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….