One of my most prized, obsolete possessions is a Beaulieu S2008 Super 8 motion picture camera. I’ve owned this camera for over twenty years without using it to shoot a single frame of film. I purchased it in the 90s from the original owner who advised me to replace the decaying battery. After costing out my options, I discovered that a replacement battery would cost more than the camera was worth. As it were, I’ve held onto the non functional camera as evidence of an era when film and motion picture cameras were designed to be both functional, durable and beautiful. In researching my own camera, I discovered all sorts of terrific print ephemera on ebay including operating manuals, lens boxes and magazine ads. I’m posting a few of my favorite examples plus hero shots of several stunning Beaulieu motion picture camera models.
Here are some analog items that I wish I were buying as gifts (or, in a true Christmas miracle, unwrapping myself). Since many of these artifacts are out of production or difficult to source, I recommend that you print out the images below and create your own wishful tree ornaments.
Last weekend we were honored with a visit from the Japanese “hi-style” magazine HUGE. HUGE is doing a feature on Oregon manufacturers and we were pleased that they included Archival in their itinerary. On Sunday, the HUGE team visited our sewing contractor’s facility in Springfield to get some live action snaps of Terry at work.
It was a pleasure to watch Nick, a professional photographer, at work. Here he is taking light meter readings before shooting Terry. I love that Nick shoots on film.
Nick and Takuhito, delightful gents
Documenting how Terry sets washers and snaps.
Checking Polaroids of me. I’m posing in front of a Quonset hut
I endorse Takuhito’s twin pack approach to rucksack portage. Nicole, AC Production Manager, dodging the camera in background.
Archival heirlooms: Mamiya 645, Domke canvas camera bag and Kodak 120 Portra film.
Nick’s back up rig – an Olympus Stylus point and shoot. I like his Makr carry pouch.
Prepping Rucksacks for their close ups
As a follow up to my post on film cameras, here are a few archival accessories to complete your kit.
Custom straps and leather cases by Luigi (image courtesy Martin Sequerah).
Waxed cotton camera satchel by Strawfoot bags (image and review via Wood & Faulk)
Synthetic exception. Durable neoprene SLR camera cover by Zing
Calumet protective wrap. Great, less structured approach to transporting equipment
My Billingham insert and camera bag. Too much leather trim for my taste but made from best quality materials. I’ve moved the insert over to my Archival Field Bag
Beautiful mono tubular Tiltall tripods
. Still made in USA. I found mine at a thrift store. Great info page on the history of Tiltall here
Mail order catalog from the original Camera World (Portland, Oregon)
Photographer friend Rick has proposed we that we shoot film exclusively this summer. Given my refrigerated stockpile of 35mm and 120 roll film, I’m accepting this challenge w/the caveat that bike, blog and product photography will still be done digitally. In prep for the summer, I’m browsing the pages of the 1995 Camera World catalog for a new camera (you always need a new one). Most of the cameras here are aspirational models (compact, complicated point and shoots or expensive rangefinders) that I admired but could never afford. Although the flagship Camera World store has been bought out, I’m hoping the customer service folks will honor the original published prices and deliver my equipment in time for the June project start.
Shop from these pages and join us!
Contax G1 (autofocus rangefinder). Old school version of this camera
Konica Hexar (another point and shoot rangefinder).
Canon F-1. Last chance to buy one of the best, all metal, manual control SLRs.
Contaxt T2. A favorite. Sharp lens. Compact body point and shoot. Known celebrity use.
Leica mini zoom. Reasonable compact digital camera replacement.
Domke canvas duck camera bags. Made in USA.
Pentax 6×7. Love the wooden grip handle.
Mamiya 6. All time favorite. Medium format rangefinder.
For screening snaps in September
Next post: camera accessories.