Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am so happy I am giddy :)

I had been toying with getting a used medium format camera for the past few weeks. Tried bidding on ebay and always seems to be outbid minutes before the auction ended (never had any luck with ebay, there must be a trick :(. I was not going to get into a bidding war either). Anyhow, it crossed my mind perhaps to look for them in flea markets or antique shops where I might have better luck finding a decent one at the right price and I did!! three Saturdays ago at a Palo Alto Fleamarket.



It was a baby Yashica LM 44 (LM-selenium cell light meter - still works, and appears to be quite accurate now that I have tested it outdoor and indoor, 4x4 ). They said it was the poor man's Rollei (I see) It is in beautiful condition, with Copal SV 60mm fixed lens, cap, leatherette case etc, asking for $65!!.. The seller said he had picked up a bunch of stuffs at a Public Storage auction, guess whoever did not pay their public storage fee must be a camera buff, as there were other goodies, tripods, trumpets, clarinets etc.

The only thing that I was not sure before handing the $65 over was that it takes 127film,.... hmmm, was there ever a 127 film? This thing is older than I am. I called BelAir camera in Los Angeles, (my favorite camera store) and the girl at the film counter said "no, I don't think there is a 127 film" Yuks! I then called Foto Express in San Jose and was told the same thing, "we don't sell 127 film, I don't know if you can still get them anymore" ok, I started to waver....should I get it or shouldn't I? It is in such good shape and my heart is willing, my pocket book is wavering. It fits nicely in my hand, they said it is a lady's camera during those days due to its petite size. Oh, did I mention that the bright waist lever viewfinder is such a pleasure to use....



No surprise. I bought my new toy!! told myself that I will be just as happy to see it sit next to my beloved photo books. (does that sound familiar?)



As soon as I got home, I went online, found out that one could still get the 127 films, Efke B&W and IR from Freestyle and Provia film and slide films from Bhphotovideo (now I am really happy I am giddy). There are apparently quite a few classic camera buffs out there still actively using their baby Yashica, Rollei and other 127 film format cameras...I ordered 3 rolls of B&W and one rolls of IR films and they arrived in 2 days. I am now running the films through it and shot a roll in downtown San Francisco near Embarcadero.....I had a couple of envious looks, from people who either knew exactly what it was and from those who wondered if I was shooting video as I was looking through the viewfinder. I know now how one could be rather inconspicious using the TLR's with the waist level viewfinder if you think about :). Will be processing the films myself and if they turn out half way decent, I shall scan the neg's and post them on my blog.

Don't laugh at me if I tell you that I slept with the baby Yashica next to me the night I brought it home, you can imagine how giddy I am :)

For those who are curious about the Yashica and the Rollei TLR's and other classics in this digital age, here is a really good link:

Photoethnography.com -Karen Nakamura- The definitive guide to classic film cameras -I love her site

Suppliers of 127 films:

Bhphotovideo.com 127 films

Freestylephoto.biz 127 films

Frugal Photographer

read my other blog entries here



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