5 Months since I’ve last posted.. oof

Hey gang… few updates for you since it has been a while since I’ve posted…

First.. new camera!
My Dad likes to go to yard sales, auctions, and estate sales (who doesn’t) always comes up with new and interesting things. He surprised me by sending me this Brownie Target Six-20 camera made by Kodak. Other than being a little rough around the edges works well. The shutter works, and the lens is pretty clean on it and for being as old as it is (different resources I’ve found say that it is from late 40’s early 50’s) and seems to be light tight and advances film properly.

The only problem… it is only be only able to use 620 film, which is now long discontinued. There is even a little warning in the camera that says “ONLY TO BE USED WITH 620 FILM! DO NOT USE 120! ON PAIN OF DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT!” or some other kind of onerous warning from Kodak to only use their proprietary, dead format film.


Anyways, after a little bit of investigating, and sacrificing an old roll of Fujichrome 120 64T film, I discovered that the only thing preventing me from using 120 was a little metal spring spacer that was only being held in with a small pin. Turns out it was easy enough to pull out with needle nose pliers. After a little cussing, and nearly ripping my finger open, I was able to get the 120 film in and advance properly. Once I shoot through this roll of film, I’ll open up the inside and show you the warning. It is a fun little box camera, the mirrors for aiming are blown out so you just have to aim it with your best guess.

I love the styling of this camera. Very art deco, and very friendly looking, like a face looking at you. The outer coating is either leather or faux leather, the film advance knob works, and the advance window is clean. I might try and clean it up a bit more to see if I can get it to shine again.

Like I said, earlier, I’ve got some Fujichrome 64T film in there now, all of the research I’ve done for this points to the film used during this time was really “slow” speed film, i.e. 25 – 50 ISO.. with 100 ISO being “Fast”. I’m going to pick up some Ektar film to throw in there and see how it comes out. I’m not too eager to see what the Fujichrome is going to look like since:

1. It was out of date when my friend Alliey was given it a few years ago. She told me she had it for a few years and it was sitting in a box of other random things. It has been sitting my in freezer for a year.
2. The first two shots are going to be burned because I was messing with it.
3. I’m shooting outside with Tungsten balanced film.

Ehh it is retro to make all your stuff like crappy right? 😀 I’ll let you know what it looks like when I get it developed.

Update 2: Camera pass!
It has been passed to 3 new people since I’ve updated it, it has now been all over North East Ohio and now Pittsburgh. I have to look at my list of people, but hopefully I’ll get it shipped out to the net few people here in the next week or so.

Update 3:
My buddy and Big, Tatar, has started a tumblr account. Go take a look here.


That is it for now, I will hopefully update a little bit more often than before. Take care guys, and feel free to leave some comments!


Next Pass and Film hoarding…

Just a quick update, the camera has made its next pass to Ron! A good friend of mine and amazing photographer from work. I didn’t have a camera with me to record the pass but, he has it.

Anyways, just a short post tonight just to make sure that I keep up at it.

To be honest, I think I may have a slight film hoarding problem.

My “Film Empire” Notice the Arm and Hammer keeps it fresh.

Generally, I find really good deals on old stocks of film that has been sitting around for a while in interesting places especially in gas stations. Most gas stations would stock a few rolls of film since it doesn’t take up much space and it doesn’t need constant tending. You just put it on the shelf and voila someone comes in desperately needing a roll of film there it is! The gas station has saved the day. Well most of them are getting rid of their old rolls of film and generally you can find good deals on slightly outdated film and it is still perfectly usable It is a good way to pick up large bunches of film cheap. Other good places to pick them up is ebay of course, thrift stores and even Walmart occasionally.

Now that you have picked up a bulk of film, where are you going to get all of your new found film developed? Well, if I don’t need prints done, Target is the place to go! The photo lab at Target for next day developing will process C-41 for .99 cents a roll. The only downside is that they cut it in strips of 4 which makes scanning a bit of a pain but for .99 I can’t complain.

I love it, it is like a treasure hunt! You never know what you are going to get especially when you can pick up cameras or other random things for cheap!

