Monday, July 21, 2008

Iford Sporti: the Good and the Bad news

For some reason, I've been posting about this here. Fuck knows why.

Anyway, the bad news is, you get the front of it opened up, and... the shutter still sticks, and there's no obvious way to sort it. One reason for that is, everything is really very basic - and some minor part gets a wee bit bent, say, and there's not much you could do.

The phrase "no user serviceable parts" springs to mind: not because it't too hi-tech, like the back of a plasma telly, but quite the reverse - it's knocked out in a factory using cheap materials, and when it's goosed, it's goosed.

The good news is, although I've learned that it can't really be fixed, I've also learned why, which means I understand the beast. And I've got another one on the way from eBay, (£2 this time, not 20p). It really is as basic and as lo-tech a piece of work as you could wish for beyond a Brownie or a pinhole. Lovely.

Considering how basic it is - a pressed aluminium box with simple shutter, flash and aperture mechanism, and a very basic (though glass) lens, - it was quite expensive at £3.17s.7d, with the case costing you another £1.1s.10d extra - there's nearly four quid, (at a time when an agricultural worker, for example, could expect a minimum of about £8 a week). [Incidentally, and maybe it's my googling skills, but there seems to be a dearth of available data online to enable a relative price analysis. Forsooth.]

So... That's about £100, say, in today's money - about the same as a point and shoot? Stacks up.

For all its simplicity, it feels just right in your hand - and the shutter button really is in such a position to reduce camera shake, as it says in the manual. And the set-up for the film spool is simple but clever.

I'm looking forward to getting out and taking some photos with one. It'll be the perfect camera for Saltcoats.