Jem Jr 120

“Norfolk Vintage”

Jem Jr 120 / Cross-processed XP2
Taken this weekend.

See the full roll here.

I confess that I noticed this camera originally because it shares a name with me. My family have called me Jem from the earliest age, so I don’t even remember the origin of it. When I was a teenager I got a little embarrassed by it, but for the last several years all the people that I am closest to call me Jem again, and my family never stopped of course. The camera is quite a fine box camera manufactured in Newark, New Jersey in 1940. It needed some considerable cleaning, but it works pretty much perfectly and still contains the original wooden spool.

These very old lenses are fairly unforgiving, they are just plain ground glass and they fall-off a great deal, but that is part of the charm. In fact you could argue that it is all of the charm. If you want pin-sharp undistorted glass, then it’s your choice to buy a 7-element laboratory grown, multi-coated monster for the price of a small family car (or 200 beautiful box-cameras). In fact, I sold a Canon 24-70mm L series last year, and it paid for our entire camera collection (maybe 40 cameras) and associated darkroom gear, film and chemicals and we still have change. Okay, not much change.

New cameras are finding their way to us all the time though. I have Efke 127 film in a Ferrania Ibis 44 just now, and I also have a Pentax auto 110 to test. And a Halina 35x Super, which is perhaps not so much of an improvement over the ‘Empire Made’ 35x standard.

On we go.

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