Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Canon EOS Elan II with a Vivitar 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens







One of my favorite 35mm film SLR's is a Canon EOS Elan II. Very basic, good functions, reliable & somewhat contemporary. It's all plastic goodness. I primarily use it for street photography or when I'm using expired film and I want to make sure I use a camera that works!. Up to now I've always used it with a pancake 40mm f/2.8 lens shown in this picture.

However, I decided to mount it with a fairly inexpensive 3rd party, Vivitar 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. I RARELY if ever use long lenses on film cameras. I'm more of a 35-50mm street / snapshot shooter. I was given this lens a few years ago, so I figured I would give it a go.




The lens is surprisingly robust. It's not the fastest lens, but for street photography that isn't an issue. It's a pull / push zoom lens so it's extremely intuitive and easy to zoom. It has both AF/M settings to fit your shooting needs and a macro setting (which I didn't use). The AF was surprisingly fast. The only issue is that there is no zoom lock so when you hold the lens down (below horizontal) the lens barrel on my lens went all the way out to 210mm which looked kind of silly. This particular lens can easily be purchased online for under $100. 




I took this combination out the other day loaded with a bulk loaded roll of Ilford XP2 Super 400. Once shot I developed the roll at home with Unicolor C-41 purchased from Roberts Camera. The results. 









Sunday, May 3, 2020

Zorki 2-C Russian Goodness


I purchased this colorful Zorki 2-C a couple of years ago from Roberts Camera's Used Photo Pro division. 

the Zorki 2-C is a Russian knock-off of a Leica II. It's a surprisingly well built, heavy all metal rangefinder. I mounted it with an f/2.8, 52mm Industar N-61 screw type lens. Very inexpensive and surprisingly good.

The Zorki is fully manual. 35mm film is loaded on the bottom via removal of the bottom plate. You need to cut a longer leader on the film for this style of camera.


Speeds are B, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250 & 1/500. As with cameras of this type if you want to change the speed you do it BEFORE you advance the film and which cocks the shutter.  Why, no clue, but that's what I've read and have always done. There is no light meter. There is a viewfinder to focus and one for composition. Super basic.




I loaded the camera up with a roll of Arista EDU 400 and shot the roll around Indianapolis. 

The Zorki 2-C is a handsome camera that I enjoy using. 

Here are a few photos from the most recent shoot:







Friday, January 31, 2020

Canon Sure Shot M & Rollei Retro 400S


I really like point & shoot film cameras. They are simple and can be used in almost all situations.  I recently shot this cool Canon Sure Shot M Date. It's a very pocketable camera with all the features that you would normally expect. 

The Sure Shot M (also sold as "Autoboy F / Prima Mini) has a 32mm f/3.5 lens. This is a good lens for everyday use. The camera has a flash that can be turned on/off or set. There is a simple self timer. The shutter release button is rubberized and flush with the top. The camera is DX coded from 25 to 3200 ISO in full stops. If you use non DX film the exposure is set at 25 ISO. Auto shutter speed ranges from 2 seconds to 1/250.



I shot a roll of Rollei Retro 400S through the camera recently. I developed the film using Rodinal at a 1+25 ratio for 10.5 minutes. 

I like the results of both the film and the camera. Here are some examples from the roll.










Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Holga 120N - A Plastic Cult Toy Camera



Much has been written about the Holga. It’s a cult toy camera. All plastic with point and shoot with very few features or controls. You simply load it with 120 film set one of 4 distance setting, slide the aperture switch to either sunny or cloudy, aim and shoot. It’s that easy.

The main feature of the Holga line is they tend to be light leaky and the lens gives a soft / distorted vignette. This quirkiness gives the image it’s unique, “every picture is different” vibe. The plastic is a 60mm f/8 piece of plastic. You can set the camera to take 12 or 16 shots.

Practical? No, Fun? Yes

I’ve had mine for about 5 years. I recently took it out and shot a roll of Ultrafine Xtreme 400. I shot the roll in downtown Indianapolis on a grey but bright day. Film was developed using Ilford Ilfosol3 at 1+9 for 4.5 minutes. Negatives were scanned using an Epson V800.

I dig the camera. Here are some images.








Thursday, November 14, 2019

Pentax K1000 - 35mm Film Uberness


One of the finest general purpose / everyday 35mm film SLR is the Pentax K1000. You want reliable? You want basic? You want good images? Then look no further than the K1000. Manual focus, reliable light meter, good ISO/ASA range (20 - 32000), good speed range (B to 1/1000 second), hotshoe & solidly built. What else would you want in a basic SLR.

I have 2 K1000's. One with a workable light meter and one without. The K1000 with the light meter that doesn't work is still perfect for using with a hand held light meter or sunny 16. The shutter operates without a battery.

To operate you either manually use aperture or speed priority. Set whichever is your preference based on the scene, film and light. Then simply adjust the other. The light meter is a needle in the viewfinder that goes up and down based on the setting. When the needle is in the center your exposure is set.

The shutter has a moderate mirror slap which is noticeable but still stealthy enough for candids and street photography. 

I have one of the cameras mounted with a Pentax-M f/1.7 50mm and one with a f/2.8 28mm. I prefer the 50mm which is my go to focal length for street photography.

Honestly, for a basic camera or your first SLR you can't go wrong with a Pentax K1000.

The manual at Butkus 

A few photos taken with bulk loaded Kentmere 400 pushed to 800 and some Kodak TMAX 400 at box speed.