Tag Archives: Gakkenflex

10
Jun

Gaol Hill

“Gaol Hill”

With the spire of St Mary’s overlooking Norwich Market.
Gakkenflex / Ilford HP5+

30
May

St. Giles Street, Norwich

St. Giles Street, Norwich

Taken last week.
Gakkenflex / Ilford HP5 Plus

28
May

Cathedral View

Gakkenflex / Ilford HP5 Plus

Taken yesterday.

27
May

Fed 4, Jupiter 11, Tokyo Optical

Over the last few days I have finished up film from the Gakkenflex, the Kodak Cresta II and the Voigtlander Brilliant (which had a mishap recently but still seems to be functional). My intention is to sell the Brilliant and put the funds towards a Yashica Mat TLR.

I have a Mamiya EE to test, not a very exciting camera, but you can pick them up for a couple of bucks apiece and, worst case, take them apart for the hardware. It can cost you twice as much to buy a small bag of camera screws on Ebay. And I picked up a Fed 4 body (for 99p) onto which I’ve fitted an old Jupiter 11 lens and a Tokyo Optical viewfinder, it looks kind of amazing (pictured). Soviet era cameras are always gratifying, for the experience as much as the results.

I am also cutting down a roll of Fuji Pro400 to put it into the Duex. It will be so precious to see the result of this sublime art-deco era lens on such a rich, smooth film stock.

Lo-Fi

The more cameras I use, the greater my respect for lo-fi photography as a truly viable pursuit. Composition remains true regardless of the lens, and I love the Neptune end of the photographic polarity. That is of course photography’s natural state: chemical uncertainty. The rush to the wrong end of the polarity, toward Virgo and ever greater control, more megapixels, less chromatic aberration, instant verifiable results with the inconveniences cloned out after the fact in Photoshop is getting photography backward.

Recently I bought a Gakkenflex (pictured) which came originally from Japan. When first made this 35mm ‘Toy-TLR’ retailed for about 6 or 7 dollars, and was made entirely of plastic from a kit in a magazine. There are clones out there which give the same result for not much more. I also bought a Japanese Superheadz Black Devil and I took them both out today along with a 1956 Kodak Cresta II. There is simply no hope of controlling outcomes with any of these cameras, except in the most rudimentary terms. All you have is composition, and an understanding of which light will work, and which won’t.

And that is exactly what makes lo-fi photography so much fun, it has all the magical promise of uncertainty.

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