Wednesday, 29 February 2012

'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day'

Lumiere Scout Box Camera
For today's 'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day' (see previous post), I took my Lumière Scout Box to work. The Lumière Scout Box is quite compact for a box camera, smaller than the No.2 Brownie that I used to have. The camera has a single aperture, and the shutter has two settings, 'I' for 'Instant' and 'P' for 'Pneumatique' (or bulb). The lens is a meniscus type, a 'Lumiere Objectif Rapide'. The camera has a single viewfinder which, unusually, rotates through 90 degrees for landscape format shots. Inside the camera is a label instructing the use of 'Lumière 49' film, and the spool which came with the camera looks identical to a 620 spool, though fortunately the camera will also accept 120 spools without the modifications that 620 cameras often require.

I managed to shoot just one roll of film. As it wasn't a sunny day, and I thought I might be able to shoot inside, I wanted to use a 400 ISO film, but the only film I had in stock was Ilford Delta 400 (the roll I used had an expiry date of January 2009). I would have much preferred HP5, but I'd been given a few rolls of expired Delta 400 and wanted to use it up. The film was developed in Rodinal 1:25, 11 minutes 15 seconds at 18 degrees C. The results are perhaps rather unprepossessing, but I did get a shot of Ben Spiers, one of the other painting tutors at college.

Kennington Rooftops

Bin Yard

Painting Studio

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

29th February is 'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day'

The Box Camera Revolution group on Flickr has announced that Wednesday 29th February is to be 'Take Your Box Camera To Work Day'. Like the 127 Days, it's an excuse to get people using box cameras. These were the snapshot cameras for much of the 20th century, only being supplanted by the Instamatic in the early 1960s; box cameras were produced in many millions, and unsurprisingly they are very easy to find today. Unless in exceptional condition or a rare model, they really should be dirt cheap.

The image below was taken with a Kodak No.2 Brownie, the camera first manufactured in 1901, for which the 120 roll film format was created. Despite very limited user controls (the No.2 Brownie had a single shutter speed and three apertures) and simple glass meniscus lenses, the size of the 6x9cm negatives, along with modern film emulsions, actually produces very credible results.

Southampton Central, shot with a Kodak No.2 Brownie on HP5 film