Say “Anny” and most junk store camera enthusiasts will think of a particular Diana clone. The name may be similar, but the Anny-35 Howay is no relation, as its “quality” testifies — a metal body, four aperatures labelled with f-stops rather than cartoons of suns and clouds, and a lens free of vignetting and tunnel-vision focus.
Not that this camera escapes the junk tag. Its Japanese origin and fake film speed dial are obvious clues, as is its badly translated instruction manual. The pages of mine are torn and yellowed, no doubt from previous owners spending endless hours cackling at its outlandish “facts” and “advice”. For example, the Anny-35 is at once a box camera and 35mm camera, and should be used in the hottest part of the day. What’s more, it will satisfy users up to 90 percent of the time — the other 10 or so don’t matter because it’s cheap.
In keeping with its 1961 manufacture, I took my Anny-35 to an antiques and collectibles store in a nearby town, where its semi-serious, yet inconspicuous styling made it easy to bracket images without drawing attention.
The horsey girl in me adores this image of what would once have been a white rocking horse, a child’s dream saddled and waiting for a ride. Against real slatted doors (that could be stables) and on real earth, the toy becomes part of a diorama, a whimsical recreation of everyday rural life.