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Rich Silfver
07-04-2006, 02:11 AM
I had read through some of the older threads and ran across one where some of the folks were talking about using some of their older cameras. Even the old box cameras. What I would like to know is; how do the images come out?


I have a simply blog site aimed at my classic cameras. Photos of them - and the photos they take: http://silver.blogspot.com

P C Headland
07-04-2006, 05:17 AM
Nothing wrong with using old cameras!

They are certainly a great way to get people talking, and not just from the people you'd expect. I've had loads of younger people and even kids fascinated with the cameras, along with the older folks who remember using them. I reckon I learned more Dutch while in Holland using my old camera than in normal day to day life!

Some of the old cameras are quite good, even now. Some were pretty crappy even when new ;-) I have a "selection" of mainly MF Folders, but also a TLR, MF SLR, 9x12cm, 5x4", plus a few 35mm cameras. I use them all, some more than others

If I'm taking just one camera with me, even for longer travels, it is always the Iskra (6x6 folder with coupled rangefinder). It is small enough to carry around all day, gives a decent sized negative and has a pretty good lens. I can't say I've ever been left disappointed by the camera itself.

Some days it's nice to also drag along something else, like a €7 Box Tengor camera.

Not every picture is about technical perfection.

So, go on, try using them. You may be pleasantly surprised.

The image of the statue was taken with the Iskra in Genoa using TriX 400 rated at EI1000 and dev'ed in Diafine. The cabbage trees were shot with the Box Tengor using Efke 25 and Rodinal.

Lachlan Young
07-04-2006, 05:25 AM
The other direction, I have a Kodak Reflex II, with one of the best front focusing lenses ever made (possibly not up to the best lenses mounted on the Rolleiflex, but it's a lot cheaper than a Rolleiflex, at least now -- usually around $50), and a Kodak Signet 35 (the Ektar lens is in the same class with the ones that Leica used in the 1930s to prove 35 mm was a serious format, not just a "miniature" camera), and a Pentax Spotmatic which, with radioactive 50 mm f/1.4 Super Takumar, is capable of doing justice to the resoution of microfilm -- and is coming up hard on 40 years old.



I think you've just given me another bout of GAS ;) .Were Pentax or any of the other 'majors' to make the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 screw mount today they would have to sell them at $1500 each just to cover costs...

Lachlan (playing weegee in avatar)

DBP
07-04-2006, 07:17 AM
A bit like the stunned silence that falls over the room when you pull out a Mamiya C330 with potato masher flashgun...

And that reaction pales in comparison to a bunch of teens and twenty-somethings having their first encounter with a #5 flashbulb going off.

Jim Noel
07-04-2006, 11:08 AM
Wggy,

You have proved once again that it is not the camera, it is the photographer.

Good job.

Jim

Lachlan Young
07-04-2006, 01:00 PM
And that reaction pales in comparison to a bunch of teens and twenty-somethings having their first encounter with a #5 flashbulb going off.

WHUMP!!!!!
Sadly my 1947 pacemaker speed graphic has X-sync only :rolleyes:

But it does have provision to mount two flashguns - a graflex and a Heiland one on each side ;)

Lachlan

Dan Fromm
07-04-2006, 03:54 PM
WHUMP!!!!!
Sadly my 1947 pacemaker speed graphic has X-sync only :rolleyes:

But it does have provision to mount two flashguns - a graflex and a Heiland one on each side ;)

LachlanLachlan, your Pacemaker Speed's focal plane shutter synchronizes with FP-class bulbs. The camera has a bipost connector on the right side next to the shutter selector slide. That connects to the FPS. Go to www.graflex.org to learn more.

What shutter is your lens in?

Good luck, have fun,

Dan

Donald Qualls
07-04-2006, 08:25 PM
Were Pentax or any of the other 'majors' to make the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 screw mount today they would have to sell them at $1500 each just to cover costs.

