Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Early Edition

I haven't been a very good blogger.
Well I've been really busy.
Okay, not really.
Laziness drills don't you know.
Anyways, I got away from the laziness drills long enough to get back to the old place and pick up this:

An old drive train that I can't remember where it came from sans shifters.
Which I needed.
The shifters I mean.
I also forgot it was Biopace, which is okay since I've turned Biopace before and it's no biggy.
What I really needed was the cranks which are like 170mm.
It's sort of strange, on my road bikes I turn 170s and 175s, no problem.
On the new to me Flat Tire Earth Machine Two (FTEMT) for some odd reason it was fitted with 180mm cranks and lemme tell you, I can tell.
I just can't seem to get a good spin going and it feels like my knees are hitting my chest.
Well okay, my knees are hitting my chest if I crouch down on the bars.
Not that I ever crouch down on the bars.
So today is change the cranks day.
I also plan on hitting up the bicycle place to look for another rack bag.
Or maybe panniers.
I've also been fooling with this:

The camera is not new, nor is the viewfinder mounted on top.
What is new is the 35mm lens.
The reason for the viewfinder on top is that the camera's viewfinder is only marked for a 50mm lens.
The viewfinder is adjustable for focal lengths of 35 to 135mm.
If you've been following along at home you, the reader, know that I picked up a Jupiter 12 35mm lens.
Well this is the Nikkor version: W Nikkor C 3.5cm f2.5
I gotta say, it's a nice looking lens.
Is it $250 nicer than the Jupiter?

Probably not, but it is a Nikkor.
If you know what I mean.
So I've been fooling around with it, seeing what the wide angle is all about.
Well, 35mm is not that wide, as a matter of fact I can't really tell from the pictures.
Okay, sort of.
I mean I can sort of tell, but for the most part not really.
Then again, having that extra width is nice.
So much so that I'm thinking of going wider.
The bad thing is that these wider lenses are slower, forcing me to shoot faster film.
More on this later.
Okay, them cranks are calling me!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Russian Glass

One nice thing about having a Contax  or Leica camera is that there are some really cheap lenses out there.
Not Zeiss or Leica glass, but Russian lenses made from German tooling gotten from after WWII.
Lot o'glass made in Leica M39 mount or Contax mount is available as the Russians, or Soviets if you will, made/stole cameras based on German designs.
Okay, they copied.
Sort of.
Or something.
Anyways, nice lenses can be had for very little compared to the 'real' German stuff.
For instance this nice Contax mount Helios lens:

The lens fits on my Nikon S2 because the mounts are basically the same and lenses below 50mm will work on both cameras.
The Nikkor 5cm lens runs about $250, the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar about $175 and this Helios 53mm f1.8 cost me $32.
The Russian versions are basically Zeiss clones made on tooling won/stolen during the war.
The quality seems to be hit or miss, but this version seems to work pretty well:

I think for the price even if you get a bad version, it's not really a bad deal and one can always get another to test out.
I mean this is for film so in my case a little quirkiness is a good thing.

For $32 it's a lens I can go out with and bang around and trust me, my stuff does get banged around some, and I wouldn't have to worry about it breaking.
Leave that collectable expensive glass at home.
Or to just shoot something different.
I got more coming in, a couple of Jupiter lenses, and we'll take a better look at them later.
I've been busy recently putting some stuff together at work.
If you remember last year, I did a digital media thingy that didn't work out too well but what the hell I'm doing it again.
This time we're going to add some 2D work and I'm going to try and add a juried photo exhibit too.
I'm also trying to organize a tri-school photo exhibit, but that may not happen; I'm meeting this week with a person in charge of a space I want to use.
For sure the tri-school show is happening next year though, I already got gallery space reserved for that.
Busy, busy, busy!
Well okay, not that busy.
Truth is, I've been posting over on Ello, a new social thingy.
It's mostly artsy folks and it's add free so it's pretty interesting.
I think if you click the link that takes you to my page, you can roam about a bit, or maybe not as the place is still invitation only.
Lemme know if it's interesting and you'd like to try it.
I got invitations.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Early Edition

Super Sunday!
I am on a mission.
This new film I'm fooling with has me vexed!
Or something!
I just can't shoot it like I normally shoot.
This film ain't got no latitude:

The film I'm talking about is of course, the Eastman 5363.
The film of the devil!
The evil film!
Where is my list of evilness?
Anyways, you pretty much have to be spot on in metering and watch the composition.
Very little give and take here.
Dark is dark and light is light.
This film is King of the Clouds (KOTC!)!

For you Mr. JRA.
Lemme just say, if I could use this film to just shoot clouds all the time I would!
Freakin awesome!
In fact, I may just load up some short rolls, like 20 exposures or so, and keep them in my bag for them nice cloudy days.
The thing is, we don't always have nice cloudy days and I'd like that film to be a bit more useful.
I shot another test this morning.
Stay tuned.