This camera was very much a surprise purchase. I was lamenting the fact I didn’t save any 127 cameras from my junk box find to try some 35mm sprocket shots. I have a few 120 cameras of course and my go to is the Holga 120 for sprocket shots. But I wanted something a bit better and 127 would mean less cut off in the viewfinder.
So I did a search, what is a good 127 camera? This one popped up. I looked on eBay and saw this one for sale with filters, case, and a telephoto add-on. Super. I noticed there was a “make an offer” button so I did and offered what I thought was a low amount. I never thought it would be accepted…but it was. I was stunned and almost wrote to the seller, “are you sure?” But sanity prevailed and I paid the money. A few days later this arrived.
It was as smooth as butter and everything worked. I immediately followed Mike Eckman’s instructions and took out the film bar…read the article…and loaded it with 35mm film. I then went for a walk. Once the film was used I developed and digitised the film using the pixiltr with sprocket gates and a Sony A37. By the way, anything you want to know about the camera you can find on that link too.
After seeing the developed film, I realised I should have read the article a bit more carefully as I didn’t wind on enough between shots. Mike Eckman clearly explains how much to advance, 2 advances. This other article says 1.5 turns which, after some experimentation, I also found to be enough and it gave me more shots.
As I forgot/just didn’t for my first film, my shots were overlapped. They were still useable, a kind of square-ish format. To take these shots I went on public transport to Leeds for the first time in months. Here are some of the results.
I love the look this camera gives. Recently I was given some prototype gates for the pixlatr, I used them to scan this film. You can read about those here.
I loaded the camera again very quickly and went to a cemetery in Bradford. It was the most amazing place I have been to for a while, so many huge or interesting gravestones.
And here is where there is a sad part…I dropped the camera after this trip. I was getting out of my car and picked up my camera bag. The top wasn’t fastened properly and it rolled over, spilling the contents. The camera rolled out and down. I shouted NOOOOOO as it crashed to the ground. When I picked it up, it seemed fine. I checked the shutter mechanism, it was ok..phew. Maybe I was lucky.
After developing the film I could see a leak that wasn’t evident on the first film, look at the fade on one side.
Oh and here are two shots with the telephoto add on.
Anyway, at first I thought the light leak was down to my scanning and extra light not being blocked out by the gates. I couldnt really see anything on the negatives. So I put the film bar back in and loaded some actual 127 film. Once I developed the film I could see the leak was way more evident with this wider format. I also left this film inside the camera longer so the leak had more time to fog the film.
To scan 127 film using the pixlatr, I used the 35mm and 120 gate. As a light source I used an ipad mini 4 for the first time. I don’t feel it was quite bright enough though. I even put my Sony on a tripod, wow look at me all prepared and stuff.
Here are some of the results from that film.
To try and solve the leak I decided to change the seals around the door. Then I loaded my last 127 film. I am not giving up with this camera. Oh and at this point I realised I had lost the filter over the viewfinder window, probably when I dropped it. This is not my lucky camera.
I took the camera to another cemetery, closer to my house this time. Plus I tried to find a way to to use my canoscan to digitise the film. The film is too big for the 35mm mask and too small for the 120 mask. I didn’t want to pay for a 3D printed mask if there was a work around. So I carefully used the 120 and the strip provided for when the film is curly. It worked well, though a little awkward.
The film was still fogged, but not as much. Here are some of the slightly fogged results.
So now I had to figure out where the light leaks were coming from?? When I dropped it maybe I damaged something. I tried to use a torch to try and find the leak but nothing was evident. So then I put on my big glasses and looked EVERYWHERE, every nook and cranny…suddenly I saw these…
And now for my final film for a while, if this didn’t work I wouldn’t be trying again for a while. This time I used the pixlatr, my larger, newer ipad and my phone.
And voila…no light leaks! Plus this ipad seemed to be brighter, my phone worked well. I might try the ipad with my Sony in the future.
Here are my final results.
Well this is a long post. I must be committed to this camera to go through all of this. I love it though, what a super camera. Super looking, super results…or so I think.