Old Cameras

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Gary
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#1
Some time last year someone gave me 4 of these old cameras. I had no use for them but they looked pretty and I thought maybe I could photograph them one day. They have been sat in a plastic bag ever since.
In the mean time my wife's Uncle passed away and on clearing his house there were an old camera amongst his belongings. Then the week before Christmas at our camera club I won a prize at the raffle and all that was left was this battered folding camera.
So this past week or so I tried to get some images. I wanted to shoot the folding camera really. As an after thought I took some of the others. Not sure if anyone from the lighting section pops in here but I got some great advice from the forum users there.
Anyways I took over a week or so things may look a bit different between the photos as I would change things and come back to them on another day.
Just thought I would post them here.


Gaz

Any feedback comments are more than welcomed.
Sorry there is so many. I just wanted to post them and finally put this little project to bed.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8
 
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Paul
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#2
wow
some old stuff there. probably older than me ;)

first two are my pick of the bunch, the only thing is the wood is a different colour in the first than it is in the second image, seems like a touch too much magenta possibly ???

I'm no expert and as you say I'm sure the guys with proper lighting experience will chirp in with comments
 
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#3
some old stuff there. probably older than me
Never :)
Yes the wood is a different colour as I used a different softbox on that image. The guys with lighting experiance have put me straight on that.
The second image was the camera we found at my Wife's Uncles place. We think there is a film in that one.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving some feedback.


Gaz
 
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Steven
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#4
Nice work.

I'm not particularly fond of the floating/vanishing board. I think placing the cameras farther back to take advantage of the converging/leading lines would have helped. And maybe cropping to the bottom of the board. #3 is best in this regards (IMO) as it gets rid of the vanishing/leading lines aspect.
In several of the images the reflector is apparent... i.e. in the lens on #2.
 

Andysnap

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#5
Very nice, I like this set up it really shows off the cameras very well. Now, what I suggest is that you turn them around and take some film shots of your digital gear. :D:film:
 
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#6
I was selling cameras when the the Yashica Minster came out, it was easily the best in that range. We only had a small local shop come photographers, but we could not get enough of them, as soon as we got a delivery they sold out. They out sold the Olympus SP even though it was a far superior camera. They also out sold the canon QL range in our shop ( the Canon QL17 was also very good.)
the Konica C35 range was also extremely popular at that time. One lady bought one from us, left it on the roof of her car and drove off. she came back the next day for another.
 
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5,408
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#8
Thanks Steven.
And maybe cropping to the bottom of the board. #3 is best in this regards
I see what you mean. There was a wooden crate set back that was slightly visable when shots were taken but I darkened it down. Maybe overdone it.
In several of the images the reflector is apparent... i.e. in the lens on #2
Yep, should have done something with that in post if not able to when taking the shots.
Now, what I suggest is that you turn them around and take some film shots of your digital gear. :D:film:
"Yikes"
That would mean I would need to really know how to use a camera !!!

Thanks for the feedback.
I was selling cameras when the the Yashica Minster came out, it was easily the best in that range.
Hi Terry. Thats great to get some background on these cameras and bring back some memeries for you.
Lovely shots of old cameras. Are you going to put any film through them?
Hi David.
Thanks for the kind words.
I don't have any desire to use them though.
I guess thats a shame really !


Gaz
 
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Geof
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#9
the boards are fine...you dont have to look at the end then
as for the cameras....dont think you will want to faff around with film now we have digital
but
the lenses might be useful in a macro set up...with adaptors
??
 

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Nick
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#10
Never :)
Yes the wood is a different colour as I used a different softbox on that image. The guys with lighting experiance have put me straight on that.
The second image was the camera we found at my Wife's Uncles place. We think there is a film in that one.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving some feedback.


Gaz
If there’s film still in them get them processed, there may be some long forgotten family photos in them.
 
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#11
the lenses might be useful in a macro set up...with adaptors
Thanks Geof. Good to know.
If there’s film still in them get them processed, there may be some long forgotten family photos in them.
Thanks for the reply Nick.
I think thre is film in the 2nd camera down. That said It is at the begining of the roll and the camera may have been opened slightly so not sure it will have survived.
That said I know zero about film cameras.

Gaz
 
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Maria
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#12
No 1 and No 7 for me - the other arrangements aren't so good, 3, 4, 5 & 6 are all really 'static' and in the single camera shots there's too much of the planking.

I might be inclined to lower your perspective for 4, 5 & 6 and get in a bit closer to the camera so it filled the frame. Or maybe put a little something in front of it - maybe a roll of film, as this might make it a less static image and add to the story.

I'm very much enjoying watching how you progress with these images, more please :)
 
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#13
Hi Maria. I think you have a soft spot for that camera :)
Your points are so valid. I did realise when posting these that my pov was different on some and the lower ones seem to look better. The roll of film is a neat idea. Didnt think of that.
I have a nieghbour whom has a small collection of more modern cameras ( Basically he never sells or throws them away ) they my be worth photographing them in this same set up. Maybe try and keep things in the same pov next time !

The modern point n shoot stuff ain't really pretty though.

