Summer holidays in France means for me taking an odd camera out of the cupboard in my parents house. I must say I am always tempted to take the Dacora Digna which gives me quite some quite consistent results. Its lack of settings, its Lomo / Holga style rendering (yes but a Free vintage Holga mind you) always make it for interesting results.
Le Cabanon de la Plage is an extremely nice good restaurant with an amazing setting on the border of the beach in La Bocca just outside Cannes on the French Riviera.
I also became partial to using slide film with it. This makes the price per shot quite high indeed but actually I really like what I get in return.
Nice is nice I think “Nice is nice” is part of lyrics of a song, this made us laugh our heads out when we were teenagers.
Finally, a subtle hint of posts to come, picking one one of the “odd” camera was quite challenging this year as I carried from Singapore my beloved Leica M4 and also my new long awaited toy, a pristine M6 Classic black with a Summaron 35mmF2.8.
During last summer holidays my wife looked into an old card-box in the garage and found the Canonet 28 her dad offered her for her 10’s birthday. The camera was still boxed, with the never ready case, strap, manual, guarantee card and a film still engaged.
All looked in perfect condition at the time, but I did not have time to take it for a try and the wife did not want to bring it back to Singapore.
So last month we were back to France for Christmas holidays and I planned carefully to arrived with a roll of Tri-X and an Alkaline battery to make my test. Opening the box a second time was a different experience: the never ready case is very deteriorated, and some joint on the camera door are desaggregating as well. The battery contact shows some corrosion but my father in law was clever enough to remove the old battery before packing the camera. All in all the camera is in good shape, but bought in 1975 and packed probably since the middle of the 80’s (30 years ago), it is not in pristine condition.
After cleaning the contacts, I loaded the battery and the roll of film and the meter start moving when the aperture ring is set to auto mode. I went though the documentation but could not get the meter to give me a speed indication when I select the aperture manually; so all the shots are done in full auto mode.
Results are quite good I think. Quite good contrast if not sharp. There is a few limitations ISO is limited to 25 to 400 range and speed from 1/30th to 1/600th. When it is getting dark, the camera will take pictures at 1/30th F2.8 which cause some motion blur or under exposure. Focusing is easy and seems quite accurate.
I saw the fence and just thought about Geoff Dyer’s book “The ongoing moment” that I am finishing at the moment. He makes a relationship between a 1916 shot of a fence by Paul Strand and a far later picture by Michael Ormerod echoing to it. And here I am in the next century, 100 years later indeed, in front of the fence… really I have no shame
And now for those who read carefully the start of the post. What of the film that was engaged in the camera? This was Konika SR-V 100 color print film; manufacture in the late 80’s; so this is probably expired for 20 odd years. I rolled it back carefully, loaded it in the Nikon F3 and shot it at 50ISO and brought it to the lab… absolutely nothing was shown on the negs when I collected them. Too bad….
Last month I went to the “Carnaval de Nice” with the Hassie and the second roll of Rollei Digibase CR200.
Nice is just 30 km from my hometown of Cannes, but this is just the second time in my life (about 48 years) that I go there. I have an excuse because I have been away since 1985. I went with my son Noé who also made some nice pics with his Coolpix.
Not so easy to catch action with the Hasselblad, I was also not very well positioned so there is a bit of back-light. I still think this film is great; the colors are very realistic and it is quite relaxed regarding exposition.
This is a lucky year for the Digna, not only did he get to shoot a roll of slides at Christmas but as I was recently on holidays back home I did 2 more rolls with it. 3 rolls in a year this is unseen for this little camera that I use on for holidays.
What I like the best is what I call the “Lomo effect”, the little distortion of the picture that make it a bit more interesting. So these are just holidays snaps, with this little extra.
Pictures are done with KodakPortra 160 and Kodak Ektar 100 all shot at 100ISO.
One of the first films in Cafenol; nice harbor under July mid-day sun. I’ve been walking around nice with the Hassie and the d700+17-35 for the last two hours, I definitely looked like a sweaty tourist. This is the last shot of the film, I put a Portra in just after and make a couple of very similar shots.. maybe another post tomorrow?