Snap Shot Camera FujiFilm Neopan Acros 100 Caffenol-C-M -  A failed experiment of sorts, but with some interesting results. The Herco Imperial is designed to use 620 film. Those of you who have ever done it, know the re-spooling a 120 roll onto a 620 spool can be tricky and time consuming. I always seem to have issues getting the anchor tape to reattach, or worse, tear the paper backing when peeling the tape in the 1st place. The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye will use 120 film without issue as long as you use a 620 take up spool. I was hoping the same would be true for this little box camera.

The 120 feed spool, did fit, it was a little tight but seemed to be ok. I was able to mount the back and advance the film to the 1st frame. The advance knob seemed tight and there were some concerning "crinkling" noise coming from inside the camera, but what the hell, at this point, I am committed. I managed to get 4 shots off and give myself a blister on my thumb trying to turn the tight advance knob, before the film would go no further. I had to unload the film in the dark and roll it the rests of the way onto the take up spool by hand. More cause for concern came while loading the film onto the reel for developing, the edges of the portion of the film that was exposed, felt very similar to the edges of a lasagna noodle. I was able to get the roll loaded, but not without a little more force that I normally like to exert on a roll of film.

I developed the roll and proceeded to scan the negatives. Two samples of which you can see above. The stress on the film causes it to ripple on the film plane causing some interesting distortion. If you look closely you can see the fountain rim around the Dough Boy Monument looks like it caves in on the right side and the stairs on the second image seem to have a wave in them. Not a complete disaster, but next time I will make the effort to re-spool.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Distorted Reflection

Pentax Auto 110 50mm f2.8 Lomography Orca 100 Arista 76 1:1 -  The last post from my 1st Pentax Auto 110 outing. I am amazed this is 110 film. Those of you that have ever used a typical 110 Instamatic Camera know what I mean. They made Kodak Brownies look like pro quality gear. I cannot wait to shoot my 1st roll of color... The Lomography Society also has Color Tiger 110 Film, and I have a roll loaded and read to go.

Hollin's Mill Dam, Blackwater Creek Trail. Lynchburg Va.

Pentax Auto 110 18mm f2.8 Lomography Orca 100 Arista 76 1:1 - Another shot for the Pentax Auto 110. The optics and crisp and have perfect contrast. Edge to edge sharpness is flawless.

Hollin's Mill Water Moccasin

Pentax Auto 110 50mm f2.8 Lomography Orca 100 Arista 76 1:1 - Thanks to Lomography Society's new Orca 110 Black and White Film the Pentax Auto 110 has a new life. This was shot at the Hollin's Mill Dam in Lynchburg Virginia's Blackwater Creek Trail. If you look closely you can see a water moccasin hiding among the rocks. A great example of the quality the Pentax Auto 110 was able to achieve from 110 film.

The Pentax Auto 110

110 film is a much maligned format among serious photographers, myself included, but I have always had a soft spot for this little gem. The Pentax Auto 110, is not just a camera, it is a "system." An inter-changable lens SLR that just happens to use 110 film. The flash is detachable and there is a motor drive available. Pentax made 5 different lens for the system, an 18mm f2.8 wide angle, a 24mm f2.8 "normal" lens, 50 and 70mm f2.8 telephoto lenses and even a 20~40mm f2.8 zoom lens.

The camera is tiny, as you can see by the Nikon FE2 in the background, but is extremely well made. The body is metal and plastic with a solid metal frame. The lenses have a mix of metal and plastic housings, but all have high quality multi-coated glass optics. The images from the Auto 110 squeeze every possible ounce of quality out the tiny 110 negative format, and though the do not quite rival 35mm, they do blow away what you would normally expect from a 110 camera.

More on the Pentax Auto 110 can be found here here.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Caffeinated Box Camera

Ansco Shur Shot FujiFilm Neopan Acros 100 Caffenol-C-M - Caffenol and Box cameras are a match made in heaven. This is the view from Monument Terrace looking down towards the the James River in Lynchburg Virginia. Remove the modern cars and your could almost believe this was 1950 not 2012...

The Ansco Shur Shot

A simple, straight forward 6x9 Box Camera... The Ansco Shur Shot is the definition of "Point and Shot." One shutter Speed, no flash no accessories, the only real frill here is the dual waist level view finders. One for vertical and one for horizontal viewing. Not the feature rich Ansco Shur Shot B2, by any means.

"The Dough Boy" Monument Terrace, Lynchburg, Va.

Start Twin Lens Reflex Euktar 75mm f4.0 FujiFilm Neopan Acros Arista 76 1:1 - A little in town site seeing, The Dough Boy guards the landing of Lynchburg Virginia's Monument Terrace. Shot with my Start Twin Lens Reflex, the upper right had corner shows a focusing issue with the camera, I believe, I have now corrected. We will see on the next roll I shoot.

The Polish Start Twin Lens Reflex

I have always loved Twin Len Reflex Cameras and their waste level finders. There is just something about focusing directly on ground glass that is appealing. Looking down to focus, instead of directly at the subject also seems less intrusive, almost more polite.

This Start was manufactures by Warszawskie ZakÅ‚ady Fotooptyczne (WZFO) of Warsaw, Poland. The camera has a Euktar 75mm f4.0 taking lens and a Euktar 75mm f3.5 focusing lens. The Leaf shutter is unbranded,  and has speeds for 1/10th to /200th and of course B and f stops from 4 to 22 There is no frame counter, the tried and true "red window" in the camera's back is used. Overall design is typical of Eastern Block cameras of the 50's and 60's with an almost Art Deco look. The Body has a crackle finish accented by brushed metal. The lens face and camera back have a leather or pleather overlay. The Start does not feel as robust as the Japanese Yashicas of the same era, but the craftsmanship solid, if spartan.Shutter operation is manual cock and fire via 2 levels on the lens itself. The Start does have a pc flash port and syncs with Modern electronic flash units.