Jun 6 2014

Fuji Zoom Date 1000


The Fuji Zoom Date 1000 is interesting in the world of film point and shoots for its zoom lens a Super EBC Fujinon 3.6x zoom lens; 28 ~ 100mm, f/5.8 ~ 10.5; 6 components, 6 elements and also the rear LCD and menu system.  Although 28-100mm is a nice range to have, the lens is slow and has a lot of vignetting as seen in this image. Fuji_ZoomDate1000_March2014_014

The menu is somewhat unique because it has a four-way controller with a central menu button much like you now find on numerous digital cameras, however it has relatively few modes compared to a modern camera but that’s okay because your supposed to take pictures with it not play with the menu.


Ultimately the first try with this camera was not particularly impressive.  The images lacked any of that sort of pop that a few other similar cameras have.  For example the Canon Z90W or the Konica Zup28W but at least it betters the Sigma 28 AF Zoom which for all intents and purposes produces images with no corners.

May 16 2014

Double Exposures


I shot an entire roll of film through my Olympus OM1…twice.  It was on purpose of course and I took quite a bit of care in lining the film up for the second go around.  I achieved this by making a small scratch on the film so that I could align it the same both times.  This actually was harder than it sounds as each time you start loading the film it’s like some sort of random position generator.  The first exposures were all of various line art from old technical books and some of my own block prints.  What I discovered was that such small areas of high contrast like this were not ideal for double exposures.  Many of the line art images are lost in the other second images.  However that is how you learn and improve.  I added a further layer of complexity to my endeavor by making a list of all the images and then trying to make some sort of match between the two.  Here are some of the better examples from this test, in the future I think I would make sure that I used larger areas of dark and light so it makes more of a cut out effect of the second image.  The other thing is that despite the visual contrast of black on the white of paper this isn’t nearly enough contrast.  Not  like what you get from a light source and a silhouette.

Apr 16 2014

Ricoh R1


The Ricoh R1 is like two cameras in one.  A high quality 30mm point and shoot and a 24mm panoramic riot of distortion.  For my purposes I think I will stick to 30mm.  That is the cameras native focal length and it’s only by swinging extra lens elements into the optical path that the 24mm is created.  Some people disable the panoramic masking at 24mm to allow the full 35mm frame to be exposed but the result is a mix of the distortion I mentioned and severe vignetting.

While not as small as the Olympus Stylus Epic it has superior ergonomics and controls and still fits in a pocket easily.  As for 30mm as a focal length it is a bit wide but not as much as 28mm. I tend to prefer 35mm but this is a decent compromise.

It really is a testament to the design of this camera that 20 years later Ricoh is still making digital cameras that take their design cues from the R1.  Additionally the iconic GR series of film cameras were an improvement on the R1 while retaining similar ergonomics.

In this 100% crop you can see really see the quality of the 30mm f3.5 optics at the center.  It’s not as good in the corners but is still respectable.


And now for the pictures.




Mar 23 2014

Snow Pictures Pentax 24EW


Why would I choose to use a point and shoot film camera to take pictures in the snow?  Exposure compensation is my answer.  The Pentax 24EW has the best exposure compensation system of any point and shoot I have or am aware of.  It allows +-3 EV in half steps.  That is an enormous bonus when shooting in the snow which tends to be very bright and cause camera metering systems to over compensate resulting in an under exposed image.  Using the Pentax 24Ew in this case I dialed in +1 to +2 EV which means that the shutter would stay open twice to four times as long  for the same aperture.  The other thing that you want to do when taking pictures in the snow is to ensure the flash doesn’t fire.  If it does it can cause some areas to be over exposed and if the light catches falling snow flakes they are likely to become just bright little lights obscuring the image.  And the other reason for using this camera is of course it’s 24mm wide end of the zoom range.  Other posts that include the Pentax 24ew  Wide angle Point and Shoot  Pentax 24ew the Ewwwwww  E X T R A     W I D E

Mar 9 2014

Minolta Super A


The Minolta Super A is fairly loud, it sounds more like an SLR with a reflex mirror than a rangefinder with a leaf shutter.   It doesn’t leave you guessing though about whether it clicked or not.   I find it to be an attractive though very heavy camera.  You can read more about it at my post here Minolta Super-A . The lens is not very flare resistant and allowing the sun to hit the front element results in a huge drop in contrast and a lot of lens flare.Minolta_SuperA_Jan2014_014

I suppose if it were just about the image and nothing else I would stop using these older film cameras and just shoot digital but there is something that’s hard to pin down in the experience of shooting a nice mechanical camera.  If you think about it there is nothing in the experience that is technically superior to modern equipment and I don’t have waves of nostalgia sweeping over me.  So what is it?  I think it may just be the joy of  well made things just like someone might enjoy having a nice watch or a good set of cooking pots I happen to like cameras.  As well I like the look of film images and there may lay a little bit of nostalgia because every photographic image I saw for the first 2/3 of my life was made using film of some sort and that is what I am used to and like.  That isn’t to say I don’t like digital imagery and that there isn’t great new work being done with digital of course there is but it isn’t from that formative time in my life, it doesn’t look like the images I saw in National Geographic or any other magazine of my childhood.  It makes me wonder if someone who has grown up in a time when digital photography has always around will see any attraction to film images, but then this is also the same sort of transition that occurred when colour photography became more prevalent and was brought into the contemporary art world.  It wasn’t that long ago really that serious photography was done with black and white film because that’s how it always had been.


