Friday, May 11, 2012

a good day at the junk shop

It has been quite a while since I found anything interesting at the local thrift shops.

Of course, the first thing that caught my eye today was the Olympus XA 2 and its four-dollar price tag. I popped a set of batteries in when I got home and the camera came to life and the shutter seemed to be working perfectly. I was patting myself on the back while loading a roll of film in the camera when I noticed that it was missing the pressure plate. Oops...  Another bit of good luck -- I happen to have an XA with some fungus on the lens which I had already used as a parts donor. Popped the pressure plate off and put it on the XA 2. I'll give the camera a chance to show its stuff tomorrow, which is National Train Day.

 The Kodak Brownie 44 A is pretty uncommon in this country, though they probably go for a dime a dozen in the UK where they were built. This one has three apertures: f8, f11 and f16, fixed focus and a fixed shutter speed of about 1/40 sec. Mine is missing the clip-on cover which attached with a couple lugs on the camera's bottom. I believe the fact that there are three rather than two apertures means that the camera was built after 1964; it was designed for Kodak by the award-winning British industrial designer, Kenneth Grange. The shutter and the back latch were very sticky on the 44 A. I took off the front to get at the shutter, and some Ronsonol there and on the latch got everything working smoothly. I'm curious enough about this camera to be tempted to pick up a roll of 127 film to try it out; I think this may be one of the first Kodaks with a plastic lens. I was hoping its rather large size for a 127 shooter would mean I could run some 35mm through it, but it doesn't look to me like that would work.

 The Sekonic Auto Lumi meter looked like it was new from the dealer and I could see at the shop that the needle was reacting strongly to light. However, the dial on the front was completely stuck. I took the thing apart and found that the grease behind the dial had dried out completely and was keeping anything from moving properly. More Ronsonol, and Bob's your uncle.


Jim said...

Great finds!

Norman Montifar said...

Great finds indeed, Mike. The XA2 is my favorite pocket camera. It has amazing lens.