The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Posts tagged “camera

Argus C3

I was looking for a 35mm camera from the 40s or 50s for my collection when I found this one at an estate sale. A little worn and dusty, but he’s cute. This is an Argus C3 made in Michigan either before or after WWII. Eventually, I’d like to do more research on this camera, but for now I’ve just cleaned and photographed it. Poor thing was pretty dirty. I did quite a bit of Photoshop work on the camera because of the dust even though I cleaned it a lot before shooting. For more information about Argus cameras, visit http://argusinfo.net

 

Next Time: More Table Top or Nature

Maybe you can tell, I’m pretty rusty with the still life/table top right now. Due to other commitments, I shot very little last fall and winter. Right now, I think maybe getting back to more of the basics would be good, so I might do some objects on white. Otherwise, we’ll see what Spring brings.


A Companion in Adventure

I said I was going to photograph the lovely old Polaroid folding camera. Despite my best intentions and the best intentions of my father, neither of us could find it. However, I did find the ancient Kodak Medalist II. Although it’s not as old as some of the other cameras in my father’s collection, it is by far the most worn and well-traveled of them all. My father acquired it while cleaning out a photofinishing plant in Wisconsin after the place went out of business. The Medalist’s owner had died by then. Reportedly, he was world traveler, and this camera was his companion on many adventures.

KodakMedalistII

The Medalist II was manufactured in the late 1940s. It was a fine camera in its time with rangefinder and other focusing helps. Like many items from that era, it was built like a tank. This top view shows just how wide it is.

TopView

The focusing mechanism is also quite rigid and sturdy. In the camera’s present state of disrepair, it is difficult to turn.

LensOut

You’ve probably noticed I’ve made no attempts to clean or retouch this relic. My father decided years ago that it should stay as he found it: someone’s old companion in adventure bearing the marks and dirt of its life and adventures. Although the former owner had it repaired on several occasions, it would take a lot to get this one back in shooting order even if we were to try. I’d estimate the last repair was about a decade before my father acquired the camera.

CaseDates

This Medalist II belongs to the past. However, they are such fine cameras that some people are still fixing them up and shooting with them. Here’s one man’s story of getting his Medalist II in working order: http://blog.timesunion.com/chuckmiller/welcoming-the-kodak-medalist-ii/21899/

Next Time: Fireworks

It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is gone already. I shot the fireworks lat night, but I promised a camera post this week, and I didn’t have much time to edit today.


Keystone 8mm

My parents brought this old 8mm home movie camera to me after visiting relatives. I assume it spent years tucked away in my grandmother’s house, like many common old objects in my father’s family. The 8mm used to be the way to capture fleeting moments of family history like vacations, trips to the beach, or Christmas morning. A bit before my time, to say the least.

This worn yet charming example features an electric eye (a sort of exposure meter) and a rotating turret with three different lens.

Here, you can see the camera’s power source: the hand crank. Wind it up, then press the lever. Kind of like a windup toy.

 

 

*Edit: I recently found out this camera came from a church rummage sale, so I can stop wondering if there are any old home movies out there.

Next Time: Old Cars or Nature


The View-Master Personal Stereo Camera

 Between the holidays, my father and I went to visit my grandma and help my uncle with some repairs on her home. My uncle frequents auctions, and sometimes, he buys a box of things for one item on top. Occasionally, he gets an old camera hidden in the box. One evening, he presented two of such cameras to my father as candidates for induction into The Camera Collection. (For those of you who frequent my blog, most of the cameras I photograph belong to my father. He has an old habit of not getting rid of cameras and picking up interesting specimens.) One look at the case told us this camera was in.

Meet Freddie. He’s an early 1950’s Stereo Camera used to photograph slides for the View-Master. (You know, the little red-orange devices you had as a kid?) Isn’t he handsome?

 

 This is the exposure guide. Look familiar, my fellow former cinema and photo students? Yep, a fancy Sunny 16 guide.

