Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Spy With My Little Eye

On our family trip to Washington DC this year, we spent an afternoon in the International Spy Museum. It is VERY cool. Really, the US government missed a big opportunity by not building a museum like this. I suspect, however, that it would not be as nice if it were publicly funded as part of the Smithsonian.

The photography room is one of the more interesting exhibits in the museum, especially if you are a geek. It contains all sorts of interesting cameras, from shoe cameras to aerial reconnaissance ones. One camera that caught my eye was a little SLR called the Pentax 110. It was the cutest camera I have ever seen. It looks like a 1/2 scale Pentax SLR, complete with interchangeable lenses:

(this photo borrowed from another website)

According to the information in the display case, the KGB issued these cameras to their agents in the '70s and '80s. I sat in front of the display, smitten by this little camera despite its associate with the KGB. It's ironic that the protector of the People's Party turned to the capitalist Japanese for camera technology.

In a testament to the power of modern technology, I pulled out my iPhone and started researching the Pentax 110 on eBay and Wikipedia, all while standing in the Spy Museum. It turns out that these cameras can be had complete with a few lenses

for a very reasonable price: The 110 film is available, but is quite hard to find. I bought one on eBay complete with three lenses, an autowinder (works, but I haven't used it), and a flash (ditto).

These are some photos from my first roll, taken around Boston and at Acadia National Park. The film is a bit grainy, and the colors are oh-so-retro 70s looking:

Rock wall at my work. I have always loved the sweep and height change of this wall. It is a little nugget of beauty I get to admire every day as I walk in to my office

An office building (my office)

A nice little Dutch Colonial (my home)

Friends Tal and Anita on the day of their engagement
(he proposed at sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain)

A strikingly beautiful little kid I am related to

View from the lawn of Jordan Pond House Restaurant in Acadia,
purveyors of yummy popovers and double-billed credit card statements

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