Saturday, November 22, 2014

Photos I've Taken - Kodak Pocket Instamatic 20

Tested another 110 camera.  This time the Kodak Pocket Instamatic 20.  I'll write a more detailed post later, but this camera was a 110 sized pocket camera.  I used a roll of Lomography 200 Tiger II film and had the images developed at the Darkroom.  Riding through the corn fields during a bike ride.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Photos I've Taken - Kodak Star 110

I've bought several 110 sized cameras over the past year.  I hadn't used them because I didn't know where to get the film developed.  Found out The Darkroom in California developed 110 size, so I dusted a few of the 110 cameras off.  One was the Kodak Star 110.  I bought 110 sized film from Lomography through The Film Photography Project store.  Tammy the cat is the subject of my test shot.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Photos I've Taken - Yashica Mat 124G

I bought my Yashica Mat 124G from Roberts Camera.  It's a classic TLR design taking 120 sized film.  I've been running a few rolls through it and will be writing a blog post on the camera soon.  In the meantime a bike shop in southern Indiana.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dead On Arrival

You probably know I stop at a Goodwill Store & a Goodwill Outlet close to my office every other week or so.  I just go by to see if I can find any cool film camera equipment.  I've been lucky most of the stuff I find works A-OK, or can be put in working order with a bit of TLC.  If it doesn't work I just pitch it.  No need to spend any time, effort or money on fixing things.

I found a Sunpak NE220-S speed light the other day.  I thought it would be a good addition for a couple of my older range finder film cameras.  There was a bit of corrosion on the battery leads, but not much.  I cleaned it up, but alas the speed light  doesn't work.  It will end up in the trash.  I get a few "dead on arrivals" every once in awhile.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Polaroid Sun 600 LMS - With Impossible Project Film

Instant photography is super fun.  Now that the Impossible Project has resurrected the Polaroid-like film all of the old Polaroid cameras stuck away by your parents, grandparents, at Goodwill, flea markets, etc. are now good to go.  I have many.

My most recent instant camera used is the Polaroid Sun 600 LMS.  A member of the 600 One Step series. The LMS stands for "Light Management System".  Since there is the standard "light / dark" slider I'm not 100% sure how the LMS adds value, but it does seem to have better flash control.

Like all 600 Polaroids, there is really nothing to do except point & shoot.  There is no focus and I found setting the light / dark slider slightly to the dark side is best (insert your favorite Star War's impression here) and shoot no closer than 5'.  Any closer and the image gets washed out.  At approximately $25 for 8 shots, you really don't want to burn through lots of shots testing your settings.  Remember, this is a Polaroid, so the idea is to get something quirky anyway.

I'm shooting the Impossible Project film in all instant cameras except for my Instax cameras and my pack cameras which take FujiFilm.  For my most recent shoot with the Polaroid Sun 600 I used a pack of Impossible Project 600 Color film.  All shots had a slight yellowish / green tint.  Kind of minty cool.  

The photos shown were taken as behind the scene shots during recent editorial fashion photoshoots.  Totally groovy.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

FujiFilm - We'll See How This Goes

I Found a FujiFilm Zoom Date 1300 point & shoot at Goodwill the other day. Very clean and compact. 

I loaded with a new battery & a roll of film, but alas the back monitor which shows mode & shoot count is dead. Therefore I have no idea what mode the camera is set or the shoot count. 

I'll shoot the roll to see how it works but then the camera will probably end up in my trash drawer. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Photos I've Taken - Vivitar Champion II

This was shot in the evening at Crown Hill Cemetery in downtown Indianapolis during a photo club photo walk.  I brought various film cameras to test & play with.  This camera was pretty beat up and many of the shots had pretty bad light leaks.  Very lomography-like.  The film door on the camera had to be forced open & the film advance was not smooth.  Shot with a roll Mitsubishi MX-III 400 film.  I got the camera at a local Goodwill Outlet, so what do you expect.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Latest Camera Find - Canon A35 F Rangefinder

My latest camera find is a super clean Canon A35 F.  This is a classic rangefinder in the same line / family as the very popular Canonet.  I've never had a Canon F, so I was really surprised when I found this during my routine check at my local Goodwill Outlet.  It was dusty & dirty, but it cleaned up nicely.  The batteries were dead (one for the meter & one for the popup flash) but the battery compartment is clean.

