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Lavendar Through Older Lenses

It took me over a year to write this post. Working with old, sentimental cameras is hard. I took these pictures last July and didn't have the heart to post them until now. Why? Because they're not perfect. At least, that's the best explanation I can come up with for them. It's a sad day when a camera is no longer useful. And, somehow, I didn't want those cameras to end that way. However, I hope we can find beauty in even their last pictures.


The sun was shiny on a hot afternoon in the middle of the Helvetia Lavendar Festival. Bees were happily swarming and people were sampling lavender treats of all varities.


Picture of a bee about to land on a lavendar stem in the foreground of a field of lavendar.

I brought 5 cameras with me that day. One was my usual Canon camera, modern and digital. Second on the list was a small Chiquita Brownie. It looks like little more than a plain, black box. Next up was a Spartacus Six Twenty. Similiar to a brownie, it's another box-style camera but this one is tall, silver and has a flip-top viewfinder. I brought a newly refurbished Kodak Junior to join in the fun. Last, a sad, beaten Anso Junior was the final camera. This one was missing most of its leather. Would it even still work?


My general philosophy is to take pictures with the older cameras as well as the newer one for comparison later. I don't always remember to take pictures with all of the cameras, though, especially if pulled away by the giggling of children or the splashing of ducks. Speaking of ducks, the brownie captured those quick-moving birds with no problems.



The brownie only took 7 shots. While it failed at anything too close, it did surpisingly well at the scenic shots. This is a camera the needs to be taken out again and tested with color film.


The Kodak Junior surprised me by doing poorly. Previous Kodaks had proved their longevity, but not this one. Light came streaming into the camera, leaving streaks of faux ghosts across every picture save one.



Despite capturing the essence of this treehouse, this camera had reached the end of its life. Will I get rid of it? No. I can still appreciate its beauty, even if I don't use it again. I thought a similar fate was in store for the little Ansco. Yet, as we heard as children, you should never judge a book by its cover. The Ansco took some of the best photos that day, capturing the lavendar fields in ancient color.



Just for fun, I found the shot from my Canon that was most similar in location for comparison.


Given that the inside of this camera works so well, I am making an attempt at fixing the outside.


Lastly, the Spartacus was the wild card of the bunch. This camera had a handicap, however. When I was cleaning it (of which it needed little), I discovered this particular camera still HAD film in it. So, I used the film that was in there. I have no idea how old it was or who put it in there. Was it my Dad? Or perhaps an owner even before that? No previous photos had been taken. I ended up with a fascinating watercolor effect when the photos were developed.


Without knowing if the result is from the camera or from the film, the Spartacus will get a second field trip in the future. It appears there is a small light leak, but I'll find out for sure on future adventures.


I don't know why I dreaded this post. These pictures are out here now, a new beginning for some cameras and a final hurray for others.

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