Mar 27 2015

Ricoh RZ3000

RicohRZ3000-0619

Also know as the Ricoh Shotmaster 130 Super

I’ve written about this camera previously but there are a few unique details that I haven’t mentioned.

The auto backlight control is coupled to the focus system, if a backlit subject is greater than 20 feet away it will adjust the exposure alone but if the subject is closer it will use fill flash, nice and automatic.

In Super Night Shot mode if you are taking a portrait the camera will first focus to infinity and take an exposure for up to 2 seconds it then closes the shutter refocuses on the subject and takes a second exposure with flash, if there is no subject within 6m then the camera just takes the long exposure without the second flash image.

The RZ3000 can adjust exposure for light levels in the range of 3.5EV to 17EV.   (EV 3.5 with ISO 400 film would be something like candle light or a night scene with lights)

Originally listed at around $300 in 1996 the RZ3000 can now be had for less than the cost of a roll of film, although this fate is not unique to it.  If it wasn’t for the complete depreciation of these cameras I couldn’t hope to have this much fun.

 

 


Mar 24 2015

Polaroid P-13

Polaroid_Spectra2014_Nov_002


Mar 22 2015

Pentax Full Frame and APS-c Lenses

pentax_ff_prototype

With Pentax announcing that they will be releasing their DSLR with the same size sensor as 35mm film (know now as ‘Full Frame’) I wanted to try a test with some lenses designed for a APS-c digital image circle. Pentax refers to these as ‘DA’ lenses.  There are some lenses that are designed for use with either format these lenses are designated as ‘DFA’, I’m not interested in these for this purpose, as I know they will work as would older lenses from film cameras.  So back to the DA lenses.   It seems that the only lenses that can be considered to work with the larger format will be prime lenses (single focal length).  The zoom lenses designed for APS-c cause heavy vignetting and will likely need to be used in a crop mode rather than covering the entire full frame sensor.
PentaxMZ6_DALenses-3838

Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM ,  Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8,  and the SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro
An example of the extreme vignetting is this image taken with the DA*50-135 set at 50mm and f2.8
PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_015

You can see that it doesn’t come close to covering ‘Full Frame’ with severe vignetting.  The situation is better at 135 stopped down to f4 but the vignetting is still heavy in the corners.
PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_014

So moving on to the prime lenses where there is a much better chance of them covering the full image circle of the 35mm frame.  I should probably mention the fact that I used what I knew would be some bad film.  It was some very out of date Kodak 400 but because my primary objective was to test the lenses for their coverage I choose to use it.

First up is the DA 50 1.8 I took only 2 shots with it the first one at f4 and the second at f1.8 and it clearly covered the full 35mm frame with little to no vignetting in fact it seems perfectly suited to Full Frame.

With only a 24 frame roll of film my attention turned to what I was most interested in the DA 35 ltd a fantastic lens that I had hopes would work with the future full frame camera.  At f9.5 you can see there is no issue the lens easily covers the larger surface area without any vignetting.
PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_023

Moving to f5.6 with the following images it can be seen that the lens works fine at this opening too.
PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_007 PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_011 PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_020 PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_021

So for the ultimate test I took some shots with the lens wide open which in this case is f2.8
PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_008 PentaxMZ6_LensTest_Mar2015_010

The DA 35 ltd worked so well with my 35mm film SLR that I will have no hesitation using it again for film or with a future ‘Full Frame’ DSLR.  I had seen elsewhere on the internet that it didn’t work for 35mm film but that certainly contradicts my finding.  What vignetting exists I do not find at all objectionable and if you choose to it could be easily counter acted in software. The one caveat being that using the built in lens shade at full extension would certainly end up darkening the corners as its effect is even visible in the Pentax MZ-6 92% coverage viewfinder.

Similar things can be seen here DA 40 XS on film

 

 


Mar 20 2015

Minolta AF-c

MinoltaAF-c-0615

In 1983 a state of the art computer storage was the 5 1/4 floppy disk 5quaterFloppy001< and cars looked like this Corolla For cameras state of the art was anything with autofocus.  Even better was if you added AF to the name or put it on the front so everyone knew it.  The Minolta AF-c is an example of the transition to fully automatic cameras, it still has a manual film advance using a thumbwheel rather than a motor but otherwise is fully automatic.  The shutter goes from 1/8 second at f2.8 to 1/430 sec at f17 which is a usable range and then there is always the attachable flash that can be used in lower light situations.  The lens on this camera is composed of six elements with the rear element moved for focusing making the camera appear outwardly that it has not responded. Optically the lens  the lens performs very well across the entire frame even into the corners.  Despite the compact nature of the camera, it weighs a solid 230g.

