Vintage and Classic Cameras

What's new?

July 2017

Korelle close up

The first film, a Foma 100, went through the Reflex Korelle and has been processed. All told I am quite pleased that the old Korelle got to celebrate it's 80th birthday with a film. The B model is far from the best of the Korelles, but I enjoyed getting it to work and I am reasonably pleased with the results from the first attempt. The one at left is a small part of the very first picture from the first roll from the rejuvinated Korelle B. The only issue may be the first curtain out accelerating the second by a fraction, though this is hard to tell, so I will wait and see what the faster shutter speeds show up, also one film roller is a little sticky which has made some tiny scratches on the emulsion, but this ought to be easily cured. The camera itself is completely light tight without a hint of fogging or streaking, which makes a very pleasant change for once. A few more frames from this first film can be seen in the camera's image gallery,

Grandad's old DRP was given what will be it's final outing. 90 years after Gramps bought it, his daughter was photograped by his Grandson with the 1927 DRP.

June 2017

The FED 3 went on some travels to Kazakhstan, no results back from that trip as yet though. recently I was seduced by Reflex Korelle. Every collector wants one of these, and they are fairly common. The unusual one is the Reflex Korelle B, the rarer though cut price simplified version that no one wants, so that is the one I acquired for the camera equivalent of a donkey sanctuary. It's been through the usual deep clean and had a new shutter made for it. It currently has a test film in it, but that's not finished yet. However the restoration can be seen in the workshop pages as project 5.

March 2017

Sorry, the adverts have to go on again, It looks like I will be unemplyed soon, so I cannot afford to fund the website anymore. Hopefully the adverts will cover the cost of the hosting. Apologies, I hate puttting them on.

February 2017

Not much of note going on that's visible. In the background I have been sourcing backing paper for 118, 122, 124 rollfilms. This will be respooled with film I have acquired from Ilford. This should enable me to start sorting out some galleries for some of the more awkward sized cameras. he next problem is processing as I don't have any appropriately sized spirals, but I've got this far so I'm not giving in yet.

January 2017

A fairly momentous beginning to the year for entirely un camera related reasons..... but on the camera front, a handful of images were added for the rebuilt FED 3 which has proved to be an absolute gem. Although the test film wasn't exactly visually stunning, the experience of using the FED was a delight. Happy New Year to all.

November 2016

Image of FED 3 sectioned

A very attractive FED 3 donated from Russia has been resident in the workshop for some weeks, it has now been restored and joins the collection pages, along with a humble Lomo, Smena Symbol and a No.3 Folding Pocket Kodak dating from around 1907.

October 2016

The camera that takes the credit for inspiring my interest in old cameras was given an outing earlier this month. Having sat in the display case for some time unused, it required a quick clean and check over, but all seemed in order. It was taken to this old saw mill in late evening, with just one plate loaded.

Old Saw Mill

August 2016

Yikes.... is it a year since I used any of the cameras? Sadly yes. The cost of replacing the computer to author the web site totally consumed the budget for film and chemicals. However we have just restored the Ensign Midget... it waited 32 years before it got the chance. It was promply sent to Siberia!

Siberian Lady One of the images from the Siberian trip, taken near Omsk in August 2016. The Ensign Midget performed rather better than I'd hoped, returning six out of six images for the one film I had wound for it. The others can be seen here,


August 2015

Nestling in the back of the cupboard was an old box of Ilford ID11 powder developer. reputedly this has an almost limitless shelf life. This box was the wrong side of 20 years old.... so in an extreme product test I mixed it up and processed the rolls from the Exakta VP. Mixed to stock then used as 1:3 one shot developer, it was fine! Thumbs up for Ilford ID11. So here's one one image from the Exakta VP-B, depicting Bristol Blenheim returning to RAF Bicester for the first time in 70 years.

Bristol Blenheim MK1 Whilst comparing the Exakta VP to recent SLRs reveals many shortcomings, considering the era from whch the Exakta hails, you have to be impressed, It's easy to use, the lever advance sweeps the next frame in reasonably quickly and the controls are easily set. Fine focussing is a little tricky, but gets the desired result. A fine instrument of the day, a good working example is worth perservering with.


