Farnborough Grammar School
Prospect Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire
Telephone : Farnborough 539
I bought this camera second hand for £17-10s-0d in the photo shop in Downing Street, Farnham
having raised the money by selling a Hornby O gauge train set and a Pathéscope 9.5mm film projector. The camera had a Pronto S shutter adjustable from 1 second to 1/300 and a 45mm f2.8 lens.
The second viewfinder seen here on the left was a primitive exposure meter; useless because it
relied on what ones own eye could see, so far from being a reliable guide in variable light
conditions. Despite that it served me well for thousands of exposures until I moved on to something
more up to date. I passed it on to my father who used it until the shutter failed. Being an engineer
he tried to repair it himself and one day while rummaging in his shed I found a biscuit tin full of
springs and gear wheels which was all that remained of my old Paxette. It looked like a grandfather
clock hit by Mickey Mouses hammer in one of those ancient Saturday Morning Pictures cartoons. An
ignominious end for my old friend.
All the negatives used to create this site are on Kodak Tri-X film. I didnt like it back then
because of its poor grain structure (much improved these days no doubt) but I used it because a
kindly neighbour gave me a 400 foot roll of the stuff which I loaded into film cassettes while
hidden in a bedroom cupboard and because beggars cannot be choosers. The film was developed in an
almost dark room using a variety of chemical concoctions. Developer mainly from Ilford Ltd, fixer
mainly home made from the local chemists shop. You could buy anything in there; ingredients for
gunpowder or stink bombs to take to the church childrens Christmas party. Happy days!
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