Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Camera Woman

I love pictures of people with cameras.  This one is dated "JUL 4 1946" a year or so after the end of World War 2.  It's inconceivable the lady in this photo didn't know a number of people who went off to the conflict.  The camera looks like it's from the thirties.  I have a number of them in my collection, and it probably uses 620 film.  That's six exposures per roll, and she must have gone through a lot of rolls of film taking pictures of her friends, now out of uniform.  But who was the photographer of the photographer?  The 620 format gives a long narrow image.  This image could have been cropped, or it could have been from a newer 120, or even a 35mm.   Perhaps a war souvenir.  Both the Germans and the Japanese have a long history of making fine cameras.

For anyone interested, lots of old, folding 620 cameras from the thirties still work and give a nice, sharp negative.  To use one, you'll need two 620 reels. If there aren't any in the camera, they can be found on EBay.  Go into a dark room, strip off the film from a roll of 120 film and respool it onto a 620 reel.  Most of these old cameras will have a small window on the back with a red, celluloid cover.  There a numbers on the paper backing of the film.  If they're visible, the frames will be 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.  If the numbers don't line up with the window, good luck trying to figure out how far to advance the film per exposure.

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