Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chaika Leica

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. Unless you adapt the lens or - in this case - the camera (mount)! 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 L

Lomo-Modd-Orama

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! Mount 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 Smena 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 Gr

Putting Rollfilm in a Pack-Film Camera - My Adventures in Packfilm Part 2

This is my Polaroll! A combinaton of Polaroid packfilm camera and rollfilm back. The background story of how I got this idea is in My Adventures in Packfilm Part 1 . Part 2 begins with a Polaroid Land 210 and a rollfilm back for an old large format camera. I will illustrate some of the process with this Polaroid Land 104, a model which is practically identical to the 210. 1, 2, 3, 4. The four steps to taking a photo with the Polaroid are molded into the controls. It is not a steady contraption. Battery door to the left, film door to the right. This is where you load your packfilm cassette, containing 10 exposures. The lens is a 144 mm f/8,8 lens. The battery required for the camera to work is a 3 volt. It is easy to convert the power to different 3 v sources. This one battery is a 3 v CR3 (?) with the wires just taped to the contacts with electricians's tape. The hinge and connection of the film door to the body.