Sturdy old things make beautiful new things.

Shooting with a 70 year old Argus Argoflex is not an easy task. The top glass viewfinder is rather dark, and focusing never feels steady. There’s also no light meter, so proper guessing skills are a must!

However, for finding this beauty in a Goodwill in near perfect condition for $20, I don’t mind. Getting a good frame with this lovely camera takes work, so you have to earn each frame.

Not that I’m not looking at investing in a decent DSLR…with a decent lens…but first, I am planning a trip to Europe with my lovely sister and saving for graduate school. Those two things come first financially!

These images are from Cape Cod, on walks with my mother, meandering around the Portuguese-founded whaling town of Provincetown, and feeling salt in my hair and on my skin. It’s like nothing else! I also had a good quantity of decent gin on that trip. đŸ™‚


The “bad” frames

My Argus Argoflex E is about 70-75 years old. It’s sturdy and pretty light, but I wasn’t used to working without a light meter, and didn’t carry one with me.

This meant that many of my frames weren’t properly exposed, or I didn’t time them right. Or I was moving too quickly to focus accurately (bugger). Nonetheless, I don’t see these as wasted frames. They’re learning frames. There’s no way every frame in a roll will be a worthwhile one, or that it will be impeccably framed, focused, and composed. Sometimes they’ll be downright awful.

To me, these are still awesome. They have memories attached. I was fumbling around, dashing, trying to keep up, or having trouble figuring out the intricacies that every camera presents when getting to know it. Especially this one!

My first foray into medium format!!

Using a 70 year old camera, I brought a few rolls of 120 film and ventured with the red girls around Los Angeles with Ektar 100. It was my first time actually shooting with this camera and trying to correctly load 120 film (which was surprisingly easy)!

I loved imagining how they’d turn out! The square format is really lovely, a great change from the rectangular format of 35mm, and the negatives were awesome to look at!

I don’t have a photo scanner and the labs are only for photography students but Chris did a patient, lovely job of scanning my film in with me. (A lot of my frames were actually heinous. Like, really bad. I might make a bad photo post).

Now they’re here! I’m in love! I’m so excited to keep shooting with my old ancient camera and experiment more with 120mm film!

Vorrei qualcosa di bere?

This morning Chelsea and I met at the Bagel Company and snatched a rarely available newspaper off the table.

The goal?

Garage sale hunting.

In short, Chelsea and I had the goal to beat all the early bird old timers at picking out the gems in the (scarce) garage sale-ing market here in our small town. We wrote some addresses on a napkin (classy, I know) and after drinking black coffee and bagels (toasted, of course) we hopped into the Golden Chariot and were off on an adventure in cheap purchases.

The first two places we stopped by had nothing of value; baby clothing or clothing in sixes 2X- we were right in the middle, and therefore drove on, eventually to an odd garage sale happening behind an enormous engineering firm. I purchased a teal blue glass cup for 35 cents (deal!) , and a box made to look like an old book with a red felt interior to hold jewelry (tacky/kistchy goodness!). Chelsea, on the hunt for vintage tea cups, did not make any purchases (and never did- the tea cups were never found).

We eventually found ourselves on Cherry Avenue, where the greatest bargain laid in a pleather brown camera bag.

Not one, not two but three cameras ranging from the 50’s and 60’s lay  in a bag, nestled together, complete with flash cubes and instruction manuals. The price? A mere $15. Who wouldn’t lunge at that?

An Argus Argoflex 75

Kodak Instamatic 150

Kodak Brownie Bull’s-Eye

I’ve had my fingers viciously pounding the keyboard for the last two hours trying to figure out A) how to get 620 film (deemed impossible unless I was wealthy) and then B) how to modify 120 film into 620 film (thank you, Internet and Flickr people!). I think it is possible, and I’m currently toying with the idea of ordering about 10 packs of 120 film from this weird, small and cheap Croatian film company to mess around with. You have to grind down the film and trip the edges to make it compatible for the Argus and the Kodak Brownie bodies, but I think it might be possible!

As for the Kodak Instamatic…well, 126 film is even more difficult to come across, and just as tricky. Some people say you can wind 35 mm (standard) film into a 126 film canister, but my not-to-nimble fingers make me doubtful of my power to A) even get a roll of 126 and B) to correctly use the canister again with 35mm film inside.

This concludes my all-too-enthusiastic post about my new cameras. In the next few weeks who knows, perhaps I will have gotten up the guts (and the dough/cash/moolah/ka-ching/currency) to invest in some 120 film and see if I can get either the Kodak Brownie or the Argues functioning!

Also, the title of this post has nothing to do with the actual content. It translates to, Would you like something to drink? in Italian.