Travelling from Tysvær to Lake Starnberg – Roll #4 from the Original Canonet

By Bob Janes

For those unfamiliar with the Travelling Canonet project, you can read about it here. We have over 50 photographers on 4 continents taking/waiting to take part. Two Canonets are involved, each travelling in a different direction. Participants take 5 (or more) shots and send the camera on to the next person on the list. Previous pictures from the first, second and third rolls from this camera are on 35mmc. Shots from the first, second, third, fourth and fifth rolls from the other camera are also available.

This article covers the forth roll from the older of the two cameras. For this film the camera took one brief trip to Norway before heading back into the EU. This roll also took in Germany and Poland. The pictures below chart its journey. The text supplied by the photographers themselves is shown in italic type.


Bjarte writes: These exposures were taken in the municipality of Tysvær in Norway, a few hours drive south of my home town Bergen. I particularly like the landscape here. Open, vast.  I usually scan my negatives on an Imacon, then stitch them together using Camera Raw. [Note that these shots were scanned by Matthias and I stitched them using Microsoft Image Compound Editor]

Frames 1-5 (panorama)


It is of course challenging to use an unfamiliar camera for 5 exposures only. Usually I would take a few films to check that shutter speeds are accurate, and to see what characteristics the lens has when using my preferred workflow. I also found it demanding that I could only do five shots, and not being able to elaborate on a series by taking a whole roll and then choosing the images afterwards. But as soon as I landed on this idea, it was pretty straightforward. I drive by this place from time to time and knew that this would be the spot for the Canonet.


Stefan writes: It was a nice, smooth and easy experience and I can’t recommend it enough! I am a person in an office job based in Hamburg Germany and a very irregular contributor to 35mmc. I love playing with different cameras and I enjoyed the Canonet! It has a nice heft to it, and it seemed extremely simple to use.

I am amazed by the fact that the pictures turned out the way they did. I noticed too late that the film speed for the light meter was set too high. I believe I underexposed by two to three stops. Still, one can actually see things… As for the pictures, I didn’t like the idea of just a few touristy shots. I took the Canonet out for a spin and as I walked past the Rote Flora, I had this little idea. Hamburg – as many places – has seen its share of violence. Here’s just a small random collection of places related to that.

Frames 6-10 – traces of violence


The “Rote Flora“ autonomous centre. For many years the starting point of riots on 1st May.


A house in Schulterblatt in the focus of the G20 riots
The Flakbunker on Heiligengeistfeld – it mounted a heavy AA battery in WW2 and provided shelter from bombs. Now with a whole new building on top
A distant figure, seemingly framed by a street lamp – the massive Bismarck statue. Clad in Armour with a sword it commemorates the chancellor who believed in blood and iron.
A sign on Reeperbahn saying it´s forbidden to carry weapons


Rafel writes: Choosing what to photograph with the Traveling Canonet was a bit of a challenge at first – I didn’t want to be too obvious with my choices. But in the end, I decided to treat the Canonet like a friend who’d come to visit my city. It is a traveller, after all. And it seemed a waste to leave out the things and places that make Krakow one of the most attractive cities in Europe (ok, so I may be biased a bit).

Adding in the factor that I didn’t know the film or the camera, I was tempted to see how some of these familiar — and arguably well-known — sites would look like through this lens. As a result, I went for “touristy” snaps. Think of them as holiday postcards, for better or worse.

Frames 12-21


Before Kraków’s district of Kazimierz became the hotspot of nightlife it is today, it was a thriving Jewish quarter, packed with craftsmen shops where restaurants and pubs are now. Some signs (pun intended) of that legacy are still on display. 
It might not be the London Eye, but the Ferris wheel is just a part of a food/drink/balloon flight entertainment complex on the beach opposite the Wawel Castle
…along with the somewhat brutalist bulk of the Forum hotel, a prime real estate construction hazard that’s now waiting for someone willing to invest in a thorough reconstruction. In the meantime, the ground floor is another prime party spot worth visiting. 
I have a real soft spot for the hodgepodge of historic styles and eras that’s the Wawel, here seen on one of its quieter days
A slice of the old town
You might wonder if it’s really necessary to have two churches, St Peter (left, edge of frame) and St Andrew’s (center) right next to one another, but for some reason it’s one of the spots on Grodzka I’m continually drawn to. It might be the row of apostles, each minding his own business, it might be the depth of the tower’s windows, it might be the buskers that play there on a regular basis — either way, when you’re in town, come and see for yourself. 
St Mary’s basilica looks much better in person, and whenever the photographers doesn’t mess up the focus this badly
And another slice of the Market Square. The whole square is about six times the size, and full of people at all times of day and night. Probably related to the numerous restaurants and clubs that line the town houses.
View from a side alley by the basilica
Again, the basilica in the background, with Kraków’s trademark carriages lined up

