Meet My Kodak Brownie Starlet II
This baby was given to me by my wonderful sister-in-law and mother-in-law, complete with original packaging. The camera itself is in mint condition, works perfectly and actually looks as if it was never used.
A little on the Starlet II: it has a fixed-focus lens and was manufactured from 1957-1962. It takes 127 format film, but could easily be adapted for 35mm, with a 4x4 cm image size.
Meet My 4x5 Pinhole Camera (from the Lensless Camera Company)
I got this baby over a decade ago and the Lensless Camera Co. still makes them today. There is a giant elephant standing in the room that is this camera, which would namely be the now-useless 4x5 Polaroid back. At the time of purchase, I paid a hefty penny for that Polaroid back… and used the crap out of it. Now it’s basically the equivalent of a floppy disk, but more on that later…
I also have 4x5 backs which work with this camera (both 4x5 film and backs are still readily available for anyone interested in delving in to larger formats.) I don’t use it often, but I love the wood and simple design.
Meet My Praktica LLC:
This baby recently went on a little adventure and came back into my possession late last year. I nabbed it up a couple of years ago at a flea market here in Paris with an extra lens and the instruction manual for 20 euros. Apparently, these 35mm cameras were manufactured from 1969 to 1975 in Dresden, Germany. It is fully functioning and is pretty easy to use, although the shutter is in a slightly odd location.
Meet My Newest Baby: The Fed 5!
We all know how much I love Russian cameras, so I am thrilled to add this beautiful baby to my collection. This was given to me by an extremely generous and wonderful reader named Eddie, simply because he wanted it to have a good home. So I would like to send a special thanks out to Eddie and promise to love and care for this camera for the rest of my life.
As you can see, in his awesomeness, Eddie also sent me 2 extra lenses and a certificate of authenticity. Yay! I took it to Stockholm and just dropped film off at the lab, so I hope to be able to post results very very soon.
Thanks again, Eddie!
Meet My Canon Canonet:
This is one of my newest babies and was given to me by my Twin Flame (also known as MeauxWasTaken). It’s still functioning but appears to have a non-functioning selenium light meter around the lens…
This is one of my newest babies, it was given to me by my brother, and I think it’s one of my oldest. It’s a Zeiss Baby Ikonta, model number 520/18 (which is actually important because there are many, many Zeiss Ikonta models.) It was manufactured from 1932-1936 (which makes it 2nd to my 1913 Voigtlander). I decided not to ask my brother how much he paid for it, since it’s in mint condition and the shutter still works…. and I want to keep it… because I think if I let him tell me how much it was, I would have probably told him to take it back. But I did not, so crisis averted yay! This baby takes 127 film, but I’m going to respool some 35mm to test it out.
(and if you want to recommend me for Tumblr Tuesday, that would be awesome)
Meet My Holga:
This is my Holga, and when I say “my” I may or may not mean that I stole it from my high school. Needless to say it’s been in my possession for about 12 years, which makes it mine anyway.
This is an original 120S and has to be completely taped up with black electrical tape on every single seam and opening just to get a decent image. (As you can see I peeled back the tape so you could see the model number)
Behold: my first baby. Actually, it’s a very long story, but this is technically my 2nd baby… I’ll explain: For my 10th birthday, my brother gave me a Nikon FG with the very 50mm lens you see above. I used it happily for a year until one day it stopped working, so I took it (my mom took me) to a camera shop where I was told it had severe water damage and could not be repaired. I swore to my mom that I had never ever gotten it wet…. turns out that my brother actually dropped that camera on the bottom of the Shenandoah river the previous year. I was so sad and my parents felt so bad so they got me the body of an FM2. And I’ve had it ever since. I should also note that my brother is not actually a horrible person, even though the forementioned incident could give the opposite impression.
My newest Russian baby: The Zenit ET
I can’t wait to test it out…
Meet My Kiev 88:
This is one of my newer babies, and was given to me by my grandfather for the holidays. It is a total beast. Seriously, you could kill someone with this camera. One time, a friend of mine walked into it and seriously injured herself yet the Kiev 88 was fine. I sincerely believe that if I dropped it on the ground it would dent the pavement. That being said, it takes truly beautiful photos, which makes sense since it’s basically a Russian copy of a Hasselblad. You can see some photos I’ve taken with my Kiev 88 here and here.
There were several recent posts/questions regarding Kiev 88s for sale on Ebay; I highly recommend jumping on that.
