Ansco B2 Cadet: Photography with an Old Box Camera

Sure, today’s fancy digital cameras have a lot of tricks to ensure your photos turn out picture-perfect.  But compared to the simplicity of an old box camera like Ansco’s B2 Cadet, the photos aren’t THAT much better!

Basically a wooden box without any real lens, and a 1/60 second shutter that allows light into a box where it hits a sheet of 120 (B2) film at the back of the box, there’s something to be said for simplicity.  The only “extras” are a couple of finders that allow you to hold the camera at waist level (to keep it steady) and look into the glass window to “see” what the camera is seeing.

Ansco B2 Cadet

Here are a few black-and-white shots taken in Namibia’s northern coastal desert, the Skeleton Coast.  You can see more photos taken with this camera at this link.

This is an old shipwreck on the beach that the waves are slowly pounding into oblivion


A bit farther north, you can visit this old mining (?) rig that is rusting in the desert

Aging Machinery

And finally, the iconic Welwitschia plant, a two-leafed oddity that lives to be thousands of years old. Clearly not everyone is as impressed with this plant as I was.

Not Impressed by the Welwitschia

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