Monday, December 30, 2013


A new era!
Or an old era!
Or something!
Today as usual, my weekly delivery came in:

That's right folding thingy fans!
Another camera!

How awesome is that?
So excited I was!
I rushed over to the camera place and got me some film and then went over to the beach to test it out:

After my failure with that plastic Lomo camera I was intent on seeing what this oldfangled medium format was all about.
So I ordered me this Zeiss Ikon Nettar II 517/16 120 film folding camera circa 1949.
Gee, this thing is older than even me!
The 16 in the 517/16 means that camera shoots in 6x6 or square format; the other models shoot 6x4.5 and 6x9.
More on this later.
Shooting a camera in full manual mode without a meter is a bit tricky.
There's a thing called Sunny 16 that is used as a starting point for the shutter and aperture settings.
Lot o'thinking going on here.
Let's see how I did:

That's about how my range of exposures went, varying from under, which I was trying for, to slightly over exposed.
I got his oldfangled light meter coming in so that may help me out some.
Again the format is 6x6 and I don't quite know how I like this square look.
Sort of difficult to compose as I'm used to the Golden Rectangle.
I'll probably get me another camera in 6x9.
Now from digital I went to film using SLR cameras and I liked the manual focus and aperture setting.
This is another step backwards and it's even more retro considering there's no meter in the camera.
It really slows you down and makes you consider the composition.
There's also the romance of the golden age of photography so to speak and imagining you are taking pictures in another time and era.
How far retro I'm going I have no idea but let's just say the journey back in time isn't over.
Next I'm going to try some night shooting.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Final

Yet another mail delivery!
No, it wasn't today as today is Sunday but I got it yesterday since it was Saturday but I didn't get around to it until today so it's still a surprise!
Okay, maybe not a surprise as I seem to get a new one about once a week.
Camera I mean:

Hello baby!
Come to papa!
You, the reader have seen this one before?
You, the reader are correct!
In fact you've seen this camera before and before:

Yes I know, but I have an excuse.
It's a sickness.
That has no cure.
Anyways, the newest member comes to me via eVilness auction that I didn't expect to win.
Luckily I did cause this one is in very very good condition.
Except for this:

Which is how all of them looked actually.
The cameras are so old the foamy stuff that seals out the light is all gummy and mushy.
What I have to do is scrap all that stuff off:

Clean up the residue with a some alcohol pads then apply some new foamy stuff:

Which is sort of easy.
Except for the removal of the old stuff.
That gets a bit messy.
Anyways, now I got a almost new to me camera!
Of course one is a back up and I'm going to give the other away to the kids as a prize or something.
I mean three of the same camera is a bit much.
Even for me.
Sort of.
I do have three Nikon FE2s but one is a donor camera, the one that lost it's mirror.
Speaking of SLR cameras, I'm find that I'm sort of moving in another direction.
I got me some of this:

Some fine grained slow speed film, you know, for the antique cameras.
The Delta 100 is pretty nice though you won't be catching me shooting too much of it at night.
When I mostly shoot.
For now.
Very nice quality:

Almost digital don't you think?
That's the problem: it's almost too nice looking.
I want my pictures to look like film.
Anyways, I'll be fooling around with this stuff for a bit and we'll see how it does.
Along with some other stuff I got coming in.
It's a sickness don't you know.

Sunday Early Edition

It's started again.
Sort of.
Just when I though I was out I get pulled back in!
If you know what I mean.
Anyways, a while back I was at the camera place, you know, just looking around.
Well film comes like in all different flavors.
I've been using 35mm all this time but there's also 110, 120 and large format stuff.
Medium format or 120 is well, sort of in the middle, larger than 35mm and smaller than say 4x5.
I got a 120 film camera for the kids:

Yeah it's one of them plastic toy cameras, a Lomo Diana F+ meaning it comes with a flash.
Which is needed cause the shutter and aperture are fixed on these things and you need the flash indoors or anyplace not bathed in direct sunlight.
So like I was saying I was in the camera place minding my own business and something came over me and I got me a roll of that 120 film.
Which may or may not be a good thing.
Not good because none of it came out:

There's only like 15 frames on the roll, less depending on what format you shoot it in: 6x4.5, 6x6 or 6x9.
It's also more expensive at around $6 a roll so you need to make your shots count.
The benefit of medium format is that you can enlarge it well, larger as it's much well, larger than 35mm:

Out of that roll only a couple of images came out but I think some of that was user error as I may or may not have left the lens cap on the camera.
I also got this strange arch looking shadow:

