Saturday, 8 October 2011

Week 93 - Petie miniature camera

Petie miniature camera by pho-Tony
Petie miniature camera, a photo by pho-Tony on Flickr.
These toy cameras were made in Germany in large numbers in the 1950s and 60s, they were sold under various names, and some of the later models had more than one shutter speed or aperture.
The film is a proprietary format using 17mm film wide on a spool with backing paper. Fortunately my camera came with four unused rolls of film, with expiry dates of 1964. I have managed to get images from older stock than this, so was cautiously optimistic that they might be usable, but there was only a trace of a picture to be seen. Film loses speed as it ages, a rule of thumb is to allow one stop per decade, but this camera has only one shutter speed and no "B" setting, so it was impossible to compensate for this loss of sensitivity.
I have re-rolled that old spools and backing papaer with some of the 40 year old FP4 16mm movie film that I used last week, I've already shot one test roll, so I know it works. The film has perforations, unlike the original, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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