OK, I have one more suggestion. Reading your post, it looks like you aren't really looking for something expensive (e.g. a Leica,) but just something that's easy to use and is kind of cool. I have one for you--a Kodak Bullet camera. These are very "Deco" and came out in 1936. They are made of Bakelite! There is no focus, no setting shutter speeds, etc. They are basically a fancy Brownie, and you shoot them on sunny days outdoors. They cost under $20--that's a lot of of "cool" for the money! There is a hitch. They use 127 film. It's available from bigger supply outfits such as B&H Photo or Freestyle Photographic Supply. It's basically a smaller version of 120 film. The Bullet is likely to be working OK but may need to be cleaned inside & out. They are very simple but well styled. They were very popular, and that means there are a lot of them for sale on eBay. That makes them pretty cheap! Make sure you get a take up spool inside, or buy a separate one. They are cheap & plentiful.
There are also Art Deco Brownies, but make sure they take 120 film, not 116. Most will probably take 620, which is 120 film on a very slightly shorter roll. You can still get 620, but most people either modify the camera slightly to take 120, or put 120 film on a 620 spool. The Bullet uses 127 and you simply load it.
Kent in SD
How PC (period-correct) does your wedding couple want to be? Are they sticklers to the last detail or are they willing to say, "Close enough..."? Will they settle for something that is PC within, say, ±5 years? ±10?
Last summer, I was at a Civil War reenactment with my 4x5 camera. I offered to take some pictures of a group of guys in period dress but warned them that my camera was not even close to being PC. It was probably made in the early 1980s. Not the 1890s. They didn't care as long as the picture looked PC. Even then, there were still a few anachronisms in the picture but they said, "Close enough." -- http://flic.kr/p/cRXnyw
Point here is to know your audience. If they aren't sticklers, that could take some pressure off you.
As to cameras, I like the Rolleiflex. There are enough models of Rollei made in enough vintages, you could easily get one.
Will there be anybody at the event who could even recognize the difference between a Rolleiflex made circa 1930-5 and one made circa 1950-5? If they did, would anybody care?
However, if you really want to play it PC, get a Speed Graphic and dress up like Weegee! :D
The Night Exakta. Pretty cool camera!
Edit: I realised that this model is a very rare one and is demanding collectors prices now, so I don´t think it an appropriate option by any more :-/ But maybe it could serve as an inspiration.
almost forgot: the awesome and easy to use Voigtländer SUPERB (with Heliar or (cheaper) Skopar lens.).
Beautiful camera from the early thirties...
I goofed up on suggesting "Certo66." He actually goes by "Certo6." Just one "6", not "66." He always has a good selection of restored folders and he can find one that dates to around 1935 for you. Website: http://www.certo6.com/cameras
Kent in SD
Thanks for all the replies, they've really made me smile. As for the couple, they're friends of mine who eat, sleep, and breathe vintage. Their apartment is from the late 1940s, and most everything is period. I think they're not going to be historical accuracy police (their car is a 1940 Dodge which is 5 years "too new") but I wanted to gather people's thoughts.
I'm not their photographer, and I definitely want to enjoy myself rather than worry about missing great shots. That being said, here's what I've got in the arsenal:
-8x10 Korona view
-4x5 Burke & James press (but its from 1947)
-4x5 Pony Premo from the 1910s
-various 120 and 620 Kodak folders from the late teens to the early 50s
-a number of 1920s-1940s box cameras.
I kinda feel like I'll take the Pony Premo to the wedding (4x5 is way more portable than 8x10) and maybe a Kodak Jiffy Six-20 or perhaps the Brownie Bullet suggested to the reception.
Any feedback is of course greatly appreciated!
PS. I'll post the photos afterwards. :)
This isn't really a practical suggestion, but also in the ArtDeco theme is the Kodak 3A series II, which I think was introduced in 1935 or 1936. It took 122 film, but it's a neat camera. It could be modified to use 120. I cut a 1/2 inch strip off the top of a sheet of 4x5 and it fits nicely, but then you'd be limited to "single shot" use.
Originally Posted by gandolfi
Here's one for sale!:
I got one, and its a gorgeous camera... I've also got one very expired roll of 122 film. Hmmm...
I would prefer the folders and LF over the box cameras, as the latter only offer a restricted range of exposure times and apertures (at least the ones I know) and the lenses are rather mediocre. I would use the folders for the snapshots and then do some formal shots with the 4x5 or 8x10.
Rollfilmback where available for The Bergheil, both 9X12 and 6,5X9 versions and they took 120 film.
Originally Posted by NedL
The quest was a popular camera of the time, not a popular practical camera of the time :)
IIRC they even had some kind of quickload holders.
Hmm did the grafmatic holders exist back then?