Vintage and Antique Cameras

I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I’d spend some time to introduce you to my small but rather growing camera collection.

My Grandad gave me most of these as he is an antique camera dealer (and general oddity dealer; cameras, binoculars, pens, guns, militaria and god knows what else). There is a collection of box cameras ranging from 1926-1950s and also a few sixties and seventies creations.

All the box cameras take 120 film (or 620, which is no longer around). I’m currently perfecting my 35mm B&W developing so I can start testing out the box cameras and develop them cheaply. Sadly the only one I have been able to test so far cost me a fortune to develop (there are only 8 exposures per roll of 120 as well!) and only 3 photos came out! Very irritating. So far I’ve tried twice to develop, with thanks to the university Photographic Society (of which I am a member) and the President Alison who has helped me process 🙂 The first two films didn’t come out as expected, but I think I’ve ironed out the issues some third time lucky 🙂 Hopefully I’l have some pictures to share by next week.

'How to Hold Your Camera' from Pentax Asahi S1a Manual

'How to Hold Your Camera' from Pentax Asahi S1a Manual

The first camera is the one I am currently using to take shots for 35mm, its not actually mine, it is on loan for the photographic society which is great. Its a lovely camera, feels really robust and mechanical which is just the kind of thing I like! It seems to be in working order bar the exposure counter which curiously starts at 26 rather than zero :P, so I just have to count how many photos I have taken 🙂

The camera is a Pentax Asahi S1a, I believe this model is from 1960. I was lucky enough to find the manual online courtesy of PentaxManuals.com, you can download it here if you’re after it (Hint: password is Pentax).

The next camera I have to show is my oldest. This is a 1926 Kodak Brownie No.2 Hawkeye Model C. One of the proper old Brownie cameras. I managed to locate a manual for a similar model (there are so many types of Brownies!) here if you are interested. Its in pretty good working order and I have managed to get several photographs from it, although the rest lightleaked, which I guess is just what you get from such an old camera. The thing about cameras like this is that there is no focus or aperture, its all about having a go and seeing what you get back. You can see some examples of the photographs I have managed to get from it here. I am currently in the process of learning ore about developing my own film so I can get some more pictures out of this, its really expensive to send film away just to find out that nothing came out!

The third (and final – for today at least) camera I will share with you is one i have not yet used, but it will be my next. Its probably my favourite of the bunch just for its cuteness. Its a 1950 Coronet Twelve-20. A really lovely little retro camera. The parts all seem in working order so lets hope we get something from it! Its quite interesting too as it has a colour filter so can take black and white and colour too, and it also has a time lever for long exposures. You can flick the switch on the front for ‘distant’ or ‘near’ – I guess you could say that means you can focus too? 😛 I’ll be working on this one in a few weeks and trying to get some pictures from it so watch out 🙂

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~ by franhaselden on February 16, 2011.

3 Responses to “Vintage and Antique Cameras”

  1. I have a Praktica-L which I’m very fond of, although I accidentally exposed my first film and haven’t had much chance to use it since. Getting anyone to develop actual film these days is a pain though!

    • Do it yourself! You can at least develop the film, from there you can probably take them down to the highstreet and get the negs turned into prints, I don’t think that bit is too expensive. But you could do the film developing in your bathroom and buy all the equipment for less than £30.

  2. I have an old camera! Polaroid Supercolor 635 hehehe I got it at a charity shop for about £1.50 as they didn’t know if it worked. I bought some film and PRESTO it works! hehehe I love it, but wouldn’t say it was quite as ‘vintage’esque as your lovely ones 🙂

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