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Ten, Eleven, Crap - or Using Underperformer Cameras Part Four (Bilora, Felica, Belco)

No. 10: Bilora 44

Will I get that dreamy medium format/Lomo look, finally?

I wanted a horizontally winding 127-format camera to use with my AGFA ASP 400S film. I. e. using unsprocketed 35 mm film to keep the costs down while still getting large near-127 format negatives (or positives). The photos shown here are exposed on 127-format Rera Pan though.

The exposures are square sized 4x4 centimeters, hence the name.

This is a really simple camera which you expose with shutter speeds at 1/50th and 1/100th of a second, and B(ulb) mode along with a stepless aperture control from f/8 to 16.

Focusing is made choosing symbols displayed on the lens. I am glad there is manual focusing. Cameras this simple would often have fixed focus, much like a box camera. The manual settings enables me to play around with depth of field which makes for more exciting results.

The Bella's shutter button is situated in a position which easily causes camera shake in low light.

No. 11: Felica Vredeborch

Will I get that dreamy...


It's almost the epitome of a 1950s simple point-and-shoot camera in medium format. All plastic and few features.

But what can I say? It doesn't at all need much light, when you use a fast film. You can set the focus yourself. And the lens is sharper than I expected. This is a surprise.


Shutter times are B, 1/25th and 1/50th of a second. Aperture is most probably f/8 and f/16. And there is an integral yellow filter if you want to get even less light onto the negative.


I am almost disappointed. I thought that the lens would be crappy. Focus only in the middle, you know. But this is a very good lens (!) - no dark corners. At least it renders good away from direct sunlight where it gets a bit 'foggy'.

My search for the best bad camera will continue...

No. 12: Belco

An tiny old French-produced aluminium point-and-shoot in the true sense of the word. Not dreamy exposures... nightmarish!

This camera takes 127 film and exposes 4x4 cm photos. It has one shutter speed, one aperture setting and no focusing options.

The film didn't stay plain/flat inside the camera. Maybe the lens distorted the exposures. I don't know. There are scratches and spots and blotches on the film. It's not due to the development so must come from the camera.

This is more like a collector's item, but nothing I'll consider use again.

One last photo.


Thanks for reading this post! Don't hesitate to comment, and check out my Instagram at #ourbooksmalmo. Visit my Etsy shop getOurBooks where there are cameras aplenty to choose from.


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