Sort of looks like my finger or something but I know better.
I think.
Anyways, if at first you don't succeed, well you know the rest.
Now I got me some cheap 120 film on the way and well, you know the rest.
Let's just say I've been on the eVilness again lately.
More on this later.
Anyways, today is the last day of bambooness, delivery day, so I got to get ready to go.
Tomorrow I can actually start enjoying my vacation!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Good, the Bad, the Yellow

Hope you had a nice Christmas!
Did Santa bring you everything you wanted?
I got a nice present.
Sort of.
More on that later.
So I've been busy doing the bamboo thing, not much time to get out and about.
Which is not good since I've been itching to get out and do some real camera testing.
Mostly I've had to shoot what's right around me and I've wasted a lot of frames.
The motley crew:

Not a very good picture of the present herd.
That Nikon in the front, the L35AF as it's known to aficionados, impressed me:

Boy, my desk is really messy.
For an auto focus point and shoot it renders some nice images!
I got mine for twenty bucks though I haven't seen another nice one pop up on the evilness for a while.
For twenty bucks though it's a bit wonky and the flash keeps popping up even when the camera is off.
Oh well.
That small rangefinder Canon, the A35F, is also nice:

Small enough to carry on the Flat Tire Earth Machine although it doesn't have a manual setting.
Which is where the Konica comes in.
Except the meter on mine is inop.
Which in all my awesomeness I'm going to try and fix.
Once I get around to fixing the other Konica I just got:

Which arrived on the DOA side of functioning.
Meaning it works.
Sort of.
I need to get into that lens and do some fiddling around so I ordered me one of them lens spanner thingys to remove the retaining ring.
Then I can see where the light sensor is soldered to and fix the other camera.
The second Konica has some shutter and aperture issues but the meter on that one does work.
Oh well.
Vintage cameras.
If you know what I mean.
In other news, I also got me this:

Oh yeah baby!
Contrast here I come!
I think.
Yellow is supposed to improve contrast so I'm going to give the filter a go and see what how it works.
Red is good too but I think you lose like three stops as opposed to only two with yellow.
Gonna try and get out today before I do the bamboo thing.
Ah, the bamboo.
Will it ever end?
Sometimes I have to remind myself what's at the end of the bamboo road.
Today is supposed to be that last day.
I hope.
I also took another road in my film photography journey.
More on that later.

Monday, December 23, 2013


No juice in the car battery.
I knew it was coming and was just hoping it would last long enough to get me to The Warehouse so I could get a new one.
Battery I mean.
So now I'm a waiting for the the work truck to come and pick me up so I can do the bamboo thing and change my battery later.
So I figured I'd post up some of the pictures from the other day:

Some of the boats have interesting names, I wish I knew what was behind them.
I don't usually shoot noir et blanc during the daylight hours so this was sort of a test for me.
The difficult part was metering the scene and choosing the correct exposure:

Okay I better go down and wait for the work truck.
Don't want to miss out on all that bamboo!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Early Edition

I almost forgot today was Sunday!
I'm on vacation don't you know.
Anyways, yesterday I went off on a little trip that ended up being a longer little trip to pick up some film from the film place.
I also did some Christmas shopping hence the side tracking and I also managed to make it down to the beach place:

Some kind of weird shadow in the sky during sunset.
I wasn't supposed to be there during sunset but I got side tracked again taking pictures down by the boat place.
I'm sitting at work scanning the negatives now so more on that later.
I also scanned the shots I took with that camera I so awesomely fixed:

Just some shots I took at school while I picked up that other camera I got to fix up.
So far so good considering I took those pictures without a meter and used that old "sunny 16" rule even though it was overcast.
Not as sharp as I thought but I was just walking around and shooting away.
I haven't had time to really scrutinize the images cause I'm on my way off to do more bamboo related stuff over at the bamboo place.
I also had another look at the meter on the Konica but couldn't see anything wrong so I guess it's stuck on manual.
Shooting without a meter is sort of tricky and I suppose the more you shoot the more you get a feel for what kind of shutter and f/stop to use.
I usually don't touch my film stuff in post so based upon the images above I guess I did okay.
Not quite awesome though you know I'm working on it.
The awesome part I mean.
Okay, the bamboo is waiting and I'm almost done with the scans.
So off I go!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


That's right baby!
I Am Awesome!
It's that time of the year again:

