Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition “problem”. Really all it is, is a desire to try all of the cameras!!!
We have started collecting many vintage cameras now over the past few years, but in an effort to not let our collection get out of hand we decided to only collect cameras that work and can actually be used.
However, not all are winners and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection. Camera speed dating!
Here is the most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with….The Jem Jr. 120 format camera.
A few quick facts about the Jem Jr, in the 1940’s two models were released by J.E Mergott in New Jersey. This particular one obviously has sync capabilities, as you can see from the lightning bolts on its front. It has two settings I and T. Its close focus is approxametly 6 feet.
I must admit, like with most of these sorts of cameras, what first caught my eye was the Jem’s shiny face! And if I’m to be perfectly honest with myself that is the biggest reason it’ll stick around. It’s shutter ‘button’ (which is more of a lever) is on the side of the camera and sometimes I find myself unintentionally wiggling the camera as I push the shutter down, which of course results in camera shake! I chose to take the Jem out January 1st to catch the excitement of the Polar Bear swim in English bay; it was a fairly bright but hazy day. The haze seemed to darken the day just enough to create some camera shake. That day I also took a photo of the fog off my balcony, we both seemed to do a better job taking that photo. Perhaps the lack of excitement and haze made for a sharper photo. These photos also show off my Jem’s rather large light leak. Shot on AGFA Scala 200 developed in regular black & white chemistry.