I’m starting a new section on my blog for my most recent foray into photography… “Analog in the Digital Age.” I had been wanting a cheap Holga camera for some time, and my wife finally got me one for Christmas. Little did I realize that film is dead, and finding film and getting it developed can be a nightmare. But I got my Holga and started playing with it, and when I showed it off to people, it piqued their interests. First my mother thought it was cool, and dug out her old Valiant 620 camera to show me, then my grandmother found her old Kodak Brownie camera.
And then what may lead to be my financial undoing was brought to me… my boss’ Zeiss-Ikon Box Tengor 54/2. It’s a box camera built by Zeiss-Ikon in sometime during the 30’s. It features a wider range of adjustments than the Kodak Brownie, but that’s like saying a midget is taller than a kitten. While it’s true, it’s certainly overstating the matter. His Box Tengor 54 featured only two adjustments, focus and aperture, and only two settings each… either 1-3m or 4m-∞ for focus, and f/11 or f/22 for aperture.
But still, the simplicity amazed me, and the sheer thought of taking pictures with a 70+ year old camera brought a smile to my face. In my eagerness to learn more about the camera, I stumbled onto Sylvain Halgand’s virtual museum… and I was hooked. I wanted nothing more than to get my hands on these cameras and try them out… take pictures with them.. and see what would happen. As an added bonus, I got to learn a bit more French by reading his descriptions.
So now my collection has grown from my cheap Holga to include the aforementioned Kodak Brownie, a 1928 model Box Tengor 54/2 that I bought for myself (it features THREE settings for focus and aperture!), and my pride and joy… a Rolleicord Va Type 2. I never thought a cheap plastic toy camera would open my eyes to “vintage” photography.
So, this blog will include my journey. Whenever I get new cameras, whenever I take new pictures, or whenever I learn something new that I’d like to pass on, it’ll be here. In the coming weeks, look for my misadventures with moderately toxic chemicals as I learn to develop my own film, hopefully followed by some interesting pictures (the developed pictures… not pictures of my chemical burns… sorry to disappoint). In the meantime, my film experiments can be found on my Flickr page.