Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rolleiflex Automat Model 1, RF 111A

  I had originally planned on sharing a different camera in my collection, but due to my excitement over today's acquisition, I am sharing with you my vintage Rolleiflex Automat Model 1, RF 111A TLR medium format camera, produced from 1937-1939 by Franke & Heideck, Braunschweig, Germany.

Rolleiflex Automat Model 1, RF 111A
Rolleiflex Automat Model 1, RF 111A

I was browsing around online for vintage cameras and I came across this Rolleiflex locally for a very decent price.. much less than it would have cost me on eBay, although I had to pay almost double the seller's asking price so that he would deliver it to me.   I'm very happy that everything is in working order and that this Rolleiflex is fully operational, although the internal mirror needs to be replaced because the silver is flaking, although that won't affect image quality if I ever get my hands on some 120 film.

Initially I was ecstatic, hoping this Rolleiflex was one of those that go for big bucks on eBay, but no, that's not the case, but at least I got it for a good deal less than it would have cost me on eBay.

Unfortunately I am now flat broke and can not buy the Russian cameras I had on my eBay watch list.  I'm used to that, lol..  I love old cameras and want so many others, but just can't afford them.  I can't wait until yard sales start and hope to score some nice finds.

I'm seriously contemplating on selling much of my Asian art and antiques in order to buy more cameras, even though I shouldn't.. yes.. I'm addicted to this I think.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Argus C3 Rangefinder, "The Brick"

The Argus C3 was a low-priced rangefinder camera mass-produced from 1939 to 1966 by Argus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. The camera sold about 2 million units, making it one of the most popular cameras in history. Due to its shape, size, and weight, it is commonly referred to as "The Brick" by photographers (in Japan its nickname translates as "The Lunchbox"). The most famous 20th-century photographer who used it was Tony Vaccaro, who employed this model during World War II.

Argus C3 Rangefinder, "The Brick" Fine Art Photo by Lita Kelley
Argus C3 Rangefinder, "The Brick".  Fine art photo by Lita Kelley.

Fine art prints of my original photograph of the Argus C3 are available for purchase here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Yellow Ihagee Exacta Varex VX w/ A.Schacht Travegon f/3.5 35mm lens

As I previously mentioned in my first post, I was bored one day and decided to photograph my small collection of antique and vintage cameras.  I didn't want to just take pictures of the cameras like the millions of other photos of cameras found everywhere else on the web..  No, I wanted to do something different.  I wanted to create beautiful, interesting and artistic photographs of my vintage cameras, so I set up my lights and put a yellow flower next to my Ihagee Exacta Varex VX and proceeded to photograph this beautiful work of art.  Yes, I think the Ihagee Exacta Varex VX is a work of art.
Yellow Ihagee Exacta Varex VX, v4.1, 1951 w/ A.Schacht Travegon f/3.5 35mm lens
Yellow Ihagee Exacta Varex VX, v4.1, 1951 w/ A.Schacht Travegon f/3.5 35mm lens

This yellow Ihagee Exacta Varex VX w/ A.Schacht Travegon f/3.5 35mm lens was the first one I photographed, and you can buy a print of my photo here.    I loved how it turned out and continued to photograph more cameras from my vintage camera collection, and found it very rewarding.

I once saw a photo of a yellow Argus camera and my first reaction was "I want one.. it's so cute".  Yes, I like yellow, and so, when I saw this yellow Ihagee Exacta Varex VX listed on eBay, I bought it, because it looks so cool and interesting to me... I never saw anything like this before, and it was yellow.    Unfortunately, it was listed without a lens, a common practice for fleabayers.  Virtually every single seller on eBay that exclusively sells photography related stuff cannabalizes the cameras, selling the lenses and bodies separately.  I don't know about you, but I freaking hate that... and yes, I still want a yellow Argus.

So, right after I clicked the buy it now button and paid for it, I went searching for an Exacta mount lens for it.  At the time, I was more interested in having a complete camera than actually using the camera to take photographs with it, because the camera was listed "as is, for parts or repair" and I wasn't sure what issues it may have once it arrived, and lenses can be expensive, and being a poor person, I looked for the cheapest possible Exacta mount lens I could find and found the A.Schacht Travegon f/3.5 35mm lens for a buy it now price of only $5.    Unfortunately it's a poor condition lens with heavy pitting on the front glass element, which is fine with me for the moment, because I don't like my cameras not having lenses on them, so, hopefully someday I'll find a nice lens for my Ihagee Exacta Varex VX, because it is in complete working condition.   The only flaw, other than the lens, would be the yellow leatherette, as you can see in the photo, it has little bubbles in it.  I'm convinced it might be due to someone replacing the original leatherette with the yellow one.

Anyway, when I can afford to, I will shop for a lens and get some film and try some shooting with this.  As of this posting, it is my favorite camera in my collection of antique and vintage cameras.   I love the look of many of the East German and Soviet cameras of the cold war era.  I find them to be the most interesting and visually appealing.  

Vintage Ihagee Exacta Varex VX ad, 1952
Vintage Ihagee Exacta Varex VX ad, 1952
Before I wrote this post, I spent some time reading about the history of not only the Exacta Varex VX, but of Ihagee Dreseden itself and I find it all fascinating...  While browsing around I found this vintage advertisement for the Ihagee Exacta Varex VX

Since I mentioned Argus, my next post will be my Argus C3/