No way it could even be produced these days -- thorium glass is a thing of the past, and while there are "better" glasses that aren't radioactive, they're even more expensive than thorium glass was in the 1960s. However, you're probably right about the pricing of a comparable lens, given what's being asked for the current crop of "designer" lenses for the few remaining new-manufacture film bodies. IIRC, I paid about $100 for my Spotmatic, back in 1981, including that Super Takumar.


Sadly my 1947 pacemaker speed graphic has X-sync only :rolleyes:

But it does have provision to mount two flashguns - a graflex and a Heiland one on each side ;)

If you have either of those flashguns, check if they have an on-flash contact. If so, they're designed for use with non-synch shutters using a "synchronizer" -- a solenoid device that attaches to the lens board and fires the shutter on command from the flash. You mount the bulb, focus, cock the shutter, pull the dark slide, and when you press the button on the flash the same pulse of current that fires the bulb fires the shutter -- automatically inserting the required 20 ms delay to let the bulb ignite and come up to peak brightness before the shutter fully opens. This method worked with 1920s vintage dial-set Compur shutters, and it'll work with any more modern shutter that has a release lever that can be hooked to the synchronizer.

Or, as the other poster suggested, you can use FP bulbs, but they're both rarer (hence more expensive and harder to find) and EVEN BRIGHTER -- similar light levels to a #5 or #11, but lasting 150 ms or so, for a 1/8 second focal plane shutter travel time (regardless of slit setting), instead of 30 ms.

DBP
07-04-2006, 09:12 PM
WHUMP!!!!!
Sadly my 1947 pacemaker speed graphic has X-sync only :rolleyes:

But it does have provision to mount two flashguns - a graflex and a Heiland one on each side ;)

Lachlan

My 1944 Anny is x-synch too. But I just acquired a 90mm for it which is both X and M. Might have to recalibrate the rangefinder for it, then shoot with two #11s. Hope DHS doesn't come after me for that.

Walt Sharp, Jr.
07-04-2006, 09:35 PM
I love my old cameras but don't have the time to do them justise.
Look at my subscribers gallery, (Walt), for the street scene with the tall buildings and people walking. This was taken with a 127 size film (J&C has this and other old films) 12 exposures to a roll. Neg size 1-5/8 square. The camera is from the mid 50s and has a built in flash using M-2 size bulbs. This scan is from a 8x8 Silver print. I don't think it would make an 11x14 but could be a little larger then. shown. Duraflex cameras, popular in the late 50 & 60s came in serveral models. some with limited adjustable lenses, some not. Uses 620 film, available form J&C. If you do use your oldies be sure you can process the film. B&W processing is out of site. Walt Sharp

srobb_photo
07-05-2006, 06:23 PM
I want to thank all of you for you input. Looks like I have caused a few to wax romantic over their older cameras. :D :D I will have to see about cleaning the Brownie and then check on film.

I had almost forgot about the camera my Mom gave me. This was one she has had since..... well probably before I was born. It is an Argus seventy-five. The plastic frame around the top viewfinder is broke on one side, but not sure if that will affect it's picture taking ability. No telling how many pics of me that camera took.

Think I may go back to the butkus site and see if I can find something on these two.

DBP
07-05-2006, 06:34 PM
There is a copy of the Argus 75 manual here http://www.argoflex.com/Manuals/75.htm. You may also find the Argus Collectors Group site http://arguscg.tripod.com/ of interest. Argus was a major factor in American amateur photography for decades.

battra92
07-05-2006, 11:45 PM
Why do I shoot classics? Well, there are a lot of answers as to why I personally can be found taking a shot that will possibly hang in a gallery using anything less than an 8x10 large format camera with super expensive lens and whatever.

First of all, I am a college student. I work two jobs to make ends meet and life is expensive. I like the size of the MF negative but can't afford a Hassleblad with expensive glass and all the whizbang features. Heck, right now I can't even afford a Mamiya RB67 or a Rolleiflex. If I want to shoot MF I have a couple options options: the first being to get out one of my TLRs. I have a couple TLRs but nothing better than an Argoflex E, I'm afraid. The second option is to get out one of my folders. Now, I'll tell you, I have an Ansco Speedex 45 for 6x6 and a Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515 for 645 and that is more than adequate for me.

