As frequent readers of this blog already know, I started my camera collection swith several cameras which I bought while I was living in Hungary. So as this collection (an family) is heavily influenced by Hungary, it was time to finally time to buy, shoot and write about an Hungarian camera. Meet the Pajtás, named after the word used for “buddy” between the Hungarian pioneers at that time. I bought it during a short visit to Budapest by the time of my wedding, the occasion when I also got my Zenit TTL. As this camera is quite uncommon outside her homeland, there comparable few articles in the internet. I got nearly all my information about it from this lovely post on Camerajunky, the beautiful illustrations of the camera’s details alone are worth a visit.
About the camera:
The Pajtás was built between 1955 and 1966, around 100.00 were produced. The Pajtás is a simple bakelite box camera for 120mm medium format film. It has an 80mm f8 achromatic lens, one fixed speed and three aperture settings. Sadly the the aperture selector on my one is a bit loose and the lens should be cleaned form the inside. Also, the screws holding the front element a rusty, which makes the repair tasks a bit tricky. But given the age, who would take this bad from an old buddy? If you are looking for an rarer alternative to the Agfa Isola or Holga with more wight & choice of aperture, here it is.
Open the back, insert your film and close the back. Advance till the “1” mark appears in the little red window on the back. Set the little red lever to white. Check with the litte dial on the lower right of the lens barrel if the cameras is set to “M” for shooting at 1/30 or to “T” if you want to use it in “bulb” mode. If your hands are to shaky for the low speed, add some Pálinka to the photographer. Choose your aperture between with the little dial on the left side. 8, 11 or 16. No focus needed or possible. Shoot. For double exposure, shoot again, for a new picture, advance the film with the knob on top. Now shoot. That’s it. Especially on f11, the pictures are surprisingly sharp, with an open aperture it produces pictures with a “ghostly” aura.
|Year built||Between 1955 and 1962, s it has the FFV label might be an early one|
|Lens||Achromatic 1:8 f = 80 mm|
|Special features||Box Camera with three f-stops|
|Accessories||Ever ready case|
|Manufactured by||Fővárosi Finommechanikai Vállalat FFV, later labelled Gamma|
|Date of purchase||2014|
|Place of purchase||Soós Fotó Budapest|
Keep the camera in the lower part of the base, as you might accidentally open the back.
Film purchase & processing:
The camera can use any 120 mm film, I usually shoot (like with all my box type cameras) 400 ISO.
https://camerajunky.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/pajtas/ (Must read)
http://westfordcomp.com/classics/pajtas/index.html (Review and pictures)
https://www.flickr.com/groups/pajtas/ (Flickr group)