Toy Camera

February 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Prayers for Florida and America. 

I stumbled across a "toy" camera that uses 120 medium format film and also includes a 35mm back, a Lomography BelAir. It's an all plastic, minimalist thing with two interchangeable lenses. Not quite point and shoot because there are two f/stops, f/8 and f/16, and three "focal settings," infinity, and a couple of others. You set the ISO, then pick one of the two f/stops, one of the three focal lengths and snap & wind away. The camera will "adjust" the shutter speed based on your settings. And so why, why oh why would I get such a thing? Well, I'm in the mode of learning how to make better photos and a couple of things have jumped out at me over the last several months...(1) I go too fast, and, (2) I don't go slow enough. In other words, I have a false sense of confidence in my eye and I need to think more before I snap and this camera will help me do that.  

I already have an old Bronica Medium Format that shoots 6x6 so that still begs the question, "Why, oh why..." Well, this one has three "frames" for the back that allow me to shoot 6x6, 6x4 or 6x12. It was the 6x12 format that sent me over the edge...I had to try this! Of course, the film winding does not have automatic stops so if you're shooting the 6x6 or 6x4 you have to look in the small window for the consecutive film numbers, for the 6x12, you look in the little window but you have to skip the odd numbers and stop on the even numbers. Only 6 pictures on a roll of film. This is a little spendy.

These were taken at the Union Station a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't just "snap," I had to think about each one of those settings and how I could adjust. Many of the blog posts about the camera talked about poor results, too dark or too light, which are completely in my control. And then, I had to position myself so that the 6x12 format was optimized, not easy with the tiny little interchangeable viewfinder that comes with each lens. But then, that was the whole idea...stop to think about what I was doing. The pictures aren't great, the format isn't what I'd dreamed about and there will be a next time. But, it's all fun!!

Union Station, Washington, DC taken with a Lomography 6x12 Medium FormatUnion Station, Washington, DCUnion Station, Washington, DC taken with a Lomography 6x12 Medium Format

From Union Station looking toward Capitol, Washington, DC, taken with a Lomography 6x12 Medium FormatFrom Union Station looking toward Capitol, Washington, DCFrom Union Station looking toward Capitol, Washington, DC, taken with a Lomography 6x12 Medium Format

 


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