Film Photography Podcast – Episode 108 – August 1st, 2014
Notes by Alex Luyckx
The gang’s all here in lovely downtown Findlay, Ohio from their super-secret lair in the Jones Mansion, sitting around the table today is Michael, Mark D, Dane, John, Leslie, Mat and special guest Mark O’Brien! Today’s show is a camerapaloza! The Argus Corporation, the Yunon dx-4, Edinex, and the Werra! Also Leslie’s favourite Flickr, Listener letters and much more! Crack open a Mrs Brown Iced Coffee and stay tuned!
Just a friendly reminder about Mat’s upcoming workshop, Shooting Film in a Digital World at the brand new MPEX Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio. The event takes place on August 23rd, 2014 the cost is 99$ you can find out more details at: http://mpex.com/shooting-film-8-23-14.html
FPP Listener Zachary writes in and mentions that he’s been getting more into film and has been scanning old family photos that date back to the late 19th century well into the 20th, and is impressed with the quality of even these older images. Leslie brings up a valid point, that today we just don’t print our work, often the images are left on a hard drive, or worse on the camera itself. And when we do print, it may be photo paper, but the ink is far from archival. It’s a mess called "The Digital Dark Age".
FPP Superfriend Shakmati
, sends in a note in relation to the discussion back in Episode 100 about plastic reels for your Paterson developing tank. If you’re running into trouble getting the film on, have a bucket of cold water, give the film a quick dunk (in the dark of course) it’ll make the film slightly adhesive and will aid in getting it on the reels. Just don’t leave it in the water too long. Other ideas is to remove the film, and try it from the other end, and I personally find wearing gloves helps a ton. Remember, no violence.
First on the block is the latest addition to Dane’s collection. At first glance the Yunon dx-3 looks like a rangefinder, but don’t let looks fool you, this is just another plastic toy camera. This junker wasn’t supposed to produce the toy camera look, but in the end it does. This plastic camera does have (or claims to have) a glass lens, 45mm, fixed focus, some aperture control and a fixed 1/70th of a second shutter speed. The lens also features a simple two blade scissor style aperture. Sadly there’s not much online about the camera, but they make for a cheap way to get into toy camera photography and great to play around with. A real beater camera and known for their light leaks. You might find the same camera branded as the Yumeka dx-3.
Leslie came across the next camera while shopping on the Frugal Photographer’s website and knew she just had to get her hands on one of these adorable cameras, but they proved harder to find than expected that is until one dropped into her lap. The camera the Edinex by the Wirgin Company out of Germany. These cameras first popped onto the market in the late 1930s and ran through to the mid-1950s, and there were six different models, going from simple view cameras to full out rangefinders. These 35mm cameras were equipped with quality glass optics from Rodenstock and Schneider coupled to Prontor shutters. Drop in loading similar to Leica, and the mid-era models even have a back door to assist with the loading. These are great cameras, Leslie hasn’t had a chance to go out and shoot with hers yet, but thinks these are pretty adorable. Sadly they’re a little hard to find here in North America, but a keen eye on Ebay you might get lucky.
Keeping with the German theme Mark has a simply gorgeous example of German camera equipment, the Werra Camera. These were described as the Volkscamera, the camera for the everyman. Built by Carl Zeiss, on both sides of the iron curtain. Mark describes it as simply elegant, as if the camera was designed by Apple and Leica. At first glance you really don’t see any sort of controls for the camera on the body, save the shutter button. The rewind and counter are mounted on the bottom of the body, all the other controls are mounted on the lens (which are interchangeable). Even the film advance is mounted on the lens. The cameras had a rather limited run, from 1954 to 1968, and can be a bit hard to find, especially the much envied olive drab leatherette version. The camera came in various different models, most were simple zone-focus view cameras with no meter, but others were full out rangefinders with selenium light meters built in. There isn’t any form of flash shoe (hot or cold), but there is a PC Socket, so you’ll need a flash bracket.
Ann Arbor, home of our special guest Mark O’Brien is also the home town of the Argus Camera Corporation. Argus grew out of the need from the International Radio Corporation to keep their employees working when sales of their radios slumped in the summer. So in 1935 they spun off a subsidiary company (Argus) to produce an everyman camera from the North American market. The result was the Argus A in 1936. The A was an instant hit, it offered a solid 35mm camera at a price anyone could afford. The A was a fairly simple camera, Bakelite construction, leaf shutter lens, in fact the production of the A continued to 1941. But it wasn’t the A that made Argus famous, it would be their Model C, specifically the C3. The Argus C3 was produced from 1939 all the way to 1961 and millions of these cameras were produced. In fact if you look closely at cameras used in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Columbo, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets you’ll see them to be the solid aluminum and Bakelite Argus C3. The C3 also featured a limited form of interchangeable lenses. Hit up any antique store in the Midwest, good chance you’ll find at least one C3 sitting on a shelf. But it wasn’t just 35mm cameras that Argus produced, Mark continues, they also made a wonderful line of pseudo TLR cameras known as the Argoflexes. The best one, Mark says, is the Argoflex 40, equipped with a sharp Anastigmat f/4.5 lens and a brilliant finder. Want to learn more about Argus, why not check out the Argus Museum (housed in some of the original factory buildings) in Ann Arbor, the museum is located at 525 W William St and is open Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. Or pick up a copy of Argomania online.
Mat has joined the gang, and lets us know about big things happening down in Columbus Ohio. Mid-West Photo has declared that 2014 is the year of Education and has opened up a brand new learning centre just across the street from their main store. It’s been outfitted with plenty of top-of-the-line equipment ready to teach everyone from the professional to the amateur the tricks of the trade. In fact on the 23rd of August, Mat is hosting a film photography workshop there.
Check out their website: and you might find a session that could interest you!
That’s it for us for this show, and we’ll be taking a bit of a summer break returning to the airwaves on the 15th of September with a new show (what show?). Until then get out there and enjoy the summer weather shoot film (need film? Head on over to the FPP store!
), take a listen to our archives, participate in our Flickr Group and on the Forums. You can even write to us, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by regular mail - PO Box 152, Butler NJ 07405.
Closing out the show today is one of Darren (Ballard Pop
) Riley’s latest!