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Blue Moon Camera and Machine  A passionately analog camera shop in Portland, OR. See lab work on @bluemooncameralab New Artist In Solitude essay on The Codex:

We recently got our hands on the newest issue from @sheshootsfilm. Aliki and the rest of the She Shoots Film team put together a beautiful magazine that celebrates women photographers. We are proud to know a couple of those women quite well - big congratulations to @miakrys and @paopaokat for their features in this issue. ⠀

The world of photography continues to be a male-dominated landscape, but efforts such as that of She Shoots Film are helping balance that out, slowly but surely. ⠀

We must also say that the photography curated by She Shoots Film is not simply noteworthy because it was produced by women - it is noteworthy because it is really creative, thoughtful and just plain great work. Be you male or female, spending some time perusing the work of this magazine is going to be enriching. We will close by saying we are proud of all the women photographers we know who work hard, diligently and passionately at this art or craft, and we are happy to help support that cause. ⠀

If you are wondering where to get an issue, we only have a couple in at the moment, but more on the way. You can also get in touch directly with She Shoots Film and order an issue straight from them. While there, give them a follow and some support of your own!⠀

We pulled Misty @mmmmkerr away from her Noritsu printer to show off this issue. Misty generally prefers being behind the camera (or in the darkroom) but books are another passion of hers, as evidenced by the "book worm" knuckle tattoos. So we had her help give She Shoots Film some proper representation. Thanks Misty!

How nice is it when your camera matches your film? Or vice versa. We didn't mean to make a JCH Street Pan themed Minolta SRT 101 but sometimes happy coincidences happen.⠀

Thanks to Bellamy @japancamerahunter for keeping us in stock with this film and to our repair tech @michaelknight1967 for making it a hobby of his to colorfully "dress up" some of these cameras.

Speaking of really fast lenses with trimmed rear optics... (see yesterday's post to understand the reference) the Canon 50mm f0.95 is still hanging around our shop collecting light. It is one of those pieces of equipment looking for a very specific home and that photographer just hasn't wandered in quite yet. Sometimes these things take time...

The Tomioka-made 55mm f1.2 lens is a bit of a unicorn of a lens as they don't turn up too often at all. Made by Tomioka Kogaku in the mid to late 1970s this lens came under a few different names: Yashinon, Tominon, and Chinon to name a few. Featuring 7 elements in 6 groups, it originally was made in the M42 mount but the rear optic was so large that it had to have one side shaved off. This shaved rear optic helps give the lens' bokeh an even more distinct look than that rendered solely by the utra fast f1.2 max aperture. Speaking of that fast max aperture, this lens is also the fastest M42 lens ever made (as far as we could find). Unfortunately the confluence of these characteristics (fast, distinct look, rarity) means that these lenses fetch high prices. We have this one selling for $600, but then again price is sometimes relative and if all three of these things are valuable to you then this is the lens to consider. ⠀

Coincidentally we also got in this Chinon CS camera that was produced in the 1970s as well, making it the perfect age for this lens. We bet whoever buys this lens will probably end up adapting it to another system but it would be cool to see the two of these sell together and become a pair as well.

Develop negative habits indeed. ⠀

One of our staff (assistant lab manager Renee @magicfriendships) recently exercised her "negative" habits to produce her own photography-themed t-shirt. When you work with a staff of about 20 creative individuals, you are often seeing wonderful things like this come into being. And we like to share these with you, because we figure what inspires us hopefully inspires you as well.⠀

So maybe you like photo t-shirts and want to get in touch to buy one of Renee's shirts (before they are all gone) or maybe this idea spurs you to develop your own negative habits and make a t-shirt design of your own. ⠀

We also wanted to give this t-shirt a proper camera pairing, so we selected the Kodak Ektra since it is one of the most unique and interesting 35mm cameras we have in at the moment. We thought the two went well together.

