The Buccaneer - Universal Camera Corp. New York City -  c1945

"Where are your Buccaneers ?"
"Under my buckin' hat"

Universal Camera has an amazing history. It's full of genius and blunder. Money and bankruptcy. You could look it up.

The Buccaneer is a brick of a camera. Machined out of a chunk of aluminum and filled with gears and spindles.

It features an extinction meter that's useful for solar photography and a squinty coupled rangefinder window.
The f3.5 TRICOR lens is coated and the Chronomatic shutter reaches speeds of 1/300 of a second.

The levers at eight and two o'clock focus the TRICOR. They also cause the photographer to put
his fingers in front of the rangefinder window.

Cameras were once assembled with screwdrivers and rivet guns. Masking tape was used on my Buccaneer. I don't know
whether it's OEM masking tape or after market customizing.
The fit and finish is obvious.

Many of my classic cameras appear to have been used sparingly, if at all. Not so with this classic.
Someone loved the hell out of it. The pressure plate is well worn. I call it
"pressure plate petina."

I wonder what became of all the photographs this old workhorse produced.


Bowling Ball on Ladder

I suspected that my Buccaneer would be past its prime. The back was loose and the film advance
felt a little sloppy.

If you ignore the mild light leak and low contrast, this is actually a striking photograph
of a building in Shelburne Falls, MA.

This is where my chef works her miracles. She's preparing dark tuna and peanut butter sandwiches here.

There comes a time when you have to admit your best days are gone.