Marcy's Empire Baby Camera Review:

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I first spotted an Empire Baby Camera on eBay. Someone from Australia was auctioning it. I bid $5 and was outbid . I found the Empire Baby that I now own at the annual camera show in Puyallup, Washington. There, I paid my five bucks. This tiny (3 1/2" x 2 3/4") camera says it is made in Macau. It sports a huge red shutter lever. On the front of the lens it says, "Fitted with Optical Crystal Lens" and has a registration number from the U.K. It accepts 127mm film. The images this camera creates are 1 1/8" wide and 1 9/16" high. Keeping with cheezy camera tradition, the back of the camera has two viewing holes. You’re supposed to put the film counter number in the first hole, take a picture, then wind the same number to the next hole. I got 14 images on my first roll though I think you’re supposed to get 16, but I was afraid of image overlap, as I’ve experienced that problem before. Next time I won’t worry. I love the images this camera makes! They’re distorted around the edges and focused in the center. The classic plastic lens darkening of the edges doesn’t exist here. The shape of the nearly square image has little mousy bites taken out of three of its corners. I just sort of consider the viewfinder like a scope to aim with. You get a lot more image than what’s shown in there.

Anyone noticed that anymore when you use tiny plastic cameras people tend to think your using a fancy new digital camera? A couple of times I’ve heard someone behind me ask "Hey! What’s she got?" And someone else will answer, "It's a digital camera."

Anyway, I think this Empire Baby will probably last a little longer than some of my other plastic junk store cameras. The back swings away from the body and can be totally removed, rather than having clips you simply pull apart. The film advance winder clicks as you turn it. I love that in a crappy camera! Also, I noticed a couple of little ears with tiny holes where you’re supposed to attach a camera strap. Yeah, right.

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Getty Museum - L.A.

Fun stuff taken in Las Vegas with the Empire Baby:

More travels with the Empire Baby:

The great American vacation. Fort Peck Lake, Montana

 

Fred Smith Concrete Park. Phillips, Wisconsin.

 

Fred Smith Concrete Park. Phillips, Wisconsin.

 

I generally shy away from cemetery shots but these are from that cool old mission on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. I simply had to share!

 

McKeown's PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE & CLASSIC CAMERAS 12th Edition 2005-2006 states, "Crestline Empire-Baby - Black plastic novelty camera for 16 exp. 0n 127 film. Made in Macao. $1-1

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