Today is Saturday, and it’s the 14th of September.
September is my favourite month, although for reasons perhaps not entirely obvious? For one thing my mother died quite young on September 30th (1953).
So perhaps I’m just an autumn sort of guy – or a fall-guy, if you’ill excuse the pun? For instance I cannot wear clothes in ‘spring-colors’ – always make me look ridiculous.
I need and love the autumn colors brown, wine red and orange or perhaps better still, dark grey and steel grey shades.
I love the clear, lunimous nordic sunlight of a fine September day, like this Saturday. Also makes a great day for photography with one of my large, old cameras, except for today is a bit windy.
The wind mostly is a problem, ofcourse, if you plan to make macro photographs of trees, plants or flowers; or if you have to use a tripod. Like when I’m using one of my large old plate cameras – my favourite photographic tool.
I missed today’s opportunity to take som photographs, on account I slept late. Hence I didn’t manage to make my photo shoulder-bag ready for action. But, then, let’s talk old cameras for a change.
Today I saw a couple of old Kodak cameras swimming around in one of the odds-and-ends boxes, usually residing in front of well known photografica.dotcom camera store, here in downtown Copenhagen.
The frindly store assistants accepted my modest offers for the two cameras, so here we are. The premier buy is the
1. Kodak Retinette 35mm folding camera from the late 1930’s or perhaps very early 1940’s.
I believe it may well be the most basic camera in the Retinette camera family, that again is the junior line of the larger Retina-family.
The ‘junior’ epithet pertains to the technical features; like lens quality, shutter speeds, range-finder or not and light-meter or not.
This particular model of the Retinette lineage is, as told, perhaps the most basic of the line. It has a three element Kodak Anastigmat lens of 5cm focus and a relative aperture of f:4,5, and the lens appears to be uncoated.
The shutter is a simple 3-speed Prontor-type shutter, with speeds from 25 – to 125.
But everything is outwardly in great condition, and it has a fitted ever-ready-case in nice condition to boot.
So why did I only have to pay 50 Kr (7.50 Dollars) for this pretty camera?
The thing is everyone, including myself, honestly thought the shutter was totally defective, or even incomplete. And only a careful, half-hour inspection revealed that the modus-operandi is just quite unusual and counterintuitive.
But now everything seems to be working ok, and I look forward to clean it out, including the inside surfaces of the lens. Also to check, and if necessary recalibrate the distance scale with a ground glass over the film gate.
A three-element lens may often be quite satisfactory for most amateur photography, both for colour prints and black-and-white negatives.
2. The second Kodak is the much more advanced Retina IIa. This particular model is from the 1950’s and sports a fast, high-quality Rodenstock Heligon-lens of 50mm focus. It’s largest aperture is f:2,0 and it’s coated.
But the general cosmetic as well as mechanical condition of this specimen is very nearly horribel. Neither the shutter nor the rangefinder is working at all, and everything looks worn and shabby.
The interesting thing is, that the front of of this collapsible camera – like almost always for Retina and Retinette camera – is still rock steady. Hence I accepted the modest prise of 25 Kr (4 Dollars), and hope I may eventually manage to restitute it to a working condition.
Yesterday, ofcourse, was Friday the 13th! On that particular day I visited the other large and well-established camera store here in central Copenhagen: Foto/C in Holbergsgade, situated just behind the Royal Theatre.
So, just around noon I had the audacity to visit said camera store; nothing unusual here, to be sure, I’ve been a faithful guest – and too often also customer – of theirs for some twenty years, I’m afraid.
The first thing I saw when entering the store, was a most unsightly spectacle: One of the camera assistants had just finished the sale of a Speed Graphic 2×3 camera (to an old friend of mine), and for a pittance.
Well, you may ask, why is it this spectacle was so ghastly, not to say shocking?
The thing is I’ve been collecting old plate cameras for well nigh half a century. But I don’t remember to have ever seen a 2×3 Speed Graphic for sale here in Copenhagen.
The Speed Graphic is quite another camera than the (Century) Graphic 2×3. Generally a much higher-quality camera, much more elaborate and usable than the plain Graphic (or Century Graphic) 2×3.