620 film is an interesting footnote in the history of film photography. Introduced by Kodak in 1932, 620 was a variant on 120 film. The 620 spool had slightly different dimensions as the 120 spool but used film of the same dimensions as 120. So the film wasn't different per se, just the spool. (Though our research suggests that Kodak intended 620 film to be of different length to make use of the slimmer spool dimensions). The most notable difference at the time was that 620 spools had slimmer cores, meaning once you wrapped the film with its paper backing up on the spool you had a slimmer roll. This meant that the film chambers in cameras could be smaller and then the cameras themselves could be more compact. These days the difference that has the greatest impact on most photographers is the slightly different lengths between 620 and 120 spools. 620 is just slighltly shorter and that means with a lot of 620 cameras you cannot quite get a 120 spool to fit. This is why a lot of intrepid 620 photographers respool 120 film onto 620 spools, or modify the length of the existing 120 spool such as we do.⠀

But why 620? That is a good question. The commonly given answer is that Kodak invented 620 to better corner the film market. And this is likely part of the answer. But perhaps the answer is not entirely monopolistic. Perhaps Kodak was trying to innovate as film technology changed. The very first Rolleiflex cameras didn't use 120 film but rather 117 or 620. So perhaps Kodak wanted to stay abreast of evolution in the camera market. Or maybe those cameras were in response to Kodak's changes to film. We don't really know, and maybe never will.Regardless, while Kodak only made 620 cameras for about 30 years (1932-1966) they continued to produce 620 film until 1995. So if 620 was a unsuccessful attempt to corner the market that ended in the 1960s, Kodak generously stuck with the film for another 30 years, which is kind of crazy if you think about it.

(Continued from yesterday)⠀

Welcome back. This post picks up from where the Instagram character limit forced us to leave off yesterday. If you haven't read that, you can hop back one image in our feed and easily catch up, but you can also plow right on ahead here too, we imagine you'll pick up the gist of our message easily enough.⠀

The idea behind the points we were making yesterday is that we don't feature cameras on here merely as curiosity pieces. We are definitely uncomfortable with the term "camera porn". We are selling cameras for a more important reason. And it is because of that reason that our business is about much more than just selling cameras. We sell the film. We develop it and print it and scan it. And not just the easy stuff, either. We try to accommodate as many different film types and formats as we can here at the shop. We started cutting and packaging #SpyFilmforMinox specifically to keep a particular line of lovely cameras and the people using them working.⠀

And that starts to get to the heart of what we are doing. We are working to provide opportunities, to keep doors open to creative possibilities, to allow you to explore a world of photography that finding access to is not always easy. We want to try to help you however we can to celebrate a beautiful way of being artistic or clever or creative, using cameras that themselves are incredible or beautiful. ⠀

And that is what we are trying to do every day at work. We don't want to settle for being a museum exhibit but rather a part of a community of analog expression. Not just an inventory of cool cameras, but a place that provides you with everything you need to do wonderful things with those cameras. We set high standards for ourselves but every day we see you do things with these cameras and rolls of film that make it all very worthwhile.

It is time for a couple of polite reminders that we like to reiterate now and again.⠀

First up. We're not a museum. We hear this a lot and we realize it is meant as a compliment. But we sell cameras for photographers to use, not to become a dusty display piece. Many of the cameras that pass through our doors could easily find a place in a museum, but that would vastly under-utilize them. Despite being 20 or 30 or 80 years old, almost all these cameras still can be used, and should be. We sell them to see the wonderful things you can do with them, and because they are wonderful devices with much life left in them.
The trick with some of these cameras though is that many photographers don't realize that film is still available for them. Even if you have something as common as a 120 camera it is not uncommon to field the question "you can still get film for that?" Well, in many cases the answer is, "yes, you can". 120? Piece of cake. We sell dozens of different 120 films. 4x5? Yup. Same with 5x7 and 8x10. Oh but what about the tricky formats? Say 110? Of course. 127? You bet. We even carry Spy Film for this Minox camera. We convert our own 620 film. We have Super 8 and 16mm. If it is out there, we try to make it work. There are a few we sadly cannot help with like 116, 16mm cartridge still film, 126, APS (though we have some in our expired film bin right now), 828, and Kodak Disc. But we can help you with developing and printing any of these you throw at us, even if we cannot hook you up with an unexposed roll in return. So yes, in most cases, you can still get film for these cameras. Do so. Especially Spy Film, we are particularly proud to offer that one.⠀

But selling cameras is only half our business. We have a full analog, optical print lab running six days a week. It is an integral part of our business. We develop almost anything you got in house: C-41, B&W, E-6, C-22, even small batch ECN-2. We can develop those old Kodak Discs. We process B&W film you shot yesterday or in 1950. Our minilab machines make actual optical prints. Our darkroom does the silver gelatin work.⠀

(To be continued...)

