Tag Archives: 120

More Box Brownie Photos

I tried again with the Kodak Brownie No2. I got a fat roll again. But I did get a few unfogged shots. I tried a double exposure and a shot inside on bulb this time.

I used Kosmo Foto 120 this time and I really like the look of the film. For the inside shot I set the camera on a table, closed the aperture to f32 and used a 34 second exposure on bulb. It definitely came out better than my pinhole camera.

Mamiya 6 IV

I was on a trip to Mount Fuji recently and on one of the days, it rained heavily all day. Fuji was not visible and driving in the town I was staying in sucked. So I decided to do a bit of wombling. There were only 2 places to go to and most of the stuff available really was junk. And then I saw this in a cabinet, looking right at me. It was in a junk cabinet but was still about $60. I asked for the cabinet to be opened so I could look at it more closely.

The lady in the shop said it didn’t work, the shutter was broken. It seemed to have some similar buttons as the C2 I already have, though in different locations. Therefore, I cocked the shutter first and it fired. The film would not advance, but there was a button to press to release the lock so I tried that. And it moved. I changed the speed setting and kept firing it, it always worked at every speed. The lady said again it didn’t work and was I sure I wanted it. YES. It did work, I was sure of it. I didn’t know anything about this camera only that I wanted it.

I had to play around with it at first because it seemed different to anything else I had tried. The focusing is the different part. The lens does not move forward and back, the film plate does. The focusing dial is on the back plate behind the shutter button. That means when you load the film you have to do it carefully and lock it into place behind the removable pressure plate. The pressure plate slides out to the right and goes back in once the film is in place. Then, just like the C2, you click the film advance switch and advance until it locks. Then you cock the shutter before the button will fire it.

The interesting part of the camera is the 12/16 switch on the back. Inside the camera, under the pressure plate is a built in mask system to switch from 6×6 to 6×4.5…cool. Once you fire the shutter a red flag pops up inside the viewfinder to let you know it has been exposed. You can override this by cocking the shutter again, but it is a handy reminder.

But was I right, did it work. Here is my test film.

I love this camera, I love how it looks, how it works, the 12/16 switch. It is the kind of camera that makes me want to take photos forever. It fits neatly into a bag, is light and easy to use. So much easier and lighter than the C2.

I love that I got this camera for $60 when it is usually much more than that on eBay. I love that I knew it wasn’t broken when the people in the shop thought it was. I love that it is from 1954, older than my C2, but works just as well.

Keep or sell: Do you even need to ask?


Holga 120 CFN

I came back to Japan and found a few cameras on my shelf ready to check and test, plenty to keep me busy. While in England for the summer I decided not to buy any more cameras. I reneged on that two days after I got back. There are just so many cameras here and so cheap. I went to a shrine to test one of the cameras I had left and on the way back passed a second hand shop, right there on my route, with open parking spaces. Well, I might as well have a look. Five cameras later and a lovely chat with an old man about how Yashicas are the best, I left. This was one of the cameras I bought that day. If I hadn’t already tried a Holga I might not have bought this. I was pleasantly surprised by that one, so despite the plastic lens and body, I had high-ish hopes for this one.

You can see by the tag that I got this for a little over $10 which is far less than the £75 charge by Amazon UK or $80 by the Lomography shop. I am not going to link to them because it is a ridiculous price for what is essentially a plastic toy camera. I would say these cameras are great, but don’t buy a new one, buy a lovely vintage camera (Russian) on eBay instead. Anyway, slight rant over, let’s talk about the camera.

The name lets you know more about it. The CF means colour flash and the N means, no idea. You have the choice of a red, blue, yellow, or white flash. The flash needs batteries to work and I tested it before I put the film in, worked perfectly, without the flash no batteries are needed. The camera was in the box with everything I need except for an empty spool. Luckily I had just developed a film so I had a spare one. As you can see by the photos you can choose to take 12 or 16 exposures per film. You have to decide this before loading the film as you have to insert a mask. I chose 16 as film is expensive. I didn’t have any colour 120 film handy so I put in a Fuji Acros, black and white one. Slide the selector into the right position for your choice and the red window will display the number of the frame. The backing paper on 120 films have a variety of numbers in different positions, each camera has a window in the correct position to display these numbers depending on the frame size it takes. Handy that.

This camera is very simple to work. There are two apertures to choose from which is displayed as either a sunny day f11 or a cloudy day f8. There are two speed, B for bulb and N for normal 1/100th. The focus is zoned, you can see the choices on the top of the lens barrel.

Here is my test film.

As the camera is manual, including the shutter, you can take multiple shots before winding on the film. I like this feature, but struggle to use it. I think to use it successfully you have to plan ahead.

While using the camera I noticed a feature I absolutely hated. Take a look back at the photos of the camera and look where the strap lugs are. They are attached to the lock on film door, so basically if you wear it around your neck the slight weight and poor construction of the camera risks you accidentally opening the door and fogging the film.

Apart from that I actually liked it. I offered it to a friend for free, but he declined saying he wanted something sturdier. Fair enough, me too.

Keep or sell: Eventually sell, but keep for now.