Monday, 6 February 2012

Typecasting about 35mm Film Photography- A Renewed Interest

Man, I just realised that I didn't typecast anything about the next camera, so it looks like I'll just have to write it up the new-fashioned way via laptop.

Anyway, I had gotten a mad bug for a vintage camera from the 1950s, for some reason. It might have had something to do with all those seasons of "Mad Men" that I watched back-to-back, or the last two watches that I had bought which have a strong retro look to them.
So, with this in mind, I hunted the 'bay for something classic from the mid-to-late Fifties up to circa 1964 and landed on this little beauty;

It's a Voigtlander Vitomatic I from around 1958, I think. I ran some film through it about six months ago, but I can't find the resulting photos for the life of me. A solid camera that's quite heavy for its compact size. I'll have to give it some serious usage sometime to see how it handles. Luckily, I got ahold of the instructions for this thing, which just may minimise any poor photography in future.

The detail on the lens rings is superb.

A part of my childhood. I saw this camera used at the beach and birthday parties. Shame that it doesn't work anymore, but then the 126 format film used in these is both difficult to find and expensive to process.

Here are the photos that turned out. Nice colours and the white borders really give them a vintage photo look. Too bad there's nothing in them worth capturing on film. Ahh, well...

Thanks for reading, all!


  1. This is a great post, and inspires me to perhaps blog about my own collection of film cameras, my stable of which recently has expanded to include a small assortment of point-and-shoot types. Film cameras and typecasting seems to be a natural combination. Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks, Joe. You should post about your cameras. You take some beautiful photos, by the way (since we're going all old-school here. I figured I wouldn't write 'btw'.)
      And yes, I agree, film photography and typewriters go hand-in-hand.

  2. That Vitomatic is a real eye-catcher!

    Your post inspired me to research whether it's possible to take an old film camera and use it for digital photography. It turns out that a company called Silicon Film tried to develop a method to do this over a decade ago, but failed (and may even have been fraudulent). Seems to me that the concept should be revived.

    1. Hasselblad? Their film and digi backs are interchangable I think.

  3. Very good post. I'll take film photography over digital any time if I want to do anything serious. Can't beat large format. Your Voightlander looks fantastic. All those old mechanical cameras are like typewriters; take care of them and they will outlast any new one (LCD displays are good for about 5 to 10 years of normal use, depending on the amount of sun and cold to which they are exposed)

    @ Richard,
    Leaf makes several digital backs for medium format cameras if one can afford $25k!
    Kodak used to make them and sold the product line.

  4. We took a Trip35 to Paris and London mid last year, lovely little camera and there are some good guides around if you need to strip and clean/adjust it. It actually saved us a bit, in that the memory card in my DSLR failed at the end of our first day in Paris, taking with it all our photos from the Eiffel Tower, and the walk along the banks of the Seine to the Grand Palais....

    I've also got a nice little collection of Voigtlanders from my grandfather, haven't run film through any of them, but they're lovely cameras. They take 620 film which is just enough different from 120 to be annoying.

  5. Very nice cameras, good on ya mate. Great to hear you're into film photography. I was too for a while with a Soviet-made Zenit camera but I decided to give it to my sister who is a serious photographer. And guess what, I gave her a Voigtlander Vitomatic last Christmas!

  6. I was warned off the EM when I was looking to upgrade from a Pentax ME. The temperamental auto features pointed me straight at an FM2 (which I could only afford with a fee for some moonlighting) and which I still have. You have inspired me (and JoeV, of course) to think I should run some film through it - just for old time's sake :-)