December 25, 2010
My favourite camera/film shop is winding up on Dec. 31. I found on Wednesday.
It's called Fotofun in New Westminster.
They didn't have a wide selection of film but they were knowledgeable about cameras. They kept an odd collection of used film cameras. I bought my Canon A2 EOS from them. I also bought my Nikon L35AF2 from them.
That camera sent me on a journey many excellent and interest point and shoots.
I also bought my Nikon D40 there.
They weren't the best lab in the world but when they knew the negs or prints were mine, they always took the time to make as nice as they could.
They often let me borrow a stool so I could set on the street corner for my odd street shooting project (Welcome to Royal City).
Once, while trying to buy used gear, a customer told me she had Konica gear for me.
A day later she left it at the shop for me. Unscrupulous retailers would have tried to claim a consignment fee - the guys at Fotofun were always excellent and welcoming to me and my boys.
I bought the Pentax 6x7 there this week. Broken but beautiful. The shutter works. Missing a film key for the bottom plate. Still lovely.
I wish the people at Fotofun the best of luck.
Their online web business will continue through their ebay shop, Digitial Image Center.
December 22, 2010
Ken Rockwell has always surmised (is this the right verb) the Trip 35 has a Tessar design.
Olympus has been doing a better job of celebrating its heritage lately. The put a pair of vintage Trip 35 brochures online.
There was a little diagram on it that looks very Tessar-like.
The manual is at the brilliant Butkus site.
Cameras loaded as of today:
- Olympus Trip 35 with 40mm f2.8 D.Zuiko with Kodak Elitechrome 100 ASA
- Olympus Infinity Jr (AF-10 Super with flash off options) with 35mm f3.5 with Kodak Ektar 100
- Yashica Electro 35 CC with 35mm f1.8 Color-Yashinon with Kodak BW400CN
- Yashica 635 TLR with a 80mm f3.5 Yashikor with Fuji Reala 100 ASA
Great ideas: Olympus mounted a wallpaper site of its classic cameras and Fuji explains why they designed a fixed focal length non-collapsible camera, X-100
It's a pretty good piece of copy writing with bullets explaining the features and benefits.
And it WORKS. I want one.
But for now I'm happy with the recently acquired Olympus Trip 35 (below). I owned one in the past but then gave it away. I bought another with the thought of fixing it. Not so good, so far.
But this one came in mint. With a home-made lens cap which means the selenium light meter is working. Intriguing similarity between them.
Other news: Olympus has a great wallpaper site. Check out their two Trip images.
Remember, if your camera comes with selenium light meter (think Agfa Optima or Silette, certain Voigtlanders, Werras) they need to be kept in the dark or it will exhaust the cell.
December 18, 2010
The Agnar is a triplet lens design, 45mm, f2.8. I'm not sure how it differs from the Apotar, another standard triplet for Agfa. The difference may have been the widest aperture possible with the design. Apotar designs, my guess, are able to go wider.
This camera I bought for $20. I shouldn't have. One top plate screw slotted into a broken body flange (?). There was nothing to screw into.
I had to glue a plastic piece on the body to give the screw something to catch.
Also, the plastic gasket over the light meter sensor was shot. It was a brittle plastic that snapped off. I haven't found the right replacement for it.
I post the new Trip soon.
Good things to say: lens is very clean and the meter works! Was going to shoot with it but the came across a minty Olympus Trip 35 yesterday. It may have jumped the cue.
Also still have the Yashica Electro 35 CC and the Olympus Infinity Jr. (aka AF-10 Super, because you can turn off the auto-flash) in the shooting queue.
It is very Voigtlander-esque. I've been looking for a Vito C in Color Skopar. This is an emotional place-holder.
The thing one should not is the build quality is quiet poor. I had an Agfa Super Silette and it had a strong - if crude - build. Nevertheless, it could last.
This body is plasticky. I wouldn't go for this camera if one is lusting for a true classic German viewfinder 4 element/3 group camera.
December 7, 2010
If you've ever seen my camera collection, you would notice the odd medium format camera. Question would be, where are the pictures.
Well, I've been hoarding them. Until today. I finally did some proof prints at the shop.
November 15, 2010
November 10, 2010
October 19, 2010
October 17, 2010
I've been walking around with my Konica TC with a fungal prism sporting a CZ Jena "Biotar" lens lately.
It's a funky lens. Quality control wasn't all the best. There are bubbles in the lens. But it is strangely super sharp. On my Nikon D40 it is a 87mm equivalent focal length. And it has done very well as a very tight portrait lens.
It was because of these digital lens test that I've decided to use it with film.
Well, the Konica+M42 adapter+CZ Jena lens has so far been an auspicious set-up. I used it to take a portrait of John Noble, the actor, who stars on the show, Fringe, and played Denethor in Lord of the Rings.
I also took it for a test run in Lynn Canyon. It's a regional park with a very nice suspension bridge and trail. Even in the rain, it makes for an excellent day out.
