Old glass, part three

In this installment I’m using two different but near identical Kodak Petite cameras from the 1930s. Whereas the Hawk-Eye used 120 film these take 127. The significant part is that one of them is the first camera I ever had (when I was 7), and it had been the first camera my Dad had:


The other is a nearly identical blue one that I picked up later in life. It works somewhat better than the ‘original’ as alas the green one’s bellows have gotten very stiff over the decades. Still I like the Petites over the Hawk-Eye as they are smaller and thus somewhat easier to manage and the focal length of the lens is more suited to the Canon’s tiny sensor (although there is still some significant change in the focus required).

First let’s look at a shot ‘as-is’ and then with the white balance corrected:

These lenses do not have any colour correcting on them as B&W was pretty much it for film in the 1930s. Marley in the snow shows the natural tendency for a slight magenta cast to everything. Exposure info for these photos is: ISO 200, 1/60, US Stop 4 (about f8). In some cases I had to do some ‘lightening’ post-shoot as the exposure swings wildly depending on the scene variations and adjusting any of the settings gets a bit tricky out in the field as I was trying not to let the camera be open to get dust in it. You soon run out of hands handling two cameras at once!

The wild rose in winter, one with each of the two Petites. There’s little difference between the two, I’d say. You can see some slight colour difference despite both images having been processed the same. Also in these two of the fir trees:

As I said before, whereas this is a fun experiment it is hardly a practical way to make pictures. Without a fixed connection between the two cameras it is awkward to handle and dust gets inside. The lenses are sharp, but not astoundingly so (unlike the Takumars). Exposure is a challenge, as is focusing. And every shot needs colour correction to give accurate tones. I think I’ll stop with this now, unless I find another interesting old lens to try out, and actually clean off the Canon’s sensor.

The End?


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