Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I'm almost there!
One last thing to take care of before the end of the year and I'm home free!
First, there was this lunar thingy last night.
Full moon, Earth's shadow, red stuff, etc.
All images taken with my Nikon D7100 and Nikkor 70-200 VRII at f2.8:

Forget about totality.
Clouds all over the place!
Finally I got into the car and drove to the park.
Couldn't even get the camera to focus and I had to guesstimate!
Finally some breaks in the puffiness:

There was also some high cloud cover so resolution was pretty much nonexistent.
I did get some nice shots coming out of totality.
The wind was a blowing too and I could hear the vibration reduction of the lens working all night.
This is while the camera was on  a tripod!

Thank goodness for technology or these images would be really crappy!
The moon was actually really dark, you could hardly see it at times but I was using a really slow shutter to bring it in.
After it started to get brighter, I started to speed the shutter up some.

Sort of a reverse diamond ring effect going on there.
It was pretty cool to see with the nekkid eyeball.
The last lunar eclipse I remember was way more cloudy and you couldn't really see anything.

I had planned to sort of stay for a while but it was wait and shoot with all the clouds and the old Earth was a taking it's time getting the hell out of the way.

So after about two hours, I packed it in and headed on back to the Flat Tire Command Center (FTCC).
All this celestial stuff has got me thinking about getting another telescope.
Then you gotta get the adapters and eye pieces and Barlows and filters and equatorial mounts and well, you know the drill.
On the other hand, astrophotography is sort of why I got all interested in photography anyways.
Lemme just enjoy taking pictures for a while, you know, before I go off the deep end.
Oh yeah.
I've already gone off the deep end.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Early Edition

This time I didn't buy it.
Well okay, I did.
Sort of.
A while back some folk had dropped off some photo stuff to another teacher and he called me to ask me if I wanted anything.
Sure, I said.
I mean free stuff is free stuff.
If you know what I mean.
Well there's this bunch of stuff and a camera but the camera is toast, the mirror locks up and I don't know what's wrong with it.
More on this later.
So I'm going through all this stuff and it's like really old but I do a search and it seems like this stuff is supposed to be good stuff!
Except the camera don't work!
Okay so I order a camera but when it gets here, it's broken too!
Cracked mirror!
If you, the reader, have been following along home, then you know what happened next.
That's right!
Another camera:

Pentax Spotmatic II!
I like this camera.
See the first camera I got for free, the broken one was a Pentax ME Super, which is also a nice camera.
It's about the same size as my Nikon FG, a bit smaller than a regular SLR but it's also on the newish side.
The good stuff lenses that came with it were older Takumar lenses with what's called the M42 screw mount which means they well, screw on.
The camera came with an adapter,  so I figured I might as well get a M42 mount camera:

Normally I probably wouldn't have done that, get another camera I mean.
Well okay, I probably would have.
The thing is I got three of these Takumars, the 50 you see there, a 28, and a 135 so I just had to!
Get another camera I mean.
More on the glass later.
The Spotmatic first came out in the 60's but mine is circa early 70's, second version.
Like all vintage stuff it's a bit quirky, it's got a meter but it's a bit different.
There's a switch/lever thingy on the side that you push to activate and you can meter stopped down or well stopped down.
There's an Auto/Man slider on the lens but ultimately they both do the same thing.
Needless to say the camera is built like the proverbial tank, boat anchor weight.
How does it shoot?

Well as in pretty good.
Taken with Ilford Pan F at ISO50.
By the way, there's a bird there in the first two shots, a Golden Plover, kolea,  ready to go back to parts North.
I took these at work, I was hot to get a roll through the camera so the lens is stopped down.
The true test is wide open at night, which I also did.
Except I was watching some Netflix while I was developing and forgot what kind of film I was tanking and developed the roll three minutes short.
The negative looks okay, but I'm not going to use it to judge the quality of the lens.
I'll try go get out today and run another roll through it but I got to go and work on the kiln later and there's those pesky laziness drills I have to do.
Anyways I need to watch my development skills as yesterday I got this:

Color processing at home!
More on this later.