Vintage and Classic Cameras
Reflex Korelle B, 120 roll film SLR camera, c1937, image gallery
Korelle, sample image 01

The very first frame from the first film through the Reflex Korelle, in many a long year. So it's dealt with a variety of tones nicely enough. This was exposed hand held at 1/50th as it was a fairly dark subject. The Korelle B is hard to use without a magnifier, and I struggled to get the focus on this, which was the other reason for choosing this subject. The image at left is slightly cropped, whilst the image at right is roughly quarter the height of the negative.

The subject is a Shuttleworth Steam Traction engine, and it was photographed at Old Warden, Bedfordshire on 2nd July 2017

close up

After struggling to focus the Korelle, I made up a magnifier attachment that mounts on the finder housing, requiring no modification to the camera, as it simply sits on top. I used one of my Jewellers Eye Loupes for the magnifier lens, going for the 2 1/2 magnification, as it allowed me to see most of the image area. So the next task was to see how it got on with a moving target. To snap the Piper J3C-65 as it gets airborne at East Tisted airstrip, I focussed on the part of the runway I expected the Cub to be aloft, closed the viewfinder and panned with the subject just looking over the top of the camera. You only get one hit at it. This all adds to the fun of getting some kind of result from these old cameras. This is a selective enlargement of about two thirds of the full image width. The shutter speed was 100th, as I wanted to preserve some movement in the background. It wasn't exactly sunny 16 weather, it was drizzling and I had the aperture set to f/5.6, but the image is sharp enough. It's hard to tell but the image density is lighter on the left, suggesting that the first curtain is getting away from the second at the start of the travel. After a few more tests I'll see, but I'm thinking of backing half a turn out of the first curtain spring.

Piper J3C Cub
DH Moth Also at East Tisted the same day was this scintillating De Havilland DH60G Moth, dating from 1929, so eight years older than the reflex Korelle B. Hand held at 100th, It's sat here warming up the engine just prior to departing in glorious elegance, below.

G-AAJT DH60G departing East Tisted 15/7/17 a few minutes after the J3C Cub, the sky had lightened a bit, allowing the aperture to be closed to f/8. I'm suitably encouraged to give this one a few more outings.

As an aside, since I can no longer find my preferred Efke 100, I'm testing a box of Foma 100. This produced quite a shock as it turned my multi shot developer (ID11) a rather impressive shade of blue the first time I used it for a film that went through the DRP recently. As I like to use my ID11 several times, this film was pre-washed to remove this blue filter layer prior to putting the developer in. I left it to stand in water for a few minutes before flushing out, it doesn't seem to have changed it's behaviour adversely. The Korelle returned 10 out of the 12 frames. One I double exposed, oops, the other I couldn't remember if I had wound on or not, so wound one on just in case... and ended up with a blank frame. Next test will be the faster shutter speeds, close focus and small apertures.

Milton Abbas

The picturesque village of Milton Abbas in Dorset owes it's existence to the whim of Joseph Damer, the first Earl of Dorchester. In the 1770s, offended that the village of Middleton was ruining his view from his home at Milton Abbey, elected to remove it from the landscape - such was the way of the landed British gentry. This was fairly common practice and became known as emparking. The creation of parks. As Middleton was going to be demolished a new village was needed, but to Damer's credit, he charged the architect Sir William Chambers as well as the famous landscape gardener Capability Brown with task of designing it. It would have resulted in considerable social change and upheaval, however, as the new village was considerably smaller, being intended for the farm workers on whom the landowner was partially dependent The resulting village consists largely of identical thatched cottages set along a single lane nestling amongst a wooded valley. Benefitting enormously both from the beauty of its natural surroundings as well as the power of geometric repetition.

This row of almshouses were originally built in 1674 in the doomed Middleton, but were dismantled and rebuilt in Milton Abbas, where they were photographed by the reflex Korelle B in October 2017.

Beautiful as it is, Milton Abbas is cursed by the 20th century with cars prominently parked all along its single lane, so this image was squeezed between them and a builder's van. Exposed at f/8 in evening late summer sun, the Korelle has performed nicely enough for camera dating from the late 1930s. This is the full negative area.

Milton Abbey

The 1770 country pile of Joseph Damer, alongside Milton Abbey, bathes in the evening sun. These days the site is a private school.

DH88 Comet G-ACSS

Built specifically for the 1934 MacRobertson Air race from England to Australia, this beautifully uncompromising aeroplane is a De Havilland DH.88 Comet. G-ACSS is the only survivor of the three built and was the winner of the race. It's had a slightly unlucky career since, but remains airworthy with the Shuttleworth collection in Bedfordshire, where it was captured in August 2017.

It seemed a reasonably contemporary subject for the Korelle which would have been built three years later, when the Comet was still in use.


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