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Marcy's Rover Camera Review:

I took the train to L.A. to visit an old friend. He’s so the same! He’s even more the same than he used to be. But that’s another story. On the final day of my visit, he went to work and I was left to spend a grueling day shopping. "Don’t even try the antique stores...you won’t find a single affordable item." I was warned.

Well, well, well. The very first shop I stepped into presented me with a lovely Rover at a mere pittance. It had film in it, but the film hadn’t been exposed due to the fact that a tiny piece of plastic on the take-up assembly was broken off.

Once at home, away from the aroma of L.A. (silicone and wax), I super glued a plastic bead onto the broken part. This worked for an exposure or two, then broke off again. I resorted to exposing an image, then going into the darkroom or using the changing bag, to advance the film, each time guessing where the next frame should start. That’s a chunk of my life that I’ll never get back. I’d already covered the camera in foil, removing the light-leak variable. But, guess what? I forgot that I was still using the ancient film that originally came with the camera. The one variable that truly mattered hadn’t been removed. Imagine my chagrin when I saw that paper backing on my darkroom counter after I’d loaded the film into the developing tank. I think it even said "Safety Film" on it. In the end, everything turned out totally muddy-looking because of old fogged film. Everything except one image, that is. I rather like the black Barbie silhouette.

Back to the camera: It’s a Diana in all of her glory. All of her silly settings work. The Barbie shot is a tripod one. I believe her focus spot is just a bit left of center. The images are tough to make out due to the old film, but the classic Diana edge distortion is discernable. I plan to experiment with more glue and plastic on that take-up winder.

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Years later....

Ha! I fixed it! I drilled the entire advance mechanism out ( except the ratchet thingy ) and put a bolt inside. A safety bolt, I think is what you call it. It's got a hole in the end. I glued a short piece of wire in the hole. This works well as a film spool take-up post except for one tiny glitch. You've kind of got to pinch the camera while turning the advance knob. I couldn't figure out a way to make the bolt stay snug to the camera body. The bolt is wired into place, but if you don't pinch the camera, the film spool doesn't want to stay engaged. No biggie. Just kind of a pain if you're trying to do some quick shooting. Like sports action shots.

 The camera says to use 620, but I used 120 without a problem.

Anyway, exposed the following:

This is my dog's eye. I taped a close-up dioptor over the lens.

The Oregon coast. I accidentally left the focus at 6' instead of infinity. Also, camera shake. I really like this image!

Took the Rover to see the Spruce Goose in McMinnville, OR.

 
 

The original little cover that says "use 620 film" but I've now got a piece of black tape there instead.

 

McKeown's PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS 2001-2002 states, "Hong Kong "Diana" type novelty camera. $10 -$100."

Click here for DIANA: THE MUSICAL, part I

Click here for DIANA: THE MUSICAL, part II

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