This was an early birtthday present from my father. He has had the camera for many years - inherited from a family friend. I have coveted it for a long time. When I was back in Ireland earlier this year my father very generously gave it to me.
I love it. When he gave it to me I remember thinking I would love to get some photos from this but even if it doesn't work it is such beautiful object in itself - so exqusitely made and designed.
The bellows are not in the best condition with lots of holes. However, considerding the age of this camera (nearly 100 years old!) its not bad.
However, I managed to get around this with a very simple solution. I covered it with 2 cloths which I use for cleaning my glasses and tied it with a ribbon on the end.
The camera takes 116 film which is not made any more. You can modify a 120 reel using a rawl plug (UK) - wall anchor (US) - picture below. I couldn't have done any of this without Mike Connealy's
excellent blog. Mike has some great detailed posts on there and he has taken beautiful photos with a range of gorgeous vintage cameras. His help and advice was invaluable.
To test how much I needed to wind the film on I made a dummy roll of film with light card and wound it through the spools (120 to 116). The advice on Mike's blog corresponded exactly to what I found with my dummy film roll - 2 1/2 rotations. I put a small piece of masking tape on the winder to make sure I wouldn't get mixed up. Below is the first photo I took. I got 4 photos in total - I couldn't believe it.
The camera came with a 116 spool and I had to wind the film back on to the 120 spool when I was finished (I really didn't want to hand over an old 116 spool for processing). I did this in a darkened room using a rucksack. I was really unsure of what I was doing and had no idea if this would work or not but at the point I really didn't care. I remember thinking to myself - I haven't a clue what I am doing but no matter what happens I have really enjoyed the whole process - I can't fully explain it - I just loved it. Something about it felt very right - no idea why. Luckily I did get some photos and this made the whole experience even more joyful. You can see the full set of photos of Flickr
The rawl plug worked fine but if I am to use this camera again I don't want to have to wind the film from the 116 spool to the 120 - so I finally got round to making a modification for the 120 spool using some old wooden 116 spools I bought on e-bay. I will post photos of this modification soon and hopefully have another go with this lovely old camera.
Labels: Kodak No. 1A, Photography, Stuff I Love