That’s it for the Canonet’s time in Poland’s old capital. It didn’t get to see much more than the heart of the city, so there’s more to explore if its travels bring it here again. 


Stephen writes: I have lived in Roetgen, Germany for five years now and enjoy the countryside and the close proximity of three bordering countries, with their different people, languages and culture. For many years I have had an interest in photography. My Father and I developed and printed from his Rolleiflex and Contaflex from when I was a small child. I still have the same cameras and use them sometimes.

I was quite impressed with the quality of the Canonet, much better than I expected, and the photo quality is good too. I have enjoyed taking part. Although there seemed like a long wait to get my hands on the camera, that is understandable knowing its travels!

Frames 22-27


Houses in Roetgen
Black and white building is Eisenhower’s cottage, used by him at the end of World War II
Fountain in Roetgen Market-place
Belgian Garden in Raeren
The West Wall, at the border between Germany and Belgium. Left intact as a reminder of the horrors of war.



Matthias writes: I had forgotten entirely about the travelling Canonet, so you can imagine my surprise when I found a mail in my electronic inbox. A few days later, when I came home from work, I found a package on my doorstep. The Canonet had arrived! Together with some encouraging words from previous participants, warnings about its quirks, and a fresh roll of film.

The next day was sunny, so I took the Canonet for a walk on one of my usual routes: Along the shore of Lake Starnberg and up the castle hill towards St. Josef church. That route provides a good overview from a tourist point of view, and it shows a bit of my view of where I live.

Shooting with the Canonet went smoothly. Mostly. I used a Nikon F4 that I had with me as a light meter and I set the aperture and shutter speed on the Canonet manually. Focusing based on the focus patch in the viewfinder was easy, but, as it turned out later, the wrong choice. The focus patch had drifted out of calibration. It was fun nonetheless, and the advance lever on the bottom is a breath of fresh air compared to the other cameras that I usually use.

The film in the camera was already near the end when I got it, so I thought I should just fill it up and send the Canonet on with a fresh roll of film in it. While I clicked away, it felt like the roll did not want to end. Thus, I ended up with 8 frames instead of the expected 5-6. Over the next few days, the roll ended up in my development tank, went through the scanner in my home office, and now rests neatly tucked away in a folder in my living room. The Canonet is probably in the hands of the next participant now. Or the one after. Am I going to miss it? Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Frames 28-35


Ferry of the “Bayrische Seenschiffahrt” waiting for passengers
Sailing boats moored near the shore


“Bayrischer Löwe”, a figurine initially mounted to the stern of one of the ferries


Castle Starnberg, which now houses the local tax office


St. Josef church as seen from the castle garden


View of Lake Starnberg from the castle hill


A part of the castle garden walls


A tower of the castle garden walls


Thanks to all five contributors.

While the Canonet seems to be holding out quite well, there are some reports of focusing issues and rangefinder alignment. I also get the impression that the whole ‘package’ and accompanying documentation is being augmented by participants along the way – Truly a community project!

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About The Author

By Bob Janes
Retired IT guy. Volunteer stem-cell courier. Interested in education, photography and local history. Lives in Greenwich, SE London, UK.
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Jeremy on Travelling from Tysvær to Lake Starnberg – Roll #4 from the Original Canonet

Comment posted: 17/10/2023

What a brilliant idea! Congratulations to the originator who shared the Canonet, I would not offer my M3 for such a project. I am of Scottish descent.

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Alexander Seidler on Travelling from Tysvær to Lake Starnberg – Roll #4 from the Original Canonet

Comment posted: 20/10/2023

Nice story and photos. Thanks !

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