October 16, 2010
Now you may be wondering why the subjects are dead centre with the Canon MC. Well, as in many early auto-focus cameras, they had very crude focus lock systems. While we are used to half-depressing the shutter now (though judging from pictures of some casual shooters even this is too difficult) and multi-point autofocus systems, with cameras like the MC and the New Sure Shot (aka Autoboy 2) you had to engage the self-timer (this triggered the focus lock). Then you had to beat the timer to release the shutter.
Lens quality is okay. Though admittedly I pushed the camera with very slow shutter speeds. I set the 400 speed film at 100 speed.
I like the firmness of the clamshell slide. It doesn't feel prone to breaking off.
I wish it used AA batteries as opposed to AAAs. If it did, I think I would use it more.
September 25, 2010
Nikon D40 + M42 to K/AR mount adapter + CZ Jena Biotar 58mm f2, originally uploaded by *jj*.
September 24, 2010
Started shooting with this camera today. Using Kodak BW400CN. Set at 100 ASA. Mostly.
For an update on shooting with the Canon MC read here.
|Type||Fully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter autofocus camera|
|Picture Size||24 x 36 mm|
|AF System||Triangulation system with near-infrared beam. Prefocus enabled.|
|Lens||35mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups)|
|Shutter||Electromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture. EV 6 (f/2.8 at 1/8 sec.) - 17 (f/16 at 1/500 sec.). Built-in electronic self-timer.|
|Viewfinder||Reversed Galilean viewfinder with projected frames. Within the image area are the AF frame, zone focusing marks for near, medium, and far distances, parallax correction marks, and battery check and camera-shake warning. 0.46x magnification,|
|EE||SPC for full-auto program EE. Metering range of EV 6 - 17 (at ISO 100). Film speed range of ISO 64 - 1000.|
|Power Source||Two 1.5 V size-AAA batteries|
|Film Loading &|
|After opening camera back, align film leader at mark then close the camera back for auto loading. Film advance is automatic with the built-in motor. Film advance speed of 1 fps.|
|Frame Counter||Counts up. Resets automatically when camera back is opened. Counts down during rewind.|
|Film Rewind||Automatic rewind with built-in motor. Midroll rewind enabled.|
|Direct attachment with locking feature. Guide No. 11 (at ISO 100 in meters). Fires at full output at all times. Powered separately by two 1.5 V size-AAA batteries.|
|106 x 65 x 42 mm, 255 g (with batteries)|
137 x 65 x 42 mm, 330 g (with MC-S and batteries)
September 21, 2010
Designed by Minolta and Panasonic. Made by Panasonic.
For the specs, visit Sylvain Hagland's website. It will be for the Leica Mini II. Here's how it was ballyhooed by Popular Science:
Here is a nice picture of the Leica version on Flickr, notice it's described as a 35mm Elmar (some version say 34mm....are they actually different?), and also a Panasonic from Arty Smokes Photostream:
reflected self-portrait with Voigtlander Bessa-L camera, originally uploaded by pho-Tony.
Tony posted @ http://52cameras.blogspot.com/
Taken with Voigtlander Bessa-L camera in week 37 of my 52 film cameras in 52 weeks project: 52cameras.blogspot.com/
At 12mm, this lens claims to be the widest angle rectilinear full frame 35mm lens available.
The front of the lens was only 15cm from the mirror.
Sometimes super wides seem like trick shots but this lens is superb for the self-portrait.
In many ways, the lens captures the way we see familiar environments. By that I mean it conveys what we know is there, even if it is in the periphery of our normal (50mm-like) vision.
Longer focal lengths frame away parts of the world and thereby alter they way we see the world around it. They can even renew how we see the world.
The superwide can confirm our familiar domestic vision - such a weird focal length and yet it may be the best lens to describe the quotidian. Nice work.
September 19, 2010
September 18, 2010
, originally uploaded by *jj*.
I can use my M42 to AR (Konica) adapter to affix the new ancient and dirty East German CZ Jena unbadged "Biotar" 58mm f2 lens to my Nikon D40. It kind of fits but I was to scared to turn the AR adapter on the D40 until it clicked. But it was light tight nonetheless.
The Biotar has bubbles, black flecks and dry grease. The Tessar, however, is perfect and mostly lives behind a Rollei 30.5mm UV filter.
September 15, 2010
Okay, I keep looking for a nice Zeiss solid-body viewfinder camera. Thing is there are just too many lens types out there. Sometimes I think it be nice to get a Voigtlander Vito or something like that BUT the number of lens names is dizzying. Which one exactly, is supposed to be the equivalent of a four elements in three groups?
Wonder no longer. Here is a list of lens - you can figure which Schneider or Voigtlander design is the equivalent of whichever Zeiss design!
The Biotar lens I bought today would be six elements in four groups.
I used to be quite snobby about not wanting a three element lens on a vintage viewfinder and have consequently avoided them. However, my camera repair man Horst Wenzel - trained in Hasselblads and Leicas - says my triplet TLR, Yashica 635 with a Yashikor 80mm lens, will do fine even against the Yashinon found in the Yashicamat 124-G.
