Friday, June 7, 2013

Low Tech Wonder - the Debonair from the Film Photography Project

The Plastic Filmtastic Debonair from the Film Photography Project
Image Source:
I've gotten hooked on a podcast from the Film Photography Project (FPP). It's a regular audio podcast put together by a group of friends in Findlay, Ohio. Part comedy, part film photography infocast, these guys keep it light and interesting.
(Click Here) for information on the podcast.
They also have an online store, with great pricing and availability on film. In fact, their Kodak film prices match the big New York warehouses. I like to support FPP.
(Click Here) to go to the FPP store.
While you're looking through the store, you may notice the "Plastic Filmtastic Debonair." An all-plastic medium format (120 film) camera, the Debonair is reminiscent of a Holga. With its fixed "Super lens," which is a 60mm f8 (no f-stop adjustment available), the Debonair shoots vertical (portrait) orientation 6x4.5 cm images. You get 16 images per roll of 120. Shot spacing is accomplished through a red window in the camera back, so you'll need to put some black tape over that if you use high speed film. The shutter speed is fixed somewhere around 1/100 sec on the sunny setting. There's also a cloudy setting that seems to be close to the same, maybe 1/60 sec. The lens has three focus settings - close, medium, far.
This camera allows you (forces you) to put your mind on seeing images, rather than technical settings. Composition becomes king. Sharpness is out the window, of course.
Most importantly, the Debonair costs $19.99. It's worth at least $19.99, maybe even $20.00.
Here are some images from my first roll of film through the Debonair, shot on Konica Centuria 100 print film, which expired in 2006.
Plastic Filmtastic Debonair Images, by Reed A. George
Obviously, I didn't spend any time post-processing these. I did increase the exposure a little after scanning them, but that's it. I think iso 200 film would be better for daylight pictures.
As usual, I used my favorite processing house for these, The Darkroom.
(Click Here) to check out The Darkroom. They process 35mm and 120 film for $10 per roll, including putting scans online for you. I'm a dedicated customer. You can print out a prepaid mailing label, or they'll send you a prepaid envelope if you contact them. I have sent them a lot of film, and always been happy with the results.
So, spend $20 with the good people at FPP and get yourself a Debonair. See what forgetting about f-stops, shutter speeds, and focusing points can do for your creative side!