So… any good finds lately? Cameras, film, records, or other random things?


What was your first camera?

The 1st pass is complete! I’ve gotten the camera back from Sue and I’m going to pass it off to the next photographer tomorrow. I’m glad it is going so well!

So anyways, Cari and I were talking about how I kind of became sucked into cameras and photography. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve really become fascinated by cameras, well at least with the operation and actual usage of them, but I do remember what my first camera was! It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 110 film camera.

The neat thing about this camera was that when you took a picture, it put an outline of Michelangelo on the negative so that when you got the prints developed, it showed up on the picture. I only ever remember shooting a few rolls of film on it and I doubt that any of the pictures are even around anymore. I got it for Christmas in the 2nd grade if I am remembering things correctly.

After this camera, I never really took any interest in photography. I remember using an old Super 8 camera to shoot some ninja movies in the back yard with the neighbors, sadly I never got those processed. I also had a Polaroid iZone that was a combination digital camera and Polaroid sticker camera. I think that was in 99-2000?

Besides those, my first “Real” camera that I claim as my own is this Diax 1A with a serial number of 50548.

My Diax 1A

According to the owner of the Diax site, mine is one of the earlier models made as the production run for this body started at 5XXXXX. This is a fully manual Rangefinder made by the W.Voss company of West Germany. The neat thing about this camera is that it had three interchangeable lenses: A 45MM, a 35MM and a 90mm lens. Depending on what lens you have mounted to the camera, you look through one of the viewfinders on top. The lens I have on currently (and from what I have been able to research, the standard lens) is the 45MM 2.8 and is a very snappy lens when you have it focused and set up correctly. I got this camera from the Dubiel Farm when Stanley, my great uncle, passed away. I found it in a drawer of random things and decided to grab it.

I started shooting on this camera with no idea what F-stops were, shutter speed, the difference between film speeds etc and a lot of the shots I took show that, but it pushed me towards wanting to learn more.

One of the advantages of this camera is that it is unobtrusive. I walked around Chicago O’Hare airport taking pictures of people with this camera and no one even bothered to stop me and ask what I was doing. It isn’t like walking around with a (D)SLR and all of your lenses, and the shutter click is super quiet. Add to this the classic look and you’ve got a fine piece of 60 year old camera. Once I dig up some shots from this camera I’ll post them up in a gallery.


So dear readers, do you remember you first camera? What did you start shooting on?

The great camera pass project

It all started the other day when I was out at the thrift store…

As many of you know, I like to hit up the thrift stores occasionally to see if there are any old cameras around. Sometimes, I find a gem, other times, junk. On this particular day I was in the Salvation Army thrift store at Chapel Hill when I saw it sitting there on the shelf, a Minolta X-370 for $2.00!

It is a little rough around the edges, but it works, and the shutter fires. A veritable tank of a camera.

I greedily snatched it up off of the shelf and took it home with 2 other cameras and spent a total of 6.40 on the whole transaction.

Full disclosure, I’m kind of a camera hoarder. Much to my wife’s chagrin, we are probably going to end up on “Hoarders” being buried alive under camera junk. Polaroids, Canons, Minoltas, Point and Shoots, if it is interesting and the shutter fires, I’ll take it.

So back to the X-370. This particular find was exciting since I have a smorgasbord of other Minolta MF cameras, the Minolta X-700, Minolta XG-A, and a Minolta SRT-101.

The happy Minolta Family. (Ignore the Canon on the books)










So, now that I have another Minolta to the collection, what do I do with it?

About month ago, I saw an article on RAW file about a photographer who was loading up 5 film cameras and sending them to his Pulitzer price winning friends to shoot 1 photo and pass the camera along. In the world of digital, with the ability to shoot thousands of shots on 1 memory card it was in interesting idea. One thoughtful shot before you have to put the camera down and not seeing your shot for a month or longer maybe.

I have to try it.

So, my little Minolta is going on a world tour! I’ve enlisted the help of my friends who happen to be photogs to help me in this little experiment over the next couple of months.

The next post, I’ll go over the parameters and specifics of the project.