It was a 1950 Tower 120 medium format film camera. Manufactured for Sears and Roebuck, it is a very simple, very basic "box" camera. It's design is elegant in it's simplicity and I was thrilled to receive it. I cleaned it up and gave it the once over straight away. I was especially excited to shoot with it because it features a 110mm fixed lens and being a box camera and not an SLR or TLR, looking through the primitive viewfinder offered what I imagined would be only an approximation of what the lens would capture...
|Downtown Los Angeles 8-2012 ©Mike Vega|
As it turned out, Monika and I were lucky enough to have a relatively "free" day (no derby bouts) and we took the time to head up to Los Angeles to purchase some film (okay, a LOT of film...) and spend the day shooting around downtown and enjoying the eateries and shops.
As this first roll was a "test" roll, I took a lot of chances with my exposures and composition, and was more than pleasantly surprised at how well the little box camera performed (even during a hand held long exposure using a slow film in low light as pictured above).
|The cooolest Ducks in town. @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA. 8-2012 ©Mike Vega|
Based on the internals of the Tower, I was initially under the impression that this camera would produce a square negative, but was puzzled by the vertical rectangular viewfinder... As it would be revealed when the film was developed, it in fact produces HUGE rectangular negatives!
|The Rosslyn Hotel. Skid Row, Los Angeles, CA. 8-2012 ©Mike Vega|
|Ponies. Mira Loma, CA. 9-2012 ©Mike Vega|
Every now and then, you come across something that simply and strangely "fits" the way that you, as an individual, do things. Sometimes it is something like a tool, or a motorcycle, or in this case a "new" vintage camera. I have been lucky in this way most of my life. To find things to integrate into what I do that allow me to do them more naturally and closer to what I imagine them to be.
Thank you to Monika for introducing me to this gem, which is sure to have a regular spot in my ever cramped camera case.