While I congratulated my friend to his lucky find, I’m afraid I was unable to hide my distress. Nay, I know I could not hide being disappointed: I’m simply unable to hide from my features anything approaching anger, if triggered. (Note 1)
Now everyone will surely reproach me for perhaps getting angry over a friend making an interesting buy in my presence? But I have to plead non-guilty, because it’s not as simple as being about just envy and jealousy.
The thing is I’ve tried time and again for abt. two decades to communicate to the friendly store manager this special interest of mine – the old plate cameras.
I know he has always had a habit of reserving interesting items for the collectors he know: like of Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Voigtlander and movie cameras – and probably others. These collectors thus get a chance to inspect the items before the general public.
But I’ve also long suspected, that a ‘collector’ (and, to be fair, I’m not a ‘genuine collector’, but a so called ‘user-collector’) of something as obtuse and unglamorous as old plate-cameras didn’t really register in his mind.
At least it’s not the first event of this kind; in fact I’ve repeatedly watched friendly photo-freaks buy old plate cameras in my presence from said store-manager. And as I know the buyer(s) I’m able to state quite certainly, that he/they had no particular interest in this kind of cameras. Just like today.
So if you’re an old plate-camera-buff, you’re seemingly more or less under everyones radar. In fact that has obviously been the case for myself for decades; that is, until this happened:
About a decade ago I had taken stock of my collection and made a CD with a rather complete listing. I intended to consult a lawyer in consequense of the constant danger of being assassinated by Mossad and their friends.
Not to ask advise how to protect myself from being assassinated, ofcourse. But to ask advice in respect to insurance and the execution of my eventual estate.
I visited the office of a downtown lawyer, but found her out of town. But it was agreed with the office manager that I could return to discuss the matter later.
However I decided to inform the law office about what I wanted to discuss, before showing up personally once more. Hence I sent them a letter and – quite foolishly, perhaps – attached a CD with the listing of my collection.
I never got a reply from the law office; and the letter and the CD obviously evaporated into thin air.
But by inference and conjecture it’s perhaps not too difficult to figure what basically happened?
Because only days later I was contacted by one of the zar’s of the danish photohistorical community; ‘he had learned I was an expert on historical large format cameras and if I would please give a talk in one of the photo historical communities’.
And shortly after that a new store opened that ostensibly specialized in large format cameras (incidentally the then principal owner had no interest in- and basically knew nothing about classic large format cameras!); furthermore it seems there was an extended family relationship between the two gentlemen and Mossad?
The reason for ‘talk and store’ may perhaps be assumed to most likely be, that a) these gentlemen wanted by all means to prevent myself for opening a like shop (they had realized, perhaps, that I had both the stock and the expertise?) and b) if I was in short order to be assissanated by Mossad, my flat and collection would be robbed within hours, to perhaps then be sold locally?
You think this sounds rather outlandish? But I can assure you, it is hardly! But ofcourse you have to know something of the extent of my collection of old plate cameras – it’s quite extensive!
Now back to my friend and his ‘new’ Speed Graphic. When we happen to meet at the Foto/C store, or elsewhere, we usually arrange to take a cup of coffe in a nearby café.
Which we also did yesterday; we agreed to meet in one of the Magazin du Nord’s café’s a short walk from the store. Only I had to visit my bank firstly (on account of the Visa-card sham I suffered a few days ago – link 1).
Hence it was only about 3/4 of an hour later I met my friend in one of the top floor Café’s in Magazin du Nord. I then had a chance to inspect the Speed Graphic and show my friend how to operate it. He is an avid collector of old movie cameras, by the way.
Now you have to know, that the Foto/C store without doubt has been bugged by Mossad and/or their friends (I’ve written about this already in one or more former posts)(Note 2). But it nevertheless surprised me somewhat, that they seem to have managed to put a hit-team in place on the top floor of Magazin d.N. only shortly after I arrived.
That is, about one hour after we made our appointment in the store. But being Friday there could perhaps be expected to be one or more Mossad-teams on stand-by in the city?
