By far my favorite camera. The Holga uses 120 format film but can be modded to take 135. This model has a built in flash with a choice of colors (red, blue and yellow). This was the first “toy” camera I got for myself. It is a beefy camera but still quite light and can take lots of abuse. Normally the camera only has one working aperture but I have customized mine to have both intended setting, sunny and cloudy. I also opt not to use a mask in the camera and use aquarium tubing and electrical tape to protect the film instead.
Diana F+ Hong Meow
This is a sweet little medium format camera from Lomography. I have to admit that I bought into the hype and got this special edition for quite a high price. I wanted a Diana camera but i didn’t like the blue and black colors they come in so I treated myself to this little beauty. Its actually colored to look like a panda and even has pandas on the film advance knob and focus ring. Compared to the Holga this is a very delicate camera. If the Holga is a beefy steak the Diana F+ is a soft boiled duck egg. The pictures that come out of this camera are soft and airy. The lens is also very wide and it has a built in pinhole setting which is actually really neat.
I drooled over this camera for quite some time until i convinced someone to get me one as a Christmas present. For the uninitiated the Blackbird, fly (or BBF)is the worlds first and only TLR specifically made for 135 film. It has an all plastic construction and can take three different types of pictures, normal sized, square and full framed sprocket hole shots. I haven’t really had a chance to put much film through this camera yet so I can’t really say much besides its small and has a top down viewfinder and both of those aspects take a bit of getting used to. As you can see from the photo I have the Lomography color splash on the BBF’s hot-shoe because its the only flash I could find that wasn’t to big for this small TLR.
Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim
Found this little beauty by chance in a tiny little second hand shop for $2.50. It takes 135 film and has a super wide lens and as the name suggests it is ultra slim. It literally will fit in my jeans pocket and takes up about as much space as a large wallet. It is the perfect camera for carrying around with you when you can’t be bothered to take something as big as a Holga or BBF. The popularity of these little gems is increasing so the price is steadily going up. They used to sell for $5-10 on eBay but now most are going for around $20. Lets just hope Lomography doesn’t get a hold of them or we’ll be paying a lot more.
I found this camera at another second hand shop and just had to get it. It takes Polaroid SX-70 film which doesn’t exist anymore but can also be used with 600 type film. Polaroid has stopped making film all together so the supplies are dwindling but there is hope for the future. The Impossible Project has bought the old integral film factory in the Netherlands and plan to revamp the design and get new analog instant film for all vintage Polaroid cameras by 2010. In the meantime I just have to make due with what is available.
Cheap plastic camera
I am currently gutting this camera and getting it modified to be a 135 pinhole camera. Check back to see how its going.
Minolta Autopak 600-X
My mom gave me this camera without realizing it takes 126 film which is an obsolete format. I plan on modifying it to take 135.
Given to me while I was in Berlin recently this camera was bound for the bin. The Fed 1 is a Russian built rangefinder camera that takes 135 film and is built like a steam engine. I have yet to run any film through it partly because its a bottom loading camera and I haven’t been able to check if the shutter works and partly because I can’t figure out how to load it. For now it goes in the pile of cameras I still need to try out.
Altissa Altix V
Given to me by the same person as the Fed 1 this nice little German camera was also bound for the bin. Like the Fed it also takes 135 film and is bottom loading. Made sometime in the 50’s (i think) its a nice little camera. You have to cock the shutter before you shoot and can pick from a range of apertures and shutter speeds and it also has a self timer mechanism. I really cannot wait to get out and shoot with this camera maybe because I have a certain fondness for Germans (well just one really) or maybe because I’m a huge sucker for symmetry.
Baby Brownie Special
My very first box camera, this is the Baby Brownie Special. Made almost entirely out of Bakelite and using 127 film this was my Moms camera as a little girl. The viewfinder is missing but I don’t really mind, I’m not a collector I’m a photographer. I was pleased to find out that they still make and sell 127 film and I hope I can track some down on my limited budget so I can try out this little (and I mean little) beauty.
Conway Colour-Filter Camera
I guess the benefit of living in the UK is that you get to find a bunch of cameras that wouldn’t necessarily be easy to find in the states. My fiance gave me this camera for my birthday and I have to say this was one of the best presents she’s ever given me. It is a box camera that takes 6×9 images on 120 film. It has two tiny top down viewfinders, like a stone age TLR, one for portrait and one for landscape. There is a very primitive focusing lever that has two settings, near and far and has a little pull tab to adjust shutter speed between bulb and something else probably around 1/100 of a second. The reason its called the Colour-Filter model is because it has a little pull tab that when pulled a green filter is put behind the lens. I can imagine that this could be a very creative tool for colour film. I haven’t really used B&W film too much so I don’t know what a green filter does for it but I could imagine that it would do something useful because this camera obviously came out with B&W in mind.