3. Voigtländer Vaskar 1:4,5
4. Steinheil Cassar 1:4,5; 1:3,5; 1:2,8
5. Schneider Radionar 1:4,5; 1:3,5; 1:2,9
6. Agfa Solinar l :4,5; 1:3,5; 1:2,8
7. Zeiss Tessar 1:3,5; 1:2,8
8. Schneider Xenar 1:3,5; 1:2,8
9. Voigtländer Color Skopar 1:3,5
10. Schneider Xenotar 1:2,8
11. Voigtländer Ultron 1:2,0
12. Rodenstock Heligon 1:2,0
13. Schneider Xenon 1:2,0; 1:1,9
14. Zeiss Biotar 1:2,0
15. Zeiss Sonnar 1:1,5
16. Voigtländer Nokton 1:1,5
C Z Jena 58mm f2 lens with Konica Autoreflex TC with a Konica M42 Adapter, originally uploaded by *jj*.
This lens is in rough shape. The classic dried grease problem.
I plan to take it apart and give it a good cleaning. This is the kind of lens I don't mind mucking with.
I just read here about how underneath the first ring, one may find another ring with a scraped off Carl Zeiss. In the post-war period, Carl Zeiss Stuggart took exception the flood of Carl Zeiss Jena product from East Germany. For the East German cameras and lens to be sold in the West, the items were required to stop violating Carl Zeiss in Stuggart's trademark.
I'm glad I've added this as I haven't really put this body in the mix before either. I've decided to make my Konica Autoreflex TC the official M42 body in this household.
September 11, 2010
What can I say? I'm a gearhead.
The nice thing I can say about this body is it's a metal shutter camera. It won't fire without batteries.
Wonky shutter speed selector. You have to press the up or down button on the top plate. The flash syn is 1/100 which is better than the 1/60 on my Konica TC-X.
It is a very ugly camera. But it's nice to have a K-mount camera around. My first. This is not the body which came with the lens.
- 1. Show a decent picture of the lens. Try to take the lens cap off the lens.
- 2. Accurately post the brand, model and other significant details - for a body that means shutter speeds, shutter type (cloth or metal), metering options - for a lens I like to know about focal length, minimum focus distance, and aperture range.
- 3. How about a name? Just a first name if you're worried about security. Even a fake male name if you are a woman. Just something so people can address you properly. I always feel my morale sink when I'm forced to simply say, "Hi, my name is JJ, I'm calling about the XXXX camera." Okay, you know what, it's not too bad. But if you're a man what's wrong with giving out a first name?
- 4. Telling buyers you've been online checking ebay and really know the value of the camera you are selling only let's the buyer know you know NOTHING about the camera you are selling or its value. They are the last people I want to deal with and I never do.
- 5. It's okay to know nothing about a a camera you know nothing about - but then sell it for a price you think is fair (I call this internal pricing, if you feel good, it's good a price). I've sold lots of gear for less than the going price and have felt no qualms. It's all about Karma.
- 6. Saying "thanks for looking" is always polite.
Sometimes one comes across a piece of gear that is so intriguing one can't resist it.
While I'm not a stranger to f1.4 primes, this one drew me in. It is a Chinon, not exactly a Takumar or a Hexanon (those are the ones I have) nevertheless, I had to buy it. It wasn't cheap. It was attached to a DAMAGED k1000 and they wouldn't sell it to me separate.
So I bought the whole kit and immediatedly donated the body back. What can you do?
I thought I'd post it because I haven't seen any online and thought it might add to the collective photographica knowledge.
September 9, 2010
, originally uploaded by *jj*.
I've had this roll undeveloped in my bag for two weeks.
It had been exposed on my L35AF. Obviously, it was from my day at the beach. I met the gentleman above in my usual patrol of men doing odd things while half-naked.
He made the cut. His kids had covered him in the silty wash from low tide at Locarno Beach. I took two exposures.
I couldn't wait to get the roll developed but it took longer than I thought. I really thought this would be the shot of the summer. One to add as one of my favourites.
As it turns out, it's not. And I'm very disappointed. I only get one or two chances to add a photo to the series every summer. Now, Labour Day has come and gone.
He does have an interesting self-mocking smirk but the composition fails to move me.
I really wanted it to feel like this image:
There are a zillion reasons why mine does approach what's going on in Arbus's Tattooed Man. But what jumps out the most is how the man has his arms spread.
Next year. Again.
September 8, 2010
Also known as the AF-1 and Nurepika. (Note: a Warhol camera.)
Arty has the basic specs.
I had to open up the camera to clean the uv filter. The weather proofing gasket made it difficult to take out the screws. I didn't not bother to put the gasket back in. Technically, no longer a wet flash. But I think it will do better and not develop any more fungus on the filter. Just like a leaky condo, sometimes it's better to let a camera breathe.
Note: the camera lacks a NO FLASH option. Learn to love the flash. With a slowest shutter speed of 1/30 (max is 1/700) this camera most likely emphasizes sharpness.
Another thing, the focus lock is very odd. Press the focus lock. Hold it down. Then hold down the shutter. It won't fire. Then recompose. Then RELEASE the focus lock! It shoots.
If you want to disengage without firing, simply take your finger off the shutter release.
The best way to hold it is with your left hand index finger on the focus lock. This means you will have three fingers on the front side. I tried to do it with my left thumb but it was awkward.
See pics below.