The lens, a 40mm f/2.8 was protected by a clear lens filter.  All the moving parts seemed to work, except the ASA selector knob which appears to be sluggish.  It's set at 400 right now, so that's what I use most of the time so this shouldn't pose issues.   I loaded it with new batteries tonight and the light meter appears to work.  

This is going to be a fun camera to shoot.  It's the same size as my now dead Canonet, so the size is just right.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Olympus MJU - A Sweet Point & Shoot

This little beauty is one of my longest running film point & shoots.  The Olympus MJU was the first in a series of the line.  First produced in 1991.  In NA it was branded as the Stylus.  I got this one while living in Hong Kong, so there is no Stylus branding.  This camera got used for years.  I put it away a few years ago when the digital bug hit.  The camera got put back into service this year when I reactivated my film interest.  This guy was right there ready to go.  All I needed to do was replace the battery.  I used this camera A LOT.

There's nothing to set on this camera.  Just load the film, open the lens cover slide and press the shutter release.  This is a rangefinder camera with the view finder right over the lens.  There is limited / no parallax issue.  The lens is a super sharp Olympus lens at 35mm f/3.5.  Not the fastest lens in the world, but there is an automatic flash that goes off when needed.  Two buttons are available for self timer & for turning on/off the flash.  

The camera is small, a bit chunky but fits perfectly in your hand.  The lens cover slides open very easily with one hand.  Once open the lens pops out about 1/4 of an inch and you are ready to go.  That's it.

I've really enjoyed this camera and will post some photos when the roll currently in it is developed.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Podcast Worth Following - Valerie Jardin's Street Focus on TWiP

If you are reading this blog you may not know my primary photography jones is editorial fashion & portrait photography.  My fashion & portrait work is digital, with a sprinkling of instant photography for giggles.  Shameless plug alert - check me out at my portfolio site & blog.  However, if you are on this blog you also know I'm into film & street photography.  Most of my personal and "walk-around" photography is street photography.  I've met interesting & creative people through street photography.

I follow a number of street photographers and regularly read about the genre.  That's how I discovered Valerie Jardin.  I first heard her through "This Week In Photo" (TWiP), a weekly podcast about all things photography hosted by Fredrick Van Johnson.  One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is TWiP.  Valerie is a regular co-host.  I started to follow her through social media, and although she's a digital girl, her street work is uber.  I joined a workshop she hosted in Minneapolis and was hooked.  She has skills.  I was on her June workshop in Paris where she told us about her upcoming street photography podcasts named appropriately "Street Focus" on the TWiP network.  She had her first listener, this guy.  She's up to podcast #7.

I wouldn't normally talk about Street Focus on this blog because it's mainly digital, but oh, hold on!  This week on episode # 7 she interviewed London based street photographer Walter Rothwell.  And you know what?  Yep, Walter shoots exclusively FILM.  Not only film, but he shoots mainly in panorama mode with a Hasselblad X-Pan.  I've been lusting for one of those beauties for some time, but they are pricey.

But wait Steve, in street photography, aren't you supposed to get close and shoot 35mm format?  Yes & No, you can do whatever you want.  Although the trend is to "get close", street photography lends itself to panorama.  Especially in big cities with lots going on like NYC, LA, Hong Kong or Paris.  Check out this YouTube video from DigitalRevTV that talks about the X-Pan.  I used to live in Hong Kong and from experience it was panorama heaven.   

Anyway, Valerie interviews Walter Rothwell on episode # 7, and it's really intriguing.  A good back & forth on his style, his background, his techniques & how he works.  I immediately checked out his work, and really enjoy it.  I like his purity of B&W and the very contrasty nature of his street work.  Some of his images brought a smile to my face.  Lots of action in those panoramas.  Very different than a close up street portrait or close urban scene with a single point of focus.

I also feel three of Walter's comments were spot on.  First, "slow down".  You don't need to take 500 photos during a street shoot (like I might do in a model shoot)  Walk slower, blend in, and selectively shoot.  This is particularly appropriate in film.  I find myself doing this as well.  Also, when you are moving slower you blend in better.  The second comment is to re-visit your old images.  You will likely find gold nugget images you originally passed by.  So true and I find I do this all the time.  Finally, carry your camera all the time.  You may not always take a photo, but at least you are prepared and your eyes are scanning for a potential photo.  I do this all the time.  I ALWAYS have a camera on me, even if it's just my iPhone.  

