The Penny King!

New camera and plugin day at The Daily Lumenbox


sonny rosenberg

8/26/20232 min read

I probably should not be writing in this state of mind, but I've done it before and it seemed to work. Today I borrowed Rebecca's car to take a bunch of stuff to school (artwork for a faculty show, a bass trap as a donation to their new recording studio, etc.), things that would be basically impossible to haul on my bicycle. To make a long story, slightly shorter, when I got home I realized that I could barely remember where I'd been and what I'd been doing. I couldn't remember the names of any of my new students or passwords for the computer. After a while, it dawned on me that I'd been having a seizure all the way there and back (they used to call them temporal lobe seizures, I'm not sure if they're still called that). It's a little scary that I was driving in that state, but I think I did just fine. I'm still in it, but it seems to be decreasing. I don't think an uneducated observer could even tell that I was having one, although the neurologist I saw last week caught on to it right away, hmmm.

Sorry for the long digression into the state of my brain, I guess it's my way of making excuses for possibly being incoherent. To be sure, I'll double check this tomorrow morning and hopefully whip it into shape if need be.

Anyway... This post is about the new camera I just acquired. It's a toy 127 camera that as far as I can tell was originally meant to be dispensed from vending machines. It has one shutter speed plus bulb, fixed focus and one aperture, ostensibly f/11. It's a half frame 127 camera and should yield 16 frames to a roll, but I wound it on incorrectly and only got 5 usable frames this go around. It appears to be brand new and was still in its cellophane wrapper and had a little No. 2 tag inside the camera.

It's 'The Penny King' featherweight with Camera Magic Lens (and lens cap!).

The only 127 film I had on hand was a few rolls of Rerapan 400 (Rollei RPX-400 as far as I know) and I was concerned that with the Penny King's 1/50 the shutter speed (maybe slower now?) and f/11 aperture (it looks bigger than that to me) I was a little concerned that this roll might be overexposed as it was a mostly sunny day. Turns out it was a bit overexposed. I developed this roll in Cinestill monobath, using the time and temp for RPX 400. I'm pretty sure the light leaks were caused by a mishap unloading the camera. The wound on roll is a little difficult to pop out of the camera body. I think that's better done in the light tent next time.

Since it was payday today, I decided to do the right thing and buy the Exposure 7 plugin I'd been occasionally using in Lightroom. I just couldn't resist trying out my favorite 'wet plate, damaged' preset on these shots. I'm including the original Lightroom edits so that all this digital trickery is above board. Needless to say, these shots aren't all that. Still, I see a lot of potential in this toy camera!

Oh, not to forget credit where credit is due, thanks to Experiments in Dreaming for their inspiring Stellar and Babette shots, not that these are in any way similar to those of course.