May 25 2019

Minolta Autopak Tele (460T) 110 film camera

Most 110 film cameras are notable for their lack of notability but the Minolta Autopak 460T is an exception particularly due to its lens(s).  It has a 26mm f3.5 and a 43mm f4.7 lens when set to telephoto. It does only  have a fixed shutter speed of 1/200 second but the apertures can be stopped down to f8 for the normal lens and f13.2 when set to Tele as well as some value in-between which I’m not certain of  but if your using 110film you cant be that choosy.

I’ve always struggled with scanning 110 film.  I’ve tried holding it flat on my scanner with little success and I’ve tried using a modified slide duplicator but this time I just laid it out on a piece of frosted plexiglass and took pictures of it with a macro lens lighting it from behind with a flash.  The results are much better although they need to be converted from a negative to positive and colour corrected something my primary image management software Lightroom is not well suited for.  Negative_Conversion

However here is a Lightroom preset you can use as a starting point if you choose to attempt something similar.  Negative Conversion Template

Just place this file in the user presets folder for Lightroom and the next time you launch Lightroom it can be found under user presets.

May 19 2019

Pentax 24EW with Portra 400


The Pentax 24EW remains a camera that seems to find its way into my bag when I travel.  It’s not that it has a fantastic telephoto capability and its not because it’s small and light (195g), there is one reason and one reason only and that is that it has that 24mm wide angle.  I really like 32mm wide angles and I like 28mm wide angles even more so it stands to reason that I would like 24mm the most.  It has a 7 point passive autofocus system which works very well under almost every situation that you would use a camera like this however if necessary you can set it to spot focus or infinity for landscapes.  The lens while going from 24 to 105mm has apertures of 4.9 to 12.5 and is constructed from 7 elements this is of course the compromise that you make in order to have a lens like this in your pocket.  The first image in the gallery was under very low light and at 24mm which shows the most extreme example of vignetting you will get from this camera.   I’ve posted numerous times about this camera before Pentax 24EW

May 4 2019

Minotla Maxxum 7


I had the opportunity to borrow a Minolta Maxxum 7 recently.  What a fantastic camera.   It’s now nearly a 20 years old model but many of the controls and features remain familiar today on high end interchangeable lens cameras.  Things such as front and back control dials for aperture and shutter settings, an exposure compensation dial and even a flash compensation dial.  The stand out feature though has to be the large LCD on the back that provides a myriad of information.  It has enough area to display everything you need to know while your shooting.  My favourite use of the LCD though has to be the ability to view what the 14 segment honeycomb metering system is measuring.  This is performed by pressing the AE-lock button followed by the DISP button.  Each segment is then displayed as one of three shades with addition information inside.   If the segment is white it references positive EV above +1 and if its black it denotes -1 EV or lower in the middle is grey for values between those two.  If the value in a segment exceeds +3 then it will just have a + sign and if it is below -3 it has a – sign.  It really looks better and is more intuitive than I can describe so maybe a picture is better.


Now 14 segments may not constitute a full image but it is enough information to evaluate your exposure.

Another great use for that big LCD is for looking at the recorded shot data.  Not just what you are currently up to but it retains the history of 11 parameters for up to 7 rolls of film.  After I shot my two rolls of film I was able to go back and see what setting I had used for each shot.  We take this for granted with digital cameras but its a fantastic feature for use with film.  I rarely have the patience to record exposure details manually.


There are many more controls I won’t be going over, there is always a manual for that but a few interesting things are located when you flip down the cover below the LCD and press the custom button.  This brings you into the menu for those features that are needed less frequently such as whether to leave the film leader out after the roll rewinds among other things.  Its Custom function 25 though that is interesting and unique to this camera, it allows you to set the user preset 3 to one of two purposes.  The first being a user present obviously but it can also be changed to STF mode.  Despite this menu being in plain language I realize that STF may not be overly descriptive so I will give you a moment to guess what it stand for….times up it stands for Smooth Transition Focus.  Okay great but what is that Wallace? you may be asking to which I will say that is worthy of its own blog post at a later date.

