Agfa Billy Record 4.5
Well...I am seriously in love with this camera. And wanting a 6 x 9 enlarger! And, yes, in serious doubt as to whether I do want it 'fixed'! Whether I want to think, as usual, about doing everything 'right'. I'll have to live with that one for a while - I'm in no rush...
a little fun with the fixed 3ft focus, (and narrow depth of field). This swing is getting a little small now, for a near ten-year-old, for much serious swinging - he still spends a great deal of time there though...(as does his more ruminating brother...)
I played around with different apertures, to see what I could get. The dreaminess of some of these first ones seems to fit.
Exposure was sometimes problematic as the slower shutter speeds do not work properly, although once or twice I used a best guess using 'T'. I stuck to speeds above 1/30 where I could. All hand-held, and a great pleasure having no mirror slap. As for composing, - there is often a degree of guesswork and randomness, (sometimes pretty total!); the external finder is tiny; it's inverted of course (L to R) which is nothing new, but as in the station photo following, the problem sometimes is seeing an image at all due to the size and more often, the direction of the light shining on it. The pop-up viewer is pure guesswork. ...Other times, it's easy to see.
I really like the random feel, and the way I had to go with the camera as it is (even though I plan to fix it) I feel it adds to the power of the photographs and stops me being so much in control. Or maybe in a different way. Maybe I need, at the moment, the freedom it allows me.
It's amazing the depth of field you can achieve with f32, (as in the next station shot) even with the focus firmly stuck at 3 ft. I am wondering though, seeing those earliest negs : whether when I first had the camera there was more movement on the focus ring before it finally froze (I only clearly remember not being able to use it). In other words, it became worse under my care. In any case I promise billie a complete overhaul as recompense! I realise now what a fine camera she is. But I do like her as she is...
...I could pretend that the lean was artfully intentional but I'd be fibbing.
This is the station of the previous posted pics revisited. I was thinking of that first photo when taking this one, I was quite disoriented by the changes, trying to find the same position as years ago was harder than I anticipated. Unbelievabaly, after very little change really in years, just in the last three months a new road has sprung up, a new car park, and baskets of flowers. The 'new' cafe has gone continental with tables and benches outside. I had to take the shot from the middle of the new road, which disconcerted me, hence the lean...also it was impossible to see anything in the tiny finder - when the light shines on it in a certain way all you can see is reflections. Excuses excuses. Maybe I'll go back and try again, I should have been further back, I appear to have been standing pretty much where the car was in the first - not sure how easy that will be. Maybe I'll try again.
Another reminder of the past - (ah well -the buildings lean one way and the car another in this one!)
The film I used for the new ones was a mix of Tri-X and Acros 100
I found these negatives, and quite a number more, back in March (see previous post here). It's taken me until now to find the space to look at them. They were taken on an Agfa Billy Record 4.5, (Prontor 11 shutter) a 6 x 9 art-deco folder (which was made c.1935) with FP4. At some stage the focus became, still is, stuck on 3 ft. It didn't seem to matter at the time (which was more than 25 years ago!). Not sure if I had a little more movement here with these (some of the first) before it finally seized up completely - but it never worked properly. No light meter either. I haven't used the camera in years, though looking at these negatives I'm going to give it a go again soon. These were amongst my first ever photos that were not taken on the little agfa instamatic my dad gave me when I was eleven or so. I did print some at the time at an evening class (not a very good one) - my first ever go at black and white printing - but not these. Then - no black and white photography and precious little other kind, only holiday snaps and first-child snaps, for nearly 15 years...
The first two are of someone who didn't much like having his photo taken. The third is my father, (who come to think of it never liked having his photo either so I'm lucky to have these) sorting through his summer harvest of apples - I cropped this one a little - which I will have to do when it comes to printing as my enlarger only goes up to 6 x7. The fourth is him too - the next are...well... the seaside (local, Suffolk coast). The railway station with car (and café) looks a bygone age - makes me feel pretty old. Not sure how long that car had been sitting there though, judging by the weeds!. The last is, I think, telling me where I came from (and it hasn't changed).