Whenever I see a French word ending in “…if”, it gives me a flashback to my first visit to Paris. I made the rookie mistake of consuming too many baguettes and too much fromage. A visit to the pharmacy isn’t quite as easy as it is at home. The ability to speak French would’ve helped. You can’t just walk in and grab something, you have to ask for it. I kept repeating to the pharmacist, “laxative … laxative … laxative…” while I mimed with my hands. My foreign language skills -anywhere- are more like a game of charades. “laxative … laxative … laxative…” Finally her face lit up! “Laxatif!” she exclaimed. (Isn’t that what I said?) Now everyone in the store knew. Thanks. I got what I needed, but not without humiliation.
I bring this up because that event was the first thing I thought of when I saw “objectif” on the front of this box camera. I actually got the camera in Portugal. I traded an Argus C3 for it.
I didn’t use the camera on that trip but I did take it with me last month for a visit to Massachusetts. It accepts 120 film and I put three rolls through it, all expired. (Isn’t it always?) “Objectif” means lens and it’s got a “Menisque” one. An internet search tells me it was made in 1947 by the Goldstein Company in France. I don’t know where in France. It’s extremely cute, with it’s casket-shaped logo on the front. There’s a built-in yellow filter and even a “Pose” (b) setting.
The shutter lever is a tiny little metal thing that I can barely snag with my fingernail. As it is pushed down, it sticks out more, but it also is harder to press. Like, it’s easy at first, then, when the shutter is about to fire and my grip is at its most vulnerable, the lever tenses up. The shutter then fires, but there’s a heavy probability of camera shake. Even when I’m expecting it.
I was pleased that the camera accepts 120 film, without the need to respool to 620, or anything. If you’re interested in learning more about box cameras in general, here’s a link to my box camera basics page.