I have been using the camera with the battery grip and ergonomically speaking it feels great.  Every control has a unique feel and placement such that you can operate the camera completely by feel in the dark with a little practice.  Did I mention that the LCD on the back has a nice indigo backlight?  I did now. In contrast though there is a tiny little LCD on the top plate that provides shutter and aperture information.  This might be okay when working on a tripod in good light but its a little limited.  I felt that I needed to say at least one negative thing about the camera, done.


The camera has a fantastic multiple exposure implementation.  Unlike many other cameras all you need to do with the Maxxum 7 is set the drive mode to the red multiple exposure setting and that’s it.  Each time you press the shutter it takes another exposure without advancing the film.  Additionally it keeps a tally and displays how many exposures you’ve done up to 9.  You can keep exposing after those 9 but the camera no longer will keep count.  You can even turn the camera off and on during a multiple exposure sequence.  Of course you don’t want to forget it in that mode or you will end up with some unintended results.

The shutter reaches a fast 1/8000 of a second and it can fire off up to 4 frames per second.  I’ve covered some of the highlights of the Maxxum 7 but to sum it up its a feature rich camera with excellent controls that feels fantastic in the hand.  I do prefer it with the VC-7 grip which has the added benefit of allow the use of AA batteries instead of expensive lithium ones in the main body.  Having also borrowed a Nikon F5 which is a tank of a camera I can say that the Maxxum 7 has more features and is better laid out and easier to use.  The F5 though feels like you can use it to hammer nails.  I will finish off with some images and mention again that I will be doing a separate post about the Smooth Transition Focus feature. (If I have already posted it when you read this you will find the link here ————–)


Apr 6 2019

Canon Z180u


With the Canon Z180u reaching all the way out to an 180mm focal length its imperative that you use a faster film.  In this case I chose to use a good roll of Portra 400 which I usually reserve for cameras I deem to be more deserving but seeing as it was my first and possibly only trip to a sub zero Celsius Alberta I thought I would splurge.  It was worth it, the Z180u is not that bad all things considered especially compared to the Pentax IQzoom 200 . However I think the Olympus Superzoom 160G has slightly better optics. I’ve used this camera a few times now and while the results have never been stellar they haven’t made me want to recycle it either.

The lens on the Z180u is a 38-180mm f5.6 to f12.9 and that’s all I have to say about that.

The images that I didn’t include in the gallery are a good indication of where this cameras weakness lies. Long zoom and low light.

Lightroom (CanonZ180u_Portra400_2018_002.jpg and 8 others)

Mar 30 2019

Cinestill 800 T


Just some random pictures from a roll of Cinestill 800 T I ran through my Pentax MZ6.  Some other posts with Cinestill 800 can be seen here SeattleCanon A1 , 2015, Nocturnes, Niagara, Industrial, Gatineau


Mar 24 2019

Minolta 28-85 on the Maxxum 5


A recent addition to my autofocus Minolta collection is the 28-85 f3.5 to 4.5 zoom with macro.  Without any real pre conceived notions I wanted to give it a good try.  So I opted to shoot an entire roll of film with just the one lens.  I loaded a roll of Fuji 200 in my Minolta Maxxum 5 and took it with me during an outing.  The first thing to be considered is the focal length which is a very usable range from wide angle to telephoto enough for portraits.  The aperture while not fast is serviceable.  It suffers from colour fringing particularly away from the center but beyond that its actually a good performing lens.  Physically its very compact not much larger than some prime lenses.Maxxum5_zoom_Fuji200_022-detail It also provides close focusing but only at the wide 28mm setting which can be used for interesting wide-angle shots that include a close element as well as a lot of background but less so the isolation of an individual element against an obscured background which is a more familiar use of ‘macro’.

Its probably a good thing that I’m using this lens with film as I don’t think its quite up to the more demanding task of a high resolution digital sensor.   For a film kit though its a keeper.




Mar 16 2019

Two lenses are better than one?


