In Aveiro with the Vredeborch Felica medium format camera, 06 October 2023

In Aveiro with the Vredeborch Felica medium format camera, 06 October 2023

I was browsing through the Kamerastore website recently and came across this wonderful little camera, the Vredeborch Felica. It reminded me of the Agfa Clack, my weapon of choice for the #FrugalFilmProject, so I just had to have it.

Like most of the items I order from Kamerastore it was in the 'Not Passed' category and was described as being heavily used and with a hazy lens. Despite this, I placed my order and after a few days a nicely packed camera arrived. On receipt I was surprised at the condition of the Felica. For a camera made in the 1950s it was in lovely condition. Yes, the metalwork was a little scratched here and there, and the lock on the bottom was a little loose, but I couldn't really see any haze in the lens, and after a little clean it was shining. The grey leatherette looked really good after a quick clean.

The Vredeborch Felica is a 120 film camera made in West Germany in the late 1950s. It has zone focussing, two shutter speeds, and bulb mode, and two aperture settings. There's also a large yellow filter that flips into place behind the single lens to increase contrast. On the top of the Camera is a shutter button, which with gentle pressure fires and cocks the shutter for the next exposure. Also on the top of the Camera is a cold shoe,  to attach a flash which connects to a Flash PC socket on the lens barrel, and a wind-on knob.

It resembles a slightly more compact Agfa Clack, and I was wondering if it was possible to flip the lens, like in the Clack. However, the whole lens unit is sealed and I could not see how to access it. That said, now that I have used it I'm perfectly happy to leave it alone.

As I was planning to go to Aveiro for #HolgaWeek, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to test the Felica too. Of course, the first image I took was of my favourite tree and well across the road from our house. In fact, I took three photos, with red, green and blue filters to make a trichrome. The remainder of the film I used around Aveiro.

Upon receiving the image files from Forever Blue I was delighted with the results. I was concerned that I was going to get some camera shake with the 1/50s shutter speed, but a gentle press on the shutter button gave perfectly sharp images, and I nailed the zone focussing of the single meniscus lens. I should add that I taped up the camera to make sure there were no light leaks, and also taped shut the lock on the bottom so the camera stayed shut.

The Fomapan Retro film behaved perfectly, there was no sign of a 'fat' roll like in the Clack and the contrast of the images was lovely. On the whole the Vredeborch Felica is a wonderful little camera and I'm really glad that I took the plunge and ordered it. 

Outtake: When I received the image files, the numbering of the image files was reversed, so file number '0001' was the last image on the roll and '0012' was the first image. However, when I created the trichrome I forgot this and instead of using images 12, 11, and 10 for the red, green and blue layers, respectively, I used them in 10, 11 and 12. The results were ... interesting. Someone on social media thought it reminded them of Lomochrome Turquoise film, and I was quite amused by that, and somewhat intrigued.

#Vredeborch, #Felica, #Camera, #VredeborchFelica, #Film, #Fomapan, #Retro, #Experimental, #Vintage, #BelieveInFilm, #FrugalFilmProject,