Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Imperial Mark XII Flash!!!!! (!!!)

Fancy name for a crappy plastic camera. The Imperial Mark XII Flash (!!! added for extra oomph) was made by Herbert-George Co. sometime in the middle to late 1950s.


Like the Valiant previously talked about, the Mark XII came in many colors: light blue, brown, mint green, black, and a few others. There are also two different logos on the front...the circle seen here and another with a kind of square shape. I'm not sure exactly who these cameras were marketed to. The multiple colors make it seem kind of like a children's camera. Maybe women and children. It certainly couldn't be much more basic. Another funny-shaped box camera, really. Load, wind and shoot. This also has the same type of flash bracket as the Valiant. Again, I don't have the flash. I think the only (old) camera that I have an exterior flash for is my Argoflex Seventy-Five, but I haven't use it. They use those big flash bulbs that will probably blow up and kill someone.


The "Imperial" name actually shows up on different cameras from the same company...all 620 or 127, I believe. This camera takes 620 film. I've had this camera for a couple years, but it's such a pain in the ass to load that I never bothered using it until recently. The spool brackets move and the spools come out while you are trying to put the back on. Really annoying...but not as much as when I tried a few years ago. I guess I have a lot more experience loading difficult cameras (like my Snappy, with the spool brackets not even attached to the camera anymore).
So how does it shoot? My first roll was Kodak Verichrome, expired April 1962. Same as my first roll through the Valiant.




Looks like a toy camera! Takes a nice shot. It's got vignette and blur, but it's still sharp in the middle. The frames are so close that they often overlap. Oh, and very wobbly along the edges. The proof is in the pudding...if only it wasn't such a pain to load.
My next roll through was color. I rerolled Vericolor HC, expired May 1995, onto a 620 spool. For some reason, I had an incredibly difficult time spooling it to develop, and managed to crinkle the hell out of it. That's what happens after 15 minutes of sweaty anger in a dark bathroom. Owell. So this roll has green spirits all over it. And this is my sixth roll through my expired Nova color developer. My seventh roll was Kodak T400CN black and white film. Turned out very nice, I'll post shots later.



Kind of boring roll, but more of the same, except in color! Funny looking little camera, takes funny little pictures...well, funny big pictures. Another hit!

17 comments:

  1. I dunno - I think the purple clouds and green spirits make a cool image. :)

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  2. Hey my friend literally just gave me this camera for a graduation gift but for the life of me i cant figure out the type of battery the flash that came with mine takes. I would love to know the answer. Please respond even if you dont know but might know someone who does to dmorri23@student.scad.edu

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  3. Anonymous3:18 PM

    I also have a mark x11 camara complete with flash unit mine just takes 2 aa batteries

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  4. Anonymous4:52 PM

    I have a black one of these with the square logo, let me know if you want a pic.

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  5. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I have a green one.. imperial.. Would u be interested in buying it? E-mail me @ adaniels1@hvc.rr.com

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  6. Anonymous1:41 PM

    i got a black one same thing just black with no flash unit tho e-mail at s.greenblat@yahoo.com
    if you want it selling cheap $15

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  7. Hi! This post is likable and your blog is very interesting, congratulations!
    add your

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  8. Hi! This post is likable and your blog is very interesting, congratulations!
    add your

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  9. Found your blog via GOOGLE. A friend just gave me an old Imperial Mark XII. I can't wait to give it a spin!
    - Michael Raso
    http://filmphotographypodcast.com/

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  10. i love this camera. i so want one.
    but i know nothing about camera :)

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  11. I just bought one of these at a vintage shop and now I have a better idea of how to use it thanks to your blog post.

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  12. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Do you know what type of bulb to put in the Flash for this camera. I don't have a manual, but I want to try to use flash with it. THanks.

    I like the Electric Tower shot.

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  13. not sure, some generic one-use flash bulb probably.

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  14. Anonymous7:44 AM

    I Have a "Imperial Mark XII Camera" Model#725, still in it's orignal box w/Manuel,one flash blub, and roll of film both; in the camera & a spare roll hasn't been open in the box and the flash attachment. Camera color is black;flash attach is red.

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  15. Anonymous7:46 AM

    Ps I will watch for any question or info needed...

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  16. "That's what happens after 15 minutes of sweaty anger in a dark bathroom"
    that made me laugh out loud. :D i kind of like the look of crinkled negatives anyway. nice shots!

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