2013 did not bring any calm to my everlasting need to discover old camera’s. I did put a limit to my cravings and decided not to buy more than 3 camera’s this year. Good decision. So, we’re halfway the year, and I’m at 3! Here’s some info on the new members of my collection:
The first one i decided to buy was the Konica c35 EF. I actually bought the same camera in the slightly older model last year, but unfortunately the flash wasn’t functional, which was one of the reasons for buying it. It’s the first compact camera with an automatic flash, so the flash should work, is what I thought! So, i found this very well taken care of gem online, and bought it for €15! It’s almost mint condition and no corrosion whatsoever in the battery department. If your camera does have some corrosion, you can clean it using Q-tips and white vinegar. But i would advice against buying one that has a lot of corrosion that has already turned dark or damaged the contacts. There’s also a cell battery compartment for the operation of the camera itself. You can choose to operate the camera without, since it isn’t completely automatic, but then again… that’s not what the camera was made for. They don’t make the mercury cell batteries anymore that it needs to operate pseudo-automatically, which is a great thing for the environment, and you can find a good replacement wherever you can find hearing aid batteries. A 1.3 or 1.4 volt zinc battery should be fine according to this Flickr thread.
This camera used to be one of Warhol’s favorites! There are plenty of pictures of him at events clutching the Konica c35 EF. In fact, it is said he liked it so much, he had 2. I’ll just have to wait and see the results of this camera to decide if i agree!
The second newcomer is this lovely Kodak Duaflex II. It’s a pseudo-TLR which means you have a large viewfinder on top, but actually it’s a simple point-and-shoot camera. The shutter speed is estimated around 1/30 or 1/40, as it is for most oldtimers like this. The camera was produced in the first half of the fifties, and is made from bakelite and metal, I don’t really know. What i do know is that most of these camera’s need a good cleaning before use, and thus I took this baby apart and cleaned it carefully with a dust cloth and some water (i didn’t use anything else since i didn’t find it necessary to use products. If you do, please don’t use any on the mirror. There’s a good chance that you might damage it. I found the disassembling pretty self-explanatory; some screws on top, some screws on the bottom and the rest didn’t have screws. Some models have some screws on the front but with this model, the front panel could be opened up completely as you can see below. Easy does it!
Now it is pretty clean, except for the mirror that was pretty damaged. I put in some film after trimming a 120 film of lomography (I would strongly advise against this brand since in the pack I bought to try it, one film ripped and now this film doesn’t have all his numbers printed… Thanks a lot ). Some people respool the film onto a 620 spool, but I found it easier to trim the edges of the 120 spool and file it to the same width as a 620. You can find a mod here.
And last but not least I got to buy the rare but cute Ansco Panda camera. It’s also a 620 pseudo-TLR, point-and-shoot camera with an estimated shutter speed of 1/30 or 1/40. It could also use a cleaning, but since it’s a bakelite/plastic camera, it has no screws so we’ll have to make do with a nice foggy effect on the pictures, like we’re seeing today through the era of yesterday. It’s a pretty straightforward camera so I can’t tell you many exciting stories about it (yet?), but it’s not easy to come by these camera’s these days so I’m totally excited and happy to have one of them in my possession, with bag and everything. Oh yes, I got all 3 camera’s in their original camera cases. Score!