I’ve taken a leap backwards in time, about 70 years. During the yearly summer festival in my home town I stumbled upon this 1937 bellow camera which I got for only 10€. After shooting with my fully automatic digital Canon D30 (released year 2000) for some years, I’m up for a real challenge.
This baby doesn’t have any of the photographic aids I’m used to. No light meter and no way of adjusting focus by looking through the lens (as is the case with SLR cameras). Instead, focus have to be adjusted by estimating the distance to the subject, and aperture and shutter time have to be adjusted by estimating the available light together with the speed of the film. The principles are simple, but I definitely have to say goodbye to my point-and-shoot practice. Taking a picture with this one takes at least five minutes…
The size of the negative is 6×9 cm, it has a popup viewfinder and shutter trigger on top (although there are pieces missing from the shutter release mechanism on this one, making triggering the shutter a bit awkward). The Telma shutter has speeds ranging from 1/25 to 1/125 and B and T settings. B is the usual Bulb setting found also on modern SLR cameras, but the T setting is new for me. Apparently, it opens the shutter when the trigger is pressed once, and closes it when pressed once more. The shutter also has a timer which runs for about 10 seconds maximum. The aperture ranges from f/6.3 to f/22. The Novar lens has a focal length of 105mm and focal range of 2m to infinity.
My local photo shop luckily had the right film (120 roll film) for this one, so I’m currently trying it out with the first roll of black and white ISO 400 film. Since I don’t know anything about estimating light conditions or distances, I got some great help from Matt’s Classic Cameras and related links. It’s probably going to take a few rolls before I get the hang of it. Check back for the first photos in a couple of days (if I even dare showing them).