Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nikon MD-11 DOA

My dad was an avid photographer.  One of the last film SLR's he had was a Nikon FM.  A compact, but rugged SLR.  After he passed away, my sister gave me a box of camera equipment she was holding.  In it was all sorts of camera / darkroom equipment.  One item included was a Nikon MD-11 power winder.  

Cool, it was an exact match to my dad's Nikon FM which I had been given earlier.  I was excited to give it a try because I've never had a power winder on any of my Nikons.  It mounted perfectly.  I loaded it with 8 batteries, but alas it doesn't work.  All the terminals are clean & the batteries are new, so I suspect there is something wrong with the internals.

Anyway it looked cool on the camera.  Not to worry the camera still works fine without it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Imperial Debonair

I picked up this fancy looking camera, an Imperial Debonair, online in a camera lot purchase.  Very 60's looking.  As a matter of fact it's the produced in the 60's by the Herbert Jones Company.  Before I had purchased this camera, I had never heard of the Herbert Jones Company.  

This beauty is an all plastic, Bakelite, camera which falls squarely in the "toy camera" range today.  Looks somewhat like a Kodak Brownie, and I suspect they were made as a competitor.  This is a 620 film camera.  This camera is all manual, and as a matter of fact there are no features to put your manual camera skills to test.  You just load a roll of 620 film, point and shoot.  

This is a rangefinder which makes it simple to use.  My camera had cracks in the case, but nothing a bit of gaffers tape couldn't fils.  I loaded a roll of 120 film rerolled onto a 620 spool that I purchased from The Film Photography Project store and got going.  After about 6 shots however the film must have slipped off the sprocket and jammed.  I was able to "slap" it back in place, but when I advanced the film it tore, and locked up.  I simply rerolled the film.  No reason to open the camera up in the dark and try to get it going again.

This is a fun little camera with a cool 60's vibe.  Very hipster.  Dig it.

Pretty distinct vignetting
Doing some use camera shopping


Friday, November 20, 2015

Kodak Ektralite 10

Picked up a Kodak Ektralite 10 from Goodwill some time ago.  This is a cool little 110 sized film camera.  Super easy to use.  And yes, they still make 110 film.  I used Lomography Color Tiger 200 110 film.  Just open the film door in the back, and drop in a 110 film cartridge.  Close the film door, point & shoot.  Very groovy.  

I have several 110 cameras, and I shoot them just for a goof.  Not very practical since the cameras have little if no controls.  Just point & shoot.  The only control this camera has is an on/off switch for the flash.  No light meter, you just have to guess when you use the flash.  With 200 ASA film basically you use the flash indoors or in shadows.  No flash when outside.

My local camera store doesn't process 110 film, so I sent it away to The Darkroom.  They do a great job.  Here a a few shots while walking around Indianapolis

Hey look it's ME
Riley Tower
Back Alley
Bottomline, the Kodak Ektralite 10 is a fun pocket sized camera.  Super easy to use.  No controls, just point & shoot.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nikon N8008

I picked up this cool 35mm Nikon N8008 SLR about 6 months ago.  I'm a digital Nikon shooter in studio, so I have a natural affinity to Nikons.  It is a classic SLR film camera.  Easy in your hand and fairly light weight.  I decided to use it in studio during a model shoot and later while walking around downtown Indianapolis.

OK, I loaded it up with a roll of Kodak 400 color print film and mounted an old Nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens.  I've had that lens for who knows how long...years.  Off I go.

For this shoot I used aperture priority and matrix metering.  The camera focused very quickly and the shutter slap is very apparent.  The light meter seemed very true, but I didn't confirm it with my external meter.  Not stealthy at all.  I really think I'll enjoy using this camera regularly.  Here are some photos of my model Emmy Lindgren in studio and a shot in downtown Indianapolis near my studio.  I simply set the camera on the street.  Why? Why not.

