Mar 31 2013

Port Mann with the Pentax Spotmatic Roll 2

More pictures from the Port Mann bridge and area these are some from my second roll of film. As I mentioned in my first post we rode our bikes. What I didn’t mention was how windy it was, on the way out we hardly had to pedal even on the uphill slopes which was fun until it was time to turn around.  The photographer on the stump and riding the bike is Duncan Turner, you can see some of his images at his blog post Watch out for falling Ice  Taking pictures with someone else is fun, you get to see the same scene but how they envision it.  Sometimes you end up with very similar photos but not that often and when you do it’s a further reason to refine your image making.


Mar 29 2013

Port Mann (Attack of the Takumars)


These are all shot with older M42 mount Pentax Takumar lenses on my Pentax K-7 DSLR. They are actually easy to use when you restrict yourself to only using this one type. They thread on and off easy enough and you can leave the camera in manual focus mode which provides focus confirmation for the central focus point. Perhaps it’s because I grew up with manual focus cameras but it mystifies me somewhat why people obsess over how many focus points a cameras autofocus system has, are they just pointing the camera at a scene and letting the camera decide what’s important? It’s also necessary to leave the lenses in the manual aperture settings but metering is done with a quick press of the green button on the camera which is common to all Pentax DSLRs and the Q.


The lenses here consisted of the 28mm 3.5 Takumar, 35mm f2.3, 50mm f1.4, 200mm f4 and the 300mm f4. The real standouts though are the 50mm f1.4 and the 200 f4. The 35mm is actually pretty bad and could be used as a soft focus lens as seen here.


Mar 27 2013

Olympus Stylus 150


It’s a very different proposition comparing film cameras to each other vs digital cameras because the major differences are always the lenses, focus and the exposure system the sensors (film) is the same. With digital there are many more things that differentiate cameras. Because of this it’s almost easier to speak of certain cameras as a group. The group that the Olympus stylus 150 falls into is that of the auto exposure zoom compact. This was the end of the line for film point and shoot cameras with their slow lenses requiring fast film and with the often poor results people got from camera shake at the telephoto end, it was inevitable that camera companies turned their attention fully towards digital capture. These cameras after all were what people were comparing to digital cameras when deciding which to buy at the beginning of the millennium.

Other cameras in this list are: Canon z180u (2004), Nikon light touch zoom 150 ED (2002),Pentax Espio 140v (2002) Samsung Evoka 140 (?) ,Ricoh RZ3000, (1998)

These last kick at the film canister cameras are destined to mostly disappear, they aren’t particularly collectible other than as a marker in camera history and they don’t produce results that stand out.

The Olympus Stylus 150 lens is 37.5mm to 150mm f5.1 to 13.3, 8 elements in 7 groups with both ED and aspherical elements. Autofocus is 11 point and is designed to accommodate off center subject framing.

Mar 25 2013

Port Mann with the Spotmatic II, Roll 1

If you have visited my blog before you may know I like to shoot film. I like the look I get and I enjoy the chance to use all the different old cameras that are available. On this day I decided to take the Pentax Spotmatic II with a selection of Takumar lenses. The added benefit was that with an adapter these lenses fit on my Pentax K-7 DSLR as well. Despite the lens sharing weight savings between the two cameras the total weight in my camera backpack was significant, making me a bit top-heavy.  I wasn’t alone but fellow photographer Duncan Turner had his gear more evenly distributed on his bike. Yes we rode bikes, what a great way to get around when taking pictures. You can cover more ground than when walking yet you are still able to see as much or more around you.  Here are some selected images from the first of two rolls I shot through the Spotmatic.

Mar 23 2013

Nikon L35AF “Pikaichi”


Hello 1983, keep the hair we will keep the cameras.  Nikon refers to this camera as the “Pikaichi” which apparently translates as “Top notch” and they were quite proud of it.  The lens is unique in that it has a focal length of 35mm yet is a Sonnar design which is more commonly associated with 50mm and above.


It seems to be a pretty good performing lens, unfortunately I used the Cherry wide angle and telephoto adapters on most of the pictures so the true performance is somewhat obscured. IMAG0050 - AladinGrunge The nice thing about this adapter set though is that they come with lenses for the viewfinder so you get the proper field of view but putting them on and taking them off is cumbersome.  So what I like about this camera is the little focus distance scale in the reasonably large viewfinder and the feel of the camera.  While not a light camera it fits nicely in one hand with its front grip and textured pad for your thumb.  See the early 1980’s weren’t all bad.


Mar 21 2013

Pentax Q 40mm homebrew telephoto


I chose this lens from my parts bin because it was a complete package including a helical focus system, unfortunately I don’t know what camera it came off but it appears to be a 40mm f2.8. That 40mm when converted to a full frame equivelent is 220mm.  Once I figured out the distance it needed to be placed from the sensor I mounted it on the end of a piece of ABS tubing which also attached to a modified Q to C-mount adapter I had purchased on the internet.  Initial testing was done with no aperture, it was wide open.  The resulting images were soft and lacked contrast as you can see with these following images.

My next step was to line the inside of the lens with black velvet paper to keep down the internal reflections and create a fixed aperture to try to improve the lens performance.  These changes had a dramatic impact on image quality.

But I wasn’t quite done.  I made a new aperture that was a bit smaller and did some more testing.  This is the state that it is at right now.

I was likely 100 feet away from the rebar in the one picture and you can see that the bridge, hundreds more feet away, was also in focus.  That isn’t always a desirable quality especially if you want to use selective focus to separate different planes in an image but on the other hand this is a feat you can’t easily accomplish with a large sensor camera if it is what you want. And the lens is very small I might add.


A final note here is a comparison 100% crop from the Nikon P7000 at full zoom (200mm equivalent) vs the Q homebrew (220mm equivelent).  The Q is on the left.




Mar 18 2013

Canon Elph Jr.


Forged in the fires of Mordor this camera rules them all…oops apparently this isn’t that kind of elfin camera and its plastic would melt quicker than butter on a hobbits scone. What it is though is diminutive and equipped with a nice 26mm f2.8 prime lens. This hobbit sized APS camera is small enough that you can even forget it’s in a pocket. Like most cameras of its time control only goes as far as turning the flash off and I’ve discovered it doesn’t focus well when you put it up against a chain link fence ( there are two examples of that in the pictures they should be easy to spot). It’s almost hard to say if the lens is better than the zoom of the original Elph because APS film is just awful, it is the great equalizer. The specifications for the lens though are 32.5mm focal length equivalent in terms of 35mm film and 4 elements in 4 groups one of them an aspherical element so I’m going to say its better than the film would suggest.

Mar 14 2013

Yashica Electro GT

Pictures from February 2013 with my Yashica Electro GT.  More information about his camera can be found on my blog here  Yashica Electro GT and here Yashica Electro GT and some more pictures here Images. What can I say I like this camera and keep coming back to it.

Mar 12 2013

iPad painting 12

Mar 9 2013

Fraternal twins? Leica and Minolta (Update)

In response to the uproar over Hasselblads Lunar rebranding of the Sony Nex7 I thought i would point out that this sort of thing has been going on for a long time. Many cameras have been released under different names. It’s been mentioned on the Internet how many parts the Minolta Freedom Escort and the Leica Mini share but a visual comparison is always nice. (Update the Olympus AF Mini is part of this litter)

Update this post has been sitting written and ready to post for over six months it just got pushed to the back. I could have removed the no longer topical reference to the Hasselblad but that camera is still funny.


Wait it’s triplets!  As Drewboom pointed out to me the Olympus Trip AF Mini was seperated from these two at birth and it definetely shares major parts with its siblings.