I’ve been a photographer almost my entire life…
December 1961… at Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Using a Kodak Brownie Starmite (1960 model) with 127 film. This image taken by my dad with his Polaroid.
I can remember when I was eight I pleaded with my dad to let me use his camera as I was growing tired of my simple Kodak. While on a trip to California around Christmas 1961, he handed me his massive Polaroid Pathfinder Land Camera model 110… I could barely hold it let alone be able to take a picture (shown below). He showed me how to use the controls and instructed me on the proper way to hold it steady (me leaning against a tree worked fine). I don’t exactly remember what I shot but it was magic to watch the image I took come to life. Hooked!
This image of the Pathfinder 110 is as massive as the actual camera!
Over the years I’ve used many different cameras with many diverse formats. My first 35 mm camera was a Nikonos II that I purchased new in 1971. Next came a Yashica TL Electro-X 35 mm SLR followed closely by my first Canon, a F-1 in 1977. Then another Canon… this one a AE-1 (actually Carol’s camera), brief flirtations with a Kodak E4 instant camera and then a Polaroid Spectra and finally my last film camera (for a while)… a Canon Rebel.
I moved to digital… very basic cameras… mostly simple point and shoot gear but with good optics (Sony Zeiss) for one. But I jumped back into film in a really big way in 2008 when I purchased a used Yashica TL Electro-X on eBay. Replacing my first 35 mm SLR that I loved. Since then I’ve been lucky to collect a wide variety of cameras… none more treasured then the Yashica’s that arrived in my home in ever increasing numbers… 35 mm SLRs and Yashima-Yashica TLRs. But what’s caught my fancy recently is one of my most humble cameras in the collection… a 1958 Fuji Photo Film Fujipet! A true medium format (6 x 6 cm) camera. I was lucky to find one that essentially was never used so it arrived to me clean and working like a charm. Nice fixed focus plastic lens (70 mm) and a accurate 1/50th of a second shutter (B works too). Add in three aperture settings… f/11, 16 and 22 and some Neopan 100 Acros and I was all set to venture back into the world of film photography.
Fantastic Fujipet! Great images with a nice “feel” to them.
Now the challenge! 1958 vs. 1964 technology!
The Fujipet and a small sample of its images. The Yashica EM ready to take on the Pet.
I am very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the images with the Fuji. 120 roll film 6×6 cm negatives make for fine 5 x 5 inch prints (seen above). Which brings me to the point of this article… I’m about to “compare” my Fujipet against my 1964 Yashica EM. Yes I know ahead of time that the images will be night and day better with the optics of the Yashica but I want to also judge the “feel” of the images. How will they “speak” to me. So I’ll be loading the EM with the same Neopan 100 Acros black and white film and shooting the same scenes around the historic town I live in.
Fujipet loaded with fresh Neopan 100 Acros B&W film.
I’ll share those images as soon as I can. Should be interesting…
Thanks for the visit!