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Blue Moon Camera and Machine  A passionately analog camera shop in Portland, OR. Now featuring an interview with Chris Gampat on The Codex. See lab work on @bluemooncameralab

There is something reassuring in the consistent, mechanical whirring of a large format leaf shutter. It is a hypnotic sound that is as familiar to some of us as our own heartbeat.

The View-Master Personal Stereo camera. Keepin' it "reel" since 1951. ⠀

In fact, Sawyer's was making View-Master viewers and reels as early as 1939, when their 3D viewer premiered at the New York World's Fair. It was the introduction of this camera in 1951 though that allowed amateur photographers to create their own 3D reels.⠀

And hey, all you Portlanders reading this, go take a walk around Providence Park, particularly the area near SW 20th Place and SW 20 Avenue, for that was the neighborhood that housed the original Sawyer's headquarters before the company moved out to Progress, Oregon in the 1950s. If you would like to experience some neat historical completion, take your View-Master camera with you on that stroll and make a couple of 3D photos.⠀

And if you don't yet have a stereo camera, we have this View-Master coming out on our shelves soon, plus we carry and develop the slide film you'll want to run through it.

Well hello you lovely beast. This is a lens with a bit of a reputation. The Sonnar 180mm f2.8 made by Carl Zeiss was introduced to the world in 1936, just in time for the Berlin Olympics. Since then this lens has undergone a few evolutions, eventually arriving at this fifth version which has multicoatings and only seven aperture blades. This lens is an early example of the Sonnar lens designed, which was used primarily for its ability to create compact lenses with fast apertures, hence the name "Sonnar" which is based off the German word Sonne for "sun". This lens does indeed let in a lot of light for its focal length, it also has wonderful out-of-focus qualities. ⠀

This guy was originally a Pentacon mount (and still is) but sports a Fotodiox Pentacon-EOS adapter so you and your Canon DSLR can have all sorts of fun.

A camera like this Quattro sequence camera, which in rapid fire succession exposes four frames within a traditional 35mm negative, embodies such a fun, goofy, non-serious way of photographing that we think there just might be times where it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.

If you want to delve into some really fascinating camera history, we recommend researching the various lines of Soviet cameras. It will easily eat up an evening... or several weeks of your time. Take this Kiev for example. While some think that Soviet cameras are simply rip-offs of German cameras, the Kiev line was closer to a legal replica than a plagiarized version. That is because the Soviet Union claimed the production lines of the Contax II and III cameras from Germany as part of their war reparations following WWII. After the U.S. shuttled off what parts of Zeiss Ikon they could to West Germany, the SMAD (Soviet Military Administration of Germany) required Carl Zeiss Jena to restart camera production and supply the Soviet Union with personnel, supplies and full production lines. These lines would eventually be established within the company Zavod Arsenal in Kiev, Ukraine. By some accounts, with the training of Zeiss personnel, the early Kiev cameras were of comparably high production value to their Contax counterparts. In fact, early Kiev cameras used parts manufactured in East Germany by Zeiss. As time wore on though, the Soviet Union placed greater emphasis on higher production volume over quality assembling and as original staff that had been trained by Zeiss workers retired, the cameras saw a decline in quality. All that is to say that Kiev rangefinders are better cameras than many think they are, and at the very least have a much more fascinating history than many realize.⠀

And this is just a brief and partial summary of the Kiev camera. If you take the time, read up on the rest of this camera's history. Or look up how the FED cameras got their name. Or read up on the KMZ factory which produced the well-known Zorki line (as well as the Horizont panoramic cameras). There is a lot to delve into with this topic!

Our new workout regimen revolves around large format. For example we have Grandagon curls, shown here, using a Rodenstock 200mm f6.8. Or Sinar deadlifts, using a 4x5 P lifted clean from the ground (use your legs, not your back). We also have retaining ring wrist curls, crunches using the bag of film holders on your chest for resistance. We’ll have all of us large format photographers in great shape in no time!

Let there be Holga. ⠀

We love shooting Holgas - they're easy to use, fun, and make great photos from 120 film. This one has a little something special added on: a Polaroid back! ⠀
The back takes Fuji FP-100C peel-apart film, which is unfortunately discontinued. We have a few packs in right now but these are the last of its kind. Although, even without the back, we're under the impression that every Holga is special in its own way. They've all got quirks and the adjustments that the photographer can control are quite minimal, making every frame a bit of an exploration.

This really shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but our repair tech @michaelknight1967 is a pretty prolific photographer himself. He doesn't share much of what he photographs but he loves getting out with the cameras from his vast collection of equipment (because how can you be a camera repair technician and not be fond of collecting these cameras yourself?). Mike essentially works six day weeks: three at Blue Moon Camera and three in his workshop repairing cameras. He saves Sundays for himself and his own photographic wanderings. He recently shared this image of his Leica IIIf out somewhere beautiful and we thought it nice to give a nod to the personal side of his passion for this craft that he has been professionally involved in for decades. Follow Mike's feed to keep up to date with which cameras he is currently playing with but refrain from the camera repair questions on Sundays. ;-)

Meet the Linhof Kardan Master TL. As far as studio monorails go, they don't come much bigger, heavier, better made or versatile than this monolith of a camera.

Hmm... feels like we're missing something here...

We have long been waiting for a Konica Auto-Reflex to come walking in our doors and it finally happened. The Auto-Reflex is a pretty cool camera. ⠀


Is it because it was the world's first focal plane shutter SLR with auto-exposure capabilities (shutter priority)? ⠀

Or maybe because it helped introduce Konica's new bayonet lens mount - the Konica Bayonet Mount II - commonly called the A/R mount? A lens mount, by the way, with such a short flange distance that Konica could make simple adapters to allow Nikon F or Pentax M42 lenses to mount to their cameras.⠀

Well, these are good reasons to like this camera but neither are what get us excited. Our interest comes from the Auto-Reflex's ability to switch between full and half frame exposure at any point during the roll. That's right, you make one photo in the standard 24x36mm format and then with the flip of a switch be able to make the next exposure in a portrait-oriented 18x24mm format. It is kind of like the reverse XPan! And it will probably drive your local photo lab insane trying to print the roll. But their sanity will have to take a backseat to the niftiness of this camera's multi-format capabilities. ⠀

This specimen has a non-functioning meter and it needed its seals replaced but otherwise works like clockwork.

Eeny, meeny, miny... but no moe. Then again when you are looking at a Nikkor-Sw 150mm f8, a Schneider 480mm f8.4 Symmar-S Technika and a Rodenstock 200mm f6.8 Grandagon MC, do you really need a fourth option?

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