Friday, July 23, 2010

What’s in Le Box?

Last week I finally finished off some remaining frames from an Agfa Le Box Go! “disposable” camera that had been sitting around for so long I had no idea what was on it. After getting the film processed, I realized that I had owned it since at least 2002. That got me to thinking, and I believe it was from perhaps 2001, when I bought a bunch of them (quite cheaply) for use by some 4-H kids in a class I was teaching. The first image predates our moving to our present address, so that would place it about right. Later images are from walks around town that I probably took with my daughter Marjorie, and the rest are images from around the house. I was not too surprised to see that the negatives were in good shape. It was a nice surprise seeing the images that I had totally forgotten about. The Agfa color film was quite saturated and I really loved that stuff. I wonder how many disposable cameras with latent images are sitting around out there? I’m sure that not all that many of them are like mine -- “Low-fi art photography”, instead of photos of family and events that most of these cameras are used for. In terms of image quality, these little box cameras are a pretty good. So long as you have adequate light, the latitude of the C-41 color film will handle many situations quite well. As this camera was the version without a flash, outdoor scenes are pretty much it. Anything more than 5 feet away should be in focus. The plastic lens is quite good, (the aperture is probably about f/11), so anything up to about a 5x7 enlargement won’t be too bad at all...perhaps even 8x10 if you kept the camera still.
Google is now here.

The Le Box camera has been around since the 1990s, and isn’t to be confused with earlier roll-film Agfa Box cameras from the 1950s. Advances in lens technology and film make today’s disposable cameras capable of taking photographs with better image quality in a much smaller negative than the box cameras from the past. Agfa had the honesty to call their little 35mm disposable what it really was -- a box camera.
On the Law Quad, 2005? 2006?

That brings me to another point. Since these little cameras are sealed, what can one do to them to make “different” images? They fall within the “toy camera” category, so yeah, it would be fun to try and modify one for some different results.
You could:
place translucent tape over the lens
rub vaseline over the lens
tape screening over the lens
tape some different colored gels over the lens
scratch the lens
try gluing a small magnifier over the lens for close-ups
Hmm, what else?

unknown. home?

The front yard, on Saturday.

What’s in your Le Box?

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