So, all you film street photographers, do yourself a favor -  check out Walter.  Also, while you are at it check out Valerie & her podcast on TWiP.   Now all I have to do is get over to London and convince Walter to spend a day with me walking through London's streets.  Maybe he'll let me put a roll through is X-Pan.  Come on, a boy can dream.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cameras I Found - Polaroid OneStep Plus

As normal I stopped at the Goodwill Outlet near my office on the way home yesterday.  Look what I found, a Polaroid OneStep Plus Land Camera.  One with the cool rainbow logo. This camera uses Polaroid SX-70 film, which isn't to be confused with Polaroid 600 film.  It was mine for only about 50 cents.  Sweet. 

I have purchased about 30 Polaroid cameras over the past couple of years, and all about 3 have worked.  The only thing that worried me about this camera was a crack on the top where the flashbar plugs in and the shutter release button appeared to be recessed too far.

Surprisingly, there was an empty SX-70 film cartridge in the camera.  Not sure how old it was, but I wanted to see if the battery was still good.  I wanted to test if the camera worked.  I took out the film and reinserted it, and the gears whirled.  I also put some black electricians tape over the crack.  Therefore, until I test the camera with some live film it appears to be working.

Next step, buy some Impossible Project film and give it a try.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Electronic Strobe Pocket Camera 110 - My Dad's Camera

My Dad was an avid photographer.  He had a wide range of film & digital cameras in all formats.  I was going through a box of his effects and found this Electronic Strobe Pocket Camera.  This is a 110 film sized camera.  Actually, I'm not sure who manufactured the camera or  the camera's real name.  I checked everywhere on the body and couldn't find a manufacture or a model type.  The only thing I found was on the top near the strobe was the words "Electronic Strobe Pocket Camera", so there you go.  I did a bit of research and it might be a Focal brand sold through K-Mart, but not sure, again no markings.

When I found the camera in a box I was surprised to find a roll of developed 110 film in it.  A roll of Fotomat 110.  The film expired on 12/91, so who knows when the film or camera had been purchased, when the photos were taken, or what was on it.  I didn't even know if the film was good because it had been stored in a box in a basement and then in a storage room for I'm guessing at least 15-20 years.

I was excited about the film, but a bit nervous thinking about what was on it.  Were there pictures of my brothers & sisters when we were younger, pictures of my Mom, or just photos around the house? I don't remember my Dad using this camera, so I'm guessing he purchased it after I had left for school or moved away.

Before I developed the 110 film my Dad took I loaded the camera with a fresh set of batteries and a roll of Lomography 200 Tiger II 110 film that I bought from the Film Photography Podcast store.  I took photos around town.  The camera is heavy which surprises me for such a small camera.  Also, the moving parts are showing their age.  The shutter release button was sluggish and at times stuck or really needed to be pushed hard to release the shutter.  This created a bunch of camera shake. 

Anyway, after I finished the roll I sent them off to The Darkroom along with other assorted rolls.  I put a note in the mailer to the Darkroom just letting them know that I had no idea what was on the roll and that it was somewhat special.  Corny I know, but I felt it important.

The film came back and the camera worked.  Here is a photo from the roll that my Dad took.  Most of the photos appeared to be from around their house.  The photo is of my Dad's CB radio that he had & used regularly.  Kind of cool.  Kind of a 60's or early 70's vibe.

The other photos are from around my studio downtown Indianapolis, at Crown Hill Cemetery and during a drive around the town taking photos.  The colors are much richer and the camera gives a really soft focus / feel. 

Not a practical camera anymore, but lots of fun to shoot.  And the best thing, is that this is a camera my Dad used.  How cool.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ansco Pix Panorama - A Simple Panorama Point & Shoot

I recently bought a bunch of simple point & shoot cameras.  One of the cameras is a very simple panoramic camera called the Ansco Pix Panorama.  No controls at all.  Just open the lens cover and take the picture.  I loaded it with a roll of Kodak BW400CN.  Got the film back today.  Leaves a black band on the top & bottom of the photo.  Only about 2/3 of the surface area is left in the center of the photo.  A fun little camera

Focus is fairly soft, but a very retro look.  I bet it would look really cool in color.  Here area  couple of shots.