A few days ago I was cruising eBay checking out film cameras, and probably about to spend money that I shouldn’t, like I tend to do.
I was looking for a Kodak Ektralite because I had an urge to shoot some 110 film, and I had given away my last 110 cameras to a friend.
A quick search popped up several potentials, and I saw something that made me literally laugh out loud.
On my screen staring back at me was a Capitol Deluxe 110 camera. New, unopened still in the original packaging. I’ll explain why this is so funny in a moment.
First, let me be upfront and say that I was going into this situation with high hopes for the Deluxe 110, but…
I’ve Danced With A Capitol Before
I have a bit of history with Capitol film cameras. A few years ago, I picked up a Capitol 35mm at a thrift store and after shooting it I dubbed that POS the “Crapitol”.
The photos that came out of that thing were so bad I was flabbergasted. The images were soft, heavily vignetted, and had massive light leaks. It was basically a toy camera.
Don’t get me wrong, though, I love toy cameras. I really enjoy the lofi look that an obvious lack of sharpness and imperfection can give an image. The problem, though, was that the Capitol was masquerading as a legitimate camera. It had a metal plate at the bottom just to add weight and seem more robust. That sounds like the ol’ bait and switch to me.
So when the Deluxe 110 popped up on my screen I literally laughed, and then said to myself;
“It can’t be. Aww, Hell naw”
Sure enough, It was a Crapitol 110. So you know I had to buy that POS. I justified the purchase by thinking the design of a 110 camera is so extremely simple that even Capitol couldn’t screw this up, right? Wrong.
It Was Over Before It Began
Weekends in the winter can be hit or miss for shooting outdoors. Aside from being a brisk 16°F, today was a very sunny morning with clear skies outside. The weather report didn’t call for clouds to roll in until the late afternoon, so it was a perfect day to shoot some lower iso 110 film. And I just happened to have a recent eBay purchase begging to be opened.
As I took the Capitol Deluxe out of the box and unwrapped the sealed plastic, I took note of its smaller size and thought to myself “Nice, this could be a pocketable little camera”
That’s where the positives ended, though. After unwrapping the camera from the aged cellophane plastic I realized that true to the Crapitol name, this thing was busted right out of the box. The rear door was broken, the advance winder was spinning endlessly, and the shutter wouldn’t fire.
To be honest, I can’t say that I’m all that surprised. A little disappointed maybe, but not surprised. I was kinda curious to see if the images out of the Deluxe 110 would rival its 35mm sibling.
Hello, Good Camera
The Crapitol Deluxe wasn’t the only eBay purchase in my cart though. I also picked up a Kodak Ektra Tele 1 which is basically what you’d expect from a Kodak 110 camera- excellent build quality that works flawlessly decades after it was manufactured.
So, in conclusion, to kick off my photography excursion this weekend- the Capitol Deluxe will go in the trash, and my few rolls of Lomography 110 will be going in my Kodak Ektra. Review on the Tele 1 coming soon.
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