July 2015

Good new for the visitors...bad news for me. After no less than three attempts to buy old MacIntosh computers I got ripped off by some idiot, who ran off with the money...fortunately, ebay refunded me most of the money. Another machine was totally rubbish, it wasn't even worth the postage to send back, so that went to the skip, and finally the one I am writing this on. Then I had to fork out for newer software...... ouch, So the Museum funds are relying on loans.... I can only hope that I get some income from the Google adverts soon, although in light of recent performance this looks unlikely, So sadly there is no money for film and processing for some time. The last four rolls of 127 rollfilm went into the Exakta VP a few weeks back, sadly they remain un processed for now. However I did scrape up enough to process two rolls from the Varex IIa, it was despatched to Uzbekistan back in April.. it was nearly lost, as it was impounded atUzbek customs along with the VP as they contravened their export rules. The rule is supposed to protect Uzbek antiques from being taken out, but the border officials apply it to old cameras too. Luckily the cameras were being escorted by a UN negotiator, and they won the day. Phew. Some results from the two rolls of film that went through it are on the gallery for it,

The Kodak I restored FOC for the chap in Northern Ireland has now been returned to him. The deal was I got to keep it for three weeks to sit on my shelf. Whilst it was resident I managed to get one image from it. As it was roughly 1912, I managed to find this period aeroplane at Bicester. It's a reasonably convincing replica of a BE2c, modified from Tiger Moth airframe.

BE2 aeroplane

January 2015

Another year rolls by. The end of 2014 saw two new arrivals, both Exaktas. One a Varex II b and one VP, these are currently workshop residents, so aren't on the web site yet. The Varex looks to be a straightforward cleaning task, whilst the VP is likely to be more involved. maybe new curtains, but the whole thing is jammed currently so hard to tell. I have added some results for the Praktica Super TL. I never thought Prakticas got the praise they deserved, the Super TL performed rather well and in the hands of a decent photographer, which patently I am not, I imagine it would be possible to get some fairly spectacular results. Anyway, here's a taster.... happy New Year.

Stop Press! The ExaKta II b and Exakta VP have both passed through the workshop successfully and now have entries on the web site. The VP was a bit of a challenge but appears to be behaving. This was a repair and conservation job, all the original parts have been used, the shutter curtain tapes had snapped and wrapped themselves around the internals. they needed washing and ironing to get them flat again, before putting back in slightly shorter than before. Getting the shutter set up again was a bit awkward, but a slither of paper around the roller bulked things up enough to keep the curtains running about right. Fingers well and truly crossed!


November 2014

A recent planned outing for the Sanderson revealed the Dial Set Compur had gummed up. It had never been opened up in the 30 years it's been a resident, so it was a bit overdue. Cleaning sorted it out, but whilst I was in there, I did a cut-away picture, you can view the full size by clicking the image, This Compur, mounting an f4.5 Zeiss Tessar, was originally fitted to a Contessa Nettel, whose serial the Compur is proudly displaying. Presumably that camera was broken up at some point and it's shutter/lens combination used to update the Sanderson. In turn, when the Sanderson wound up at the LICM, I rebuilt it with an original Bausch and Lomb Unicum, keeping this Dial Set Compur and Tessar combination as an additional setup.

Cut away image of Dial Set Compur shutter

October 2014

I've added some images for the Nikon FE taken in Kyrgystan, as mentioned previously, here's a taster...
Whist the image on the right was made with the Rollei 35.


September 2014

Well, I have been rather avoiding the website in recent months, concentrating on motorcycle restoration rather than cameras. In April I took a couple of the cameras to Kyrgyzstan again, the Nikon FE and the Rollei 35. The most recent outing was for the Ansco No.3, very much a humble member of the collection, this was the best I could get out of it.

February 2014

In 1861 the Scottish theoretical physicist James Clerk Maxwell whose most celebrated work concerns magnetism, electricity and elctromagnetic fields, created the first colour photograph. He achieved this by making three exposures of a tartan ribbon, each through a different coloured filter - red, blue and yellow. The resulting negatives were then made into positives, and all three were then projected through their respective filters onto a common screen. This additive process results in a colour image on the screen. As a homage to this event... well, mainly just for the fun of it, I decided to have a go myself. I elected to use the common additive colours used today, known as RGB - or Red, Green and Blue. I used our 1908 Sanderson quarter plate camera for the experiment. This it transpired, a complete service before it decided to play nicely, as the Unicum shutter had decided to jam. So I set up a suitable still life with only natural light from one side, a mirror to shine some light through the back of the glasses... and made my three exposures. I compensated about three stops for the rather dark filters I found. These were then processed in a suitably vintage tank, and the developer was left in too long deliberately, to punch up the contrast and was developed on the warm side. Just to really give it the aged look, the wash was freezing cold to really mess up the emulsion. As I don't have one projector that takes quarter plate... let alone three identical ones, the negatives were projected onto paper, photographed then combined on the computer to finish the process. This is the result. Maxwell's original can be found easily enough online.

On the camera front, we have been very busy in the workshop, acquiring a 1915 Graflex 1A in decidedly rotten condition as a challenge, for my 50th birthday. After many hours work, it has been returned to working order. We are also resurrecting a Ensignette and a Leica III is waiting its turn. Three further images have been added for the 1902 Sanderson, here's one of them.


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