Lessons learned from using a Harman Reusable Camera with Kentmere Pan 400

It takes only a split second to ruin a partially complete roll of 35mm film.

The Harman Reusable Camera and Kentmere Pan 400 combination is a reusable plastic 35mm film camera with a built-in flash. The Kentmere and Ilford photography brands are owned by Harman Technology Ltd, a UK-based manufacturer of photographic materials. This introductory photography kit is sold with two Kentmere Pan 400 film cartridges, a battery, and a strap. The Kentmere Pan 400 is a budget B&W film similar to Ilford’s HP5 that has a reputation for delivering excellent results.

The plastic camera had a very flimsy feeling to it, so fragile that the camera comes with a warning that you can easily break it if you force rewind your film. I did not doubt that if I did, it would wreck the camera. This item is not returnable. There is a switch on the front to enable the built-in flash, a switch to open the film door, a push-button film release on the bottom, the film advance, and the shutter release. There are no other controls on the camera.

The lens is 31mm with a fixed aperture of f/10. The camera has a fixed shutter speed of 1120 sec at ISO 200 or ISO 400. The camera’s viewfinder has a field of view of 70%. This means that what you see inside the viewfinder will be about 30% less than what the camera captures, which is quite different. You can see my fingers in some frames.

I dropped the roll into the camera, exposed a few frames, then put the camera down and forgot about it. When I rediscovered the camera a few months later, I could not remember if I had loaded the roll or not. I hesitated by eventually opened the film door.

It takes only a split second to ruin a partially complete roll of 35mm film. I snapped the film door as quickly as possible, but the damage was already done. I completed exposing the remaining frames, but I knew that I had already ruined it. The scans that follow are what I was able to recover.

I won’t use this camera again. This was a lesson in sticking to tools that give me the information I need to succeed in film photography. If you are a photography student looking to dip the "toe" into film photography, I recommend buying an inexpensive used camera and lens kit on eBay. Since it has a fixed aperture and shutter speed, YOU WILL NOT learn the basics of photography from using this camera.

Item Description
lens 1 element
Lens focal length 31mm
Max/Min aperture f/10
Focusing Focus Free, 1m - infinity
Shutter Speed Shutter 1/120s
Film Format 135 Film (24x36mm) ISO 200 or 400
View Finder Field = 70%
Flash Built-in Flash Push Switch - 15s recycle time
Power source 1AAA – Alkaline Battery (included)
Weight 100 grams
Dimensions 114 (W) x 63 (H) x 35 (D) mm
Frame 14 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 15 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 16 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 21 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 17 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 18 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 19 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 20 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 22 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 23 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 24 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 30 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 31 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 32 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 33 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 34 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 35 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 36 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10
Frame 37 | 7 June, 2022 | Harman Reusable | Harman 31mm f/10

Like Paradise

I searched to find out the story behind the artwork that adorns all four outer walls of this building.

I searched to find out the story behind the artwork that adorns the outer walls of the old Asbury Lanes building on the Asbury Park boardwalk.

American pop artist Shepard Fairey is known for his guerrilla “Obey” sticker campaign, which melded contemporary street art and guerrilla marketing into a phenomenon that put him on the artistic map. Shepard is also an activist and founder of OBEY Clothing. I also learned that Fairey designed the Barack Obama "Hope" poster for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Sunday 24 April 2022 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

According to Wikipedia.

His "Obey" Campaign is from the John Carpenter movie They Live which starred pro wrestler Roddy Piper, taking a number of its slogans, including the "Obey" slogan, as well as the "This Is Your God" slogan. Fairey has spun off the OBEY clothing line from the original sticker campaign.

Obey | Sunday 24 April 2022 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

Fairey’s art, some of which are from album covers, is on display outside the old Asbury Lanes building on the Asbury Park boardwalk. The art installation was part of the music and art festival organised by All Tomorrow’s Parties. The festival was a collaboration with the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, which commissioned Fairey to create these murals. In September 2011, he unveiled several murals and a gallery show called “Revolutions”.

All Tomorrow's Parties is a London-based organisation that has promoted festivals in the UK, the United States and Australia since 1999. All Tomorrow's Parties is also the name of a song by the Velvet Underground and Nico, written by Lou Reed and released on the group's 1967 debut studio album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. I don’t know if there is a connection.

Sunday 24 April 2022 | Minolta XD-11 | MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

On the day I exposed these frames of Kodak Pro Image 100, the long side of the building facing the ocean was boarded up. I’m unsure why, but I suspect it was to protect the art. I remembered that I had photographed some of the artwork on my first visit and later visits to the Asbury Park Boardwalk. As it turns out, my first visit to Asbury Park was in November 2011, a few weeks after the Revolutions festival.

people walking on boardwalk, Asbury Park, New Jersey
Asbury Lanes | Sunday 13 November, 2011 | Nikon D40 | AF-S DX Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8

All images (except for the Nikon) were scanned from Kodak Pro Image 100 35mm film negatives using an Epson Perfection V600 scanner, VueScan software and the Negative Lab Pro plugin for Adobe Lightroom.