The making of the bamboo thingys.
It's one of those things where you don't really want to do it, but once you start it's sort of okay.
Kind of like pushing the bicycle out the door.
Anyways it seems like we're not as busy as last year,  I didn't ask for a count but I think we're not making as many as before.
Which is a good thing.
I suppose.
For the bamboo.
Then like clockwork this appeared in the mail:

I don't know why but it seems like one appears in my mailbox every week!
Some secret Santa maybe.
So this Konica S2 appears and I'm like all happy!
Then I check it out and the rangefinder is broken.
I'm all sad.
I can hear some stuff a rattling around in there.
The camera I mean.
So like some out of control fanatic who is hell bent on owning every camera ever made I promptly order me another one.
You know, one that works.
Still, I'm thinking about this broken thing.
Seems I read somewhere prior to purchase that these here Konicas have a history of loose mirrors and folks just glue em back on.
Also known as the Home Fixit Channel (HFC) cause if you can't learn how to fix it on YouTube it probably wasn't invented.
Well I didn't get to the HFC cause I found some pictures someplace else and I managed to get the top cover of the disabled camera off:

Did I mention this was bothering me at one o'clock in the morning?
Evil camera was keeping me awake!
Anyways, I got the top cover off but I need to remove one more cover to get to the rangefinder part:

You can see the offending rattling thingy winking back at me.
Interestingly that's not where that little mirror is supposed to be:

It's supposed to be behind the other mirror thingy with a window on that round thingy with the adjustment screw.
So since now it's like two o'clock in the morning and I really don't want to go to the all night place to buy some glue I'm sort of stuck.
Or am I?
I got glue!
In the car I got one of my tool boxes with some epoxy I haven't used in like two years!
Is it still good?
Hope so!
On with the mirror with the help of some tweezers:

The little mirror thingy was beveled on one side and I couldn't figure out which side to glue so I just took a chance and glued it bevel side up.
I think.
I mean it was sort of late.
That set screw is used to adjust the ghost image vertically.
Now looking at how the rangefinder/viewfinder is set up I still don't know what the hell is going on:

I suppose it has something to do with the distance between the two windows in front of the camera and using that distance via mirrors to calculate vertical distance in front of the camera.
Very tricky stuff.
Anyways the rangefinder works!
I am awesome, I am awesome!
Yes I am!
Yes I am!
C'mon! sing along with me!
You, the reader, would sing:
You are awesome!
You are awesome!
Yes you are!
Yes you are!
Fix the camera rangefinder,
Put back on the top cover,
All is good.
All is good.

Except the meter is inop so I'm a opening her up again to see if there are any loose wires.
Electronics and I don't get along very well.
Then again, I am awesome.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Final

Well it rained.
Not exactly the kind of rain I was hoping for.
It was a kind of lazy rain.
I mean the kind of rain that makes me lazy.
Which is a good thing since Sunday is laziness drills day.
So I mostly stayed in and messed with this:

Yet another camera!
I've been wanting a smallish rangefinder and got this for five bucks last week.
Yesterday I changed the foam and today I managed to run some film through it:

This is a nice camera with a nice lens.
The glass is fairly fast at f2.8 but still not quite enough for indoor shots as the shutter only goes down to 1/60.
It's full auto so no user adjustments but that lens sort of makes up for it.
It also makes a goofy rewind and shutter sound, so goofy that I had to get me another one.
Camera that is.
I also managed to develop two rolls of film and in the afternoon I went in to work to scan some of it:

This is that Ektachrome slide film I had cross processed meaning it was developed like normal color film.
Not as much color change as I expected, but I didn't get to shoot a full range of colors.
It does look sort of cool though, even more vintage than that red scale stuff I used before.
By cool I mean cool and cool as in the colors have shifted more towards the cooler blue green than the hotter reds and yellows.
I need to experiment with this again.
I also got some of my chinatown pics scanned:

I shot those with that point and shoot Nikon I just got and I'm kinda impressed with the lens on that camera too.
I'm still organizing those shots so I'll post them up later.
I've come to realize that I sort of created a problem what with all the different types of cameras and formats I shoot.
I mean I got digital and film which includes color and black and white and for the most part I shoot all of them all the time.
What happens is my pictures from one shoot end up all over the place as they get processed at different times and my file system is based on when they get loaded up on the computer.
I need to figure out a new system, maybe tossing everything in one file based upon the day I went out might end up easier.
Or I can just concentrate on the digital files since I have negatives of all the film.
Or something.
I just feel like I'm on the verge losing some images for lack of a good system.
Anyways, I got to go look at the new scans and maybe figure something out.