Metro-Flex and Me

I wanted to start a series with Self Portrait Sunday documenting me as a photographer as currently I have very few photos of me with my cameras which to me is so odd because I carry them around with me everywhere. It feels like there is a large part of me going undocumented so I thought the best way was to once a month or so to document myself with one of my many camera. I thought it’d be great to capture me with my cameras and do little mini-shoots with them as the subject and dress in an outfit I thought suited the camera’s style. I’m usually one of those people who scorns at shots of people with their vintage camera or toy camera because they always seem to be a prop (which I find it frustrating as a photographer because even though I understand their beautify it seems sacrilegious to deprive them their actual function as that is what intrigues and delights me about cameras and it’s what they can do not how I look with them in my hands that I love). Yet at the same time the desire to share a camera from my collection with you that I have experimented with and invested in to use at capturing moments of my life seemed worth it as I feel like I try to use them as an extension of myself. So without further ado I present the first in the series:  Metro-Flex and Me.

Self-Portrait Sunday: Metro-Flex and Me

Metro-Flex is a half frame pseudo reflex camera made in the 1940’s that uses 127 roll film. I picked mine up over Etsy because I loved the art deco Bakelite metal exterior that has an almost a quilted pattern to it. Mine doesn’t have the usual string strap to make it wearable around the neck which would have been helpful because to take photos and properly view the viewfinder you have to hold it around waist level. It’s in great condition and I love how satisfying the sound of the metal shutter is when you press it down. For the shoot I thought my black jacket with coat tails and the crazy pattern of my tights would work great with the cameras art deco appearance.  It was hard to find something perfect to wear with the camera because it’s hard to imagine who exactly would use a camera like the Metro-Flex (there isn’t a lot of information available about this beauty). Below you can see me lining up a shoot and getting ready to press down the shutter…if you want to view photos I’ve taken with it check out my Vintage Tuesday post: here!

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10 thoughts on “Metro-Flex and Me

  1. I have one of these lovely cameras too; expect that mine doesn’t have the quilted pattern on the front. I haven’t actually used it yet, but I do have a 127 roll in the wine cooler ready to go. Do you think a 35mm can would squeeze in?

        1. It always is hard finding the time. My problem is developing my own film takes too long and is hard to do in my bathroom unless its winter time. I have a good 20 rolls sitting around, don’t even think of know what’s on any of them anymore. lol.

          One of the last cameras I picked up is a Smena 8m so I’m encouraged to try seeing your shots. I love the sharpness and the contrast is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I don’t have a place to develop film here, even if I had the time ! Maybe one day :) I like the Smena 8M, but I wouldn’t put a 36 exp roll in it after my experience ! As you saw, the film winder jammed and the sprocket ripped clean through the film. The camera body will now be used for another purpose :) To add to that, the Smena 35 I have won’t rewind at all ! I had to sling it in a darkroom bag and cut the film off the cassette in order to save it. Seems I don’t have much luck with the Smena so far. I have one more to try: the Smena Symbol. Fingers crossed. I don’t know if you’ll find this of interest, but I tried out something offbeat here:

    1. I develop film in my tiny bathroom – it’s pretty fun but trying to balance chemical tempatures in the humidity of where I live is tough. The whole process also takes an extremely long amount of time.

      I’ve had a few rolls ruined by cameras that wont wind properly, a common issue with vintage cameras I guess. lol. I like the repurposing of the lens. Something I will try if I encounter any cheap but no working cameras. Already curious what I could do with that! Thanks for the idea!

    1. I don’t do as many vintage camera posts as I use to but hoping to do more in the New Year once I start developing my film again. I’m going a post of all my cameras next week though (might be interesting?)

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