I want to talk a little about the camera I learned photography with. A Kodak Pony IV camera that my parents had. A bit of a trip down memory lane in my new photo blog's first "real" post.
But first, today's photos, OK? Neither one of these is a great photo. Not going for artistic merit here today; just wanted to give a couple of examples of photos I have that were taken with the Kodak Pony IV that I'll show y'all in a bit.
This photo is a scan I did of a 35mm slide that Sainted Mother took of us kids in 1966, using the Kodak Pony IV camera. From left to right, Me (in red shirt), Big Brother, Cousin Scott, Big Sis. I think this was a Cypress Gardens, but I'm not sure.
This is a photo that I took in the Ozarks of Arkansas, at DogPatch USA, using the Pony IV. DogPatch no longer exists, and was a small theme park based on Al Cap's Lil Abner comic strip. This girl was dressed as one of the characters and was just messin' with everyone that walked by. I was about 13 at the time, and asked her if I could take her photo. She immediately dropped into this pose and started flirting with me. She scared the snot out of me, but I took a picture anyway.
That second photo, is a flatbed scan of a print. It has started to change colors around the edges a little. I chose this photo because I distinctly remember this girl and taking that photo. I cut off her foot. Oh well, too late, no do-overs.
Kodak Pony IV camera.
When I was in the eighth grade, at Robert E. Lee Jr. High School in Monroe, Louisiana, I decided for some reason, that I wanted a camera. I mentioned it to my parents, and Sainted Mother said, "Well, we've got that old Pony IV in the closet over there."
My reply was, "What's a Pony IV?"
"It's a camera that's in it's box in there on one of the shelves."
So I went over to the closet close to our den and started looking around. I found this box.
Inside the box were these items.
Here's a good look at the camera.
The Kodak Pony IV was made from 1957 to 1961.
It has a Kodak Anastar Lens: 44mm, f3.5
Manually selected shutter speeds B, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, and 1/250
Manually selected apertures: f3.5, f4.0, f5.6, f8, f11, f16, f22
It just has a viewfinder like a point and shoot camera, not even a rangefinder. You have to estimate the distance to the subject and manually adjust the focus to your estimated distance from 2.5ft to infinity.
I didn't have a clue as to how to work the darn thing, and it had been enough years since either parent had even taken it out of it's box, that they were as clueless as I was.
Luckily this was back in the days of the little piece of paper that came with any roll of film that would give you guidelines on how to set the aperture and shutter speed for what ever ASA of film I had bought. ASA later became ISO that we still use today; same numbers though. Basically it gave you tips based on the sunny 16 rule, if any of you remember that. On a sunny day, set your shutter speed to the closest one to the ISO of the film, say ISO 100 = shutter speed of 1/125, and set the f-stop to f16.
Then in the shade, open up the aperture another stop, and so forth and so on.
I didn't know squat about film lattitude either, but I lucked out and used print film in this camera, which was naturally forgiving of exposure errors.
So this was my camera between 1975 and 1979 for traveling, and outside shots. I never bothered to try to find flash bulbs for that flash gun; I had a pocket 110 camera I used indoors because it had a built-in flash.
In 1979 I scrimped and slaved and saved and bought myself a Canon AE-1 with a 50mm f1.4 lens, and a Speedlite 155a flash. I was stylin' then!
But I obviously still have ye olde Pony IV. I take it out every month or two and work the shutter and apertures to keep it operating well.
Good times, good times.