I put my mitts on an Agfa Isomat-Rapid camera. It is (yet another) a camera which uses a now obsolete 35 mm film cassette format - the Rapid. Back in the day you would purchase a film cassette - in appearance much alike the common 35 mm one - which fit into the Rapid system cameras produced by several brands. The film cassette has a peg which tells the camera which ISO/ASA the film is to be exposed at. So you didn't need to keep track of that when loading the camera. In the camera there is also a take-up cassette which collects the exposed film. It is the take-up cassette - which also can be reloaded - that is handed over to the lab for developing.
I use the camera mainly with the intention of using it as a cheaper testing/trial camera for square format composition, which usually is the standard for 120-film cameras (middle-format) but is more expensive to buy and develop. Using the Isomat I can expose something like 40 pictures on 35 mm film which I myself load into a feeding cassette. So I would get a lot of practice composing in the square format for a fraction of the cost of using middle format film.
I was rather disappointed by the look of the pictures once I developed the first roll, though. It had nothing to do with composition but of the general look. The pictures just felt cheap and poor in a photographic way. I suppose due to the low quality of the lens but also due to the representation of the colours. All in all they felt like old cheap Instamatic pictures shot from the hip by some older relative on a holiday by the sea. Lesson: I needed to pull myself together and work harder to get something out of this camera!
I started by scanning some of the colour negs in b&w. That felt a bit better. For the next film I upped the ante some, trying to push the lens' capacity some more.
I will excercise my square format capabilites more. Now I've invested in a Bobineuse bulk film loader there are more opportunities than before.
A Lomo Smena 8 camera with a faulty shutter. An Olympus Pen F camera. Part of a microscope adapter for the Pen. That's what I started out with. 45 minutes later I had a new lens!
The mount came off a microscope adapter. I got the adapter from my first (of two) attempts to buy an Olympus Pen F. There seem to be some unscrupolous ebay sellers around peddling useless Pens with microscope adapted prisms. Luckily - in hindsight - I got a microscope adapter with this first Pen. Which I now trashed when a Lomo Smena 8 without a future landed on my doorstep (figuratively speaking).
Conversion / Havoc
I only knew the camera as a half-frame camera [Correction - it's a full frame camera!] called Smena 8 and hadn't thought to place it in Lomography-land until I read the name Lomo on the lens when it was already modded. Unwittingly I had tread the tiles of lomo-dom twice in as many weeks, also having put two rolls through a Praktica CX-1 which appears to be Ground Zero of Lo…
Well, here's a Chaika 2M that I bought from Alex Helios via Instagram.
It's a great full manual viewfinder half-frame camera. The wheel on the top is for shutter time selection, from B to 1/30th to 1/250th of a second. The square button on the front right of the camera is the release/exposure.
The lens mounted on the camera in the picture is not the original Industar-69. The Chaika is a rare model compact camera since the prime lens is detachable. What is more is that it has M39 screw mount. But - like with the Paxette M39 system - you can't get focus with a lens from another M39 system.
The Chaika mount is easily detached from the body by loosening four screws. If I want to mount the Leica thread mount M39 (LTM) lenses on the Chaika - which is my goal with this mod - I have to add 1.3mm to the mount. That is what is needed to change the camera's flange focal distance (FFD) from Chaika system to LTM sys…
That which you see before your eyes are hybrids. They are the concoction of a twisted mind. (Mine.)
The idea sprung to mind while researching the Paxette camera. I learned that it had
exchangeable lenses with M39 screw mount - not compatible with Leica
thread mount (LTM) system M39 lenses, though. The reason they weren't
compatible systems? FFD difference. I.e. Flange Focal Distances
The Paxette body project But! I have another lens with M39 mount that's not
compatible with LTM cameras, I pondered. The Mir-1 which came with the
early Zenit SLRs. I had to use an adapter ring to make it fit my M42
screw mount cameras. What if... So I fit it to the Paxette body.
The exact same screw threads. Then I read up on FFD. The difference between
the Paxette system and the M42 SLR system is 1.46mm apparently. That explains why I
hadn't come across anyone online who claimed to use Paxette lenses on
an SLR. It would be out of focus. On the other hand... Why don…