Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Leica AF-C1

I recently purchased a Leica AF-C1 at a flea market.  It was just sitting there.  The seller didn't know if it worked so I got the camera for $10.  For a Leica I was willing to take a flyer for only $10.  Got home, loaded it with a new battery and it worked great.

This is a very basic point & shoot rangefinder camera.  You simply slide the switch under the lens and the lens cover opens and the camera comes on.  The default lens is f/2.8 40mm. There is a "TELE" button which switches the lens to a f/5.6 80mm zoom.  When you push the TELE button the flash pops up to extend it above the 80mm lens.  Just point and shoot.

A couple of issues, first is that the camera is quite noisy and secondly the focus is a bit slow.  When the camera is in focus a little green light comes on in the viewfinder.

I've shot several rolls though the camera and it works great.  Not the sharpest lens, but I totally enjoy shooting with it.

I took it with me to Los Angeles and loaded it with Ilford HP5+, Ilford XP2 400 Super & Lomography 400.  All films work well.  Here are a few photos using Ilford XP2 at Bombay Beach in the Salton Sea.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bulk Loading 35mm Film - How To

I shoot a moderate amount of 35mm film.  One of the "downsides" of shooting film is the cost of the actual film.  It can range from fairly inexpensive $3-4 per roll to fairly expensive $10+ per roll.  It comes down to the type of film, the age of the film and where you buy it.  

If you are serious about film photography an option to manage your cost is bulk loading 35mm film yourself from a 100' roll.  Although there is a small setup cost the per cartridge cost decreases significantly.  One note, this is really only practical if you develop your own film.

The equipment need is:
  • A daylight bulk film winder
  • Bulk rolled film
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Reusable 35mm film cassette (cartridge)

There are several brands of daylight bulk film loaders.  The one in the linked video was made by Prinz.  Most well-known online camera stores carry them.  Next you need a 100' bulk roll of 35mm film.  Again, camera stores like B&H Photo Video in NYC (or online) is a great resource.  You can also buy bulk film through Amazon.  You get the idea.  You want a 100' roll of your favorite film stock.  Finally, you need to get empty 35mm film cartridges.  I'm NOT talking about empty commercially rolled film cassette, but a re-loadable type.  Again, these can be purchased online, like these Kalt cassettes from B&H.

There are 2 types of 35mm film cassettes.  First, a plastic cassette that has a screw off top, and a metal cassette with a pop off top.  I prefer the metal cassettes, but the plastic are easier to load.  The metal cassettes I've been using were purchased at Roberts Camera in Indianapolis and are DX coded 400 speed.

OK, once you have all your equipment, here's a video on how you put everything together and "roll your own"