Rusty shutters #35.

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Diana Mini.

August 2009.

I already had a Diana 151 when the Lomography folks released this little guy, and I thought adding this 35mm camera to the collection could be fun.

It’s a cool toy that’ll shoot half-frame and square, but I keep it on the square setting.

Loading film is super-easy, and all the controls are quite similar to what you’d find on the Diana 151, so there’s zero learning curve.

I’ve run 3 rolls of Kodak film through it so far, BW400CN, Elite Chrome 100 (XPRO), and Gold 200. All three performed well.

Yet another film camera I need to put a little more effort into using.

Film type: 35mm
Shutter Speeds: ~1/60 – 1/100 sec
Aperture: ƒ/8, ƒ/11
Focal Length: 24mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Manual/zone – ~2ft – infinity
Dimensions HWD: 2.8in x 4in x 2.4in

New Old Stock.

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Quirky new addition.

This little guy arrived in the mail last week. It’s a Smena 8M. A Russian viewfinder camera.

An eBay purchase, it’s New Old Stock. Seriously. The box that showed up in the mail was sealed and unopened. They were manufactured from 1952 until the late 80s, but a little internet research reveals this one’s likely closer to the late 80s.

To call this thing quirky would be an understatement.

Full manual. 35mm. No battery. The shutter needs to be cocked before each shot.

The aperture ring – ƒ/16 to ƒ/4 – is inconvenient as hell, and loading and unloading film will be interesting because the rewind is a smaller-than-a-dime button with a serrated edge on top of the camera. No crank. The film take-up spool is loose.

It has shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/250 second, or one can go by sunny to cloudy icons at the top of the lens barrel.

There are videos aplenty on YouTube, if you’re the curious type.

So, besides the Smena 8M, I’m down to about 20 cameras to document:

  • Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
  • Diana Mini
  • Shen-Hao HZX45-II
  • Polaroid Land Camera Model 180
  • Voigtlander Bessa I
  • Minolta XG-1
  • Minolta XG-7
  • Polaroid Colorpack II
  • Argus 520
  • Debonair 120
  • Pinholaroid (hacked Polaroid Colorpack II pinhole)
  • Sprocket Rocket
  • 8Banners Mc (pinhole)
  • Zero Image 2000 (pinhole)
  • Ondu 6×12 Multiformat (pinhole)
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Spartus Fullview
  • Argus Argoflex
  • Yashica-Mat 66

It’ll take a while to go through them all since they’re mostly old film cameras, but it’ll give me a chance – and excuse – to use up my film stash.

I’m pretty sure I’ll keep adding cameras to the list – because GAS – but putting these cameras through their paces will be my main focus for 2020-2021.

Take a few seconds and check out what I’ve put together so far over on @rustyshutters.

Rusty shutters #22.

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Agfa Click-I.

May 2006.

Another fun film shooter from my collection. A very cool, very simple little camera made in Germany from 1958-1970.

It uses 120 film and has a switch on the lens barrel with three settings: two are aperture sizes, ƒ8.8 (cloudy icon) and ƒ11 (sunny icon), plus a yellow filter which is also ƒ8.8.

It uses a single fixed-focus convex-concave meniscus lens, a rotary shutter with a speed of 1/30th of a second, and the camera has a curved back cover that serves as a film pressure plate.

This little guy takes sharp pictures from about 5 ft. to infinity and I’ve even used hand-held close-up filters over the front of the lens for decent macro shots.

Film type: 120
Exposures: 12 @ 6×6
Shutter Speed: ~1/30 sec
Aperture: ƒ/8.8, ƒ/11
Focal Length: 72.5mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Fixed, 5 feet – infinity
Dimensions WHD: 5.5in x 3.75in x 2.75in

Rusty shutters #18.

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Diana 151.

May 2006.

Lots of folks were using toy cameras around that time. There were a couple of Flickr contacts whose Diana 151 work convinced me to find one on eBay.

I seem to recall the price wasn’t too high, maybe US $40 at the time.

I haven’t run a whole lot of film through it, but this particular camera has a decent lens that’s true to the prescribed focus lengths, plus it came with a weathered manual, and a lens cap. I don’t know what happened to the original box.

To eliminate light leaks, I’ve made small removable flaps using gaffer’s to cover the red picture number window and the latch at the bottom of the camera back.

These cameras make the most magical images. Check out Nancy Rexroth’s work.

I’ll be getting out with this little gem again in the near future.

Film type: 120
Exposures: 16 @ 4×4
Shutter Speeds: ~1/50 – 1/100 sec
Aperture: ƒ/11, ƒ/13, ƒ/19
Focal Length: ~60mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Manual/zone – 4-6 ft, 6-12 ft, 12 – infinity
Dimensions: 5.3in x 3.7in x 6.8in

Rusty shutters #7.

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Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim.

September 2008.

An eBay purchase from around mid-2008, specifically to use on World Toy Camera Day, which was on October 18 that year. I loaded it with 35mm Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and had the film cross-processed at the local Ritz Camera store. Remember those?

I joined a photo stroll that day in San Francisco, walking around The Mission District on a bright, sunny day.

All plastic – including the lens – the VUWS is a simple point-and-shoot, but the camera’s tiny aperture requires a lot of light.

At 22mm, the pictures are super-wide angle with plenty of vignetting.

I was happy with the results.

Cool little camera. Still in my collection.

Film type: 35mm
Focal length: 22mm
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/125 sec
Focusing: Fixed focus

 

Rusty shutters #6.

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Holga 120N/S.

March, April 2006.

I have both the S and N models. The N is a Holgamods (Randy Smith) hack and the S was a gift from my wife.

I like this camera. Lots. The S has a roll of Ilford Pan F Plus in it right now.

The Holga is essentially a toy. It has 4 focus zones and two aperture sizes, but all of that is really a crap shoot! It’s plastic, including the lens, and light leaks are common.

There’s a hack for getting closer to your subject… focusing past the single person icon by loosening a well hidden screw on the shutter assembly. It’s located in a deep well, and once you spin the screw out you’l be able to focus a bit closer. Great for portraits.

I don’t use either mask. And I spray painted the inside of the film bay flat black to eliminate any reflective glare and I laid a couple of strips of gaffer on either side of the film bay to keep the film from getting scratched as it transports from one spool to the other.

To stop light leaks, I tape the whole thing closed with gaffer. Works fine.

Film type: 120
Masks: 12 or 16 exposures
Shutter Speeds: 1/100 sec – Bulb
Aperture: ƒ/11 – ƒ/8 (sunny/cloudy)
Focal Length: 60mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Manual/zone
Dimensions: 5.3in x 3.7in x 6.8in