Please help me make the most out of all the vintage cameras I got for my birthday?
June 23, 2010 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Please help me make the most out of all the vintage cameras I got for my birthday?

My girlfriend is the best person in the world.
I think this has been sufficiently established, no?

For my birthday this year she went well above and beyond and got me a brand new Holga, a Brownie, a mini Brownie, and two beautiful Polaroid "land cameras"

It's all pictured here:
Dont mind the record album in the picture, even tho it too is really awesome (srsly, check that guy out if you have a chance)

So then, what can I do with all this stuff, noting that I am not in fact a skilled photographer (Im becoming an insatiable novice tho) with any darkroom skills to speak of.

If you need specific model numbers I can post those ITT this evening.

posted by Senor Cardgage to Technology (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately, the film for those Polaroid rollfilm cameras hasn't been made for a long time (since 1991). However, there are a few ways to use other kinds of film. For the one on the left, which uses 40-series rollfilm, you can feed in individual sheets from packfilm, which Fujifilm still makes in B&W and color. For the camera on the left, which uses 30-series film, you may be able to use non-instant 120 film (coincidentally, the same film the Brownies would take).
posted by zsazsa at 10:31 AM on June 23, 2010

Cool! There are a huge amount of resources on the Holga at the official Lomography site. I have a home darkroom, but get my 120 film processed commercially. Lots of places online if you don't have anywhere locally.

I have also bought a bunch of film photography books at my local good used book store. Should be able to find lots of ideas, and maybe even manuals for your specific cameras. (Manuals can often be found online too.)
posted by JoanArkham at 10:57 AM on June 23, 2010

congrats!!! you have now entered the extremely addictive field of low end (i'm talking lenses, not the cost of the film) film shooting.

you can get your 120 and other film processed for super cheap through WALMART! here's how

if you're new to photography, familiarize yourself with which iso film is best to shoot with in which situation.

doing double (or triple!) exposures can be fun; experiment around with it.

don't worry about keeping the lens cap on that holga. most people prefer theirs get a bit scratched up for more character :)
posted by raw sugar at 11:16 AM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]

Squarefrog's site is fantastic for Holga tips & tricks. Join the various camera groups on Flickr for camera- and film-specific discussions, and to share your photos.

And I can't tell from the pic exactly what you have, but be warned that many Brownie cameras take 127 film, which is no longer available.
posted by Gortuk at 12:24 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

As mentioned above, the Brownie Hawkeye Flash can use 120 film. Don't forget to ask for
your spool back when you take the film in for processing, they're not your standard 120
spools. It's nice if you can find a few extra 620 spools so you can shoot multiple rolls.
Sometimes it's a bit of a tight squeeze getting the 120 spool on the top spindle, but after some use the metal will adjust to the slightly larger edges.

A Brownie was designed with full sun and 100 iso (or even 50) film in mind. The shutter speeds vary, but are usually somewhere around 1/50th. Best to use a high latitude film, colour print or c41 black and white film are good bets. Also, slide film is totally workable if you intend to cross process (c41 film in E6 slide chemistry) where accurate exposure is less critical. There's a good Brownie Hawkeye group on flickr, which is where I learned all about flipping the lens of a Hawkeye which creates a charming blurry vignette. One of my favourite cameras. It always brings a smile when the old folks come up with their "I had that camera when I was a kid!"
posted by domographer at 1:28 PM on June 23, 2010

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