The Camera Bag: Canon 5D Mark II View Camera Combines Old with New


posted Monday, March 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM EDT

This digital-analogue mashup has been called a “Medium-Format Canon 5D Mark II” but what it really is is a new life for a very old camera.

Most photographers have old cameras stuck away in a closet or a drawer. We are a sentimental lot after all and there is something about a turn-of-the-20th Century camera that appeals to a photographer's heart.

But few of us look at those cameras the way Jason Bognaki, a video director in Loma Linda, CA did. One day he got curious about how he could take pictures with his 1919 Piccolette Contessa-Nettel folding camera that had sat unused on a shelf for years. Hacking it onto a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, he produced an odd-looking hybrid that actually takes pictures.

Since the folding camera used medium-format (2 ¼ or 120mm) roll film, a few web wiseacres have dubbed his creation a medium-format Canon 5D. Not really; it is just a lens on a bellows that happened to have been mounted on a camera that used medium format film.  
Bognaki was quite surprised at the results and the quality of the images produced by a hundred-year-old lens. In fact, in true Hollywood style his initial response to his monster was “Wow, It’s alive.”   

Best of all, Bognaki’s camera is a local sensation. As he told us in an interview today:

“The reactions have been great. I was at the farmer's market on Sunday and I was stopped multiple times. 'Hey I saw your camera online...That's the camera right? How does it work? Wow you can really take pictures with that?' Comments coming from photographers, to couples shopping for fresh foods. It was surprising. The camera is its own little celebrity for sure. If anything, it has sparked people's imagination and interest in old photo gear. Maybe it will open people's eyes a little to the gear that can make an Instragram-like images. Those old cameras on your shelves still have some life left in them!”

Hm, I have a Kodak Primo Junior in a closet in my studio, I wonder…

(Via Planet 5D)