Northside of Indianapolis with the camera on the road

Model Emmy standing by the studio changing room

Model Emmy Lindgren

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Texas Road Trip - Film Style

See how small the XA is!
I was in Texas over the past week & 1/2.  I visited Houston, San Antonio & Austin both for vacation & for photoshoots.  During my downtime and while not otherwise occupied I did street photography. I used both a Sony A6000 (I know, don't hate on my for referring to a digital camera on my film blog) and this beauty, my Olympus XA.  This is a slick little 35mm rangefinder, that is super easy to use.

Just set the desired aperture (on the sliding dial to the right of the lens) and set the focal distance.  You are good to go.  There is a very small split focusing area in the center of the viewfinder that helps in focusing (although I mainly eyeballed the range) and a speed gauge in the viewfinder.  It's really that simple.   Once you set your desired aperture you press the shutter release.  The gauge tells you what speed was selected.  Obviously, if you want faster or slower shutter speeds you just change your aperture.  It ranges from "flash", through f/2.8 through f/22.  An excellent range.  

The camera is tiny and is super silent.  Perfect for a film street photographer.

The only gripe I have with the camera is there is no shutter lock.  Therefore, if you advance the film and put the camera in your bag (even with the lens cover closed) the slightest touch not he very touchy shutter release button on top of the camera releases the shutter.  I'm sure I have at least 12 misfires.

Anyway, other than that, the camera is uber.  I went through about 10 rolls along with my digital shots.  I'll post some images after I get the film back. 

Mixed lot film & case by The Japan Camera Hunter

Monday, October 26, 2015

Canon AE-1 During A Model Shoot

You may or may not know I'm an editorial fashion and beauty photographer for 90% of my photography.  However, whenever I'm not in studio I do street photography mainly with various film cameras.   Guess what, this past weekend during a shoot I actually used this cool Canon AE-1 with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens during a model shoot.  After each clothing change I took 2-3 photos with film.

Can't wait to get the film back and see if any came out.  The camera is easily older than any of the models I was working with.  Got to have film fun...right?  

BTW, this is the first AE-1 I've ever used.  Not sure if this is normal but the shutter release action sounds JUST like a Star Wars light saber being swung.  Its a cool sound.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Kodak Pony IV Rangefinder

I'm currently shooting with a Kodak Pony IV camera.  I picked it up a few weeks ago at a local antique mall.  It has a cool look and feel.  Very hipsterish.  It even has a little red dot with Kodak in the middle...hmm, maybe trying to copy Leica?  

It shoots 35mm film and is 90% manual which is perfect.  I had to go online and check the manual to figure out how to use it. What's interesting is you meter the camera by looking at the lighting pictures on the back which translate to numbers (like Bright Sun = 13).  You then move the aperture & shutter speed dials on the lens so the total of the 2 moveable numbers equals the lighting number.  Very interesting.   The bottom of the lens barrel actually shows what those numbers mean ("lens opening" number 6 equals f/8, and so on).  Same thing for shutter speed. You'll have to see it for yourself, but it makes sense when you work it a few times.   Focus is manual but there are distance marks on the focus ring.

There is no film advance armature.  You simply turn the film advance knob until it clicks stop between each shot.  Also, advancing the film doesn't cock the shutter, you have to cock the shutter with the small lever on the side of the lens.  I have almost finished my first roll of film through it and almost every time I forgot to cock the shutter.  

This is a super fun camera and I hope the photos come out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Inspiration Everywhere

Sometimes photographers get into a rut.  Admit it, we all do.  But Steve, what can I do to get out of my photography rut?  Well I'm glad you asked.  I do it in a bunch of ways, but primarily by shooting film.  As you might know I'm primarily a studio based digital editorial & beauty photographer for most of my photography.  That's my "professional" photography gig.

But to answer the question, to keep fresh I take my photography in other areas, genre's, themes, etc. to stay out of the rut.  That's really the easiest thing to do.  You can shoot a personal project, you can stick to a consistent theme for a shoot, shoot with a single lens, stick to 36 shots, shoot only the color blue for a project, copy a magazine editorial, shoot the same image every day for a month, etc. etc.  You get the idea.

