Apparently yesterday was World Toy Camera Day (WTCD) or so the internet said and what the internet says goes. So I loaded a roll of Ektar 100 in my 1960′s Diana medium format ‘toy’ camera. I went out with the plan to shoot all 16 frames and then develop it the same day, which I did. I also pushed the film by two stops and processed the film at 104 degrees instead of the 102 prescribed. It was partially to compensate for the fact that I had already processed more than the recommended number of 35mm rolls of film in the chemistry and the fact that the Dianna has a fixed shutter somewhere between 1/60 and 1/100 second and I sensed that it was causing under exposure for the conditions. The other reason was that I just felt like it and I could. My Dianna leaks light like a pasta strainer and even though I taped it up ‘a bit’ it still let the sunshine in. So here is my contiribution to WTCD.
I think the fish eye lens on the Pentax Q is the thing that really makes the little system. There is no other fit in your pocket camera combination that matches it. It is just pure photography fun. My thoughts and images can be seen here
While I was in Niagara I ended up with film still in my Minox GTE and Ricoh R1, both great little cameras. These are twelve shots each from those two cameras taken after getting back.
Old cameras like this are never going to produce images that look like those from high-resolution digital cameras and that is okay. What they do produce is a unique look and a thoughtful photographic experience. This begins with the exposure, without any light meter it is up to the photographer to use some other tool or experience to determine the proper shutter and aperture. One check towards slowing down and thinking. The next is focusing, the camera does have a rangefinder but it isn’t coupled to the lens so after using the rangefinder to determine the distance the photographer then needs to transfer that to the lens. Two checks towards thinking about what you’re doing. Finally there is the framing through the square viewfinder, while the viewfinder itself is not particularly great the need to think about the image in terms of a square is and is a third reason to slow down and think. The last half reason is the limited range of shutter speeds available. I think it all makes for an enjoyable experience.
It’s hard to say exactly what happened with this film because I have no idea what kind of film it was. Sure it was in a Konica roll but it was pretty evident that it had been re-rolled into it. The clues were that it appeared to be black and white film in a c41 process canister and that the leader looked like it was hand cut with pinking shears. So Right from the start it was an iffy proposition. I believe I shot it as if it were ISO 400 but it could easily have been a ISO 100 film who knows. There is some under exposure in that. I also shot it mostly at night under artificial light that’s not going to help things. And finally not knowing what film it was my friend took an educated guess at the developing but it looks like it might be under developed. All this resulted in such faint images on the film that you couldn’t discern if there was an image or not. Thanks to my Epson V700 though I was able to at least get enough of a few images to jog my memory of shooting that night. I seem to remember using a Pentax Spotmatic or K1000 but they are innocent in all this, its my willingness to try to take a picture with anything that is to blame.
It was a last-minute decision to go inside a thrift store as I drove by on my way home from the library my front seat so laden with photography books the airbag system probably registered there was an adult sitting there. I had been in that store before never finding any cameras that I really wanted or felt I needed. This time though I came across a great looking Olympus Stylus Epic. My new find in hand I went over to the glass counter to see if there were any more to be had. As I waited for someone to assist me a gentleman walked up nearby I could see he too had a camera he was going to purchase. It had that champagne colour that screams ‘this is from another decade past’ I thought poor fellow he has a Minolta Big Finder or something similar while I have an Epic. I guess he saw my camera too because he came over to say hello and we exchanged the secret handshake that only camera collectors know. I could see besides his nice jacket and carefully chosen glasses he had a well-worn canvas camera bag and it was then that I also saw that it wasn’t some 1990′s cast away camera he had but a Yashica T4 super. A desirable model of camera which I had never seen in person before. I must have been extremely excited because after we determined that we knew of each others blogs and shared an interest in cameras he handed me the Yashica with a ‘I want you to have this’ I think I was beaming the entire way home. And that is why cameras and photography make you a good person. (Okay I don’t actually have proof of that but it does prove that JJ Lee is a nice person)
So now I have a Yashica T, T2 and T3 and to finish it off the Yashica T4 Super Weatherproof all fitted with their fantastic Carl Zeiss lenses. I can hardly wait to start shooting with my new camera.
What happens when you accidentally leave that little switch on the P on that cheap point and shoot film camera?
It wasn’t until I received my developed film that I realized that the little 28mm f3.5 lensed Nikon AF600 I had been using was set to panoramic mode for most of the roll. Through sheer luck or questionable compositions of putting the main subject in the center of the frame some of the images actually looked alright.
When the camera wasn’t set to panoramic mode it actually equated itself well photographically at least in the center of the frame. But like a room that hasn’t been vacuumed in a while it’s probably best not to look in the corners.
I’m sorry Wallace I’m afraid I can’t do that.
That being scan APS film in its cartridge on a flatbed scanner. So my solution take a picture it lasts longer. Not everyone will have encountered APS film so here is a little recap. APS film is smaller than 35mm film and after developing and printing it is spooled back into its cartridge never to be seen again (That isn’t strictly true but when was the last time you took a roll of film in for re-prints). Okay re-prints are where….. this could go on for a while so forget all that. APS film in cartridge, needs scanning ect. ect.
Which may be cool and impress cell phone photographers but the orange mask necessary from optically printing the film makes everything look sickly not to mention the fact that the image is a negative. The next thing is to take the pictures of the film, in my case I’m using a slide duplicator, a flash and the Pentax DA 35ltd macro lens all of which you should have laying around (or not).
This yields a digital image that needs to be cropped and adjusted It will be a different process depending on what software you are using but it can be accomplished in Lightroom by going to the tone curve and dragging the two ends vertically to their opposite corners this has the effect of making the image a negative which it already is which makes it a positive which is good, simple right? The next thing to do is then to drag the colour balance down to eliminate what is now a cyan cast. After this its a basic matter of making adjustments to the image to make it look correct. I should add though that after the manipulation of the tone curve all the levels adjustments are reversed so things such as increasing exposure makes it darker, fun yes? After all that you should end up with an image that looks like this which will probably make you want to pick up a digital camera unless you feel photography should be a difficult process in which case carry on.