Oct 6 2018

Ricoh FF8 WR with expired Fuji X-tra 400

Dubious camera with dubious film = random results.  When I reflect on it I’m constantly in a #shittycamerachallenge with myself.  Of course I want to get something back or what is the point of taking a picture but I accept that by using cameras of suspect quality and film of unknown history I’m likely to get something unexpected.  In this case its a weird pee colour cast and some strange stripes that bare some correlation to the sprocket holes but I’m not quite sure how or why.  This camera is so coveted that now I cant seem to locate it in order to take its portrait for the blog post so in stead here is my incredibly accurate representation of it.




Sep 29 2018

Pentax 24EW with expired Kodacolor 200


The lens on the 24EW is a smc PENTAX power zoom 24mm – 105mm F4.9-F12.5 lens; 7 elements in 5 groups.  At this point in time many of the point and shoot digital cameras remaining on the market start at an equivalent focal length of 24mm but one has to remember that this camera does it across an entire 35mm film frame, well sort of its not exactly a stellar image quality performance in the corners or sides or away from the center but the mere fact that it exists is special.

Although I didn’t take advantage of it with this roll it will also focus down to just under 12inches at the 24mm setting so you should be able to get some unique macro shots not possible with other point and shoots.

As for the expired Kodacolor 200 and its long ago best before date this is the sort of grain it gave when taking an image of a hazy sunset.


More posts that reference this camera can be seen here Pentax 24EW

One thing about one camera:  When you turn the Pentax 24EW on, it briefly displays the last date that a picture was taken before displaying the current date.



Sep 23 2018

Olympus OM1 with Rollei Digibase CN200


More about the OM-1 here Olympus OM1 Metering , OM1 kit and more about Rollei CN200 here Rollei CN200

As I was writing this I was trying to remember is this film is from Rollei or Agfa because it seemed to me I had written about it as both.  And sure enough the little canister has a small Agfa logo towards the bottom so its both.  Agfa makes it, or more accurately made it and Rollei sold it.

The Open Seadragon gallery is best viewed full screen.  You can see the effect of the unwanted light striking  the film diminishing as you progress through the roll.

Sep 15 2018

Ricoh R1


It’s often fun to go a little wider than 28mm and the Ricoh R1 has it, although in the form of a Panoramic aspect ratio.

RicohR1_Agfa Vista200_July2017_012

The R1 falls into a small category of point and shoots that have a secondary lens that swings into the optical path in order to provide a second focal length.  Most of them are for the purpose of offering a little bit of telephoto capability and most of them also predate the placing of zoom lenses in compact cameras.  The R1 bucks both these trends offering up a substantially wider view and being introduced in 1995 which is well into the era of compact zoom cameras.


You can see from the lens diagram showing the additional elements in place that at 30mm it is 4 elements in 4 groups and then the two additional small elements just in front of the last element on the film side provide the 24mm view.

The autofocus of the R1 is also claimed to be very sophisticated for the time with 128 steps in 7 zones.  The effectiveness of this is somewhat hard to test with the slow feedback loop of film but I haven’t had any issues where I though the camera miss focused.

One thing about one camera:  The Ricoh R1 spools all the film out when you load it so that as you take pictures it pulls the exposed frames back into the canister.  This does two things it counts down the film so you don’t need to try to remember how many frames are on that roll and it protects the images you’ve already taken from inadvertent exposure in the event of the camera back being opened.



Sep 8 2018

Film Ferrania Solaris in the Braun Super Paxette


I really like the postage stamp edges the Braun Super Paxette creates on the film, so much so that most of the time I don’s crop them off.


I first tried this roll of expired Ferrania Solaris in my Ricoh R1 which first spools the film out and then brings it back in with each exposure but something about it caused the R1 to have a fit likely because it had been in the canister for so long that it didn’t want to come out (That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it)  So the two frames are from the R1 and then its all Super Paxette. Paxette_Solaris

The downside was that I had to pack around the Solaris on my trip until I could get back home and pull the film leader out of the cartridge to give it another try in a much more mechanical camera.

RicohR1_Solaris_July2017_001 RicohR1_Solaris_July2017_002

The Solaris gives a particular expired film look that could be mistaken for cross processing if it were a little more prominent, however it still retained contrast and relatively fine grain which hasn’t always been the case for cheap films I’ve shot long after their expiration date.


The Seadragon gallery is best view in full screen mode.

