Thursday, March 13, 2008
A few months ago I found a cute little 60's Kodak Starflash box camera at an antique store, for something like $10. When I got it home, I discovered it still had someone's old roll of film inside. Some previous owner had taken a whole roll but never bothered to have it developed. I figured, what the heck, I'll get it developed and see what's on there. So here are the 5 "good" photos off the roll. I think the redness is an artifact of the film being so old. It was a roll of Kodacolor VR 200 in 127 format (Wikipedia says it doesn't exist, but that's what it was.) 127 film isn't quite dead -- there's one manufacturer left, in Croatia I think -- but color 127 film has been extinct for ages and ages. So mad props to Blue Moon Camera for sorting it all out.
I have to say I was kind of relieved to find out the photos were of flowers, and not of people. If they'd turned out to be someone's precious but misplaced family photos, I wouldn't have felt right about putting them on the interwebs. And I'll admit I had this worry in the back of my mind that the roll might contain something criminal or at least sleazy. Which obviously wouldn't go on the interwebs either. But flowers, those are fair game -- and they also happen to be an annual staple of this humble blog right about this time every year.
You can't help but wonder what the story is behind the flowers. Someone used most of a roll of film on them, so must've thought they were important, but seemingly not important enough to get the film developed. Possibly it was already difficult to find a lab that handled 127, I'm not sure. From various tidbits I've run across on the interwebs, Kodak's VR 200 was available from 1982 to around 1985-86, so that gives us a rough timeframe for when the photos were taken. 127 was an archaic format by that time, as Kodak had long since switched to pushing 126, 110, and finally Disc film as their consumer snapshot formats of choice. The camera was made around 1957-1965, so it was pretty outdated at that point too. The decor in the photos also looks distinctly pre-1982. So one theory is that the camera belonged to an elderly person. The flowers kind of look like the sort of flowers one would give to an elderly person, too, possibly for Easter or Mother's Day.
The camera also seems to have not been used very often, or very roughly. It came in the original box, and there were still a bunch of original flashbulbs included. Incidentally, did you know there's only one company left in the entire world making new flashbulbs? It's true, apparently, at least from what I've been able to determine. And they're based in Ireland, of all places. They don't seem to make the type of bulb used in my lil' Starflash, though. I haven't used any of the included bulbs, and I'm not sure I ought to, seeing as they aren't a renewable resource and all. Perhaps I'll try just one at some point, out of idle curiosity.