An Open Invitation to the Travelling Canonet project – By Bob Janes

Anyone fancies getting involved in a travelling camera project…?

Many years ago over at Dyxum we had a community activity that was suggested by James Muñoz (a top film sound guy who got an award for the sound on the film ‘Buried’, among others). James found a little egg-with-legs toys (imaginatively dubbed ‘Mr and Mrs Egg’) that he photographed and then sent on to another Dyxumer somewhere who took and posted some pictures… The Eggs never got the whole way around the world. I blame postal services as Dyxum members are of impeccable character.

Mr and Mrs Egg in happier times. Who knows where they now reside?

We did wonder if there was some mileage in a similar exchange-linky-thing. Could a camera be sent from one person to another, each taking part of a film and then sending it on? The original idea was to use one of the cheap late Dynax bodies (like a Dynax 5) – trouble was that the cameras were still desirable and would be likely to go missing fairly soon… It never happened.

But over at 35mmc…

However, it turns out that 35mmc has done this sort of stuff before. Back in 2013 a similar project was run (rather successfully). I give you The Travelling Yashica! This fascinating exercise led to many 35mmc followers sharing their images – which has to be a good thing!

More recently, Holly has also undertaken a travelling toy camera project. The first results of that can be found here.

The Camera

It strikes me that the Canonet is an ideal candidate for another run of this community experiment. High quality, built like a tank, not requiring batteries, virtually worthless (literally for customs purposes). A little heavy for parcel post, but not too bad.

Canonet front
Coming soon to a mail address near you?

The proposal

If I put a film in this Canonet and took 5 shots and then sent it on to someone, would they also take 5 shots and send it on..?

If the person who came to the end of the film was unable to process the film themselves (I stress I’m thinking B&W here folks), I’d be quite happy for them to mail me the film and for them to send it on with a new one…

The commitment

The commitment would be to receive the camera, take 5 (or more) pictures, replenish the film if you use it up – process any used-up film and post on to the next person.

So, at maximum:

  1. Share a contact email and a postal address with someone so they can send you a camera,
  2. Spend up to 1 week taking 5 pictures (or more) with a characterful camera from 1962,
  3. Possibly supply a B&W film if you reach the end of the film,
  4. Possibly either process a B&W film and post the results (or post the film to Greenwich, London, UK, with permission for me to post the results),
  5. Pay postage for a heavy-ish camera to somewhere that could be on another continent (marking value at zero for customs purposes) via a reasonable carrier…

The interested parties

If we got a list together of interested people, we might be able to get something going.

Of course, the camera might go missing really early on – but, nothing ventured, nothing gained… At the very least my wife will be glad that at least one camera has left the building.

To show your interest please contact me via [email protected] and post a comment below. Any comments including contact details will stay hidden.  I will gather together the email addresses of those interested and send further details as soon as we have a suitable number of participants. It would be useful to know at least a city/region to plan out a logical order. There is no time limit for this as the list can be quite dynamic.

UPDATE

Response has been overwhelming – well over 50 participants from 4 continents!

I have supplemented the original Canonet, which is starting off in the UK, with a Canonet 28 (see https://www.35mmc.com/22/06/2021/canonet-28-review-the-modest-canon-by-bob-janes/), which is going from the end of the list (north America) to the UK.

Latest as of 10 March 2023:

The original Canonet is now with its 18th photographer.

The Canonet 28 is now on its way to its 23rd photographer.

I’m hoping results will be published soon.

 

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58 thoughts on “An Open Invitation to the Travelling Canonet project – By Bob Janes”

  1. A grand idea. Thanks for getting it started and I look forward to taking part.

    Email sent (check spam just in case it’s redirected)

  2. Randy-in Canada, I’m in! will email with info. I have a photographer friend in Italy that may be interested I’ll ask him. This could turn into a full blog where we all go to blog looking for our photos….

  3. Hi, I’m very interested in participating, I can help with shipping both ways since I’m very far south in São Paulo, Brazil, would love to share some snaps from my country/city in this project!

  4. Hi Bob, I started a project several years ago using a Canonet. We were doing well until one photographer just vanished into the ether with it, and the project ended. Here is a link to the project. All of the photographers did beautiful work with that little camera. I did include a field notes book, hoping it would be returned with the camera when it eventually made its way back, alas that won’t happen. It was a wonderful experience.

    Here is the link: https://victoria862.com

  5. This sounds like a good bit of fun to me. I am also able to develop and digitize the roll if by chance the task happened to fall upon me. Yet, a small but important condition for me would be that to whomever I would then forward the camera would need to be somewhat close to me (postage cost-wise; i.e., not to the USA or Australia, etc.).
    john in Sweden

    1. Well, it is only the last person in the country who should need to send internationally… I will try to work out a route that cuts customs issues down to a minimum.

  6. I sent an email too, and I have a small suggestion – I would have everyone shoot 5 minimum, 10 maximum with a blank shot (with the lens cap on) to ‘sign off’ so that you can fit 3-4 people on each roll. It’ll also be easier to keep track of who the shots belong to this way.

  7. What a great idea! Especially with possible repercussions from the new virus variant on the horizon.
    I’d love to participate.

    sonny
    reno nv, usa

  8. UPDATE; Thanks to all for the response. I’ve sent out emails to each participant from the Travelling Canonet email address – if you haven’t received it, have a look in your SPAM folder and let me know if you think you have been missed off the list.

      1. You were on the list – I will forward a copy – I have an address for you. Have a look out for it in the next half hour and maybe look in a spam folder. If it still hasn’t turned up mail the contact email in the article and I’ll reply to that…

        Bob

  9. Luis Maria Rodriguez

    I don’t know if I’ve arrived on time… From the north of Spain I would be delighted to be able to participate in this project

  10. Perhaps if you want to make another circle or 7 around ConUS I’d like to join. Pacific Northwest (Olympic Peninsula) area
    Email sent

  11. john /jonathan mcguire

    Hello ..this is great !! my son and i would love to take part …We are in menorca islas baleares ..

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