Arlesheim, Basel-Landschaft (BL), Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera/Switzerland

[1984 Nikon FE2 SLR 35-mm roll film camera, s/n 1816483, with Nikkor AI 50-mm f/1.8 lens, s/n 2336591, and 52-mm polarizing filter;
Kodak Ektar 125 (Kodak 5101 | Ektar 125-1) 36-exposure colour negative film]

© Copyright photograph by Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, November 1991

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Cameras

There are four cameras I have owned and used over the years. 

In the summer of 1975, a couple of months before my thirteenth birthday, I purchased a Rolleiflex 4x4 Baby Rolleiflex “Sport”, Model 4RF 430, TLR camera at a local garage sale. I have no record of its serial number. They were produced between June 1938 and February 1941, serial numbers from approximately 622.000 to 733.000. It was black, came in its well-worn brown leather case with strap, but no accessories and no manual. This model had a Zeiss Jena Tessar 60-mm f/2.8 taking lens, a Heidoscop Anastigmat 60-mm f/2.8 finder lens, a Compur Rapid, 1–1/500 sec., T & B, shutter, and used 4x4 film, Type 127 (A8). Film transportation was done by a winding lever with a red window for the first exposure, on the back of the camera, and a counter window for exposures 2 to 12. A single lever under the taking lens both cocked and released the shutter. The back displayed a depth of field scale and exposure guide. It had a blank film pressure plate and a sports hood with a pop-up magnifier. My camera was obviously well used with care as everything still functioned just fine. Just the removable plug over the red window was missing. I believe I paid $5.00 for it at the time, likely quite a bit for a pre-teen with no allowance, saving money from collecting pop and beer bottles in roadside ditches and delivering The Times Colonist newspaper in a local trailer park. I purchased it from a former Koksilah Elementary school principal. It taught me the basics of photography. I took many photographs with this camera, mostly of airplanes at the local annual Duncan Fly-In at the Duncan Airstrip off Langtry Road, up the hill from our house on Koksilah Road, south of Duncan, Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, and on most of the events with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, 744 Cowichan Squadron, such as gliding at Nanaimo Airport at Cassidy, Vancouver Island, B.C., summer camp for Basic Training at CFB Penhold near Red Deer, Alberta, and a few field trips to NAS (Naval Air Station) Whidbey Island near Oak Harbor, Washington, USA and the Boeing 747 factory at Paine Field, Everett, Washington. I can not remember what happened to this camera.

In about 1978 or 1979 I had an Agfamatic 100 viewfinder camera given to me by my maternal grandmother, Ottilie Dapprich, who immigrated to Canada from Westdeutschland in 1977. I commonly used Agfa Agfacolor Special CNS 126 20 DIN/80 ASA 20-exposure colour negative film. I used it primarily for photgraphs of airplanes at the local annual Duncan Fly-In. Only a handful of the aviation photographs from the Baby Rolleiflex and the Agfamatic have survived. I can not remember what happened to most of these photos.

Sometime before graduating Grade 12 in June 1981, I started using my father’s Kodak Retina IIIS, rather heavy and very solid. I eventually inherited the 1959 Kodak Retina IIIS  rangefinder 35-mm camera, s/n 86125 (my father bought it new from the factory in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Westdeutschland where his sister Raphaela worked for a couple of years assembling these cameras). I still have the Retina in my possession to this day. It is due for an extensive cleaning and servicing. It still takes pictures but has become somewhat stiff in its use. It sports a Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 50-mm f/1.9 Synchro-Compur lens, s/n 6841319, and still has its original brown leather case, albeit the strap broke in the 1980s in Switzerland and was replaced with a wider generic aftermarket cloth strap. I also have the original manual in German, in well-used condition, but my father did not purchase any other lenses for it nor any accessories. The camera fell when the original strap broke, about four feet onto a dusty hiking trail in the Vaudois mountains. As a result, the lens received a dent at the rim, but no internal damage. I still took many good photographs with it until I purchased the Nikon FE2 in August 1985, from the proceeds of the 1968 Chevrolet Nova four-door sedan my parents had sold on my behalf the previous year.

On a four-week visit home from Camphill Perceval in St-Prex, Vaud, Switzerland, to my hometown of Duncan, I purchased a 1984 Nikon FE2 SLR 35-mm camera, s/n 1816483, with a Nikkor AI 50-mm f/1.8 lens, s/n 2336591, and a 52-mm polarizing filter, and added a Tamron AE 80–210-mm f/3.8~4 CF Tele-Macro Compact Zoom (Model 103A) Adaptall-2 lens with a 62-mm polarizing filter, and a camera bag, all three items I no longer have, and a shutter cable and tripod, both of which I still use. Its previous owner was a local professional photographer who rarely used the camera. It came, rather oddly, with a manual in French, which I still also have and can read, as I am fluent in French. It has never had a repair, only a couple of cleanings, in its 26 years. But now, since a few weeks ago, the A (automatic) setting no longer functions. All other functions are still good. It will need to be repaired for the first time in its life.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stephan--a word of caution--do not take any pictures of your father-in-law as it will damage the camera. Your mother-in-law, on the otherhand is a beautiful subject to photograph.

ikalangitahaja said...

Yeaah, i love old pics, have you more ? they are very interesting, 1923 old.

Andy
http://www.magvoyages.com