Monday, October 7, 2013

Newest Toy

During my recent imprisonment (in the brace), when I was very depressed and absurdly bored, I found myself one day my favorite local thrift store. I wandered around a bit, but I'm not in the market for furniture or mismatched dishes (anymore), so I hadn't found anything of interest. (I am still trying to figure out who buys half used candles, and not even nice ones, but what's life without some mystery.)

As I was leaving the store I passed one of the locked cases and glanced inside. And saw antique cameras. There were a couple of not quite antique SLRs, but hidden within were a Kodak Brownie Reflex and, what I have since learned, a Kodak Baby Brownie (I'm kicking myself for leaving that one behind).

I was in a weakened state. I had $5 in my pocket. I'm a sucker for black bakelite with chrome accents.

Welcome Home
I brought it home.

This is officially my oldest camera, beating the Duaflex II by nearly a decade. It's older than both my mom and dad. And I think it hadn't been cleaned since it came out of the box back in the early 1940s.

Despite my infirmity, I got out my camera cleaning kit.

It's not a very fancy kit, but it's remarkably effective. Not shown is the lens cleaner and cloth that I pilfered from my desk, which is the best for cleaning the optics (cause if it's good enough for my $600 glasses, it's good enough for a $5 camera).

I started dismantling the camera, paying careful attention to how things came apart so that later I could forget it all and have to puzzle out how to put it back together. I'm so glad I took photos or I'd have a box of camera parts rather than a camera.

The viewing lens was FILTHY.

I fixed that, though it took 3 goes with the cleaners to cut through all the grime.

I couldn't get at the front lens from the inside, like I did in the Duaflex II, so I had to content myself with cleaning it from the outside. It, too, was a travesty of gunk.

I did try to get at the inside, but it is underneath the shutter mechanism. I thought about taking that apart, but decided that in my state of decreased dexterity, it might be better to leave it alone.

So then, using these very photos as a guide, I managed to piece my camera back together, without getting smeary fingerprints all over the lovely clean optics.

I can buy 127mm film, and even get it developed. I just need to find an extra $40 lying around. Maybe it'll be a New Year treat.

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