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Karen Stuebing | profile | all galleries >> Film >> Who Can Resist a Toy Camera? tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Who Can Resist a Toy Camera?

Toy camera is a term used to describe an inexpensive film camera. The most well known are the Holga and Diana. They usually have plastic lenses. And just because they're toy cameras doesn't mean they're not legitimate photography. Photographers have long used toy cameras and produced award winning photos with them.

Once you have used one, you're hooked. I don't care if you're the most OCD pixel peeper on the planet constantly in search of perfection.

These cameras are known for their imperfections. Vignetting, blurring, light leaks and distortion.

I picked up an old Ansco Color Clipper at a yard sale. This was the medium format point and shoot of the 1940's - 1950's. It uses 120 film. It's has two apertures. One for color (f8) and one for black and white (f11). Shutter speed is fixed at 1/50. Back when they were produced, ISO 50 film was sold everywhere. So they are designed for bright sunny days if you follow the sunny 16 rule.

There is no focus. It's range finder. Feet are marked on the lens from 4 feet to infinity. You put it on the number of feet you are from the subject you want in focus. At f11, you do have a little bit of room for error.

I use ISO 100 in it which in effect puts me one stop under at f11 on a sunny day. I can push the film during development but I generally don't and it comes out fine.

So I'm just out there playing with my new toy. Photography can be fun.