CAMERA – Capta II

CAMERA: Capta II
FILM: Kodak 160VC Expired 2001
TAKEN: September 2011

The Capta II is a strange beast. Made of bakelite, heavy and almost impossible to open, and elusive when searching the internet for any information. I’ve only used it once as now the red frame window is too foggy to look through and I’m debating whether to pop it out and try and replace it with something a little makeshift. Either way, it’s a strange camera that gave me good results, even though there are very limited controls. The inside was warped, and you can see from some of the images below where I’ve kept in the bending edge of the frame.

I would really like to use it again, but I really have to figure out how to wind it on without that window…

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©Jennifer Schussler

CAMERA – Zenit E

CAMERA: Zenit E
FILM: Lomography 400 colour
TAKEN: April 2011

I bought the hunk of metal otherwise known as the Zenit-E at a photography market in Perth. It was relatively cheap, although purchased so long ago I have forgotten exactly how much I paid for it. It came with a lens, I don’t know much about it or care to find out, and there are certain elements of the camera functions that do not work, such as the light meter. It is so heavy I have actually only used it once, to save my neck/back from breaking under the strain it was on a day that I had a friend give me a lift in her car.

There is something funky going on with the lens, but I like the patina it gives to the images.

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©Jennifer Schussler

Leica M3 & Kodak Ultramax 400

CAMERA: Leica M3
FILM: Kodak Ultramax 400
When I was lent the Leica M3 I was so excited by the results I had in black and white that I wasn’t sure that it would do colour as wonderfully. Oh, how I proved myself wrong! I went to one of the usual places I go when testing out a camera or film, Kew Gardens. It was time for the Orchid Festival and having shot in the glasshouses before with my Holga, and having the images come out a bit dark, I was interested to see how the shots would come out with a bit more control over shutter speed and aperture.
I haven’t shot too much with this film and I was delighted at the colours that came back, helped by the sharpness and accuracy the Leica provides. I have also been trying to gain more confidence in taking photos of people as my comfort lies in plants and architecture, so the Leica helped in the quietness of the shutter to get closer to my subjects. One even waved, from afar though so isn’t immediately obvious in the photo.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.8

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Well, I really ran out of steam on the Instax after using it non-stop for a while! The shots below I took in late July and early September, and I haven’t really picked it up since. I think as my stockpile of film started to get smaller I took the camera out less, and the sublime gratification of developing my own black and white film at home made the instant film, and its picture quality, less attractive.
I’ll get back into it, maybe trying some black and white instant film will help me but until then, this is it.
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©Jennifer Schussler

CAMERA – Lomokino

CAMERA: Lomography Lomokino
FILM: Kentmere 400
When the Lomokino was first announced I was excited, and I backed it on Kickstarter. When it arrived I tried it a few times, after which it sat on my shelf collecting dust for years. I found it to be difficult to handle, mostly because they then added a removable handle later, and an absolute pain to edit the frames into short films. It felt like the input far outweighed the output, and so I shelved it to same myself the time and frustration it caused.
I moved recently, and so did the Lomokino (for its 4th time, I always kept it!) and I looked at it on my shelf, put there for no reason other than it had nowhere else to go, and I thought about how I could use it without the hassle. I decided to put a black and white film in it, as now I am developing it myself it’s a less cost-prohibitive process. I decided to use it as one uses a multi-lens cameras, think Octomat or Supersampler (I’ver never used either but would like to try someday). Below are the results, a little mangled from a fight with the ancient developing reels I used to use (now replaced with new ones that work!). I don’t mind that I ruined the film a little bit, after all this was a test.
I don’t know if I’ll try using the Lomokino again. It was still difficult to use and control, it just feels like the camera is moving so much in my hands as I turn the crank, and it was too hard for my brain to remember which way the film was moving to build the shots in the right way.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.7

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
There’s a film in one of my cameras waiting to be developed with photos I know will not come out very well. So I decided to go with my trusty Instax to re-take some photos so I wouldn’t be as disappointed on missing those interesting views completely.
Some advice – never go into Bank station on the weekend to get to the District line. It was hot and I spent 10 minutes winding through the station to find that particular corridor closed. So back out again only to walk for two minutes to Cannon Street #londonerproblems.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.6

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Another weekend, another aimless wander. This time I was a bit more successful and took many more photos than expected. I wandered around the City of London, to revisit some places I had seen on my lunch breaks and just to see what else would take my fancy. I went from Euston through to Smithfield Market and down to St Paul’s. I stopped for about an hour in the lovely garden on the site of Christchurch Greyfriars Church and was joined by a strange little bird.
I find the city on the weekend to be quiet and peaceful (if you avoid the touristy areas) and it gives you more time to stop and consider what is around you as during the week there is just too much going on around you.
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©Jennifer Schussler

ARCHIVE – Baby’s first film camera

Throw your minds back to 2007, and how difficult it was to buy anything online in Australia. Now imagine that you are 16 and don’t have a credit card but you really want this weird plastic camera that sounds like it was named after a Swedish milkmaid. That was me, looking to get a Holga from Lomography.
There was one Lomography shop in Australia at the time, and no stockists in Perth. I had to PRINT a form, fill it out with my mum’s credit card details and POST it over to Sydney, then wait for my first film camera to arrive. I had used the 35mm SLR’s at school, even my teacher’s precious Mamiya to get a taste for 120 film, but this one I could take with me anywhere and really get into using film.
It arrived, I put in the film that came with it and got shooting immediately. I had no idea what I was doing but it was great to get the film back full of overlapping frames and multiple exposures.
I haven’t always reached for my Holga, opting instead for easier to use and develop 35mm cameras, but I’ve come back to it ten years later and still love it.
CAMERA: Holga 120 CFN
FILM: Fuji Velvia 100
Shot & developed in July 2007
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.5

