I’ve been craving something wee little in the camera line for a while – I got 400′ of very expired pan-x transparency film a while back – so I’ve been on the hunt for sub mini 16mm camera’s – to begin with I was fantasizing about the fancy wee ones – which is prolly a hang over from a crush I had on Sean Connery I had as a girl (hey! I was young).
Eventually I managed to find a couple of rolls of 110 – one in a camera from an op shop and the other came with a camera from an internet auction – neither camera worked – so the cartridges cost me $5-10 each in essence. Armed with these I learned to open the cartridges and how to load 16mm cine film into the cartridges – I’ve hand loaded the last 50 – 60 35mm rolls I’ve used, so this wasn’t too daunting (I really should get a daylight loading reel some day).
Thus my search refined itself to 110 camera’s – after 3 non functioning clunkers (including a little metal fuji which is beautiful, solid, practical, and I hope I can fix sooner or later) I managed to get a hanimex VEF2 which sorta works. Of course i have my eye on some terrible plastic pieces of crap too 😀
It jams every 2-3 frames – which I found my way around – I have to wind it on with the lens facing me and when it comes to pressing the shutter release I have to jab it like grandma. To be fair the problem is caused by the frame spacing on movie film being about 1/3rd the size of what it was designed for.
Anyhow, I’ve just finished developing and scanning the first roll – I under developed it drastically – perhaps I should have looked the times up ‘before’ developing it – I gave it 10 min – the dev guide said 17.5 min for my dev technique. Anyhow…
The first frame – I literally don’t have to leave the house to get this – thus it’s my current calibration shot (for some reason cabbage trees seen to occur frequently as calibration shots in my neg files).
I had a few episodes like this caused by my forgetting to wind on three times between frames, forgetting to cover the lens when I did, and random camera jams – I think I’m starting to get the hang of this now though.
This is the reason I hate the neg savers that I’m currently using – I just popped the 16mm into a 35 neg file – these files come on a roll, cost nothing (well I didn’t pay thankfully) and seem to tear quite often – they’re also a magnet for dust. This dust is all on the outside of the neg file – I forgot to wipe it down before the first scan.
You might not be able to see clearly – but in this neg I’ve under developed by probably 2 stops or more, thus they’re really low contrast, and it’s from a 10mm high negative – but you can make out all of the power lines easily – and there’s no appreciable grain at all – this camera has a remarkably sharp lens for a fixed focus point and shoot. The film has a base fog caused by age and bad storage i guess – it’s perfectly acceptable right now – less than the tint of a regular neg – I’m hoping it doesn’t come up when I push the next neg.
The Hanimex VEF2 came with a dedicated flash which won’t work with any other camera (I got the whole kit including the shop display box – though sadly no extra films) The batteries go into the camera and then the flash – which is tiny and weighs nothing kinda locks onto the end with a Frankenstein style ‘throw switch’, the flash unfortunately sucks – it’s okay for myspace style self portraits (at 2’8″), but beyond that it falls off remarkably quickly – which can be an interesting effect.