Not many of you would know but India did try its hand at making cameras and films. We don’t see much of them because the quality was never there so the equipment couldn’t really stand up against stuff from Fuji, Kodak or Ilford. I had known about the “Indian 35mm Camera” for a long time but I recently came across a lovely article from Gopalan Ravindran (who runs the India Photo Culture) where he so eloquently writes ;
The nation that prides itself as the next superpower and claims to be always third,second or first country to put rockets, satellites of several denominations in space is also a nation that was/is incapable of producing a low tech item such as a 35 mm camera. Its closest attempt in getting a “Made in India” camera was enacted during mid 1970s in a CSIR facility, National Instruments, at Calcutta. The camera sports the tag, National 35 Sprinty BC. It retailed for Rs 780 in 1977. The issues of India Today and Sunday carried the advertisements for the camera in their late 1970s issues.
You can read more about the camera on the the Indian Photo Culture Blog or in this in-depth report about a revisit to the lab where the cameras were being made. And if you’re really excited, then you could also buy the camera from some chap in Nagpur here.
And the exciting products from India don’t end here! No no no! Next I present the Indu roll film. Made in India with Indian technology, it scares the labs like a deer in front of headlights. The review is that the emulsion is so thin that it almost tears off after developing, rarely ever making a decent image.
I wanted to conclude this post with a giveaway, a AGFA camera which was made in India but well its not working (you didn’t really expect it to work after such a post) so thats postponed! Till next time maybe!