This summer I went for a mooch around Bakewell with my sister. Usually she lets me pick the destinations, but recently she has begun to search for places to visit which is a very nice surprise. Sometimes she chooses places I would not so I get to see different things. This time she chose a place I really did want to visit, Bakewell of the bakewell tart fame. We actually tried the bakewell pudding while there, to be honest I prefer the tart. But I digress…
While there I saw a zenith in a charity shop window and thought I would take a look. As I already had a zenith (yet to post at this time) I wasn’t really in the mind to buy it. You rarely see vintage cameras in shops these days as the charities seem to prefer to sell them on eBay. As I was looking the assistant came over and said, “we have some more over here”. So off I trundle to take a look and there sat the Koroll 24S. It looked beautiful and for £20 I thought it was a price I was willing to pay.
What caught my eye first was the “Milano Italy” on the lens barrel. I didn’t really think about it further than that. Take my money! After a bit of research I found that this camera is from 1952, of course produced in Italy, sold through Boots in the UK. I already knew it was a 120mm camera, but I was surprised to see two red film views on the back panel. Why? Well it is a half frame camera, that means you get 24 photos when usually you only get 12. I had no idea there were half-frame medium format cameras. The resulting negative would be larger than a 35mm so the grain should still be reasonable.
The skin looked at little tatty on this one, but I could fix that. It still had the screw in lens cap attached. It also had a case, but that fell apart as soon as I took the camera out of it. It was made from a hard plastic type material and had split at all the joints. AND inside was a film. I could see the numbers through the red holes. It was only partly used so even if the back had been opened by mistake somewhere along the way I might still be able to retrieve a few shots. How exciting, I had never found a camera with a film inside…would there be shots from 1950 Italy?? I doubt it, but I could dream.
I played with the camera for a while and used the roll up and got it developed.
So this was the roll in the camera. It wasn’t fogged very much but the previous owners had under exposed the shots and they were too dark, apart from the ones in the sea. The other shots were by me finishing the film. The last one is where I forgot to wind on the film. But it worked! I wish I could give the previous owners their two shots. Maybe one day someone who knows them will see this.
I found a manual online, but really there is nothing to this camera. There are two dials on the lens barrel, one for the aperture and one for the speed. There are two choices for each. The aperture choices are f16 or f8, the speed is either bulb or 1/50th. The speed choice are really surprising, why bulb? So basically there is one choice for speed and you need a steady hand. It also means choosing a low ASA/ISO speed is your best bet. You focus by setting the distance, guessing basically. The focus dial is tiny and on the very edge of the lens, there are indents around the lens tip to help your grip. To wind on the film you move the number from one red screen to the other.
This website says this is one of the easiest cameras to mod to take 35mm film, I might try that sometime.
I went for a walk around my hometown, camera loaded with Fuji acros 100. Here are the results.
I was quite pleased with the panning shot of the birds, the relatively in focus one. That is tricky with only a 1/50th speed. I really like this camera and will be keeping it, maybe modding it with a funky skin when I get the chance.