Monday, March 16, 2009

Faffing about with ancient cameras

As much as I dearly love my fancy pants Nikon D300 digital camera I’ve recently become interested in old film cameras. After getting used to the amazing amount of control a modern camera gives me I wanted to have a crack and something far more rudimentary. I bought a 1950s Kodak Duaflex and took some photos through with my digital camera using the contraption you see below. Sticking a digital camera in the top of the tube allows you to take photos off the ground glass viewfinder on the top of the Duaflex.

This is a method known as ‘Through The Viewfinder’ or ‘TTV’ and makes photos like the one below. Admittedly this camera was pretty filthy! If you want to see some more of these TTV photos check out my flickr set HERE...

I decided to go one step further and this is how I managed to run a reel of 35mm film through my old Kodak Duaflex. Getting the 35mm canister to sit in the film bay was pretty easy, I just used a couple of bits of foam to hold it in place.

I then taped up the red window on the back as 35mm film doesn’t have backing paper like 120/ 620 film. Working on the basis that five complete turns of the old 620 spool would be roughly a frame I only managed to get five frames out of a 24 exposure reel! To get the film back into the container I had to pop up into my loft at night time and open up the back, and manually reel the film back into the 35mm canister. I did this after an evening of wine and dinner with my family, so I'm not too sure how accurate I would have been, in fact I'm just relieved I didn't fall down the loft hatch!

My friend Graham has taken the films to the local Crappy Snaps to get developed. He's asked them not to cut the film, I'll need to do that as I have no idea where the images will be on the film! He has also requested that they don't make prints, as I'll do that using my scanner.

I’ll post the results when they come back from the lab!

Next up is my Kodak Brownie Cresta, it arrived just this morning and cost only three quid off eBay! I've got some 120 film on the way and can't wait to run some through this beauty!


  1. I'll have to make me one of those periscope type thingies.
    I take my 35mm film into tesco and they develop it for 99p without prints.

  2. Oh no, 99p is mad cheap! My dad turned up at my house with a bag full of old film yesterday!