What’s In the Box? Broken Biscuits edition

What’s In the Box? Broken Biscuits edition

There’s more than just the boxes full of camera kit that come in the post, there’s a junk box at Turning Analog HQ and there’s the box of those cameras that are oh so painfully close to being tried out with film. Here’s the current occupiers of my ‘broken biscuit’ box. For those not in the UK, we can buy biscuits (cookies) cheaply as ‘broken biscuits’ which are often an eclectic mix of different varieties, in various state of broken-ness but they all have potential and usually taste fine dunked into a cuppa (which for those not in the UK…. I’ll stop there). All of these will get sorted in the coming months, but even 36 months away is still technically in the coming months.

Asahi PENTAX S1a

This is a particular gem which just doesn’t fire properly. I’ve had a scoot about, cleaned and exercised it, but this one’s going to get professionally fixed. With a repair, i reckon this would then have cost around £100 all in which isn’t unreasonable for a mechanical camera of this vintage in perfect working order. It was originally sold with the Super Takumar 55mm f/2 which I just happened to own, but currently loosely paired with this broken Helios 44-M as a body cap as any lens will jam on the body when the mirror slaps up. This is apparently the camera that George Harrison owned, so while all things must pass, and this dark horse of a camera worked perfectly all those years ago, if I get something done to fix it, I’ll be on cloud 9. I’m waiting to recover from a hit from the taxman before I can send it off and use it to take a photograph (whoops, wrong Beatle).

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 518/16

A nice folder, to keep company with my brace of Isolettes. It seems to work as it should, but this one requires an actual paint job before being functional. I’m going to need to get the wire brush, or similar and strip all the flaking paint from the film door and repaint it! This is a messy one and I’m trying to find the space to get it done, and so that I can leave the job and go back to it. An easy fix, and I’m looking forward to using this classic camera in 2023.

The exterior paint is also peeling a bit, but so long as it doesn’t peel any more, I’m just going to leave that as it is. I reckon this adds some character.

Pair of Ricohs

The Ricoh 500ST was probably the first camera I used in anger, but more on that in a later post. Here are some photos I took years ago using a RIcoh500ST in the Carneddau mountains of Wales. I’m not certain, other than it was a Ricoh with scale focus and not the rangefinder model, and it had some sort of green writing. I think the green was some of the markings on the lens, rather than under the name and if anyone can show me otherwise then I’d be quite grateful. Before I can shoot it however, I have the joy of replacing the light seals. I don’t relish this messy, but easy job, mainly as I’m simply stuck for space in my study. The 500G also needs light seals, but also needs what looks like a simple solder job to repair the battery compartment, though I’ll use it with a light meter initially and see how things go. 

If the lens hood is bothersome, its the only way I can get a lens cap on the 500ST to protect it on the shelf, while the 500G still has an original pouch in excellent condition.

I’m planning on recreating some of the shots I took in the 90s with these, and I wonder what modern results will look like with the highly regarded Rikenon 40mm f/2.8 lens?

Fujica Auto M 35

Maybe this is one I shouldn’t have played with… The aperture blades were stuck, and with the aid of an eBay video that somehow faded out on one of the key parts, I managed to get it working perfectly as well as clear of fungus. Could I get the lens back on? Could I hell… I’m looking for another spares and repair body on eBay in order to see if I managed to damage the threads on the body and see if a new front element will fit. It looks like a fine camera, and I think the light meter is sound as well, so I’d like to get this up and running again. It’s also a bit of a personal challenge, though if I do succeed at this it will probably make me more dangerous than useful

A Constellation of Comets..

I’ve somehow got a bunch of these, but I’m too cheap to buy 127 film as well as being unable to scan them in with my current set-up. I’ve done a bit of repair on the shutters on these, which is a comically simple affair that even I can figure out. All of them however, need the lenses lubricated before using, which is thankfully a nice and easy job. One however, no matter what I do, just doesn’t turn to infinity. I’m not sure if this is just within the quality control of these cheap cameras and that it will still focus correctly. A bit of ground glass will see to that. I’m more than likely shooting some 135 film in these for economy’s sake. While I don’t expect stellar results (see what I did there?) with the comets, they certainly have the looks of a superstar (I really must stop now).

I even think there may be another bunch of almost good enough cameras ready for another edition of Broken Biscuits, so stay tuned.

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