Half frame cameras had their heyday in the 1960s, driven in large part by the cameras designed by Olympus. Olympus produced many excellent half frame cameras, the most sought after of which is arguably the Pen FT. But some of their compacts were pretty darn nice too. Take the Pen D series, which were noted for their fast lenses. This Pen D2 has a 32mm f1.9 lens on it. Couple that with a CDS meter that takes a 625 battery (always remember to check that the meter is calibrated for the modern 1.5 volt batteries) and all manual exposure and you have a very versatile little pocket camera that gets the most out of a roll of film.⠀ ⠀ Want to really impress (or annoy) your friends with your pedantic (or maybe it should be “pen”dantic) photo trivia knowledge? Present the argument that half frame isn't actually half frame. The 18x24mm format is the full frame cine format and far predates the 24x36mm format that Oskar Barnack is credited for popularizing with his Leica cameras. Perhaps we should be referring to today's cameras as "double format"? We're just kidding on this last part.⠀ ⠀ This Pen D2 is just now hitting our shelves, and if history is any indicator, it won't hang around for long. So if you need a solid pocket camera that really stretches those rolls of 35mm film out, get on this. Also, don't forget that we like to print half frame as diptychs, which can be a lot of fun if you bear this in mind while planning out your shots. Link in our bio (PS-It has now sold)
Do we have a great rainy day suggestion for you (except now it’s totally sunny in Portland). One of our favorite activities when the weather is not encouraging of outdoor expeditions is to grab cup of coffee or tea and our favorite photo book and settle down for some extended perusal of great photography. It is a wonderful way of feeding your imagination and expanding your perspectives.⠀ ⠀ Specifically, we would recommend the latest issue of LensWork that just hit our shelves. LensWork always has worthwhile photography and some good essays but the latest issue is particularly great because it features the work of a photographer we know (and you likely do as well) quite well. Portland photographer and philosopher Austin Granger has a portfolio of his black and white images from Eastern Washington featured. Seeing as how you are reading this on Instagram, there is a good chance you already follow Austin since he prolifically shares his photos here @granger_the_photographer. But if you are not familiar with him, we definitely recommend bringing him into your radar. But even better than following him on social media is picking up a physical, tangible collection of his work. This issue of LensWork is a great place to start. We'll even give you a link for our web store in our bio.
The history of the Spartus Folding 127 camera is really not that different from a number of other, similarly inexpensive camera lines produced in the United States between 1930-1960. ⠀ ⠀ The Spartus Corporation was originally owned by a businessman by the name of Jack Galter whose focus was on clocks and razors. He eventually bought the Utility Manufacturing Company in New York that was producing cheap cameras and moved it to Chicago and started mass producing simple, molded cameras. One of the lines the Spartus Corp. turned out was the Spartus camera, of which there are several types. The camera we see the most often is the Spartus Full-Vue, a basic TLR camera similar to the Kodak Duaflex.⠀ ⠀ But we recently turned up this Spartus Folding Camera which is one of their few 127 format cameras. It is simple, but pretty in its way, especially with its original box. Better yet, 2018 was the year when we saw 127 film again become a viable format with the introduction of Rera Pan 400 and the return of both Rera Chrome 127 slide film and the Rollei Crossbird 127, which is also a slide film but not a terribly good one so they market it for cross-processing.⠀ ⠀ We are always a bit taken by these cheap, mass-produced art deco-styed cameras. A camera doesn't have to be expensive to be fun or loved.⠀ ⠀ While you will find all this 127 film over on our new website, you won't find this Spartus camera there. It is not officially in our inventory (the brutal economics of it not being of sufficient retail value to warrant the time it would take to put it into inventory) but rather just hanging out on display til someone is sufficiently intrigued enough to make a modest offer on it, and then it will head off to a new home.
Regardless of the language we use as our native tongue there are things we all share in common. Take a love for the analog photographic process. Whether you say film is not dead or плёнка не умерла, on a certain level we all know what we mean. We recently got four different emulsions of the Silberra film in stock. We came across Silberra late last year when they were running an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds to build a large volume film manufacturing process in St. Petersburg, Russia. They have been quietly active for several years it seems doing small batch production of film and developing chemicals, as well as running photography classes for photographers. We reached out at the time and they kindly sent us some sample film to try out, which we enjoyed using. Since then we have kept in contact and they recently asked us if we would like to order some of their stock. Of course we said yes. We love film and we especially love getting in new films.⠀ ⠀ Thanks to the wonders of the Russian postal service it took almost three months for the film to arrive but it finally did. And when it came in we just so happened to have a Cyrillic typewriter (and we still do) to pair the film up with. So yes, плёнка не умерла. If you are interested in trying some of this Silberra film, better do so soon. We're not sure how long our stock will last and it is going to be a while longer before we get resupplied. We only have 35mm at the moment, but we have four different emulsions to try: Orta 50 (a 50 ISO ortho film), Ultima 160, U200 and Cine 74N+ (a 400 ISO cinema film). Check out Silberra's website where they have more info, sample images and developing times. And then hop over to our new website (link in our bio) where you can now buy a roll of this film with just the click of a button!⠀ ⠀
