Hello from Michigan. It’s -3F outside, been working outside all day, what’s better to do than blogging next to the warm exhaust fan from my computer? Somehow it turned into a tradition to do a Winter Wonderland post every year, this must have been the third or fourth in the series. It seemed like that every year I use an older camera than the previous, the Olympus Epic Zoom 80, Nikkormat FT, Exakta VX. This year I saved the best for your entertainment- a 1935 Fothflex and the Kodak Retina IIIC, I will talk about the Fothflex at the second half of the post. But first, let’s look at this years photos. The Squares ones are from the Fothflex – sledding, and the rectangular ones are from the Retina – Cross country skiing.
Fothflex by C.F. Foth & CO – 1935 Berlin, Deutsches Reich
I saw this camera at an antique store several months ago. I go to that store quite often, I did not buy it the first time, nor the second time. I did check up on it and found out it’s pretty much an oddball, one of the two TLR (models) with focal plane shutter ever been produced. By the third time I pretty much had an agreement with myself before I go in. I said to myself if that camera is still in there, I may have to “rescue” it and return it to its former glory (within reasons). Well after checking it out for a little bit, I brought it home with me, along with the original wooden tripod.
The camera was dirty, but all the mechanic seems to be functional. I cleaned up the camera the best I could, and painted the leather with liquid shoe polish – yes I did and it’s awesome. Lubed it all up, and then I found out the mirror for the viewing lens is a goner, there was no saving that piece. I didn’t want to go spend 3 digits to buy a new one, I found a way to produce front surface mirror from acrylic mirror. Took me a couple weeks to gather the stuff, it was a success, But i had to recalibrate the viewing the taking lens. Now the last thing I have to do is patch that one pin hole on one of the curtains.
I am happy to report that it’s alive and well at age 78! Still charming with lots of character, and highly usable.