The grass is always greener when your K1000 is green as well. We told you we had another colorful camera coming up and here it is. Our repair tech, Mike, had not yet done a K1000 in green so we guess he figured he might as well scratch that off his bucket list of camera servicing. And it turned out nicely. ⠀

An interesting side note on this camera is that despite coming in at the tail end of autumn when most of the color has faded and brown is predominant in the landscape around us, it got us looking for green things to pair it up with. Lo and behold there is a surprising amount of green out there this time of year. The grass is all freshly growing. The trees are covered in lush moss. While we don't usually associate winter with lots of color, when it comes to green it is definitely out there. The simple act of carrying this camera around for a morning made us pay a bit more attention to that.

Walter Dorwin Teague. If you have an interest in industrial and commercial design, or in mid-century modernism, this is a name worth knowing and a person worth reading about. If you spend enough time around old Kodak film cameras, you have probably seen something Teague designed, and even if you didn't know anything about him or design, you probably stopped to admire the beauty of what you were seeing. ⠀

Teague began his partnership with Eastman Kodak in 1927 and that relationship lasted until his death in 1960. In the post-WWII United States industrial mass production was becoming increasingly popular. Mass produced items could be made in vastly larger quantities but also tended to be generic in appearance. Teague made it his philosophy to make mass produced items become heirlooms. ⠀

Interestingly enough, when Teague first started working with Kodak he had little knowledge of cameras, so he made it a point to work in close collaboration with Kodak's engineers so that his designs were as fully informed as possible. This collaboration resulted in the Baby Brownie, the Brownie Hawkeye and the Bantam Special (shown here). ⠀

The Bantam Special may be Teague's most beautifully designed camera, and was one of Kodak's most popular. It's sleek Art Deco clamshell design does a wonderful job of combining both form and function such that you cannot help but notice when this camera comes within reach. Apart from its design, the Bantam Special features a pretty stellar Ektar 45mm f2 lens as well. Sadly the Bantam Special uses 828 film which is long gone, though there are ways for persistent photographers to adapt around this.⠀

Teague would also later work with Polaroid and some of the early Land Cameras benefited from his aesthetic. The Teague name still exists today in the form of the company he created but this Bantam Special was pretty close to where it all started.

Reskinning cameras with colorful new leather or leatherette was a side hobby for our repair tech, Mike, for quite a while. Now and again he'd bring in some new camera he had added a dash of color to and we would all stop what we were doing to ooh and aah. And then, of course, the camera would promptly sell. We thought that was great. Photographers love having an element to their cameras that makes them feel a bit more special and unique to them. And who can blame them? After all, if you are a film photographer you are likely using a camera that has a life span measured in decades (or even a century and more), so why not personalize that camera that you could be using for your entire career and life?⠀

We started sharing some of these cameras with you and your reaction was pretty similar to ours: oooh, aaah. And since then we have had more and more cameras coming through our repair line for a bit of color. This Yashica Mat-124G was a job for a customer, for example. As was this Olympus OM-2. Mike did the K1000 in blue just for fun. And when he brought all three back at once we lost thrice the usual productivity while we admired how flashy and distinct these cameras looked. So we made this quick studio image to share. Just because. We have another K1000 coming up later this week with yet another color, so stay tuned.

Today we're introducing you to Jackson. Like many of those who become staff at Blue Moon Camera, Jackson was a customer of ours for a while. At first he was bringing us the 110 film he had been exposing. In fact, if you were at the Customer Show on Saturday you may have noticed Jackson had an image selected for last year's show. But Jackson really got our attention when he started bringing in his Canon AE-1 with the lenses for his Pentax 110 adapted to it. He did this by modifying an FD body cap to hold these lenses from his 110 camera.⠀

Since joining our staff this summer Jackson has settled into a role working with CALVIN (or maybe it should just be Calvin), our C-41 machine. Jackson has quietly and quite competently learned the art and science of running that machine and making sure that the film that goes through it is developed as perfectly as possible. ⠀

Jackson is a pretty laid back fellow and he can seem a bit quiet, but once you get to know him you'll find a sharp, insightful, curious and imaginative mind at work. You can catch Jackson's work on one of his two Instagram feeds @truevulture_ or @rat_glass.

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