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
On sunny weekends when I have nothing planned I force myself to go out and take photos, even if I don’t really feel inspired. Below are some that resulted from a very, very, VERY long walk through London. I got off the train at Waterloo, wandered down the river, up through Pimlico and around Victoria, all the way along to Gloucester Road.
The checkerboard blocks of flats are one of my favourite things to see in the Pimlico area, they are just so strange and mixed in with only Victorian mansion flats.
Finally, my little Monstera Obliqua is going great guns and just keeps growing, I;m so proud of it (and happy that I haven’t killed it yet).
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.4

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
The Barbican Estate has slowly become one of my favourite places in London during the past 3 years I have lived here. At first I found it rather offensive to the eye and thought that because it was called an ‘estate’ meant it wasn’t a very nice place. But when I discovered the conservatory after a visit to the Art Gallery I began to be seduced. Then I went on one of the architecture tours and was totally enamoured. Every detail about the entire estate was so well thought through by the architects, it’s now my life’s goal to live there. In the meantime, I just visit frequently. I’ve taken many photos there, but went back again with my Instax for a few more.
THere’s also two shots where I tried to make shaped frames to make double exposures with, very much still a work in progress.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.3

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Some weekends I go out with friends and others are spent alone, but I always try and go out to see something new or to revisit an old favourite.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a wonderful part of London that I will work my way out to once or twice a year. I went with my good pal Jevgenija, said hello to the walrus, met a new bee friend and I tried out some double exposures. We also went on a picnic in Hyde Park on the first sunny & hot day of British Summer.
I also went to see the Cerith Wyn Evans installation at Tate Britain which is neon Instagram heaven, but I preferred to try out a double exposure on film.
The second last photo is of a doorway/courtyard in Inner Temple, a lovely hidden gem in the heart of the city that is only a stones throw from my office so I like to visit at lunchtime. The architecture in this small space is beautiful and you can play spot the pegasus & lamb depending on which side of Temple you explore.
Lastly, it’s the house plant greenhouse at Clifton Nurseries. I love going here even though it’s nowhere near where I live, they just have a great selection of house plants and have been around since 1851!
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no.2

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
Sun glorious sun! Oh how the sun makes London so beautiful. I took myself and my camera to Greenwich because it had been a few years since I had last been, and I had a wonderful time playing with the double exposure function. It is one of the two main reasons I paid the higher price for this camera, the other being the rechargeable battery.
I think the double exposures below are some of my favourites, especially the dome/tree and the corner of the building floating in the blue expanse of sky.
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©Jennifer Schussler

INSTAX 2017 no. 1

CAMERA: Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
FILM: Fuji Instax Mini colour
I bought my Instax Mini camera as a birthday present for myself in 2013 but haven’t really explored it’s capabilities properly. Having found a fairly stable source of affordable film I decided to stock up on 100 shots and take it out just to test what I can do with it. Here are the photos from that first outing.
Main thing that I learnt: set mode to double exposure BEFORE you put tape over half of the lens!
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©Jennifer Schussler

HOLGA 120CFN & Ilford HP5+400

CAMERA: Holga 120CFN
FILM: Ilford HP5+ 400
DEVELOP: Ilford chemicals, at home
SCAN: Epson V700
I haven’t shot a roll of black & white film with my Holga for a while, so I took it out a couple of times to try and get a roll done. I also haven’t used HP5 before, I have mixed feelings about the results, a bit too dark and a bit too light with this camera. It was the first time I have tried to develop my own 120 film at home, the last time I did this was about 9 years ago in high school, and it was so different trying to load the film with a changing bag rather than a darkroom. So you may notice some dents, I really had to fight to get the film spooled! Don’t think I will put myself under that kind of stress again any time soon, back to 35mm.

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©Jennifer Schussler

CAMERA – Leica M3

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CAMERA: Leica M3
LENS: Voigtländer Shapshot-Skopar 25mm f4
FILM: Fomapan 400 24exp
DEVELOP: Ilford chemicals, at home
SCAN: Epson V700
My colleague lent me her Leica M3 after we got chatting about shooting film. She studied photography for her Masters degree and bought the Leica soon after she finished, but had never used it. I can understand how that high level of criticism of your work can suck all the fun out of doing something you love. I’ve given her a toy camera from my collection to get her back into film, with something simple and fun, unlike the beast that is the Leica M3.
I’ve never used a rangefinder camera before and I guess I am still yet to do so as the lens currently attached is not a rangefinder lens. So essentially I used it like my trusted Olympus Trip 35 with the added manual feature of shutter speed. I still have to get used to checking all the settings and it is a bit more time consuming for me. But I’m hooked, it was so much fun to lug this ridiculous brass camera around so hopefully I’ll get into good habits soon.
Below are all 26 shots from my first roll, on a 24 frame film, and I can say I’m happy with how each shot turned out. They are in focus and framed closely to what I had tried to achieve. It was the first time I had used Fomapan 400, and the first time in eight years that I had developed my own film. I shot and developed this film in a single day, which felt so damn good.
I have one major issue with this camera that is also one of it’s greatest features: the frame. The frames are so tight to each other and the sprocket holes that you get the maximum use out of the film, and more frames then you are meant to. However, it was a pain to cut my negatives because the gap between them is so narrow, and when scanning I could see where significant parts of the frame were cut off because the film holder I used is made for “normal” frames which don’t cut it so fine to the sprocket holes.

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©Jennifer Schussler