Thursday, March 12, 2009

Komaflex-S A 127 Dead End

Back in the early sixties there were a number of cameras that used 127 film. A lot of them made twelve square negatives, 4cm x 4cm, and they were popular because the "super slides" fit standa 35mm slide projectors. Rollieflex, Yashica, a Ricoh made twin lens reflexes and Kowa came out with a single lens reflex, the Komaflex-S.

I made the mistake of buying one. It was smaller than a Hasselblad and had a very good quality lens. It lacked interchangeable backs and interchangeable lenses though. It was the insides that were the problem. The camera had a bad tendancy to jam. Within a year it was completely broken. I bought a 35mm camera.

A few years later Kowa came out with a 6cm x 6cm camera, the Kowaflex, which had interchangeable lenses. It also seemed to have solved the jamming problem. I knew a lot of people who bought them and they seemed quite happy with them. They were certainly a lot cheaper than a Hasselblad, but "once bitten, twice shy" as the saying goes. I'd never feel comfortable using one. I knew that! I saved up some money and bought a used Hasselblad along with a couple of extra roll film backs, a Polaroid back, a prism finder, and a couple of extra lenses. When I sold that kit I didn't lose any money. Live and learn. Sometimes the least expensive turns out to be the most costly in the end.

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