Thanks for stopping by. Your feedback is most welcome.


Gaz
 
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#14
@cargo They are good. Good enough for a history book on cameras, good enough for one of those websites that is about old cameras, for Pinterest, DeviantArt, etc., and anything like that. You ask Google about Nikon D2 and you end up finding 8 million results about it, but ask Google about Minolta SR-2 and you get something like 5,000 results! It's not old cameras' fault they were made before the Internet, but it is good that there are people like you who find old cameras, take photos of them, and upload to the Internet.

Here's another suggestion for old cameras: Use them as props. For example, book a model, have him/her wear outfits that is common to when those cameras were made, and use the camera as a prop. A 1950s reporter for example.

Very good to see old cameras being showcased, to me it is good enough for a camera history book.
 
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Bazza
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#15
My late father had one of those in picture 1, I think it is still in my sisters house. Those were the days when "watch they birdy" expression was often used. I never did see any birdie as the photo was taken, a big disappointment for a young lad.
Nice to see those photos thank you
 
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#16
All very usable cameras. I have a Zorki 4 and a Yashica Minister III both of which get regular use. I wouldn't use the Agfa folder purely on cost grounds - 8 shots to a roll of film!
 
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#17
They are good. Good enough for a history book on cameras, good enough for one of those websites that is about old cameras, for Pinterest, DeviantArt, etc
Hiya. Thanks for the feedback. That was nice to read. I see what you mean regarding using then as a prop.
Happy you liked the images.
:) That made me laugh :)
Thanks for stopping by.
All very usable cameras
Hi John. I'll take yor word for that.
Had a look at you website. You sure do have some old cameras !

Gaz
 
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#18
Snip:
I wouldn't use the Agfa folder purely on cost grounds - 8 shots to a roll of film!
Never mind the cost, feel the quality! ;)

Taken with a 1950s Ensign Selfix 820 folding camera, which also delivers 8 shots to a roll of film, on Ilford XP2 400 ISO film (home scanned using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner, not a high-resolution professional-quality film lab scan). Click on the image to view full size in Flickr, walk into the photo and have a look around.

 
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#21
Hi all.

My Daughter is keen on trying some 35mm photography. Would anyone know which of the above cameras would be easiest/best to start off with. Any tips in using would be great too.

Thanks

Gaz
 
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#22
A lot depends on how well they are working at this point, since a service may well be more expensive than the cost of another camera in nicely working condition, like a classic manual SLR or a late model AF SLR. The Minister D was designed to use a 1.35 V mercury battery that is no longer available; the meter may not be very accurate with current 1.5 V cells, which leaves the alternatives of short-lived Wein or hearing aid cells, or a relatively expensive adapter:

http://www.smallbattery.company.org.uk/sbc_px625.htm

The ageing selenium meter in the other Minister may or not work properly, and if it's problematic probably can't be serviced. The Zorki doesn't have a meter. Both Yashicas and the Zorki have mechanical shutters, so you can use any of them with an external meter or smartphone app, or estimating the light by eye. The Zorki can be a nice camera if it's working well, with an excellent standard lens. A pretty wide selection of lenses is available, but you need an external accessory viewfinder for anything other than 50mm. See:

http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/Zorki4K.html

(NB: 'Don't adjust the shutter speed without winding the camera!')
 
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#23
The Zorki coupled with the Sunny 16 rule will work fine. I rather like the Sunny 16 rule as it gets you looking at and analysing the light which has many benefits for photography over and above exposure.

Using the Minister D with a 1.5v battery just means you have to make one adjustment to the film speed setting. As far as the selenium meter is concerned, I would do a one-off check by comparing the expressed exposure with a digital camera. If the two are fairly close (i.e. less than one stop different) you are good to go with no further thought required.
 
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#24
The problem with alkaline 1.5V cells is that the voltage goes down over time, so the required adjustment would change. A 1.55V silver oxide cell is probably preferable, since the voltage is constant and you can use the same adjustment. You might get lucky with the selenium meter - I have an even older Weston that's still going strong. I used to be quite good at 'sunny 16'. Once, when switching back from an old Leica to a metered SLR, I was bothered because the reading seemed consistently a stop out from my guess (which had by then become second nature). Then I realised the metered camera was loaded with 800 ISO film instead of the usual 400. So my eye was working well, even if my brain wasn't!
 
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#26
Many thanks for the responses.

The Zorkie seems the best easiest option from your replies. I am sure she will have fun trying the camera out.

Gaz
 
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#27
personally i would have made the edge of the wood, the bit facing the camera, a lot darker, it is distracting a bit for me
Thanks Kieran.

It's great to hear what people see and feel when viewing an image. Hopefully over time it should improve my picture making skills.

Gaz
 
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#28
Hi all.

My Daughter paid us a visit the other evening. We had a look at the cameras. Off advice above we were hoping to use the Zorki. All seemed to be fine until we came to put a film in it and test the shutter. The curtain is in tact and camera is clean but the curtain sticks at all speeds and opens less and less as speed gets faster. The curtain goes fully back on bulb and winds on ok.
We didnt alter shutter before winding on.

I am right in assuming the cost of repair would not be practical cost wise ?



