Sunday, February 7, 2021

Yashica MAT-124G with Wolfman


The Yashica Mat-124G is my favorite TLR medium format cameras. It's super simple to use, I love the 6x6 ratio (square) & it has a working but simple light meter. It's build sturdy.

I took the Yashica out for the first time in quite a while. Covid-19 significantly dampened my film and street photography in 2020. However, I decided to start shooting film regularly starting this January. I have plenty of 120 film on hand both fresh and expired, but wanted to try a roll of Wolfman 120 purchased during a recent trip to Roberts Camera in downtown Indianapolis. The film is distributed by the Film Photography Project store. The film is rated ASA 100 so I needed a fairly bright day. Also, the battery for the light meter needed to be replaced. The camera takes a specialty-type battery (PX625). A downside is that this battery is air activated lasting only a few months. Literally, every time I take this camera out a new battery is needed. The upside is you don't need the battery for the camera to work ... only the meter. You can always use an external light meter, use Sunny 16 or just guess at the exposure.

I shot the roll on the near south side of Indianapolis on a bright but very overcast day. The camera only shoots 12 shots in 6x6 so it goes fast. I did also shoot a roll of Ilford Delta 100 while I was out.

I didn't have any of the developing chemicals recommended by the FPP for the Wolfman film so I learned online that the film could be developed like ORWO UN54. This film can be developed using Ilford Ilfotec DD-X (which I have) in a 1+4 ration for 9 minutes at 20C. That's what I used. I'm happy with the results. 

The film is crisp with lots of contrast with the day's conditions. Some shots







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.