This gem of an antique camera was given to me on my 21st birthday a couple of months ago by my girlfriend’s parents. I was pleasantly surprised that the bellows were in good condition, however there is minor superficial damage to the exterior of the camera.
image from here
I’d never shot with a camera with bellows before and wasn’t sure what the shots would come out like, so I put the camera at the bottom of my box and forgot about it. I decided about a few weeks ago that I’d better shoot with it so I could show my girlfriends parents that I appreciated their kind gift, so I loaded an Ilford XP2 (120 400iso) and went outside into my wet dark horrible garden on a not very nice day.
After the 1st shot, I was hooked; I was having so much fun with the tight-to-adjust focus and the not-quite-sure-if -its-in-the-right-place shutter speed. This is the sort of camera you can study for a couple of minutes and know how it all works.
Needless to say, within a few minutes, the film was finished and fortunately it was my last 120, otherwise I would have just kept shooting until I’d run out of them all!
When you shoot with this camera, not only do you enjoy twisting the tiny little nut to alter the focus, but this camera makes you feel important, it gives you the feeling that you’re back 100 years ago shooting the old fashioned way unlike today, when the digital age has taken over and everyone has the means to produce a “nice photo”.
This camera clicks beautifully when you release the shutter and fits perfectly in your hands. She likes to be held delicately, yet played with vigorously.
Today, I received a beautiful package from Spectrum imaging with the film in. I wasn’t expecting anything amazing, because I presumed I’d screw up the 1st roll momentously. However I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I used an Ilford XP2 as I have already said. This is one of my favorite films at the moment as it gives great tones and contrasts.
The sharpness of the images was surprising, seeing as I’d only blown the dust off the lens a few moments before I loaded the film.
This camera has brought a new excitement of 120 photography to my collection of cameras. I will most certainly shoot with her again soon, and would advise everyone to go through antiques shops or flea markets or whatever to find a gem like this!
You will not be disappointed!