0:00:34 Letter – GAS reactivated warning. DIY developing C41
0:02:33 Box cameras 120 film produced prior to 620 Kodak #2 Brownie, Deco Beau Brownie #2, Zeiss Box Tengor and others
0:08:34 Camera Canon EF 1973-78 shutter priority voltage regulation allows modern 1.5v batteries.
0:15:13 Used market report – smaller in more demand, not feature driven. Chrome not black bodies.
0:17:56 Book – Reflections in Black covers the history of black photographers 1840 – present day
0:24:17 Camera Ikoflex TLR by Zeiss Ikon. Directly competed against the Rollieflex
0:32:12 FPP Newsletter subscribe to it! Also FPP is on Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
0:33:20 Signoff and Music to close
Show Notes By Alex Luyckx
Hey, there out in podcast land it’s the Internet Radio show for people who love film! Joining Michael Raso in the studio are the usual suspects, Mark Dalzell, Mark O’Brien, Leslie Lazenby, and Mat Marrash. On the table today are Box Cameras, the Canon EF, Ikoflex TLR, Book of the Show, Listener Letters and much more!
Thinking Inside the Box
Jumping right in Mark O’Brien has some boxy cameras to share today. Now the box cameras on the shoe today are those that take 120 film, a film that Kodak invented well before their 620 film so there are a lot of cameras out there that take this film stock! The oldest of these cameras is the Kodak No. 2 Brownie these cameras were produced as early as 1901 through to 1933 with the oldest models made of nothing more than a cardboard and leatherette shell this was switched to aluminum in 1924. If you’re a fan of the Art Deco style, Mark recommends the 1933 Beau Brownie No. 2 which has a great faceplate and is available in different colours. Another American box camera, the Ansco Shur Shot, also known as the Agfa B2 Cadet (at least until the American entry into World War Two in 1943). The 120 box camera proved very popular outside of the USA seeing Zeiss Ikon producing one of Mark’s favourites, the Box Tengor, which unlike many box cameras had a selectable focus and selectable apertures.
The Box Tengor is also your best bet if you’re looking at box cameras. One of the more interesting box cameras is another German camera the Altissa Box. The camera features a periscope lens, that is two single-element lenses with the shutter and aperture between the two, again the Altissa could select between two apertures. Most box cameras produced a big beautiful 6×9 image perfect for contact prints, which is what most families got when they brought their film to the lab for processing. These days they still give a beautiful image that is soft and dreamy. Another option is to strip out the lens and turn it into a 6×9 pinhole camera with a functioning shutter. But beware when buying is Mark’s warning. These cameras can be older than 100 years or as young as 60-70 years old, make sure that before you buy the camera is still light tight and has all the parts.
The EF that isn’t EOS
Leslie has a knack of getting her hands on cameras that have some level of historical significance in photography history. And when most people hear EF in relation to Canon they think EOS, but the Canon EF is actually a 35mm SLR in its own right and holds a special place in Canon history. When the camera came across the donation table at the FPP headquarters it wasn’t working. But with some loving care, Leslie managed to bring it back to working condition and what a gem. What it is at the very basic level is an electronic version of the professional Canon F-1, or Electronic F. However, it does lack the level of customization that you got on the F-1. The EF features a Copal Square Shutter, the only Canon camera to feature a third-party shutter system, and this shutter is bullet proof and even requires its own separate battery to power it. While the camera uses a traditional mechanical shutter to run the speeds between 1/2″ to 1/1000″ it uses the electronic side to maintain 1/30″ to 1″ this means that even without the pair of batteries to takes to fully run the electronics of the camera it is still a fully functional mechanical camera in its own right. The second battery runs the camera’s center-weighted(ish) shutter-priority meter. Now Leslie continues, the camera is designed to take the mercury cell at 1.3 volts but Canon put in some level of future proofing and included built in voltage regulators so it runs on 1.5 volts modern cells without any issue. Add to all this the fact it runs under the radar in the used market you can pick up a body between 30-60 dollars (US), making it an excellent student camera, so back into the FPP Donation Program it goes!
What’s New in Used
In Mat’s job at Midwest Photo Exchange, he sees a lot of camera gear come in and come out of the store’s amazing used department. But in a recent conference, he attended with fellow used gear sellers they discovered a new trend that the younger entrants into film photography are not looking for the big feature rich cameras choosing instead to run with the basic mechanical cameras such as the Pentax K1000, Nikon FM, and Canon FTb. And they want them in the chrome finish and a little beat up to get that complete vintage look. Of course, that means for those want to bigger cameras the prices have dropped making them a little more affordable.
Book of the Show – Reflections in Black
We continue our journey through Mark O’Brien’s photographic library and today he has with him Reflections in Black by Deborah Willis. The book covers the history of black photographers and the images they created and the societies they captured. It covers the whole history dating from 1840 up until present day. It is sadly a topic that has not been widely covered and the gang can only name one or two photographers of colour. It’s a fantastic book says Mark, filled with rich history and imagery, a worthwhile addition to any photographic library. You can pick it up easily online, Mark also recommends finding a watching the documentary that inspired the book!
Twin Lens Love – The Ikoflex
It’s no secret that Mark Dalzell has a soft spot for Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras and recently got his hands on a direct competitor to the iconic German Rolleiflex. That camera is Zeiss Ikon’s entry into the medium format TLR world, the Ikoflex. These cameras were first introduced in 1934 and would run until 1960. While the models are a little confusing the camera that Mark has is the Ikoflex IIa (Early). The camera features the same Carl Zeiss optics in the form of the Zeiss Opton 75mm f/3.5 in the taking lens and a bright Tessar viewing friend. You can easily look down and see the shutter speed and aperture settings and they get changed by levers instead of dials. There’s even a rather oddly worded exposure guide on the camera body as well. Unlike it’s Rollei cousins, the lens has a thread rather than a bayonet for filters and accessories, but since it’s a non-standard size they are still hard to find. The price for the IIa runs around 200$ (USD) according to Mark, but newer models will run a bit more expensive. But it’s still a fraction of what you’d pay for a Rolleiflex or Rolleicord.
That covers it for this show! But don’t despair we’ll be back in a short two weeks. Until then why not joining in the conversation over on our Flickr Group, browse the shop to load film up in your camera. Also if you want to write the gang, we love to hear from you. You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send it through the post to Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264 Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.