10 Apr 2009 steve   » (Master)

Retro-Photography Update

I posted a while back about my experiences repairing and using a Bencini Comet S 127 film camera. Since then I've acquired a few more interesting old cameras. One is an Argus C, an American 35mm camera made in 1938. I bought it at an estate sale for $10. The Argus C series cameras were also know as "bricks" because they have the same form factor, aesthetics, (and seemingly the same weight) as a brick. The Argus was in very bad shape and required a lot of work to get it operational. I shot a roll of film and got some interesting results despite a chronic focus error.

The next camera I got my hands on was a German Bilora Bella 3b, made between 1955 and 1957. I got the Bella on eBay for $8. It was in remarkably good condition, requiring only some minor repairs to the case to solve a light leak problem. The first roll of film produced some interesting photos but also revealed a strange optical artifact, possibly produced by light reflection in the lens.

So far the most interesting images were produced by the Bencini Comet S and I've continued to shoot with it. I'm still looking for old film cameras at estate sales and will post more results to my flickr photostream as I can.

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