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The Kodak Jiffy V. P.

Posted 2012.07.24 12.26 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

The Kodak Jiffy V. P. is a camera I acquired some time ago – last summer I think. It is the second oldest camera in my collection, dating from the mid 1930’s.

The V. P. stands for Vest Pocket, as the camera folds up and fits neatly in a pocket. It was a cheaper model even back in the day – bakelite construction, folding metal frame-style finder, and simple doublet lens. Groovy art deco stylings though.

The Jiffy V. P. uses format 127 rollfilm. This is a halfway size, bigger than 35mm but smaller than 120 rollfilm. The Jiffy shoots eight 4×6.5cm frames on a roll. You can still get 127 film from a couple sources. I used a roll of Efke R100 (ISO 100) black and white for the following shots.

The subject matter is an old abandoned driving range north of town. I noticed it a few weeks back while en route to visit my folks, so on the way back home I stopped and explored around and took some pictures. It was a blazingly hot and sunny day, which was good for the ISO100 film and the old camera.

Processed at home with some very old T-Max 1:4, 8 1/2 minutes at 76°F, and scanned with my Epson flatbed.

Kalimar “Colt 44”

Posted 2011.10.10 10.01 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

Here is a super simple 127-format camera from 1960. The Kalimar “Colt 44”, also known as the Kalimar 44, also known as the Anny 44, is about one step up from a box camera. As with many other cameras with a ’44’ designation, it takes twelve square 4x4cm frames on a roll of 127 film.

It’s designed to look like a rangefinder, but really it’s just a fake-out. The ‘focus lever’ is actually a lock for the shutter release, with the ‘rangefinder window’ turning red when the shutter is locked, and black when the camera is ready to shoot.

The fixed-focus lens has a focal length of 60mm, and is set to capture subjects from 5 feet to infinity. The camera has a single fixed shutter speed of roughly 1/60th – not even a bulb setting. The only thing you can control is the aperture, which can be set from f/8 to f/22. An indicator on the lens barrel suggests f/8 and f/11 for colour film, and f/16 and f/22 for black & white.

The 127 format is nearly obsolete, but there are a few places still selling fresh / new film, such as the Frugal Photographer. You can also respool 35mm film with a 127 spool and backer paper, but you will have sprocket holes in the image. Or skinny panoramic images, if you crop out the sprockets.

One other funky thing with this camera, it has an accessory shoe (not a hot shoe) and it has a PC connector, but it is not an X-sync — it’s an M-sync. This means it is timed for old ‘medium’ flash bulbs. Meaning, it triggers the flash about 20 milliseconds before the shutter is opened. So with an electronic flash, the flash is over and done with before the shutter has fully opened. So even though the camera looks like you can use a flash, it’s no-go. Unless you have some bulbs, that is…

All in all, the Colt 44 reminds me of the Holga, in fact. It is smaller, and made of metal and glass rather than plastic. And where the Holga has fixed exposure and zone focus, the Colt 44 has fixed focus and lets you set the aperture… ok in fact the Colt 44 and Holga are really nothing alike. Yet they still remind me of each other all the same.

The shots below were taken on a generic “store brand” colour negative 35mm film that was made by Fuji.

Souped, as usual, in my exhausted C41 chemistry. By exhausted I mean, it’s nearly the end of the road for that batch. Soon I’ll have to bid it fare well, wash out the containers, and prepare a shiney new batch. Then I’ll have to reset all my timers and start over.