Monday, 11 August 2008

Girls on film

I find I have been drawing out my birthday over as long a period as humanly possible, and to that end, I will be celebrating at the end of the coming week with a costume party [I will be a flapper, if I can find a cigarette holder]. And I just spent a week in Belgium, enjoying its many shops and birthday-gifting myself. More of that later, when I've photographed what I bought.

Meantime, here is a picture of the unutterably fetching birthday present a close friend gave me yesterday. I am more charmed by it than I can describe. It just remains to be seen whether I can find the requisite 4x4 127 film [some places in Canada still make it...?], flashbulb and funny looking flash battery and capacitator. If not, it will just be the prettiest ornament I ever did see.

Beautiful, beautiful 1958 Sawyer's Mark IV twin lens reflex camera. You open the top and look down into the camera, and out through the top lens [the bottom takes the photo]. Sawyer's was the American branded version - it's basically a Japanese camera, otherwise known as the Primo Jr.

I can't find a picture of the superb flash unit, but it's basically a version of the below, except not Ricoh - Sawyer's, like the camera.

The camera and flash unit come prettily housed in brown leather cases. I'd so love to request a photopass for a generic indie gig, turn up in the photopit with this and catch the looks on the pro photographers' faces. They'd be pitched somewhere between "WHAA" and "LOL".

For now I will put it next to my old Russian Zenit camera and let them pose it out in a walk-off. Zenit can be Stiller, and my Mark IV baby can be Wilson.


Make Do and Mend said...

You have been on a birthday massive! Have a look on ebay ref the film for the camera - you'd be amazed!

enc said...

That's a beautiful old camera. I never had the guts to use one of those.

Kurtay said...


You will not believe but I also got a TLR, mine is 6x6 120cm film which is available still. Love it!!! So cool and takes lovely photos.

Let's shoot a story together.


Charponnaise said...

That sounds like a smashing idea! Though you'll have to do the shooting, I haven't begun to figure out how to use this little beastie yet, nor do I have any film for it yet....

jamie said...

Hey, Charponnaise,
I just dug my old Sawyer Twin Lens Reflex camera out of storage, did a quick google...and stumbled right into your blogsite!
A friend gave me the camera a couple of years ago, and I figured the film (127?) was no longer available...but some friends who I have met recently are TLR enthusiasts, and have tipped me off that the film is - good news - still in least here in Toronto.
I've tagged along with them as we infiltrate massive, derelict warehouses...while they wander silently around with their tripods, I play a bit on my flute, recording for my Urban Flute Project.
Their fab photos can be viewed at:
Love your site!