MinoltaAFc_fullscan-017

So if you can find one of these little beauties you will have yourself a terrific little camera and some serious 1980′s fun.

One thing about one camera:  There was also a silver version made that went to 1000 ISO but it’s even more rare.


Mar 17 2015

Blooming Winter

We are nearing Spring here on the West Coast of Canada and the blossoms flowers and bees are all around.  I love this brief moment of the year, it’s fleeting nature makes it all the more special.  My apologies if you live somewhere that is inundated with snow and freezing weather in the winter but maybe this will give you something to look forward to.

 


Mar 16 2015

Photo walk

IMGP2016

I volunteered to assist, as a chaperone, a group of high school photography students.  It was fun and I actually had some time to take pictures of my own when I wasn’t looking out for cars or trying to keep everyone together.  The students really were engaged and often would take great care to create the image they wanted.  I used my Yashica GX and those images can be seen here Yashica Electro 35 GX with Portra 800 but I also had my little Pentax Q7 as well as the Fuji DL mini so here are a mix of digital and film images.

I make no comment on what can and what can not be achieved with the two mediums but here are two snap shots taken from the same location and roughly the same focal length.
FilmvsDigital


Mar 13 2015

Wester Autorol

Autorol-0613

Autorol_Ektar100-1951

I’m not sure if it was the cold weather or the lack of use of the camera but I found after I developed my film that the shutter had been stuck open and closed a couple times during my resent use of it.  Thats a shame because it’s an otherwise great camera.  The coupled rangefinder is nice to have and not that common with folding medium format cameras.

WesterAutorol_Nov2014_003

More about this camera from me here Wester Autorol

One thing about one cameraThe Wester Autorol weighs just over 700grams or slightly less than a Nikon D750 or 4 Pentax Q7′s it’s neither small nor light


Mar 10 2015

Olympus Trip

OlympusTrip-0604

I have to admit that when I first started collecting cameras the Olympus Trip was not a camera that I was that interested in.  It has a completely automatic exposure system and zone focusing but are those really disadvantages or things to be embraced?  Maybe a little of both, when the light gets challenging I like to take over and I can’t do that easily with the Trip.  You can take an exposure reading and half press the shutter and then recompose or you can manipulate the ASA setting both of which are not always ideal.

trip35tessar

If you look at the brochure from the time you can see that the Olympus Trip has a Tessar lens with 4 elements.  (40mm f2.8)

From about 1980 on the legacy of the original trip was a plastic wasteland of crappy cheap cameras until they released the digital Pen EP-1 in 2009 (technically it’s not in the Trip line but it has a similar look)

OlyTrip

Coming from 1968 it still looks good design wise and only asks for a little film once in a while.  And yes I gave it some really poor film (outdated 100ISO generic drug store film)


Mar 6 2015

Interactions #14

interactions14


Mar 4 2015

Canon Classic 120 Point and Shoot

CanonClassic120-9772

Back in 1999 this camera would have cost you around $230 while a just emerging 1.5mpixel digital camera would have set you back 2-3 times as much and trust me digital cameras of that time would not win any design awards for their aesthetic beauty.

MavicaThumbThanks for proving my point Sony Mavica FD91.

I really like the design of the camera the rubber material references the use of leatherette from the past without mimicking it and the metal body is sleek and looks great too.  When not deployed the flash is barely visible adding to that minimalist look.

While the lens is able to produce fantastic results in good light it is let down by its slow aperture. So slow in fact that Canon neglected to provide specifications for it in their literature although they were able to tell us that it has ‘Super Spectra’ coating on its 7 elements in 6 groups (Its f4.5-10.9 if your really curious)

One thing about one camera: The Canon Sure Shot Classic 120 uses a hybrid autofocus system.  It initially sends out an IR beam if that isn’t reflected back to the camera it then switches to a passive AF sensor that looks for contrast in vertical or horizontal lines. That may sound familiar in terms of a modern DSLR’s  autofocus but remember this is a film camera it had to have a separate CCD sensor just for this purpose.