Secondly, there are just times when the big new cameras are just not practical. There are times I don't even want to lug around my Nikon N75. A folder can do a great job as well if I don't mind guessing distance and using a handheld meter. I will say that I'm pretty confident or at least comfortable with my little $10 eBay meter and my $30 Nettar. Why buy something else and learn it all over again when it won't give me what I want? Besides, with that money saved, I can buy more film and processing.

Third, and I know this will make someone cry, but no one gives a care what camera you use! Well, no one of importance anyway. I know we like to have peeing contests but frankly, does anyone care what camera Ansel Adams used? I don't. I had a photograph hanging in an art gallery that was shot on a Canon Canonet QL 17 using Fomapan 100. No one ever asked me the film or dev or camera. All they asked me was what I saw and felt about my image.

Honestly, if you like old cameras, good for you and welcome to a fun segment of photograpy. If you feel you must use certain features or you just prefer it, good for you and have fun with your camera and let's see some good pictures!

ricksplace
07-06-2006, 06:12 AM
In another ten years, ANY film camera will be an old camera.

All I shoot is old cameras, from my pre-anny Speed Graphic (approx 1930) to a Pentax MEsuper as my "newest".

I prefer simplicity over techie gadgetry.

"The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain"
-James Doohan

srobb_photo
07-06-2006, 02:58 PM
Hey, battra, I like how you think. You know one of the reasons I would love to use some of my older cameras? Because it would make me work my mind and reach back to the dusty files in memory about using a manual camera. I love my Canon EOS Rebel, but like everything new and techie, it makes life too easy. The more new stuff comes out, the softer and lazier we become.

Now I need to know if I am to use one, or both, of these cameras, what needs to be done for me to shoot 120 film in them? They both took 620 and the obviously don't make that anymore. I am anxious and curious as to what I can do with these two old relics.

TheFlyingCamera
07-06-2006, 03:13 PM
Hey, battra, I like how you think. You know one of the reasons I would love to use some of my older cameras? Because it would make me work my mind and reach back to the dusty files in memory about using a manual camera. I love my Canon EOS Rebel, but like everything new and techie, it makes life too easy. The more new stuff comes out, the softer and lazier we become.

Now I need to know if I am to use one, or both, of these cameras, what needs to be done for me to shoot 120 film in them? They both took 620 and the obviously don't make that anymore. I am anxious and curious as to what I can do with these two old relics.

You can get 620 film from J&C (an APUG sponsor no less!) and you can always use 120 film either re-spooled onto 620 reels or with filed down 120 reels to fit the thickness. I've even put 120 film through an old Kodak Autographic 6x9 designed for 620 without modification and it worked fine, if a bit tight on the winding.

Donald Qualls
07-06-2006, 09:09 PM
You can get 620 film from J&C (an APUG sponsor no less!) and you can always use 120 film either re-spooled onto 620 reels or with filed down 120 reels to fit the thickness. I've even put 120 film through an old Kodak Autographic 6x9 designed for 620 without modification and it worked fine, if a bit tight on the winding.

Do note (and J&C clearly states this also) that what J&C sells as 620 is "resized" 120 film -- the inner wrapper is opened and the spool, with the film still rolled on it, is trimmed for both diameter and length to match the 620 spec. This thins the flanges a little (even after taking the thickened rim off, they have to come down a little more than a millimeter, split between the two ends), though that hasn't been know to cause light leakage. However, the center hole and drive slot aren't changed, and a few 620 cameras will jam due to spool wobble, while many will fail to take up to these spools.

For whatever it's worth, of the eight 620 cameras I own, only two won't accept 120 supply spools hand trimmed only for diameter: an Ansco Pioneer 620 and a Savoy 620, both of which jam on the slight extra length of the spool. Of the others, the Brownie Hawkeye Flash, Brownie Bullseye, Duaflex IV, Brownie Flash Six-20, and Kodak Reflex II will all work with either diameter trimmed or unaltered 120 supply spools, and the Argoflex EF, after a minor and theoretically reversible modification, works with unaltered 120 spools in both positions. If I used the Pioneer 620 or Savoy 620 more, and didn't have a large supply of 620 spools, I'd probably try a roll or two of the J&C "resized" 620 film, but at their prices and on my budget, I'll keep respooling for the rare occasions I want to feed those (fairly crappy) cameras, and carry a heavy pair of nail clippers and empty 620 spools for the other cameras when I'm using them.

