Shooting with the Kodak Retina 1a

I’m loving this little 1950s camera and the pictures it takes. There are lots of little imperfections here and there, maybe dust in the lens – who knows – but I love the vintage look of the photos I have been taking with it.

A few weeks ago I took it out for a test run – and I gave an overview of the Retina 1a.  And now I’ve gotten a chance to do a bit more shooting, which I’ll share in case you’re into vintage cameras and are considering buying one.

The great thing about the camera is that it takes 35mm film.  The film below is Kodak 400TX (Tri-X), currently available.

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple

The photos below and above are from one of the old temples at Kanchipuram.  I blogged about that temple and shared some digital camera photos of the place here.  A line runs through most of the photos – I think it has to do with the way the film passes over the rollers – and I plan to take a look at it, but in some ways I don’t mind it.  The line above is crooked because I can’t manage to hold a camera horizontal to save my live.  so I turned it in Photoshop.

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple

With these old-looking black and white photos, you can apply an additional filter with Instagram, or on Flickr’s editing tool, and get interesting effects like the one below. They can fake a lot of the photo damage to make it look old, but why fake it when you have the real thing?

Welfare Watches filtered

Then there was this group of guys we met in one of the temples. Raucous bunch.

Jaya Kumar and the Gang

The next couple of photos are from Hyderabad. The camera works well to capture old buildings, which can be fun in India:


And finally, a guy whose facial expression doesn’t match his shirt:


To see other photos taken with the Retina 1a, you can go here.

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