So I found a camera on craigslist with a brand that I wasn’t familiar with – Allenflex. It looked like any other typical late 50s medium format TLR. So I decided to make the buy.
The specs are pretty standard:
- 80mm prime lens
- Shutter speeds of B – 1/300 so it needs slower film.
- Takes 120 medium format film
- Top down viewfinder, just like my Yashica Mat.
I wasn’t able to find much online about it. Literally the only google result lead me to the NewsPaper archives from Salt Lake City with the following ad from November, 1957. You can see the camera in the bottom right hand corner
After emailing the people at Allen’s Camera, who are still functioning as a family business in Utah, they were able to confirm to me that it was one of theirs and one of about 50 that were ordered with the Allenflex branding.
That being said, it’s a rare camera and it isn’t. After I did some more research, I discovered that it was made by Tougodo Optical in Japan, who produced a great deal of made to order custom branding items for individual companies looking to have custom products. There are a lot of other Tougodo cameras produced that look exactly like my Allenflex – with the right serial numbers to boot, just with a different branding like Lionflex or Metascoflex. So there are a lot of cameras that are essentially the same camera – but not many called Allenflex. How it ended up in Quebec from Utah I have no idea.
Here’s what it looks like, aside from some cracked leather on one side it’s in fantastic shape. And I got to use my new light tent, which looks pretty good (and will look better when I get some proper lights for it).
One of the super fun things about moving to a new city is that you get all kinds of new territory to explore. Enough that I’m probably going to have to get a GPS module for my camera so I can remember where on earth I specifically took all of these.
I haven’t shot any film (yet), but I’ve been excited to just get out there and do some shooting and getting in the habit of the “take your camera with you everywhere” adage.
Without further ado, here are my favorite shots out of the hundreds I’ve already shot here in this gorgeous city on a mountainside.
This little guy was at Weinerfest Montreal at NDG. Out of all the silly little Dachshunds at the park that day, this was the only one I saw with heterochromia, where each iris is a different color.
I adore not only the way this image came out, but the street art itself. This mural is on the building across the street from my apartment building.
This guy is just chillin on the corner in front of a Botox ad. There’s a lot of Botox Ads. In the summer, you’d think parts of this place were LA.
Here’s an urban garden project, looks like one of the ones where residents rent space and do communal gardening. This was my view as I walked by from the other side of the fence. As soon as I clicked the shudder it became one of my favorite photos of all time.
Me and my wife were eating lunch at Atwater Market when out of nowhere, this trio of musicians came out of nowhere. I got a lot of shots of them, but this one shows the contrast between work and play really well.
This one was taken from inside a bus window, with these two standing on the sidewalk by a gas station.
During one of the street fairs we noticed that multiple pianos had been placed around the city in parks for people to play and enjoy. Were they out of tune? Sure. But this guy didn’t mind too much. Off frame there’s some Pseudo-hippie girls playing hacky-sack and doing each other’s hair. It was a good day.
A laborer works on a new metro station entry behind a gate. Despite everyone’s complaining about things not getting done in Montreal because of bickering in politics, there sure seems to be a lot happening.