Sep 2 2018

Olympus OM1 with Kodak Portra 160


Over time I’ve managed to put together what I think is a nice little Olympus OM1 kit with a 28mm, 50mm f1.8 (Of course), a 35-70 zoom and a 200mm f4 telephoto.  Not comprehensive but small enough yet versatile.  I loaded up the OM1 with some Kodak Portra 160 and  pointed it at some stuff.  Back in the early 1980′s this kit would have cost around $700 but now they can be found at just a fraction of that.  As an all mechanical camera I don’t bother with a battery and shoot it without a meter, using a digital camera instead as a pre-exposure test if necessary.   More about the OM1 in this post OM1 Metering in case you want to use the meter though you’ll need to find a 1.35V PX625 battery if you want it to be accurate.



Aug 25 2018

The Minolta Talker


The Minolta Talker has a limited vocabulary but just enough to be annoying.  I’m sure that in 1984 it was quite the novelty just like the Chrysler K car being able to tell you that your door was ajar or did it actually think your door was a jar?


So what does it have to say?  I’m glad you asked.  It has three different things it says: Load FilmToo dark use flashCheck Distance all in its annoying you don’t know what your doing “voice” thankfully you can turn it off.

What about the Minolta Talker itself, well it has a lens cover that clips on the front of the camera something that could be easily lost.  The lens is a 35mm f2.8 4 element lens which shouldnt be judged from these images shot on expired Fuji Xtra 400.   The lens is actually as good as its ability to speak is ridiculous.

One thing about one camera:  The Minolta Talker (Minolta AF-Sv) has a maximum shutter speed of 1/625 of a second which was faster than any other similar camera from the time.

Aug 19 2018

The Inevitability of Piss Shark in the Brain of Somebody

The Inevitability of Piss Shark in the Brain of Somebody-2

‘The Inevitability of Piss Shark in the Brain of Somebody’  – After Andres Serrano, Damien Hirst

I don’t recall exactly when the idea of marrying these two iconic works of art developed in my mind.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living – Damien Hirst 1991

Immersion (Piss Christ) – Andres Serrano – 1987

I think it was somewhere around the time I read about Damien Hirst’s ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ becoming murky and requiring a fresh shark.  Both works were and remain controversial, Hirst’s primarily is questioned as to whether it truly is art and Serrano’s for its perceived blasphemy.  The Hirst work exists as a three dimensional object in the world while the Serrano work is a two dimensional photograph but both spring from conceptual art.

So what is this image that I created then? Maybe a little blasphemy of contemporary art or satire of the actual works and how we perceive them? Ether way I found the idea amusing which is usually good enough for me.

On a technical note, I recorded the image using 35mm Kodak Portra 400 film which I then scanned and then had printed.  I created a small print 4″x6″ to fit the requirements for a miniature print show called ‘Compartments’ curated by Latent Image Magazine and held at the Gam Gallery. Compartments

And don’t worry I don’t need to see a urologist that’s not urine but its deceptively difficult to create a reasonable facsimile of what was used for ‘Piss Christ’

The two other images I created for Compartments.

Compartments_010 Compartments_005


Aug 12 2018

Yashica Samurai with Agfa Ultra 100


The Yashica Samurai is a half frame camera which is great because it allows you to get twice the number of images from a roll of film.  And that matters when the outdated film is rare like this roll of Agfa Ultra 100 a friend Duncan kindly gave me to shoot.  Agfa Ultra was described as a saturated film with punchy contrast but after being outdated for a few years it seems to have mellowed out to a pastel pallet and much lower contrast. The sort of contrast like that between a large shrimp and a prawn they look the same to me and are both delicious.  Introduced in 2003 (the same year digital cameras first out sold film cameras)  It had a brief existence.


The above spectral graph is an indication of how Ultra compares to Kodak Eltar 100 a film it is often compared to.  One interesting thing you can see is that the green sensitive layers of the Agfa Ultra are relatively insensitive to blue light compared to many other films including Ektar. (Its the green line bellow 500nm that I’m talking about). Intuitively this would suggest that it would reproduce clean deep blue skies better.  Agfa claimed that the colour sensitivity of Ultra and Vista more closely matched human colour perception and referred to it as ‘EYE VISION technology”  This is a good time to remember that film is really a 3 dimensional capture medium, while it may be very thin it is comprised of somewhere around 7 layers on top of the substrate that light must pass through and be filtered and absorbed by.  Film is amazing stuff!

One thing about one film: Agfa claimed an exposure latitude of -2 to +3EV for Ultra 

Get ready for a wack of images because I squeezed 70 shots on the roll because of the Samurai being half frame. (Best viewed in full screen)



Aug 5 2018

Pentax MZ6 Portra 400


Not so much a post about the camera and the film as just some images to share.  I choose the Pentax MZ6 often because its light weight and shares many lenses with my digital camera and I choose Portra 400 because its a lovely reliable film with fine grain and isn’t the normal random out of date stuff that I accumulate and shoot.