New Month, New Camera

Yes, I have too many cameras*. It’s not yet become a problem, none of them have cost me over £35 and I still have room underneath my bed to store them. Here is my new one:

Rollei B35

This is a pretty small camera, as you can see from the film canister – only 95mm long. The lens partly retracts, making this more-or-less pocket-sized. There is a selenium light meter on the top, which will be handy while I teach myself to use the Sunny-16 rule accurately.

In truth, I have two of these – I bought one as ‘spares or repair’, as previous owner had got the retractable lens jammed in the ‘out’ position, plus other things (The broken one coast me slightly more that the working one!).  I’ve sorted the lens, now got a couple of other things to fix. No idea what I’m doing with it then, it’s a bit too beaten-up to sell.

*So far: Voigtländer Vito C (broken), Voigtländer Vitoret D (going to sell this, I think), 2 x Voigtländer Vito B (I love these), Zorki 4, Fed-2, Rollei B35 x 2, Recesky TLR (Gakkenflex clone)


2nd Roll from the Recesky TLR

Just got the 2nd roll shot with the Recesky TLR (the plastic camera)*.  I almost buggered up the whole thing unloading the film in the photo shop, as it was I exposed the first 4 shots and they were ruined (and looking at what was left of them, I don’t think it was much of a loss).  The others came out ok, though.

As soon as the river gets this flooding thing out of its system, I’ll have a few more interesting things to be snapping. And hopefully the sun will come out a bit, too.

*The Recesky is a copy of the Gakkenflex camera, with a couple of very slight differences to maybe keep the legal types away.

1st Roll taken with Gakkenflex Recesky

I was worried about how these shots were going to come out. For a start, the Recesky (or Gakkenflex) is a plastic camera I assembled myself, plus there is almost nothing you can adjust on it. The focus can be moved a little, but it is quite difficult to tell what effect you are having.

As it was, it wasn’t so bad. There are a couple that were taken in too-dark light conditions and have hardly come out at all. The rest of them are ok, considering. I can’t wait until we get some actual sunshine, I’m sure I’ll get better photos then.

It can be a bit of a pain getting what you want in the viewfinder, the image is left-right inverted. It can get very confusing. I can’t wait until there is some regular sunlight, I’m sure the quality will improve…

I am really enjoying this film camera lark.

Recesky self-assembly Camera – the saga continues

What was in the box

What was in the box

I got the camera built in about an hour, that was good fun – I enjoy building things.  I tested the shutter (looked through the back while clicking) and noticed it only worked properly about 50%, the rest of the time it got stuck open, or stayed open while my finger was on the trigger, both would have lead to massive over-exposure of the film. I thought it might improve with use, as it loosened up.

Building the camera

Building the camera

It did the opposite.  Plus, the film ‘counter’ wasn’t counting. It doesn’t actually count, the wheel just goes around to show that you’ve advanced the film by one frame. Well, it wasn’t doing that, even. A quick search later, I find that both are common problems. After a bit of further digging and some experimenting of my own I solved them.

This one should not be over-tightened

This one should not be over-tightened

  1. The Shutter: Don’t over-tighten the spring-loaded thing between the shutter and the round thing that turns when you press the shutter release thing. It should be just tight enough to do the whole shutter thing and no more. Try to get this right first time, I had to take the camera apart to fix this, and snapped a couple of things off that shouldn’t be snapped.
  2. Film Counter: Squeeze the case on the back at a point halfway between the film advance winder and the ‘counter’. This seems to work. I’ve had to waste a film to play around and discover this, but as it was only from the pound shop anyway, it doesn’t matter that much.

The viewfinder looks surprisingly bright for something that requires no batteries, but not sure how much use it is with the focussing.

Viewfinder (doesn't photograph very well)

Viewfinder (doesn’t photograph very well)

Next: Monday morning, I shall buy some new film and set out to shoot a test roll! (I’d do it tomorrow, but I’m working)




The Nightmare/Adventure Begins…

I’ve just taken delivery of DIY camera – a Recesky TLR. That’s right, I’ve got to assemble it myself. When I clicked ‘buy’ a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like a fun idea, but now with dozens of plastic bits all over my bed, it is starting to look like a very silly idea indeed.

I’m quite good with instructions (my lego-fixated childhood not a complete waste, then), if only there were some in the box (it says on the front there are instructions enclosed!) although if there were they’d most likely be in Chinese anyway.

Luckily someone has made some intelligible instructions in English with pictures so I think I’ll be ok! (Although the instructions aren’t strickly speaking for the same camera…)