Author name: Simon Foale

Lake Tenggano, East Rennell.

Rolleiflex 2.8F – Reflections on a Brief Period of Ownership – by Simon Foale

Thirty years ago my dad acquired a Rolleiflex 2.8F which had been part of a large government scientific project, but because it had been bought with external funds, his division didn’t want it after the project ended, so he got to keep it. After using it to make the above image at East Rennell, Solomon …

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Kodak Junior No. 1A Autographic – Song of the Centenarian – from the 1920s to the 2020s – By Simon Foale

This camera was one of several given to me recently by my dad. I have already posted on another from this lot – the Zeiss (Ikon) Contina 1 (522/24). The Kodak is by far the oldest of the batch, having been originally sold between 1914 and 1927. This specimen was mostly used by my grandfather, Cyril, a farmer in the Mallee district of eastern South Australia. I don’t know exactly when Cyril first obtained this camera, but my Auntie Yae sent me a collection of negs made with it, some of which we know were shot in the 1920s, though the exact year is not clear for all of them. I will present below images made by my grandfather and then some that I have made since restoring the camera, along with some notes about the camera and its restoration.

Nikonos V as Rugged Travel Camera – a Retrospective By Simon Foale

I first encountered the legendary Nikonos cameras in January 1983, when, as a freshly qualified SCUBA diver I spent a couple of weeks diving with family friend Rob Van der Loos, who was living in Alotau, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Rob had a Nikonos II and Nikonos III at the time and was doing a lot of macro photography in soft sediment habitats close to Alotau town at night, using underwater flashes, and extension tubes for the 35mm F2.5 lens. I was completing a degree in marine science at the time so tried to use some of my rudimentary learnings to help him classify some of the staggering diversity of spectacular critters he was photographing. The slides produced by the Nikonos cameras were mesmerizingly beautiful. Decades later ‘muck diving’ became a thing. We also did a lot of reef dives and I can confirm that Milne Bay is a diving mecca for good reason.

Zeiss (Ikonta) Contina 1 with case

5 Frames with the Zeiss (Ikon) Contina 1 (522/24) – by Simon Foale

One of the enjoyable aspects of sites like 35mmc, Emulsive, and other places where analogue photography continues to be explored and celebrated in the age of unrelenting advances in digital imaging technology, is the diversity of ways in which people impart value to old film cameras. For me image quality remains an important, though admittedly …

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Diax L-1 and leather case

Diax L-1 Scale Focus Camera Review – by Simon Foale

This elegant little 35mm fixed-lens compact belonged to my partner’s late father. It was the last model in a relatively little-known and idiosyncratic line of cameras made in Germany between 1947 and 1957 by Walter Voss. Fortunately my partner’s dad looked after the camera well and it’s still in almost perfect working condition and even has the chic mid-20th-century brown leather case, which perhaps now adds a little hipster (non-vegan) cachet. The L-1 was apparently ‘not very successful’ in its day and is supposedly rare now. Paradoxically its rareness does not make it particularly expensive on the second-hand market. It was released in 1957, the same year that the Diax factory closed.

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