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Showing posts from September, 2020

Essential Kit Basics - Using My Viewfinder Cameras

There are certain things you need to master if you, like me, use vintage viewfinder cameras. I am - as were the vast majority of picture-takers in the first century-and-a-half of the existence of the photographic art - a user of cameras that do not indicate if your photo is in focus or not. The viewfinder shows you (at best) what'll be in the frame. Not much else. In the finder there's nothing that tells of what distance your lens is focused . You don't see the depth-of-field . There's no indication of over- or under exposure . But you do need to know these facts to be able to make a good photograph. What you need is either experience (you can estimate distance and light conditions rather accurately) or an assortment of paraphernalia - i. e. kit :   - Light meter: Flash-shoe mounted/pocketable/app version   - Rangefinder: Flash-shoe mounted/measuring tape/ruler/laser meter/etc   - Pen & notebook: Always at hand, either paper or digital the Exposure I use a combinat

Well, You're a Sport - Time Travelling Compact: a 127 Format Foth Derby

  This small 127 format bellows camera is a joy to use! Also it's a gift from the gods. A fully mechanical camera still working after 80+ years. Not overwhelmingly surprising. We've experienced that before. But a cloth shutter being intact and in working condition is a humbling gift. The cloth shutter - travelling horizontally back and forth in the film gate just in front of the film - is of the same principle as the ones in my Fed 2 rangefinder camera or my Canon FT SLR. This one has shutter times ranging from Bulb mode to 1/25th, 1/50, 1/75, 1/100, 1/200 and 1/500th of a second. I did have to mend the shutter in a way. Not mechanically, but because there appeared to be "pinprick" holes in the cloth. Repeating a method I used recently on my Fed 3 shutter I filled in the holes with "vulk" which is a glue which turns to rubber normally used to mend bike tyres. I then filled the area with a felt-tip marker to add black pigment to the rubber. Using rubbery gl

Firefly Girl - Magic Happens with a Fed 3

The first roll I exposed through my Fed 3 was a long way coming. I'd been in possession of the camera for 2,5 years before I decided to give it a go. I'd adjusted the focusing after a while, having stalled since being unsure if I could do it myself. Eventually when I'd searched the topic nothing seemed more easily done. As a way to celebrate a sort of ease of the pandemic, late spring, I loaded the camera with a roll of regular 200 ASA colour film. I never do regular colour film these days, but this was a special occasion - having an outdoor meet-up and picnic with my parents in-law. We hadn't met since February and this was late May. As you can see the fireflies were quite persistent. Well, it's actually nothing from the animal kingdom haunting these photos. There were holes in the shutter curtain which let light onto the film. Actually the part that had holes in it was the one that was in position when I'd cocked the shutter. Today I received the developed neg

Bat Crazy - Missed Focus with a Kodak Instamatic 500 and Expired Film

  The focusing on my camera is off! But I got great photos anyway! Thank you Foto by Schröter in Riesa for developing 126-film (for €3.99)!  I exposed the hell out of the expired film. I added 2-5 stops. I scanned and edited the film at home. The film in the 126 format cassettes are pre-exposed with borders and numbering. I have removed a 'feeler' peg from my camera so I can use unsprocketed film ( Agfa ASP 400S ) loaded in old cassettes. The camera doesn't know exactly where the frames are any more, since it doesn't detect the 126-spaced sprockets, so the borders end up in the wrong places, making the photos interesting... That's what's happened in these photos.   Don't hesitate to comment here or at my Instagram at ourbooksmalmo . Visit my Etsy shop getOBphoto for photography equipment.

Cheap Thrills - the Precision of an Agfa Optima 200

This was a €4 bargain. I have to admit I didn't expect much from the camera, but I am humbled by what came out on my roll of film. I bought it from a second hand shop on my way to IKEA the other week. I figured that even if the selenium cell light meter doesn't work usually the shutters on these old cameras work anyway - at flash speed (1/125 or 1/60) - and similarly, apertures can be tweaked into a couple of settings. This time the meter did work - and darn accurately at that! What is more: The lens is really sharp as well! The lens tends to haze a little around strong light sources. I don't mind. It lends some mystery to photos. This exposure was made to see how much is actually in the frame compared to what the markings in the finder indicate. I framed after the window, but can now see that more is included on all sides. That's a robot lawn mower crossing! This one's made to see how the closest focus (1 m) depth of field looks. It was an overcast day. And this ex