Imperial Debonair

Olive drab Bakelite, inlayed with stylish graphics, this camera has Herbert George’s DNA all over it . With its little carrying strap sticking straight up out of its head, it grows on you. It takes twelve wide-angle-ish images on 620 film. (Here’s a link about how to respool 120 film onto a 620 spool.) The image area is slightly larger than 2 1/4″ square. I wasn’t expecting much from this camera. I got a pleasant surprise. It gives an image that is nicely in focus near the center with really nifty edge distortion. The shutter speed seems to be consistent. Manufactured by the Herbert George Co. Chicago 6 Illinois, it truly is debonair. It enjoys long walks on the beach or cozy evenings in front of a fireplace. Still in pretty good shape, though it’s “been around”.

The photos below were taken, by me, years ago. In a moment of rash generosity I gave my Debonair away. All these years spent Debonair-less have given me time to come to terms with my decision to part ways with the camera. Fast forward to four days ago: A package arrived in the mail. In it were cameras to die for! One being the classic Imperial Debonair – in olive drab. Just like my long lost friend! Thanks, Terry, for the very thoughtful package!

 

McKeown’s PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS 2005-2006 says, “Bakelite box camera with interesting styling. Brown, olive, maroon colors. $20-$30. Normally found in black. $1-$10.”

3 Responses

  1. I just bought a 35mm-620 adapter from Film Photography Project which seems like it will work with my Debonair. I’m running a roll of expired TMax 100 through it and will share images (if they come out) on my @markj913 instagram. They should come out; I imagine TMax is reliable as an old film, like Tri-X or HP5+. Maybe not as great as Verichrome Pan, but then again it’s not as old as a roll of VCP would be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent

Zenith Comet Flash

Meet the Comet Flash Camera, proudly manufactured by the Zenith Camera Corporation in the comedy capital of cameras, Chicago. Picture this: it’s made of black

Read More »

Yashica MF-1

I love to travel and now that I have the time I’ve been doing it quite often. I don’t travel high on the hog, my

Read More »

GAP

I first thought this GAP camera could possibly be a relative of the Goldy as in”Goldstein A P”, or something like that. But it’s not.

Read More »

Goldy

  Whenever I see a French word ending in “…if”, it gives me a flashback to my first visit to Paris. I made the rookie

Read More »

SEM Baby

I like to think I don’t have a “type”. I like colorful, little plastic cameras that make snapping noises. I like tin and Bakelite 127s.

Read More »

Mamiya U

Seriously? He was ALL HANDS! Super HANDy to use. If you’re not too picky about making decent images, the Mamiya U might be for “U”.

Read More »

Share