More lens flipping with vintage cameras, 20 September 2023

More lens flipping with vintage cameras, 20 September 2023

A couple of weeks ago I picked up an Agfa Clack for a project I've had in mind for a while, lens flipping. I haven't received the first images yet but the experience has spurred me on to try a couple of other experiments. I ordered these three ilm cameras from Cano Amerelo in Porto: a Brownie Hawkeye Flash, the Reader's Digest PN919 (a clone of the Vivitar PN2011), and the Keystone Le Clic Fun Shooter FS40, a 35mm point and shoot. Here's what I have in mind:

The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash is a Bakelite camera that takes twelve 6x6cm images on 620 film. It was made in the USA and France between 1949 and1961, and mine is the French version. The camera has a carry handle on top, with a little lever to open the back to load and unload films, and a winding knob on the bottom right. On the top are two grey buttons, the shutter on the right and the 'bulb' mode on the left. The Hawkeye has a single meniscus lens with an aperture of around f16, and a shutter speed of about 1/50. From what I have read, the focal range of the camera is from around 2m to infinity and under most conditions can be used with 100ASA film.

The camera is in pretty poor condition, and was sold on the website 'for decoration'. The viewfinder and the glass over the lens was quite dirty and it will all need a good clean. Inside, the camera is in quite nice condition, but the lens itself is really dirty. I hope I can clean this up. There is also a piece of Bakelite missing from the front of the camera, but looking at it, once the film is loaded a piece of electrical tape should cover that up, as anyone who has used a Holga or a Diana knows.

In the center of the camera is a 'brilliant' viewfinder, through which you can compose images. Being a pseudo-TLR, I have seem this camera shed for 'Through The Viewfinder' (TTV) photography,  but my plan for this camera is a little different; to flip the lens. Removing the lens is simply a case of undoing two Philips head screws, removing the film transport and the lens should drop out. It looks as though someone has removed these screws already, so I'm hoping that they won't have damaged the lens too much. 

The PN919 is a simple plastic 35mm camera with a fixed shutter speed of about 1/125s and an aperture of f8. The fixed focus 28mm lens has a nice wide angle and the camera also has a neat trick in the form of a lever that flips down two 'wings' behind the lens to cut the 35mm frame down to a panorama. There's not much more to say about this camera aside from the fact that although it is nice and clean inside, the outside of this camera looks pretty beaten up. I'm already wondering if it could do with a nice new paint job, but my real project for this camera is another lens flip.

I picked up the Keystone Le Clic Fun Shooter FS40 because I was too mean to buy a disposable camera. Like the PN919, it is a simple fixed focus camera with a similar shutter sped and aperture. Unlike the PN919 it also has a flash, although you don't need this to operate the camera and in my particular model this doesn't work anyway. For me, though the specifications are immaterial, as what I would like to do with this camera is remove the lens and mount it onto my micro four-thirds mirrorless camera. I've seen a few examples of this, and it looks really interesting. Of course, what I hope to do is take the lens and flip it. I'm hoping that will give some really lovely effects. 

#Brownie, #Hawkeye, #Camera, #PN919, #film, #VivitarPN2011, #Retro, #Vintage, #LensFlip, #LensReverse, #Dreamy, #Blurry, #Bokeh, #BelieveInFilm, #PointAndShoot, #Mirrorless,