My Dad’s Camera

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I have always had an interest in photography, and can remember as a tiny kid pouring over old family albums filled with black and white pictures of long lost relatives. Many of the family photographs were also in the form of slides, and I can vividly recall asking to use the slide viewer again and again to the point where I think it annoyed my parents.

My dad always had a camera and he loved taking pictures, especially of the family. I can remember seeing him in the back yard peering down into the viewfinder of this camera, and finding it again reminded me of that time long ago. My dad is no longer with us, but I still have his camera and just recently in a nostalgic moment I brought it back out of storage. I am ashamed to admit that I have no idea how to even use this little beauty.

It is a Halina Reflex with what looks like four shutter options… B, 1/25th, 1/50th, and 1/100th of a second. It has an 80mm f3.5-f22 lens, uses 120 roll film, and of course everything is manually operated. I think these were mass produced in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s in Hong Kong, and although probably not expensive at the time, I am amazed at the quality of the build materials. This is something that just feels good in your hands, and when I start examining it, I find it difficult to put down.

Most modern digital cameras are feather-light in weight, and they are manufactured with materials that don’t compare to the sturdy, rugged feel of this little gem. No batteries, no white balance, no flash, no autofocus and no menu of options to be had here… looks incredibly simple to use. I say it looks simple to use, but I have a feeling that it would take some serious trial and error before I was able to figure out how to really use this kind of camera effectively. I am very intrigued though… maybe I should see if I can still buy some 120 roll film?

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6 thoughts on “My Dad’s Camera

  1. Joan

    I also remember that camera well, even though we must have been very young. Maybe we had to stand still for too long!

    • David Patterson

      I can still see Dad in the back garden on a sunny day peering into the viewfinder from above. Glad you remember it too 🙂

    • David Patterson

      Definitely some good memories… wonder where all those slides went? I remember them being under the sideboard in the living room.

  2. Ben Horne

    I would definitely get a roll of 120 and run it through the camera. What a fitting tribute it would be to once again use this camera to take some photos of your family. He would be proud!

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Ben. I think I will do just that. This little mechanical beauty makes me feel like I am a “real” photographer like you 🙂

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