Wednesday, March 29, 2006

On the Cheap

on the cheap
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
The other day I finally developed a roll of film shot with this unassuming, cheap, and plastic camera. It's a Vivitar IC 400, with what appears to be a 28mm f11 or f8 lens. I paid a dollar for it at the Recycle Reuse Center in Ann Arbor. My daughter looked at me with disdain when I picked it up - "That's such a piece of junk." She said (or something to that effect). Well, I have a thing for these often-maligned little cameras. For one, they usually have a fairly sharp lens. Second, we all know it's the photographer, right? Think about the usual target audience for these cameras -- people that use a camera for some special event or a trip to the zoo, etc. All they know is they think they need to record the event, and hey, that camera is 6.99 -- it ought to do the trick. Like legions of people before them, using box cameras from Kodak and Ansco, or plastic 127 cameras, and later still, Instamatics. All for the same purpose - snapshots. Photos destined for some album -- maybe. Now we have digital, with the same people taking the same shots. (Trust me on this... I see them on Flickr).

So, where does that leave this sad little 35mm snapshot camera? A $1 buy at a thrift shop, now destined to take images that the snapshooters would never imagine.

I used a roll of Ilford HP-5+, developed it in D-76, and the negatives were scanned on my cheap Epson 3170 scanner. I adjusted the curves a bit, toned some in Photoshop, but that was all. I think the results look pretty good.

The set is here


MikeR said...

Nice photos Mark. I have been interested in these simple point and shoot cameras lately. It is amazing how freeing they can be, almost as if they give you permission not to snap a masterpiece everytime.

Jimtown said...

Enjoyable reading about your rescue of this little camera. You'll bring it back to life if anyone can.