1910 Film Camera Gets Beer-Can Lens, Goes to Junkyards in Two States

1910 Film Camera Gets Beer-Can Lens, Goes to Junkyards in Two States


Carburetors and points ignition systems—to say nothing of hand throttles and dash-mounted ignition-timing controls—aren’t in any way superior to modern automotive hardware, but they can be a lot more fun. Well, maybe not, but that’s the logic that makes me take century-plus-old film cameras to shoot junkyard and race-track photos.

The latest photographic madness took place when I picked up a battered 1910 Kodak No. 2A Folding Pocket Brownie for $7 on eBay and realized that I wouldn’t be able to fix the rusted-solid shutter mechanism with the spare Kodak parts I had on hand. So, I removed the Kodak’s original lens and shutter assembly and made a pinhole “lens” attachment out of piece of beer-can aluminum, much as I had with the famous camera I crafted from a 2002 Toyota Camry side mirror a few years back. Naturally, I finished up the modifications with a sticker from Laser Goat Racing on the camera’s lens cover.

A pinhole lens usually results in a nearly-indecipherable blurry image, but I combined long focal length with a tiny pinhole to get halfway decent sharpness in this new-to-me camera. First I took this camera to a Denver-area yard, where a 24 Hours of Lemons racer was extracting parts from a Ford Pinto for his race car.

A few days later, I loaded up the Kodak with some Ektar color film and brought it to another Denver yard, where a 1976 Checker Taxicab awaited me.

Tiring of the local yards, I drove my Lexus LS 400 to eastern Wisconsin, where the junkyards have more trees and their inventory more rust. Check out the gallery below for the rest of the shots from these junkyard photographic journeys.

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