24 September 2009

Weekly Vintage Image: 1

Something new I want to trial is posting one "vintage" image per week (looks like it'll be Fridays). Recently, I mentioned that my father gave me a box of slides taken by his grandparents in the 1960s. Today, I picked up a cheap film scanner, so this invites me to share these images with whoever stumbles across this blog.

This first image is of my dad, I think. In the garden of his grandparents' house in Burnie, Tasmania. In the background you can make out Round Hill & Emu Bay.

Kiev 4

And here it is - the Kiev 4, which has been dubbed "Kneb"*. Thankyou again, anonymous eBay camera dealer.

It's a bit more beat up than other cameras I have bought online, but I was aware it wasn't perfect and it seems to work like a dream. It has some interesting quirks I will need to get used to - one being that the focussing mechanism locks at infinity! You need to either press down on the front cog thingy to get it to turn, or there's a rather pointy lever on the front which does the same thing. Another is the rangefinder window is right where I usually like to put my right middle finger when I take a photo - well documented, and easy to get around with a bit of practice.

It came with a 35mm cassette which I don't think I'll use, thankfully the take-up spool from the Contaflex fits perfectly (for those who don't know, the Kiev rangefinders are copies of the Zeiss Contax rangefinders).

First impressions? I could get used to the new KNEB...

* for interests' sake, the Kiev 6C is now known as "The MURK" ("Massive Ugly Russian Kamera"), or "URK" for short. The Kiev 6C deserved a slightly more elaborate name to match it's monstrousness, and Kneb sounds a bit too cute...

11 September 2009

Kodal EK2 Instant Camera

When mum was cleaning out nan's wardrobe late last year, she found what she thought was a Polaroid camera. Knowing me, she promised I could have it & sent it to me as a Christmas gift.

Upon removing the wrapping, I discovered not the Polaroid I was hoping for, but this: a Kodak EK2 Instant Camera. A bit of research discovered that unfortunately these distinctive (and familiar) cameras are in fact next to unuseable - the instant film hasn't been produced since a highly publicised lawsuit Kodak lost to Polaroid in the mid 1980s.

Still, despite breaking my rule that all cameras in my collection must be useable (as well as the film being out of production, the shutter doesn't trip), I quite like it. It's an evolutionary cul-de-sac, virtually extinct for over 20 years, and a real curio (although often mistaken for a Polaroid, for obvious reasons). It also has sentimental value: I've got several photos of myself with my grandparents taken with this camera.

08 September 2009

I have a problem: Kiev 4

I have a Kiev 4 on the way from the Ukraine, thanks to an anonymous paid-donor on ebay. It comes with the M42 Jupiter 8m lens, which I think was standard for the Kiev rangefinders. I've been wanting to buy one for the Zorki for a while, but never bothered. Now I will have one that won't fit the Zorki anyways. Huzzah!

I blame the USD-AUD exchange rate.