I was bitten by the toy camera bug a while back after getting a Holga, which has served me well, but recently on the Film Photography Podcast they were pushing this odd “new” camera that Michael Raso had discovered on “The Bay” named The Debonair, it looked like a cross between a Diana and a Holga. He had managed to stumble upon a lot of 2000 of these cameras sitting in a warehouse in Rochester, New York. I didn’t need another toy camera, but after seeing some of the shots out of the camera I needed to get one, and at twenty bucks, it wasn’t that expensive.
The camera itself is fairly light weight, but still feels solid in my hands, good control placement also. The camera is all plastic, built in the 1980s in Hong Kong, features a “Super” 60mm f/8 lens with two shutter speeds, one for sun, one for cloudy/flash. Focus is handled by the zone system, and it has a hotshoe, but doesn’t need batteries to operate a flash, which is a plus! It takes your regular 120 roll film and shoots in a portrait orented 6×4.5 format giving you 16 shots on a roll of film.
Optically I was surprised at the all plastic camera, the images when focused right came out really sharp with plesant vingetting around the edges, and with a flash makes for a great party camera. The one issue I have with the camera is loading it. You slide the entire back/bottom off the camera to load the film, and putting this back on is a bit of a pain, but in the end worth it for the wonderful images you get out of the camera. I do highly recomend this camera as a nice way to get into toy camera photography, very unassuming and no-nonsense, and more importantly it’s fun. And in the end isn’t that what photography should be…fun? At least I think so.
All images shot with the FPP Plastic Filmtastic Debonair on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B for 5:00 at 20C.