Meet my grandfather’s Mamiya Sekor 1000DTL
I had always wanted this camera but until very recently my grandfather was actively using it… granted he put 1 roll of film in every 5 years and only busted it out on holidays and birthdays, but my grandfather is old-school great depression style so he can’t help it. Finally, I saw my opportunity after I saw him use a digital camera 2 years in a row… and I pounced like a lion that is a photographer whose prey is vintage cameras. The case is falling apart and the strap says “Canon: The Official 35mm Camera of the 1984 Olympics” but that just makes me love it more. Plus this camera takes phenomenal pictures. And it was my Pop’s :)
As I continue presenting my babies (check Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV to see the first 20), I am realizing that I really needed to catalog them and there are so many that I need to use again. Anyway, here’s the next set of 4:
The Alsaphot: This baby is the newest edition to my collection, so I still don’t know that much about it. It was given to me by my sweetheart’s grandfather, who is also a photographer (and total Leica nut). I believe the shutter still works, but it definitely needs a cleaning. Takes 35mm film.
The Polaroid EE44: Another Polaroid for whom there is no film :-( This camera was given to me by my sweetheart’s mother (a lot of people give me cameras) when she was cleaning out her basement. It totally still works, takes AA batteries for the flash and everything.
The Moskva 5: Meet my next Russian baby, and one of the cameras that is closest to my heart. I’ve had it since I was a teenager, but I can’t seem to remember where I bought it. It was made in the 1950’s and shoots 6x6 or 6x9 medium format. Not only does this camera still work, it takes incredible photos. I think it has to do with the fact that it’s so dense and heavy you could kill someone with it.
The Voigtlander Compur: This is one of the newest additions to my collection; it was given to me by my sweetheart’s grandfather on our last trip to Brittany. This camera is officially my oldest, made in the 1913. Almost 20 film backs, 4 developing tanks, film holders, and clips came with the camera so I will definitely be able to use it. Although the film format has been out of production for years, said amazing grandfather made me a glass guide to cut down 4x5 film. There were some sheets of film inside, but they were ruined when I opened the backs and discovered them… sigh…
Presenting my babies, continued from Part I, Part II, and Part III:
The Kodak Tourist Camera: I found this folding camera at a flea market and it definitely still works, but takes discontinued 620 film :-( I do believe there might be away to modify the inside so that it takes 35mm. Perhaps a project to work on…
The Zero Image Pinhole: This camera is actually not vintage, but a limited edition medium format pinhole that I ordered from a special company about 8 years ago. It takes 120 film but the inside can be modified to shoot 6x9, 6x7, or 6x6. Obviously, the exposures are long but this little guy takes amazing landscapes.
Agfa Iso Rapid 1c: Another victim of the oh-so-unfortunate rapid load system. I found it at a flea market for a euro and bought it mostly because of my nostalgic love for agfa (best film company ever! oh I miss you agfa ultra 50) but technically the shutter does work.
The Kodak Disc 4000: This interesting camera was a gift from my sweetheart’s sister who found it in someone’s basement. It’s about the thickness of a cassette tape (for those of you who remember them) and theoretically fits in your pocket. However, the fad of “disc film” was so short lived, I had never even heard of it.
Part V Coming Up…
Apparently, you all seem to love my babies as much as I do, so without further ado I present the next set of 4: (If you thought I was even closed to finished you are so wrong)
#1: The Ultra Fex: I am pretty sure I bought this plastic wonder at some point when I was living in Brooklyn… Although it still works, there is a piece of plastic missing from the shutter which makes it like a tiny dagger that perforates your index finger every time you take a shot. I don’t use it that often, mostly due to the fact that I really like my fingers. Takes 120 film.
The Agfa ISOLY : This camera is yet another Torcy find. Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you all this if I want to keep getting cameras there… Totally works, takes 35mm film (suprisingly because it looks like a medium format when you hold it).
The Brownie Starflex: I bought this tiny baby at Penn Camera when I still lived in DC, some guy was getting rid of his collection (mostly stuff that doesn’t work, otherwise it would’ve been a jackpot) and selling it there. It works, but unfortunately 127 format film has been out of production since before I was born and I don’t have the patience to cut down 120 film and respool it in the dark… alas…
The Ferrania 3M: This camera was part of the brief “Rapid Load” system (sort of like that whole Kodak Advantex phase we all already forgot about) and has a very unfortunate slit in the back which makes loading any other kind of film impossible. But technically, it still works. (This one was given to me as a gift)