Pilot 6

While tumbling the Pilot 6 camera about in my hands, I had this vision of Jessica Lang in the American Horror Stories series “Freak Show”. The thought holds true for my menagerie of messed up junk store cameras … “Zeez are my munsters.” I said, in Jessica Lang’s pretend German accent. “Zay ah my family, zeez freaks.”  Vell, Zis vun is trooly a freek… Oh. I don’t need to have an accent anymore. The distressed state of this particular camera certainly qualifies it as a freak.

It’s an all metal camera, very heavy, manufactured by Kamera – Werkstatten in Dresden. I traded a Winpro 35 for it. This one is the “later” model with shutter speeds B, T and 20-150. It also has the iris diaphragm. I put a roll of Fujicolor 400 film through it before I realized the film rolling pin was loose. I believe this is why some of the images aren’t sharp. Though, obviously there could be many other reasons for this.

I found that I simply needed to bend the little metal “ears” that hold the roller pin in place, and it stayed put – for the most part. The camera’s viewfinder is through the lens. You have to cock the shutter to put the mirror in place for viewing. I don’t know if all Pilot 6s have a dark groundglass. It might be the distressed state of my mirror that makes it dark. I set the aperture ring wide open to focus and frame, then reset to expose.

I might turn this camera into a Gala Edition. But it’s almost too beautiful as is. In any case, I’ll clean it up and fix the innards.

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