This is the first shot on the roll of Ektar 100. And I’m sure I’ve said it before but Kodak’s Ektar 100 120 is hands down my favorite medium color film stock. I love the colors and it’s never disappointed me. The Thunderbird Lodge has definitely seen better days but the sign is fantastic! Before 1912, there was no cross country route. The Lincoln Highway became Americas first main street named after Abraham Lincoln. It connected San Francisco to New York City. The Lincoln travels right thru Laramie Wyoming and I’m sure the Thunderbird Lodge was glorious in its day. I-80 is the modern incarnation of the Lincoln. Running 120 film thru the Brownie Target 616 has some light leaks. I’ll continue to work on this. But in a way I like it. #thunderbirdlodge#ektar100#filmphotographyproject#brownietargetsix16#lincolnhighway#bluemooncamera
For 2019 I will try to organize my work flow and figure out a plan to develop and organize my photos. With that said, I brought out my Brownie Target Six-16 to Laramie. I’m not a fan of reworking 616 or 116 to 120. It’s annoying. Which is odd because I do some complicated experiments. But I do have a few of these in my arsenal. So I loaded this one 616 with 120 and shot 4 shots. This is from my sister and brother in-laws backyard. I left the shutter open for 10 hours and might of set my alarm to late. Sunrise is 7:26 and I closed the shutter at 6:30. And I think it was around 2° to -4° The coldest and highest I’ve ever been let alone shoot film. Elevation is 7,165. #ektar100#brownietargetsix16#startrails#filmphotographyproject#bluemooncamera
Mmmm Bergger.... aaahhhrrrhhhh.⠀ ⠀ Enjoy this bite of humor. We made this image during our recent closure when we needed a little humor break from the stress, labor and tedium of installing new inventory software and website.⠀ ⠀ But hey! We have Bergger back in stock (in 120) and you can buy it on our brand new website (link in bio).⠀
Just in case you missed our announcement yesterday (and because it is important enough to repeat) yesterday saw the launching of our new website! This has been a project three years in the making (don't ask) but we're excited to finally see it live and running. ⠀ ⠀ Other than a massive makeover, our website now has a complete virtual storefront. That's right, no more browsing our inventory via a long, tedious text list followed by e-mail inquiries of anything you were interested in. Now you can actually see each item - yes, we photographed each individual piece - and immediately buy anything that you decide you cannot live without. It's exciting. It's a big step for us. It is a great (or dangerous) opportunity for you.⠀ ⠀ So go check it out. There is a link in our bio. Let us know what you think, the great and the not-so-great. We are sure we'll have to iron out a few wrinkles and there is plenty that we had to put off til phase two. But we are thrilled to be able to share our new virtual home with you.⠀
Today is the culmination of the last three years of work as a contractor for @bluemooncamera. I’ve been building a custom inventory management and point of sale system for them from the ground up, as well as a custom e-commerce website with real-time inventory for their full store stock. It’s been a ton of work and is probably the largest system I’ve built in my 22 years in this business. It’s simultaneously a huge relief and a huge spike of anxiety watching it all released into the wild and keeping an eye on the real-time user stats. But overall, it’s pretty damn rewarding to see it all come together and to see the staff and customers appreciating it. Here’s to New Years and new tech to ring it in. #softwaredevelopment#laravel#vuejs#php#amazonwebservices#quasarframework#filmphotography#analogphotography#bluemooncamera#bluemooncameraandmachine
Hooray! Re-opening day for us here at Blue Moon Camera. We have been closed down the past few days while we have installed new inventory and point-of-sale software. This has made it necessary for us to go through our entire inventory, auditing it and transferring it one camera or lens at a time over to the new system. Even more exciting, with this new system comes a new website! Check it out, we have it linked in our bio right now.⠀ ⠀ The new website offers an immense upgrade over our old site both in terms of cosmetics as well as functionality. The biggest addition is going to be our new on-line shop where you can browse our entire inventory, see photos of each piece of equipment and buy anything you want with just the click of a button. We're pretty excited to finally have this up and running. It means that in the future, when we feature cameras from our inventory here (like this RB67) we can give you a link straight to it on our shop. We get a lot of interest regarding the equipment we feature and a lot of you want to adopt the cameras you see here, but the process has been a bit roundabout thus far. Well, no longer. ⠀ ⠀ We were tossing around which camera to feature with today's post about the new website. We knew we wanted a photo with an array of inventory in the background but couldn't quite pin down which camera to be the headliner. Know why we chose the RB67 over a Hasselblad, or Leica or even Minox? In part it is because the Mamiya RB67 is an incredible camera that constantly seems to get overshadowed by its more famous medium format brethren. But this particular Mamiya got the nod because it belongs to a longtime customer of ours who first started visiting us years ago when he was just getting started on his photographic journey. This Mamiya was his first "real" film camera and we have watched him grow with it over the years. Now he works mostly in 4x5 and because of that he brought his Mamiya in for consignment with us. He is
As you read this, our shop will be closed up for business while we implement some new electronic infrastructure and roll out a new website. So the bad news is you cannot jump over and buy either this Fuji 6x9 or any of the fun 120 film that we have surrounded it with. The good news is that you don't have to worry about being tempted with gear acquisition syndrome... for one more day at least.⠀ ⠀ We made this image because we actually had three of these Fuji 6x9 rangefinders in (we're now down to just this one) and we also have such a good selection of medium format films in stock. We recently got resupplied with Bergger Pancro and wanted to celebrate that but then thought to ourselves, "just look at all these fun 120 films". And this is just a slice of that pie. We have several other Rollei, Adox, Foma, Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji films. It's true, that selection has narrowed in some ways over the past decade but in other ways it has really expanded.⠀ ⠀ So while you are safe from temptation today, we'll be back open come tomorrow, January 3rd, and then you can think about giving this Fuji 6x9 rangefinder a new home, and with it all sorts of flavors of 120 roll film to go in it. We'd recommend picking up a roll of the Bergger Pancro, along with the JCH Street Pan and Cinestill 800T.