Thursday, June 22, 2006

Picked up a new (old) camera on ebay... the Lark by Irwin Corp. I couldn't find much (anything, really) about the camera or the company, other than that they also made a TLR called the Irwin Dual Reflex. Looks to be from the 1920s, with the Art Deco font, but I could be wrong.

The take-up spool winder was frozen from rust, but a little WD-40 and a Robogrip took care of the problem. It takes 127 film...there was also an old Kodak 127 spool in the camera. The guts couldn't really be any more basic. A shutter plate sitting directly on the barrel, with a metal lens plate screwed on top. It has a instant and time (bulb) settings. That's it! The shutter seems responsive, with a quick snap. A lot of old cameras have slow, sticky shutters.

The camera body is basically a sardine can. The back just sits on the body with a small screw on the top edge. I would be surprised if it didn't leak light from somewhere on the body, as there isn't any kind of seal along the edges and it is made entirely of metal. Did I mention how heavy it is? From the picture, it looks fairly small, but it's actually quite large for a 127 camera, and weighs more than a decent 35mm camera.

When I get some pictures taken with it, I'll post a few with comments. I like 127 film, but it is kind of expensive, and a roll typically yields only 8 rectangular shots, though some do 12 square shots. I'm not sure how many the Lark takes. Looks like maybe 12 from the shape of the frame.

This shot was taken with another 127 camera, the Ilford Sporti 4. The shutter on this camera is very slow, even after cleaning, so I've only used it once. Pity, since it's a nifty looking camera.

And this is another shot taken with the Kodak Brownie Holiday 127 camera, using expired film.

Has kind of a dustbowl era feel to it. Shot at Dreamy Draw in Phoenix, AZ.

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