I got this camera down the pub. Not a knock off, hey do you want a camera, type deal. But someone who knew I liked film cameras gave it to me to try. It had a film inside that had been there for well over 20 years. If I could try and retrieve the photos then I could have the camera.
Firstly, I want to say thank you to the person who gave me the opportunity to try this camera. Secondly, I really don’t like it 🙂
Sometimes you like using a camera and sometimes you don’t. With this one I could not wait to finish the test roll and almost abandoned it altogether. Some of that dislike is based on the example that I used. It had been stuck in a cupboard for many, many years and was very stiff. It also needed a double stroke to wind and cock the shutter. The rangefinder second image was a little light and juddery, this was probably due to the stiffness of the focusing. I had no confidence it would work, therefore I thought I was wasting my time.
Once I retrieved the found film. I loaded the camera with a newer one, because I said I would. I sent off the original film to get developed and some images were saved. They contained pictures of the owners ex-wife who died a few years ago. So I am glad to save those for him. The camera was tricky to load and I had to try a couple of times. I could not see if it worked as the rewind dial did not spin when it was pushed down. This also cause me an issue when unloading the film and I ended up doing it manually in a dark bag. It turned out the dial is not engaged unless you pull it up. I have not come across that before.
So about the camera. After looking at this website I realised this was the Super Paxette II version introduced in 1953 or 1956. The simple fact it has a rangefinder means that it is the super version as regular Paxettes did not have that feature. Through those links and the photos of the camera you can get all the technical details you need.
Given that I had no confidence in the camera, it was stiff and awkward…didn’t know if it worked. I took it to Buxton to use while I took part in a photographic competition. I could not use it for that event as it was a digital only event, but used it as I wandered about looking for the categories I needed.
Well, it did work. It was not my favourite experience with a camera. I tried to give it back to the original owner, but he said he would rather it be owned by someone who might take care of it. He would probably put it back in his cupboard. As I didn’t want it, what to do?
I offered it for free to the film photo group I am in and someone responded. I handed the camera over and the new owner seemed really chuffed to own a vintage camera. He really looked like he would take care of it and maybe give it a bit of a clean. A good deal all around.