Whiteymorange
07-11-2006, 03:14 PM
The Duaflex is the one old camera that I own which has completely failed to excite me. I have been on a quest to use each and every one of the old cameras that have been given to me (I'm working on it, Donald. The one you sent will be used this month... maybe.) Since my much loved F-in-law gave me the Duaflex, I was quite excited to go out and do it justice. It came to me with box, instructions, flash and flashbulbs. No matter what I did, however, I couldn't get excited about the camera. The lenses were clear, the shutter worked well, the film was easy to get or modify but the entire experience left me cold. As a result, the images were flat and boring. The quality of the lens is no worse than those on many of my other cameras, but it just didn't do it for me.

Point being... I think the experience of using an old camera is dependent on many non-technical factors, your mindset most important among them. If the equipment intrigues you, if the memory of a similar piece of gear in your hands or in the hands of an ancestor brings out the creative in you, if the reaction of the people around you to what is happening becomes a factor; then you will have a good time and make good images.

Quality is another issue. I have found that the best lenses I own are old lenses, much due to the fact that I am... frugal. Consequently, I find myself using cameras that are old without even thinking of them as old. As long as I have a comfortable relationship with the gear, it is simply an extension of my eye. I have a long way to go to build that relationship with each and every one of my cameras, but I know it can be done.

Oh, one more thing. Old cameras are also a disease. Inexpensive, often beautiful in their own right, they lead to G.A.S. (also known as Galli-Oleitis.) The result of this, for an inefficient and forgetful man like me, is the discovery that one has, at any one time, six or so cameras with film in them, waiting to be taken for a walk.

Donald Qualls
07-11-2006, 11:13 PM
Oh, one more thing. Old cameras are also a disease. Inexpensive, often beautiful in their own right, they lead to G.A.S. (also known as Galli-Oleitis.) The result of this, for an inefficient and forgetful man like me, is the discovery that one has, at any one time, six or so cameras with film in them, waiting to be taken for a walk.

Only six? Piker.

Let's see here -- Counting loaded film holders for large format cameras as "loaded", I've got two 16 mm, six 35 mm, one 828, one 127, ten 120/620, and three large format, all loaded with film, plus three or four more that are fully functional but not currently loaded for one reason or another, and three or four that are waiting more or less prompt repair work. And that does NOT count my pinhole cameras: another 35 mm, three 120, and a 4x5 (plus a shutter with pinhole for one plate camera and a pinhole body cap for my Spotmatic, both included in the previous count), all loaded or ready to use with loaded film holders.

The newest of those cameras is a Vivitar PZ-3125 P&S 35mm, less than ten years on; the oldest is an Ica 225 Ideal, 9x12 plate camera with 15 cm f/4.5 Tessar in #2 dial-set Compur, made in or before 1926.

If the aliens land in *this* back yard, you can bet I'll have a *bunch* of out of focus, poorly exposed images, in a variety of formats... ;)

Lachlan Young
07-12-2006, 07:40 AM
Lachlan, your Pacemaker Speed's focal plane shutter synchronizes with FP-class bulbs. The camera has a bipost connector on the right side next to the shutter selector slide. That connects to the FPS. Go to www.graflex.org to learn more.

What shutter is your lens in?

Good luck, have fun,

Dan

Yup, found that. The shutter is a Supermatic with an Ektar 127mm in it - a stunningly contrasty lens. It is great for handheld shots - now where did I put that pack of #5 flashbulbs...
I'm going to try and get another speed graphic without lens to strip down and turn into a field camera as I don't really want to mess with the accuracy of the camming on my current Graphic.

Lachlan