Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Kodak Vest Autographic

I made some pictures with  my Kodak Vest Autographic back few weeks ago for the first time...this is a nice little folding pocket camera that takes the not so wide available 127 film. 

Very compact and beautifully designed  it was once advertised as the "Soldier's Camera" during WWI.

Note the old "Eastman Kodak Company" logo just below the shutter setting...

The camera comes with a stylus that would allow the photographer to write notes onto to the film's back paper through a window located at the back of the camera, the film was especially developed to use with this camera and it was called "The Autographic System".

I ran a test  respooling some 35mm film onto a 127 spool. The procedure is obvioulsly done in the dark and can be tricky to do but it's achievable, I normally practice before with the lights on and a dummy film. 

As a result you have a kind of panoramic format image covering the full 35mm negative including the sprockets, .

Some of the shots are blurry in the midle and I don't know exactly why... I suspect either the camera wasn't opened to it's fully while shooting or the film pressure plate is not well aligned, interesting effect anyway...

Fuji Across 100 ISO processed with Rodinal 1:100 - 1 hour stand development

Here's an excellent source of information about Kodak Vest Cameras:

Friday, 17 June 2011

Salex Camera

I found this nice camera on ebay with no much information from the seller regarding the condition, apart from "last used in 1966 and was ok then !" . The pictures posted weren't really good either but it was cheap and in need of some work, I thought it could be fun to get it and maybe spend some time trying to rescue...

The outside body is very worn out as I was already expecting but everything is working perfectly including the F Deckel Compur shutter...

But the real bargain I guess are the optics which after some cleaning it's in prime condition... It reads "Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar"!

I've searched information about the camera on the net but nothing came out, a friend at the Filmwasters then gave me the link to the Early Photography website where I could get some of the details:

"The Salex name comes from the name of the British camera company, City Sale and Exchange which was founded in 1881 and their cameras were
marketed  under their brand name of Salex."

This model takes 120 film and you get 16  6x4.5 exposures, it's very compact for a medium format camera and fits nicely in your hands but it's a bit tricky to change speeds since there's no much space. I also find difficult to locate the shutter release while looking through the viewfinder, but nothing that a small cable release won't solve.

The focusing is in feet and if you're not used to (like me) can be a problem as there's no hot shoe adapter to take a dedicated rangefinder, few shots from this roll came out out of focus.

So here are few pictures from the first test roll...

Fuji Across 100 ISO processed in Rodinal 1 hour stand development.