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Category: cosina ct1a

Lightbox Monday #1

Cosina CT1A + Cosinon 50mm f2 + Ilford HP5 Plus (Morocco, 2010)

Lightbox Monday is an idea I’ve, ahem, borrowed from another blog I enjoy reading each week. I’ve at least changed the date… Anyway after a crazy few years of moving about (and a brief spell of living in a van the other side of the world), its been nice to go back through my photo library and do a good bit of sorting out. Its cool to see some photos, underrated at the time, become much more interesting with the passing of time.

This is a shot from a roll of HP5 plus I took with me to Morocco. I’d managed to get a standby flight on Ryanair for ¬£25 round trip for me and a mate and this felt like the most exotic place the budget airline could take me in January. We stayed in Marrakech but did an overnight excursion to the northern edge of the Sahara desert, where we did a couple of hours on a camel and camped in a traditional berber tent. I am quite fond of this picture, much more than any of digital shots I got of these camels. For another favourite from this trip check out this one.

Snake Charmer

Cosina CT1A + Cosinon 50mm + Ilford HP5 Plus (Marrakesh, 2011)

Cosina CT1a + Cosinon 50mm f2

Summary

I think this is a fun and capable camera, especially suited to someone who is looking an inexpensive camera to try out film. Its pretty light and small (weighing something like 700 grams with the 50mm F2 lens) so good for travel. It also uses the Pentax K mount so I think there are plenty of lenses you could use at reasonable prices. The functions it has are simple, just manual mode and a self timer, which are good in keeping you focussed on the image. Negatives are that the meter didn’t seem all the greatest and the film advance lever broke off mine and was not easily fixable (I sold the camera as spares/repairs for almost nothing on eBay after this happened). The shutter speed is also limited to 1/1000, although I doubt this is a big drawback to most people (it wasn’t for me). The ergonomics and look of the camera are quite standard and simple, but I do think it looks pretty cool.

My Story with this Camera

This was almost the camera that started my passion for photography. However the first roll I put through it came out with a black line across the top of alot of frames, and the rest were pretty badly exposed. Thinking the camera was broken, I didn’t use it again until 4 years later, when I infact realised it worked fine! So it ended up being the purchase of a digital DSLR (a Nikon D40) that set me on the photography path, and not this. Which is a shame, because this was a fun and capable camera. I think what had happened was me not realising there was such a thing as a max shutter speed for flash sync, and so all of the pictures taken with the flash had that black band at the top of the frame. This is one of the few cameras thats broken during normal usage for me, with the film advance lever coming off and not wanting to go back on. It was sold in 2011 as spares/repairs for almost nothing on eBay.

Photos

Conclusion

Its a decent camera for a film beginner, especially as its so inexpensive. Its simple to use, and can get some excellent pictures with the sharp and fast 50mm F2 lens, but I wouldn’t be too reliant on the meter.

Relics

Cosina CT1-A + Cosinon 50mm + Ilford HP5 (London 2011)

I first tried out film during my first year of university in 2007. I bought this cheap Cosina camera from a london market stall and ran one roll through it. Unimpressed with the results, and skeptical the camera had a fault, I didn’t touch it again until many years later until I was developing my own film in the university photo societies darkroom. The few rolls I put through it are fun to look back on, and this photo specifically is one of my favourites. This was taken in the basement of the British Museum in their South America room.¬†Whilst I’ve pushed the contrast in post, I am still very impressed how the detail and contrast came out. Looking at this image I find it hard not to be absorbed into thinking about where this stone statue came from, who made it, and the things it has seen.

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