Dec 23 2013

Olympus Trip AF mini


The Olympus Trip AF mini is the third Amigo amoung my Leica Mini and the Minolta Freedom Escort. As I outlined before the three cameras share a lot of internal components Fraternal Twins. In fact when you look at the three with there backs open they are nearly idestinguishable. The Olympus and the Minolta appear to share the same 34mm lens while the Leica has a 35mm lens that has a different coating (Leica fairy dust)


Now more specifically this camera, the Olympus Trip AF mini has a 34mm f3.5 lens. I found it to produce vignetting on the order of one stop limited to the extreme corners. The lens is quite sharp though and without much distortion. The camera is incredibly light weight but easy to hold with its molded grip area. It has the same flash override as the others and suffers from the same slow startup where the lens extends out in a noisy slow motion mating display. Like the others though it produces results that are much beyond what their plastic shells would have you think.

Nov 7 2013

Nikon Zoom 300


The Nikon Zoom 300’s form was inspired when one of the designers dropped a bar of soap in the shower at Disneyland. I can’t prove that of course but everything points to it. It’s the shape and size of a bar of soap, the lens looks like it has Mickey Mouse ears and its slippery like a bar of soap. In addition I think they showered with the designer of the Canon Prima Mini who picked up the soap after it was dropped. Released in 1994 it is a relatively compact camera considering it’s 35-70 zoom lens rather than a fixed focal length. I can’t find any technical specifications for the lens but you can see that it has coatings that aren’t found on cheaper Nikons and it provides good results in the center of the frame with some coma distortion in the corners. There are a few over rides such as infinity focus and forced flash off which are in my opinion minimums when using this type of camera. The viewfinder though is a tiny little tunnel with a little light at the end of it, not a lot of fun to compose with. The final feature I will mention is that it has a lanyard on the side so it’s more ‘Soap on a Rope’ than Lux.


Oct 21 2013

M42 lenses with the Pentax K-01


The K-01 is an excellent camera for using manual focus lenses especially because of its focus peaking feature. On a recent outing with a friend I took a selection of M42 lenses, primarily using the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 2.4 35mm with a little bit from the SMC Takumar 1.4 50mm and the Takumar 3.5 200mm aka the Bokehmon I would describe focus peaking as looking like the image is severely over sharpened within the plane of focus with a white halo around areas of high contrast. It is best seen when actually focusing as it sweeps across the image. I also used these lenses with my Pentax Z1p and Portra 400 film and I will update this post with a link to those as well.


Sep 9 2013

Wester Autorol


There is no denying the appeal of the square when it comes to medium format. From my original Dianna to my Rolleiflex the square rules. The advantage the Autorol has over the others though is it has a better lens and shutter than the Dianna and is more compact than the Rollei. The results are also great, easily producing images that can by blown up or cropped to other aspect ratios.  Read more about it in my post here Wester Autorol or here Wester Autorol Sample


Aug 24 2013

Chinon CM-4s

Simple is the word I would use to describe the Chinon CM-4s but in no way do I mean that as a (warning bad photography puns) negative rather it’s quite the positive. The shutter and aperture are completely mechanical and require the photographer to set them. The exposure meter display consists of three LEDs red ones for over and under exposure and one green one for correct exposure. What could be simpler this side of automatic exposure? In operation you can choose a shutter speed or an aperture and vary the other one to get the correct exposure, that’s when the green light comes on, or you can disregard the exposure as you like.
In addition I took many of the pictures on this roll using a simple flash, the Pentax AF160 for fill light. Some results where better than others. With this and other simple auto flashes you set them for a certain auto range and look on the chart to see what aperture you should use for the film speed. If you want to balance the flash to ambient light you can select a shutter speed anywhere from the minimum up to the cameras flash sync speed which is 1/60 sec for the Chinon.

The CM-4s uses the same K-mount as manual focus Pentax SLRs and mine has the Chinon 50mm f1.9 lens on it. The camera operates much like a Pentax K1000 while being smaller and lighter like a Pentax ME.

Here it comes I’m about to tell you how good a performer it is and how much I liked its light weight, …done. Yes I have met a camera I didn’t like its just not this one.