Vintage Camera #017

Pearl River 6×6 TLR

Kicking off my efforts with the latest batch of purchases (New year, new…resolution?), which incidentally didn’t stop at 22, I went out with a Pearl River 6×6 twin lens reflex. Loaded with trusty HP5+ film I duly went ahead and took a few shots, all onto the same frame, before I remembered that I need to wind the film on each time.

Yes, this camera does allow the shutter to be recocked and fired without winding on. Yes, I should know better. It’s not like this is my first time ever using some flakey old film camera.

I won’t go into a lot of detail on the history of these cameras in these posts. I’m building a separate wiki-like system for documenting some of my research. And, Google.

One of my searches for information did reveal someone answering the question of “what is the worst camera you have ever used and why?”

I think I can see why. If you’ve come across this post because I’ve listed the camera for sale on eBay and I’ve linked to it there, be under no illusion that this is a good camera and will yield good results. It will not.

Quality issues?

The lens is of such poor quality that you might as well be shooting through a sheet of tracing paper. The negatives are heavily scratched (yes, I do absolutely trust that the film lab are experts and did not cause these). The sharpness ranges from poor at the centre of the frame, diminishing to shite at the edge of the frame and in the corners.

I may review the negatives and update with a bit more analysis on why the results were like this.

Despite all this, I do find something quite aesthetically pleasing about the results. The issue I have is that results like this should be easily obtainable from a Box Brownie (coming later!) from over a hundred years ago. This, however, is a camera that was manufactured right into the 1980s and for over twenty years.

In summary

However you look at it, this is a nice looking camera and for that alone is worthy of any collection. My sample shots are included below.

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