Two recent books have stirred my interest in exploring the variety of affordable vintage cameras that can still be used. The books are:
– Retro Cameras: The Collector’s Guide to Vintage Film Photography by John Wade.
– Discovering Old Cameras, 1839-1939 by
This then led to exploring some of the discussion forums dedicated to vintage cameras – some just dedicated to a single manufacturer.
One helpful website was Emulsive on here is a comparison of three foldable cameras – one of which I have now bought – the German made – Agfa Record III.
For under £100 on Ebay this came with its leather case, a flashgun, yellow filter and lens hood.
Listed as “all appears to be working, but not tested with film”. When it arrived, the focus ring was seized, but with some patience a lot of force and the nearest dribble of WD40 it has freed up nicely.
This is a landscape format camera – taking a negative that is 9x6cm. This can be done with a 120 roll film – yielding 8 frames. However, I have a lot of pieces of X-ray film which I have now cut to 9x6cm. So my first test involved putting a single piece of film in the camera and closing the back.
Using the App “Light Meter” on my phone I measured for exposure using 100ISO for the blue x-ray film and took a few sample shots of the garden. As can be seen from the example below (photo of negative projected by enlarger and inverted to become positive, focus and exposure are good, but there is a flash of brightness – probably from a pinhole in the bellows. I put an LED light inside the bellows in a dark room and soon found 3 small holes. These will be dealt with – using flexible adhesive mixed with black pigment. – that’ll be in the next blog……
Other sites to explore