Sunday, 19 May 2013

Corner-Shop Window

The time has long passed when I had to concede that I would never shoot film again.  Hardly a wrench, for me.  Unlike a lot of self-declared film-nostalgists, I did actually get through a fair amount of the stuff (averaged out, around three medium-format rolls of colour negative a week, plus a diminishing amount of home-processed 35mm and medium-format black and white) and it cost me deep in the purse, as they used to say in the old film-era ballads.  I've already described the horror of the darkroom, so won't go there again.

And yet I still have film cameras cluttering the house, ranging from cute little Olympus pocket cameras (Mju and XA), through various old "folders", box cameras, and a couple of SLRs, to my Fuji GS645S, the film camera with which I had the most extended romance.  All of which I bought second-hand (more likely, third- or fourth-hand).  It's hard to recall now, but film cameras used to be robust enough to have many owners over several decades, and were cheap.  The Agfa Isolette folder I used for the project that became the book Downward Skies --  with top of the range f/3.5 Solinar lens and Synchro-Compur shutter -- was made in 1954 (same year as me) and cost me £15 in 2001.

It's a shame they won't get any more use, but none of them is worth enough to sell on, and practically impossible to give away.  Here, please take this device off my hands that -- if you use it -- will cost you more money over a single year in film and processing than the price of decent digital camera! Um, no thanks.

However, I know there are people out there who still use or would like to use film, and in the spirit of the traditional card placed in the window of a corner-shop, I make them this offer:

Mamiya C330f  (incl. Beattie screen, collapsible viewfinder, soft case, body cap, manual)
80mm lens (silver)
55mm lens (black)
180mm lens (black w. original leather case)
Porrofinder (damaged mirror but useable)
Porrofinder, metered
Paramender (fixes parallax)
Right-angle grip with release button
Mamiya quick release plate

WHOLE LOT sold as kit:  to you, dear reader, £350

The Mamiya C330f is the real deal, a twin-lens reflex with interchangeable lenses, and capable of the very highest quality in medium-format photography.  All metal, all beautifully machined, totally robust.  With the grip and porrofinder attached, you can even use it hand-held, which I usually did.  It looks great on top of a tripod, though, if you're that way inclined; it says "serious photographer at work" almost as much as a view camera.  The Beattie screen is simply magic, and brightens up the viewfinder to an amazing degree.

This may have to be UK only, but we can discuss that: it's mainly a question of the cost of packing and postage. PayPal preferred. Anyone interested should contact me via email. If you don't have my email address, leave a comment with your email address  (I will delete your comment immediately on receipt).  Preference to long-term commenters.  As they used to say in the Exchange & Mart:  no time-wasters, please!

I also have a WANTED card to put in the window:

Does anyone have any unwanted old Instamatic (110) size transparencies in their mounts (or even just the mounts)?  I need to scan some old 110 negatives, and that seems the most practical way of doing it. I also need one of those Instamatic transparency adapters, to make them the same size as a 35mm transparency (I know Gepe used to make them).  If you can help (or have a better suggestion for scanning 110 negatives), please contact me as above.



eeyorn said...

Could you not found 'The Chisholm Collection' of no longer useful, but still beautifully crafted artifacts, to be based at the University?

Posterity beckons!!!

Mike C. said...

As it happens, there is such a thing, though I'd never presume to put my name on it. Our library was a pioneer in the field of automation, having developed an in-house system as early as the late 1960s. We have cupboards full of redundant, pioneer-era gizmos (punched card machines, paper tape re-reelers, etc.) which are both beautifully crafted (usually in steel and wood) and utterly useless.

I was the proud recipient of our very first PC in 1985 -- an IBM with two 5.25" floppy drives, 640K of RAM (!), and a gorgeous, tactile *metal* keyboard. Also now in the cupboard -- it looks like it was designed for a 1950s sci-fi movie.