After having talked with my friend in the café for about 15 mins(?), I noticed a gentleman sitting alone at a table less than 10 feet from us.
Even if the café is somwhat dim he was wearing dark glasses of the type going around almost to his ears – like bodyguards of Mossad and their friends like to wear them? He was having nothing, but looking fixedly at his smartphone, and seemed very careful nok to look my way. He had Mossad/CIA written all over him.
A few minutes later he was joined by a middle aged man, that could have been taken directly out of an italian mafia film? The sun-glass guy then disappeared. The mafia-man likewise had nothing.
(For obvious ‘hit-team-reasons’, perhaps: a) the area we occupied in the café was hidden from direct oversight by the staff; hence the agents didn’t want to be registered with the staff when making orders? b) the agents didn’t want to leave DNA on their cups and/or plates? c) dito for fingerprints?).
Shortly after that I and my friend parted. I wanted to visit the rest room, directly adjacent to the café; but I soon thought the better of it.
Because abt. 8 feet in front of the door to the rest room another middle aged man in a black/red sporting outfit was standing, looking fixedly on the door.
When I began approaching him/the door and was about 6 feet away, he began mowing slowly toward the door; eventually he slowly opened the door, while looking searchingly inside. But he still didn’t enter the rest room.
I got the impression he wanted me to overtake him. Would I then have got a cut or prick, or blow in the ear (with poison) in passing him? Or perhaps when inside or in one of the stalls?
But I got cold feet long before that, and left the building in quite short order.
Whether this set-up was planned as a genuine assassination attempt or mostly as an offence to make me angry, or perhaps both, of that I know nought.
I learned already in my younger years, that when angry I may get an almost forbidding expression in my face. This does not mean, however, that I cannot control my anger; that I can to a very high degree. Only I cannot control the forbidding facade, when on rare occasions my anger is suddenly triggered.
This rare, forbidding look, by the way, happens to have controlled my livelyhood to a large degree and quite arbitrarily.
Especially one event stands out for it’s fatefulness: When employed in the Ministry of Communication in the early 1980’s we got a new minister; that minister – quite likable as a person, by the way – at some point wanted to greet everyone employed in our department (General Directorate of Post- & Telegraph) of his ministry.
But (one of) my superiors had already learned to fear my ‘general cleverness’ (sorry, but it’s on record) and, being quite clever himself, had probably made preparations to try and stop me. So on my way to the minister’s reception I was openly insulted by said superior.
This was as completely unexpected as unmistakeable, so that I was simply unable to instantly control my face expression; and I’m quite sure I must have looked forbidding with anger, when the minister came to greet me.
Sadly, but perhaps also understandably, the minister took offense – being a bit paranoid himself, perhaps? And it’s from this fateful occurrence that Mossad’s zeal to assassinate myself originates. Silly indeed?
(Update Monday, 16.Sept.) This morning I had a clairvoyant dream vision like this:
I saw a young man wanting to leave (for somewhere) in his car, and he was readying his car for the trip. Someone feared he would drive (West?) against the direction of traffic, and tried to stop him; but didn’t make it.
He therefore drove off, although seemingly in fact to the East? But he was soon meet by opposing traffic. And, lo and behold, the opposing traffic consisted of giant tanks with giant cannons.
Consequently the young man and his car was destroyed below the tanks; I saw one particularly large tank destroy the car completely.
It’s cannon was so large it almost swiped us down from the balcony I occupied together with others. I asked: ‘Is it Russian?’ – and then woke up.
>Exposition: As I felt the tanks and landscape in some ways looked Russian, but was still in doubt, probably both tanks and landscape were Ukrainian?
Presumeably Mossad and their friends are VERY unhappy with my latest half dozen blog posts? Nay, they are probably as unhappy with myself as have become with Mossad and their friends?
And perhaps the Mossads are right now planning to marshall the Ukranian mafia (often called the Kosher Nostra?) and said to be perhaps the most powerful and reckless at least in all of Europe?
I’m afraid I’ve been a bit feckless in believing the store to be bugged. That’s ofcourse completely unnecessary. You only have to listen in on the store managers iphone, probably carried at all time.
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