If one lens is good two must be better right?  That’s what I thought when I came across the Kodak Tele Disc.  The camera has two separate lenses of different focal lengths that it used one at a time. KodakTeleDisc But why not use them both I thought.  Heading the warning not to disassemble the camera I tore it apart instead. KodakTeleDiscDestruction


Then it was a matter of how to do it.  I needed some form of shutter that could work for both.  Fortunately I have the “Konicazilla” which is a Konica Autoreflex TC SLR that I removed the mirror box and a few other normally necessary bits from.  As this was a proof of inanity I didn’t worry too much about how secure or parallel the lenses were (that became a problem by the end of the roll).  Using some black foam and some hockey tape I “secured” the lenses in a somewhat focused manner and was off.   The lenses are a 12.5mm f4 and a 22mm f5.6.  I allowed the light  to fall where it might on the 35mm frame which was uneven given my rough cut holes for the lenses.  This silliness is all possible because I was able to place the lenses at the same distance from the film that they would have had in the Tele Disc camera.  And here are some of the results.

And then things got a little more fuzzy, it was either from bumping into things in a camera bag or excessive poking of the foam to see if it was still secure.


Many of the new cell phones coming out now sport multiple lenses of different focal lengths so I may need to step up my game if I want to stay at the leading edge of antiquated technology.


Mar 9 2019

Canon Z90W with Portra 400


The Canon Z90W is the end of the line for wide-angle film point and shoots from Canon and certainly one of the best they made. I’ve written about it a few times now Canon Z90W 

and your welcome to go down that rabbit hole of links or you could just look at the pictures below.

One thing about one camera:  The calendar in the camera only goes to 2029 which may dovetail nicely with pictures of rising sea levels.  After 2029 I guess all bets are off.

Mar 2 2019

Fuji Q1 and Expired APS film


The Fuji Q1 is a very different camera with a strap that positions it more like a pendant on the end of a necklace and with its variety of colours its as much a 1990’s fashion accessory as it is a camera.  Here is some marketing copy from Fuji that may explain their intentions.

When you’re ready for some stylish fun on the move, the Nexia Q1 is the perfect choice. Wherever you go, the smooth, compact body makes the Q1 the ideal accessory for go-anywhere, point-and-shoot photo enjoyment. Don’t miss out on the good times, and be sure to capture them on film as they happen. With the high-styling Nexia Q1.


Looking at the lens its hard to believe that it can cover an entire frame but it does, even the full 16.7mm x 30.2mm APS-H frame.  As for autofocus it has it covering from 2ft to infinity but it may be a limited amount of  zones and at what distance they are I am not sure.  The lens is only 2 elements so there isn’t much correction going on and the aperture is f8 so its not letting much light in either. As for exposure its is actually a fixed value because the shutter speed is 1/100 second.  You have to rely instead on the exposure latitude of the film or the automatic flash to provide some extra lighting.  It may seem quaint now in a world of smart phone cameras but Fuji took the always ready always with you camera as far as anyone ever did with the Q1.

Feb 24 2019

Fuji Drive Half Frame


I was half way through this roll of Ultrafine Colouruption (ORWO NC-3) in my Konica Auto S3 when it stopped working.  So I thought I would finish it in this camera with the idea that if it ended up being a grainy film that it would be accentuated by the half frame capture.  However despite the strange colours the film is not particularly grainy.  Nothing like the graininess of  Adox Color Implosion although the colour shifts are even more extreme with this emulsion.

Here is a comparison shot taken with my Pentax Q7 digital camera and the Fuji Drive with Colouruption.



Now about the Fuji Drive.  It has a 28mm f2.8 5 element lens which is surprisingly good but the cameras unique feature has to be that it uses a clockwork mechanism to advance the film.  This is of course where it gets the name “Drive” from.  The camera has a selenium meter that can be used for fully automatic exposure but you can also manually select shutter and aperture for more control.  Also the meter system was made at a time when 100 ASA film was considered fast so it only goes to a maximum of 200 ASA.  I’m also not really a fan of zone focus with most cameras so that’s a strike against it but if you pay attention to focus and set exposure manually you have a nice photography tool that is fun to use.

Another camera in my collection that has a clockwork film advance is the Ricoh Auto Shot.