This Old Point & Shoot New In Box | $25 Photographer Challenge

This old Point and Shoot New in Box | $25 Photographer Challenge #007

Hi Everyone, Azriel Knight here, and today on the $25 photographer challenge, I’ve got an old point-and-shoot camera. I’m gonna say this things about 10 to 15 years old, but there isn’t a date on it. I got this off of eBay for less than 25 bucks, still sealed in package. It comes with uhh a focus free camera a fresh roll of Kodak versatility film and a Kodak double A battery. Let’s take a closer look at the packaging and then open it up.

You can see here Bell and Howell Focus Free, built-in flash with the shutter lock. What makes me think it’s 10 to 15 years old is this photo here. It’s possible they were using an old photo at the time. Officially it’s a Bell and Howell 608. I’m really curious about this film because normally when I find old color film, even 10 to 15 years old, the color’s pretty off, but this has been sealed in a package, and it was made for this camera too because normally the expiry date would be somewhere around here but it’s not, and it says right here not for individual sale, supplied for camera packs only. The other thing I’m really curious about is this Kodak battery. Now the back here has some specifications, the lens is a single plastic 35mm focal length, okay, and the aperture is f/10 with no flash, and f/9 with the flash. The shutter is 1/125 of a second.

Okay, so this is sort of a catch-all, it doesn’t seem to have an automatic setting, and the setting seems to be a fixed aperture. There might be some benefit to me bringing a lightmeter, setting it to f/10, 1/125, at ISO 400, but considering this was for the everyday person, that might not be necessary. Fixed exposure with a manual wind, I’m assuming that double A battery is just for the flash, and the one thing I’m worried about is I’m not gonna be able to turn it off. Okay, let’s get this thing open.

Okie Dokie, I’ve got myself a pair of scissors, battery meter, and an unused battery to see what a full charge looks like.

[snip snip snip]

[open open open]

Well, here’s my 10 year limited warranty.

[paper ruffling]

So far, still no indication to what year this was released.

Heh! Almost, almost, a very, a totally full charge. Okay. Yeah you see how that one goes beyond the green. This one just touches the edge. But, however old this thing, this battery’s still good. Maybe I can find a date. Okay, this camera might not be as old as I originally thought, this battery expires in March 2011. So just about six years now. So this camera’s probably closer to 10 than 15 years old. Ah, here we go, nevermind, develop before May 2006. Kodak Eastman Company Copyright 2004. So this camera is well, between 10 and 15 years old I guess. Looks like there’s where I turn the flash on, might not fire without film. Let’s bust this film open.

[opening and loading sounds]

There we go!

Boy that shot counter is off! Definitely not centered, kinda tucked in the corner there.

I’m gonna turn the flash off and it still went. There’s my shutter lock. Okay, camera is all set up.

I think what attracted me to buy this, besides fitting into the category, is that it was new and packaged. Not only do you not see a lot of film cameras being sold these days, but one this old is even more rare. So I was kinda curious to see how the battery held up, which is good. My next question is how well will the film held up. So I’m gonna head out now and take some photos, the weather’s pretty bleak, so I’m not sure how colorful I’m gonna be able to get these photos, but by the time I’m finished developing, I should have a better idea how the film held up over the years.

The other thing too is I’m in the middle of a Canadian winter, it’s not that cold out right now, it’s only -9 celsius, but it’s right around the temperature where you probably want to leave your digital camera at home unless you got something crucial to shoot. I know a lot of you out there will take your cameras out in colder than -9 celsius, I’ve personally done it myself as well with no consequences, but film thrives in the cold, and it’s easier knowing that your gear is safe or it’s not worth enough to give a lick in difference. Especially with this thing, I mean, if this doesn’t work, I’m not gonna shed a tear that’s for sure.

[80s traveling music]

Okay my first stop is in the neighborhood of Englewood, and I’m gonna take a nice walk around and see what I can come up with.

[80s walking music]

Things have gone pretty smooth so far, I’m not having to change up the settings, or really meter for my shots. I’ve gone through the roll pretty quick, I’m already on shot number 19. I’m gonna beeline it back to my car now and use up the rest of the roll.

[80s walking back to warm car music]

Okay, I’m back in my car now, it’s a little colder outside than I would have liked. I didn’t have gloves, as you probably know, trying to shoot with gloves is a difficult task, and sometimes it’s just better to have cold hands you can shove in your pockets every few seconds, so now that I’ve done the roll, I’m gonna head home, head into the darkroom, and see how they turn out.

[80s traveling home music]

Okay, I’m back home now, I’m in the darkroom, and I’m ready to develop this roll. Before I even get the film into the tank, the first I should do is start a warming bath for my chemicals.

[Sink running]

[80s productivity music]

Sometimes getting the chemicals up to 102 involves two baths, especially if I can’t get the water hotter than 120 Fahrenheit, bottles will absorb all that heat from the first bath, and now I’ll have to dump it, and fill it up again.

[80s chemicals working on film in various ways music]

[photo equipment being thrown around]

[studying color negatives]

Looks like the film’s dry now. It dried up a little curlier than I was expecting, now I’m gonna get it cut up and sleeved and then take a closer look at it on the light table.

Yeah, they’re really curly, I might end up using a piece of newton glass just to flatten it out. The shots look good, there’s a few spots on them, but that’s not due to the camera or the film, that’s just leftover stabilizer. Okay, let’s get the scanner going and take a look and see how the color held up.

Okay, that took way longer than I had expected. The film was super curly and unagreeable, so by the time I got it on there, I really didn’t care about dust or anything like that. Here’s a few highlights.

[80s photo display music]

As you can see the color turned out pretty good considering I did tweak the white balance just a little bit in Lightroom, but other than that there wasn’t any fogging or fading from the edges or anything like that. The negatives didn’t come out clean but that’s not the camera or film’s problem, that’s my stabilizer. I forgot to use purified water.

As far as this camera goes, will I ever use it again, probably not. I wanted to see if something new in package was any better than picking this up from a Value Village. Honestly, I think so. The image quality was good and the colors in the Kodak film I think held up better than a lot of the better expired film I’ve shot with over the years.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, please remember to like, share, and subscribe, and until next time, stay classic.

[Upbeat outro music]

Transcribed by Jason Ganz