I read about a Chinese folding camera, the Hongmei HG1, that shoots 6×6 negatives (the same as my beloved Holga) on the “from digital to analogue” blog. The difference between this camera and the Holga is that it uses a glass lens and gives you some control over the shutter speed and aperture. What it doesn’t give you is a view thru the lens so you can tell if it’s in focus or not. Instead it has a dial you can change the focus distance on and hope it’s pretty close, which this camera seems to be. Anyways, I picked one up on Ebay and paid $34 for it and the shipping to come here to Slower Delaware. Think about that for a minute. Whoda thunk you could by something from a flea market half way around the globe and have it delivered in a few weeks, 30 years ago. I digress.
I took it out shooting the other day and had fun with it. You really have to slow down with these cameras. You have to set the shutter speed and aperture, then set the focus, then cock the shutter and fire it. So, it takes a little more to shoot with it.
I had an issue with the film not rolling onto the take up spool as tightly as it should and a few scratches on the negatives that I’ll have to work out, but overall, I’m pretty happy with it.
And, for the record, I hate the Arista.edu premium film I used for this roll. It’s a cheap, relabeled film made for the Freestylephoto.com and well… it’s a pain in the butt. After developing it re-winds itself nice and tight again. Most films will lay pretty flat after developing and drying. Not this stuff.
I digress, again.
Here are a few photos from the first roll through it here in the US.