Gaz

The other cameras seem to have various issues and look much harder to use than the Zorki.
 
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#29
I suspect the price of a service in the UK wouldn't be competitive with buying a working camera on ebay (some people with good feedback are selling Zorkis they claim have been serviced). But if I were spending money, there are other cameras (including lots of Japanese SLRs under £50) that would probably be more practical. No luck with those Yashicas?
 
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#30
Hi all.

My Daughter paid us a visit the other evening. We had a look at the cameras. Off advice above we were hoping to use the Zorki. All seemed to be fine until we came to put a film in it and test the shutter. The curtain is in tact and camera is clean but the curtain sticks at all speeds and opens less and less as speed gets faster. The curtain goes fully back on bulb and winds on ok.
We didnt alter shutter before winding on.

I am right in assuming the cost of repair would not be practical cost wise ?



Gaz

The other cameras seem to have various issues and look much harder to use than the Zorki.
The curtains run in a small track. I would clean that out with a cocktail stick and naphtha and then try again.
 
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Richard
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#31
The curtains run in a small track. I would clean that out with a cocktail stick and naphtha and then try again.
After that and with the camera empty start at the fastest speed and cock and fire the shutter around 50 times at each speed,don't forget the have the shutter cocked before changing speeds,do not do this at fast speed take your time and be precise with the film advance lever,should you start to see an improvement with the shutter curtain,then it is most certainly just lack of use and will come good. I have had a number of Zorki,s that suffered in the same way.
 
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#32
I suspect the price of a service in the UK wouldn't be competitive with buying a working camera on ebay
Thanks for the reply. Yes I was thinking that. I did have a look earlier. There was a Zorki 4k, body only for £29 that was apperantly working correctly.
(including lots of Japanese SLRs under £50
I don't think she was after something along those lines as I guess they look pretty much like the modern Dslrs.
In the meantime clearing out some old stuff from the loft we came accross an Olympus Xa2 boxed with flash. She liked the idea of that but this is also goosed no power and shutter dont press. She bought batteries for it but no success.

No luck with those Yashicas?
It was very late by the time we had a go with those and tbh can't remember what the problem was with those but there were issues.
I may have another look at them.
Daughter was going to Wales the day after hence the late night. Not much notice !!!

The curtains run in a small track. I would clean that out with a cocktail stick and naphtha and then try again.
Hi don't have any naphtha and tbh I have never heard of it. I have coctail sticks though. I ran one along the tracks to no avail.
Not knowing how these things work it's odd how the curtian flicks wide open on bulb setting yet hardly moves 5 mm at 1/1000 then sticks there.
After that and with the camera empty start at the fastest speed and cock and fire the shutter around 50 times at each speed,don't forget the have the shutter cocked before changing speeds,do not do this at fast speed take your time and be precise with the film advance lever,should you start to see an improvement with the shutter curtain,then it is most certainly just lack of use and will come good. I have had a number of Zorki,s that suffered in the same way.
Hi Richard.
I tried this without success.

Thanks for your help with this.


Gaz
 
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#33
Shame about the XA2, that would have been fun. As well as the late model AF SLRs (which do look rather like dSLRs), you can find a lot of smaller classic manual focus SLRs from the 70s and 80s on ebay etc. in that price range. Just search for the major brands (Minolta, Olympus, Canon, Pentax, Nikon, Yashica, Cosina, Chinon, Fujica, Konica, etc.). Naptha usually means light petroleum distillate or equivalent (e.g. lighter fluid for a 'petrol' lighter).
 
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5,408
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#34
Shame about the XA2,
Yes she got excited when she seen that camra. On searching the web it seems a trendy little camera to play with.
I do remember having that camera as a youngster and also remember it being in a camera repair shop for weeks. I think I got sand in it of the beach :-( Maybe it never got fixed in the end but I just could not throw it away as it looks like new.

I think she would have liked a camera along those lines as they produce that retro look that the youngsters like.
Gaz

Thanks for the info regarding the lighter fluid.
 
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#35
Your photos are great Gary as someone pointed out if I was looking at them in a photographic history book I'd be impressed, but I'd have to run some film through at least the 35mm/135 cameras at £2.50 for Kodak colourplus it's worth a try. Some of my best photos (to me at least anyway) Have been with my rather basic Russian 35mm cameras using the sunny 16 rule.
 
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#36
Thanks Brad.
Sunny 16 rule sounds a bit hit and miss. Then again it as been used for years. Plus even with all the tech now it can still be hit and miss it's just you can check the results and take it again and again and etc :)


Gaz
 
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#38
Film is very forgiving and it is rare that the SUNNY 16 rule will not give you a useable negative.
Okydoky. Would you still use exposure compensation as I do with digital ? Sorry for silly question. It's just with digital I use it very often.

Gaz
 
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#39
No. With digital I usually expose a full stop above what the meter says and reduce in Lightroom. For film I would not bother as the middle of the density/log light intensity curve is best.
 
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5,408
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#40
For film I would not bother as the middle of the density/log light intensity curve is best.
Thanks John. That's great to know for future ref.

Gaz
 
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