I have been away from my blog (and photography in general) for a few months, but hope to have a little more time for this now and into the new year.
Sometimes life gets complicated and difficult. This graffiti that my friend and I spotted on a rainy afternoon walk gives a good reminder at such times.
To all who celebrate, I wish you a merry, blessed and peaceful Christmas!
Click photos to see larger versions of them.
Here is the other of my grandfather’s cameras that I have. This one is an Agfa Optima 1a, a 35 mm camera manufactured in Germany starting in 1962. The lens is a 45 mm f/2.8 Agnar.
The meter runs on a selenium cell, which is still functional today, and offers the option of automatic exposure. The ISO can be set from 10 to 200. Focus and film advance are both manual.
It has a hot shoe so that a flash and/or an additional viewfinder can be attached to it. I have a Tully flash with a fold out reflector, and a box still containing a few of the AG1B flashbulbs that it takes.
The camera body is made of metal and plastic, and is probably a pound or so in weight. The plastic of the film door is broken, so I haven’t been able to use the camera yet, but I’ll try to improvise a repair so I can see how it works. The metal shutter moves normally and the controls feel smooth, so I imagine that once the light leak is fixed it will probably be useable. I miss mechanical cameras, so even though this is a pretty clunky camera, it would be great to have use of it from time to time.
And here is a photo of my grandfather, close to the time he would have acquired this camera.
William O. Melvin, 1965
Here’s an old Kodak Bantam folding camera I have that belonged to my grandfather, William O. Melvin. This model was made 1935-1937. It has a 53 mm f/6.3 Kodak Anastigmat lens. The body is made out of Bakelite and is very lightweight and compact. The lens and bellows pop out by means of a catch on the front of the camera. The shutter release is at the edge of the panel that holds the lens and is not apparent when the camera is folded. I’ve heard that it has just one shutter speed, but I don’t know what it is. There’s a lever that adjusts between T and I. I assume that T means time (i.e. the shutter would stay open until the lever is moved again) but I don’t know what I means. (If anyone knows, I’d love to hear from you!)
It was designed to use 828 film, which was a roll film with a backing; it’s larger than 35 mm film (135 film is 24 x 36 mm, while 828 film is 28 x 40 mm). There were just 8 shots per roll of film. I’d like to get some suitable film so I can give the camera a try.
My grandfather passed away in the 1980s, and the camera was given to me a few years ago by my aunt. (I have another of his cameras and will post about it some time soon.) Here’s a photo of him in 1926.
William O. Melvin, 1926