 Although it may seem primitive at first, closer examination reveals this camera as a mechanical marvel. You can find more information and a manual here: http://www.vmresource.com/manuals/index.html

 

 


Vintage Hasselblad

Last week, my father kindly agreed to let me photograph his Hasselblad 500 C. Hasselblads have an illustrious history. They’ve always been phenomenal cameras, and the line has kept its reputation into the digital age. The 500 C was manufactured as early as 1959. My father purchased this particular camera previously enjoyed sometime in the 70s or 80s.

They’re medium format cameras that have interchangeable backs for the film. Photographers indicate the film speed in a back using this dial.

Historically, Hasselblads were made in Sweden, and some of them have gone very far from home. NASA had Hasselblad create special cameras to take to the moon. (http://www.clubhasselblad.com/new-book-hasselblad-and-moon). It’s a shame they had to leave the cameras. As far as I know, my father’s spent most of its life quietly in the midwestern United States.

Dad’s Hasselblad doesn’t get used much anymore, but it’s still a valued member of the camera collection and a fine piece of equipment. Who knows, bringing it out may encourage him to use it again.

Next Week: Fall Nature

Weather permitting, of course.


My First Camera

Although it’s been a year or two since I last used it, this Minolta AF-C holds a place in my heart. Back when I was in late grade school, my sister and I started learning photography from our father. Dad wanted to teach us on his first camera, but the shutter broke, so he pulled out this 1983 point and shoot with auto exposure, auto focus, and manual just about everything else. Eventually, my sister obtained another camera, and the AF-C became “my baby”.  At first, I carried it arround in the orange and black case my father used to keep it in. However, that case only had a small strap and snap made for attaching the camera to a belt. I didn’t wear a belt, but I made the mistake of trying to hold the case by that strap. The snap popped open, and I nearly lost the camera. After that close call, I purchased a sturdier case with an over the shoulder strap. My baby was safe.

 

 

 

For a point and shoot, she was always a good camera. A little old-fashioned, but still good. Sure I had to load the film manually, but I’ve fussed with auto load, and I’d rather do it myself. OK, so I had to remember to turn the flash on when I needed it, but that’s just practice for bigger friends on manual control. I’ll admit manually advancing the film after every frame is a bit inconvenient, but it becomes habit after a while.

 

 

 

I also had to rewind the film manually, but again, that’s not a problem. After I learned to use an SLR, I was only bothered by the lack of aperture control, zoom lens, and focus control.

 

 

 

I continued to shoot with my baby regularly through my freshman year of college. Some thought it needed to go, others thought it was cool. Because I was a photo minor, I upgraded  to my current Nikon D80 my sophomore year. However, I still have fond feelings for that little old point and shoot.

 

Next Week: A Small Town or Random Objects

If the weather’s good tomorrow, I’m going to cover a small town in my area, like I did late last fall (https://mycameramyfriend.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/exploring-the-village-a-look-at-a-small-midwestern-town/), only though I’m probably going to write more. If not, I think I could use to practice my indoor shooting skills some more, and random objects I want to photograph have been coming to mind.


Photographic Heritage: My Father’s Nikon F

Last week, I thought about photographing my first camera, but I decided an old classic would be a better choice. Photographing my father’s Nikon F, the first good SLR he ever owned, with my modern Nikon DSLR was a special experience. It tied together all the big happy camera/photoness in the house. This particular Nikon F is 45 years old and is still dearly beloved by my father. It was the best of its kind back in the day, and it is now a classic camera. Naturally, my dad made me promise I’d be extra careful with it.

The Nikon F.

 

Detail of lens and prism.

 

Markings

 

To all the Canon people out there, I’m not waging Holy War. I have dear friends who are Canon people. It’s just a little nostalgic Nikon person stuff. I’ll be less controversial next week.

Next Week: Time Outdoors, or Crazy Experiments Indoors

Speaking of next week, I’m thinking of braving the apparent bleakness of March in the faith that there’s something good out there. If not, I’ve heard dropping different liquids into each other is pretty amazing.