TK Roll 2015–18: Autocord in Black and White (Tri-X 400)

If you’ve come across my posts before, you may have noticed that I have taken quite a liking to a nice old 1960s Twin Lens Reflex camera, a Minolta Autocord with an Optiper shutter and a 75/3.5 Rokkor taking lens.

In color, the thing just produced ridiculously beautiful color negatives. But months back, I’d already purchased a Rollei bayonet I light yellow filter (forgive the technobabble) in order to shoot some black and white film. I’d also purchased quite a few rolls of Kodak Tri-X 400 for just that purpose, though had only shot it with my cheap and cheerful 6×6 folding camera, the Baldi 29. (Itself to be the star of an yet another upcoming episode, no doubt).

After the Autocord had an unfortunate fall on a wooden floor when I excitedly wanted to demonstrate it to my dad (note: those neck straps are there for a reason), and subsequently needed its mirror replaced for more money than the camera had cost, I sucked it up and paid. The Autocord was the front runner for my “desert island camera”, after all. To, you know, take on that desert island where you’re stranded, supposedly Robinson-Crusoe-like, with nothing but your wits about you, a paternalistic attitude toward people named after days of the week, and apparently all the necessary accoutrements and chemicals to make pictures. Which somehow, I assume you had with you when you shipwrecked, and you’re now able to fashion a darkroom under the palms. I guess. Or maybe I just like my hypotheticals pointlessly specific. Did anyone take pictures on Lost, by the way?

Back from the shop, the Autocord was ready to shine again, this time not in living color but in classy old school black and white. To try it out, I went back to the harbor, where the sailor in me is almost magically drawn again and again. The serviced camera performed well, though I noticed the focus was off at infinity (and thus, probably, through the range). I tried to keep the lens closed to at least f8 and kept on shooting, hoping that the depth of field would cover up the problem. Still, when I got back the pictures, they certainly seemed less sharp. But was that only an illusion, or the lack of that magical color that I had gotten used to? Whatever the reason, the little box that could will go back to the repair shop once more to be looked at and tuned.

Until then, there’s quite a few other cameras waiting their turn for future posts.

4 thoughts on “TK Roll 2015–18: Autocord in Black and White (Tri-X 400)

  1. Dropping a camera is such a sickening moment : ( I have dropped just about all of mine at least once. Hope it’s ok after its next trip to the camera doctor! Great writing, btw, and to me these look sharp.


  2. Pingback: Between the Ages: The Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 - 35mmc

  3. Love the autocord. I sent mine to Karl Bryan, you can find him on the web. He calibrated my focus perfectly. My infinity was at 50 feet before calibration. Karl is absolutely fantastic. Turned my camera around in a week. This camera in good shape is a jewel.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s