I shot 2 films during week 14, one roll of Portra is off to the lab tomorrow, the other was a roll of Ilford HP5+ shot through a Baldixette. ‘Shot through a what?’ I hear you ask…
The Baldixette, by Balda, was made in the 50s in West Germany. It was given to me by a guy in a pub who knew my blog and thought I might be able to put it to some use. I shot one roll with it and then dropped it in a shoe box where I keep other camera bits and pieces that I’m unlikely ever to use again. I decided to use it today as I was going to be taking pictures while kayaking. I needed a camera that if I dropped it into the river, I wouldn’t be too upset.
It is a peculiar machine. It is mostly metal, including a lens tube that leaps out of the front of the camera with a mighty clang, at the push of a button, before a picture can be taken. It shoots at 1/60s or B, and has f/9 and 16 apertures and three focussing distances …and that’s it. Think of a Dinky toy Holga and you’re somewhere close. The difference between it and a Holga though is that the lens is marginally better (as I hope you’ll agree on the evidence below). I’ve written previously about our recent house move. We now live very close to the River Soar. It’s not much of a river by most standards, but it’s the main river of our county, rising just outside Leicestershire and travelling north to the Trent. Our proximity means that I can throw my ‘sitontop’ onto my van and be at the river in a couple of minutes. I can paddle a few miles down river towards Loughborough, have a coffee and turn around, paddling against the flow, back to the van. I can do 5-6 miles and be home in the time it takes for my daughter to have her morning nap. The river passes through the centre of Leicester. It cuts through a couple of large parks and several industrial areas. Immediately after that, Wanlip sewage plant pumps ‘water’ into it. I live just down stream of all this nastiness. The river isn’t actually too dirty, and nowhere close to the days when the waste from the city’s hosiery industry turned the river a bright red with decades of industrial pollution. The section I paddle is actually through a wildlife reserve where habitats are being provided to encourage wildlife back onto the flood plain.
It makes for a relaxing outing, sedate enough to take a few pictures along the way without too much risk of falling in…
Balda Baldixette, 1/60s at f/16 using Ilford HP5+ at iso400. Processed in Ilfotec HC at 1:31 for 6’30”.
Previously on 52 Rolls: