Oct 29 2014

Pentax UC1 (Espio Mini)


When you flit between cameras like a butterfly in a field its easy to forget the great cameras that you’ve already passed.  The Espio Mini is one of those cameras it is fantastic and tiny and never disappoints.  It has the same things going for it as the Olympus Stylus epic such as size and the clamshell lens cover but the slightly wider angle lens I think is a better performer.  If you can embrace the fully automatic nature of these little cameras they offer a worry free photography experience.

Oct 26 2014

Konica Big Mini problems


Question: What do you get when a camera isn’t fully advancing between frames?

Answer: Its worth a thousand expletives


I often get exactly what I deserve when I test old cameras that no one wants anymore.  There may be a reason someone tossed that camera away but…

If the camera makes a whir I will not be deterred.

If the film will load I won’t be slowed.

I won’t quit even if the camera is shi.……  You get the idea.

Oct 24 2014

Cinestill 800T and how customer service should work.




I shot a roll of Cinestill 800T in my Minolta X700 mostly of very dark things with bright lights, what can I say I like the halo’s it creates (For an explanation of what and why see this post Niagara at Night with Cinestill).  unfortunately the roll I had may have come from an early run before they say they improved the process or just a faulty roll.  So most of the images on the roll have residual rem-jet coating that makes some of the images appear like you’re looking through a glass of Guinness Stout.


That part is a bummer because some of those images can not be redone but I emailed Cinestill and notified them and they offered to send me replacement rolls for my remaining film in case other rolls are similarly afflicted.  Now you might be thinking well of course that is the right thing to do and I agree but for them to do it so quickly and without further hassle to me is what I consider excellent customer service (Pretty much the opposite experience of all the failed Apple charging cables I’ve had to contend with).   With some editing I am able to minimize the impact of the rem-jet and salvage the images at least for the purpose of sharing but really what matters to me is that Cinestill re-established my confidence in shooting their film and I look forward to shooting even more of it.

Here are some of the better files from the roll  with the faults more visible than others even after editing to minimize them.


Oct 22 2014

Autumn Colours 2014

It’s that time of year again.  Despite the danger of repeating myself I like to gather together a few images of the fall foliage I see each year. Here they are for 2014 and if you don’t get enough  2013 , 2012, 2011 and autumn sun

Oct 20 2014

World Toy Camera Day 2014


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.


Oct 18 2014

Pentax Q Fisheye


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

Pentax Q Fish-eye


Oct 16 2014

Miscellaneous Film shots

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.

Oct 13 2014

Zeiss Ikonta M


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.



Oct 11 2014

B&W mystery film

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.



Oct 9 2014

The Yashica T4 or why photography makes you a nice person

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)


JJ Lee is a writer and radio host his photography related blog can be seen here The Shutter Goes Click


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.