Used in New York back in 1938, this revolver camera was a Colt 38 with a tiny camera that would capture a photograph whenever the trigger was pulled. I sure hope those sample photographs taken with this revolver were shot while the gun wasn’t loaded…
Image credit: Revolver-camera / Revolver camera by Nationaal Archief
If you have an old or broken flatbed scanner lying around and gathering dust, a neat thing you can do is convert it into a cheap, do-it-yourself lightbox for viewing negatives and slides. Photo-enthusiast James Wilson did this as a weekend project:
It was a simple process; gut the scanner, hook up a light fixture inside it, and paint the inside of the glass white. Total cost was around ten bucks for the light fixture, wiring, and paint. [#]
You can read Wilson’s writeup here. There are also some additional photos over on Flickr.
This was one of my weekend projects (via Lifehacker)
This is the instruction manual for the Kodak Petite camera, which was made between 1929 and 1933. It shoots 127 film, and came in five different colors.
(via KEH Camera Blog)
Image credit: Photograph by BlondeShot Creative and used with permission
I really love using old lenses on modern digital cameras, but many old lenses have cosmetic issues that make them a little less pleasant to use. Here are a few very cheap and easy things you can do to make these old lenses a little nicer to look at and to use. I don’t advocate doing this to rare collectible lenses; this is for “user” lenses.
Note that these things have nothing to do with internal functionality of the focus or aperture, nor the condition of the glass. That should all be good before even thinking about this. No sense making lens ergonomics better if the lens isn’t known to be worth using!
Google just launched a new eBookstore containing over 3 million titles (the web’s largest collection of ebooks). What’s neat is that there’s a large number of free — albeit old — photography-related books that enthusiasts might find interesting or educational. Just do a “free only” search with keywords such as “photography” or “camera“.
(via 1001 Noisy Cameras)
Here’s a scan of a Mechanix Illustrated magazine article from 1941 teaching readers how to get creative with their prints by creating “Shadowgraphs”, a technique that uses photographs for photograms:
In reprinting your negative with a shadowgraph border, you first insert the negative into the enlarger film carrier and project the image on the easel. With the red safety filter in position, place the printing paper on the easel and lay your shaving props directly on the printing paper, arranging them in neat order around the center of interest. Expose for one-third the normal time after which, without moving the paper, shift the positions of the razor blades slightly, and then expose for the second third of the normal time. The last third of the exposure is given with all the props removed from the paper.
Sadly (not maybe not), in the modern world of photography adding ghostly paper clips and razor blades to photos is no longer in vogue. Check out the full article here with more example photos.
Remember the 102-year-old lens experiment we shared a week ago? Daire Quinlan did something similar — he combined his grandfather’s 6×9 Pocket Kodak lens from 1920 (90 years ago) with homemade bellows to create his own tilt-shift lens to play with. Unlike Timur Civan, who used his 102-year-old lens on a 5D Mark II, Quinlan used his frankenlens with a Nikon film camera.
Photographer Timur Civan had a project that required vintage-looking photographs. Originally planning to shoot the project on a 4×5 large format camera, he abandoned that route after calculating the cost for equipment and processing. His lens technician friend then discovered a 1908 Wollensak 35mm F5.0 Cine-Velostigmat hand-cranked lens in a box of spare parts, and spent 6 hours helping him make the lens fit on an EF mount for Civan’s 5D Mark II.