Well, like I mentioned, to keep fresh when I'm not in studio I shoot street photography and I shoot with film cameras.  Except for a few film cameras that I like to shoot regularly, my "stay out of a rut" gig is to shoot a different film camera every time I go out.  

But wait Steve, isn't that expensive?  Not really.  There are literally thousands of film cameras out there no one is using.  You can ask a friend to donate their unused cameras, you can buy them online for little $$$.  Of course most quality film cameras hold their value and can be pricy.  I'm not talking about those.  I'm talking about stopping off at Goodwill and picking up 3 cameras for $10 type of bargain.

As an example, here's my current inventory of film cameras.  I have 35mm, 110mm, 120mm, & Polaroid film cameras.  Most of these cameras (almost all of the point & shoots) were picked up at Goodwill.  The rest were given to me, purchased online, or purchased at flea-markets.  Bottom-line, if you are a smart buyer you can get good value.

So that's my "get my hiney out of a photography rut" solution, I shoot film and different cameras.  

So what have you got???

OK, some of these are pricey, but not overpriced

All of these cameras were given to me, purchased at Goodwill or at flea markets

My Polaroids were all purchased at Goodwill, except for 2 SX-70's on the top row & 1 Spectra

A bin of cameras ready to be used!

2 more bins of cameras that would loved to be used

I totally dig Polaroids

More cameras!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Disney Princess

"Why" you ask, "Why not" I say.  I found this pink beauty at Goodwill for 50 cents and I had to have it.  The Disney Princess camera.  Toy film camera extreme.  I have zero clue as to the camera specs.  But here is what I do know.  It has a manual flash with a simple on/off switch.  Rangefinder slightly off of the lens axis.  Lens cap switch (you know so you don't scratch the lens), and it shoots 35mm film.

I loaded her up with a roll of FujiColor Superia Xtra 400 color film and shot a few pictures around the studio, and a few photos as behind the scenes during a recent model shoot.  True to it's toy camera status the quality stinks, focus not all that sharp and the flash was a bit of a hit & miss.  But hey, I got a few stares.

A few photos.

Inside the Circle City Industrial Complex where my studio is located

Hey look it's me!

A professional photographer has the best cameras!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Vivitar Ultra - So Sleek It's Fancy

It's been a month or so since I visited a Goodwill to look for film cameras.  Well this evening I decided to stop by a local Goodwill on my way home from the office.  I scored this cute little Vivitar Ultra for a sweet $0.99.  Also, there was a 3x24 box of Kodak color film for $0.25 so I scored that as well.  I loaded one roll into the Ultra and am ready to go.

There is absolutely nothing to this camera.  Just load & point & shoot.  No battery, nothing to adjust, and check it a 22mm lens, although it says f=22mm..strange.  Bottomline, EVERYTHING will be in focus. 

As always, just for giggles.

This Week in Photo - Street Focus - Episode 49 with Valerie Jardin

Sunning in Los Angeles - Canon AF35F with Kodak BW400CN

I had the honor of being street photographer Valerie Jardin's guest on her Street Focus podcast this week. I've known Valerie for about 3 years through social media & workshops. Even though I primarily do studio based editorial / commercial fashion and portrait work, readers of this blog know I also do street photography, primarily with a Sony A6000 and film cameras. We spent about 45 minutes talking about street photography, percent of usable photos, how to get into a street photography meet up group & an appropriate starting aperture for street photography.  

When I was on her workshops I've used multiple film cameras when I wasn't using digital.  Something about film is just right.

Being on the podcast was a blast.

Here's a link to the podcast and Valerie's links:  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Street Photography - Various Film Cameras

OK, for fun I shoot street photography.  Most of this work is with film cameras.  Here are photos with various film cameras.

Canon A35F - In Los Angeles

Nikon FN - Plainfield, IN

Olympus MJU-1 - Indianapolis, IN

Olympus XA - Paris

Prinz Alternative - Plainfield, IN

Vivitar PZ3090 - Indianapolis

Yashica Mat124G - Cincinnati, OH

It's super fun to shoot street photography with film.  I forces you to slow down and think about your shot.