I found it one day at the bottom of a drawer of my nightstand. It was always there and always knew it. But the day I returned to find it a light bulb went on in my head. This is the turbulent revival of my Agfamatic 200 (1), and the first article in a trilogy that will dedicate to this great little toy.
The camera belonged to my grandmother. And I inherited it a few years ago. When I see it I remember her, although in this article I will ignore sentimental considerations. I also will ignore its history and technical specifications, I will try to explain it in the second article of the trilogy. In this article I will only explain how I got back to make it work, how I went wrong and how sometimes the best results are pure product of chance and imperfection inherent in human nature.
After removing the dust and cleaning it well, I found that it performs correctly as the first day. It is the virtue of the simple things that can withstand the test of time. This popular cameras came photography even closer to the great mass and marked the social and aesthetic of an era.
On eBay I found a “relatively” good deal for 2 Konica 126 films. This format (2) was discontinued in 2008 and now is very expensive, about 12 euros per reel. It’s the format of film Agfamatic and the Instamatic [Kodak] (3), and almost all these finished in “-matic” cameras massively produced between the early 60’s and late 80 (some of these cameras use the format 110). Perhaps Lomography or some other mark should consider the market of this film format. I think there would be no lack of buyers. But this is another issue.
This pair of Konica Color SR 200 Super films were expired in 1994. No doubt this was partly to blame for the outcome. But this was not great trigger, and it was none other than my total inexperience in the recycling of these cameras. Let me explain. Given the high cost of the 126 films, it is essential the recycling of plastic casings of the same, but this will be explained later in the third article of the trilogy. The point is that when removing the film of the case (to take the film, and to recycle the casing) the film was exposed for a short period of time (the time I took to realize that something was going wrong). This caused the photos to be partially stained reddish and orange, even fuchsia some of them.
The theme of the pictures were some of the streets of Barcelona, street photography made with a pocket camera. The photo lab’s stuff didn’t want to charge me the revealing of the film, I was told it was veiled. And this was the result, after this blessed accumulation of nonsenses.
The next article will explain the technical performance of the camera and the results of the second reel, with which I got a more orthodox, having learned from the mistakes of the first.
1 .- Agfamatic 200 in camera-wiki: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Agfamatic_200
2 .- 126 film in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/126_film
3 .- Instamatic in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instamatic