Apr 28 2016

Canon A-1 with Ferrania Solaris


This post is more about the film than the camera (Other Posts about the A-1 can be seen here).  I came into possession of two rolls of Ferrania Solaris via a thrift store.  I don’t know the age of it but it has to be outdated simply for the fact that Ferrania isn’t currently making film and haven’t for a while.  They are at this time making an effort to restart production in a new smaller plant  Film Ferrania.  I didn’t hold out that much hope for this film with its unknown provenance but unlike so many of my odd film experiences this exceeded my expectations it has a graininess to it similar to but more subtle than Adox color implosion while keeping the colours more realistic.
It ended up being quite contrasty but still retained details in the darks unlike many other outdated films I’ve encountered. I shot this roll on a drab dark day so maybe I will wait for a nice bright spring day to shoot the second roll. I wish Ferrania much success with getting their plant up and running whether they ever produce Solaris again or not.

Apr 17 2016

Ricoh R1 with Color Implosion


The Ricoh R1 is much like two cameras in one as I’ve stated previously.  The 30mm lens is a fantastic performer and the 24mm panoramic has a toy camera aesthetic.  The decision to use Adox color implosion film is more in keeping with the latter but I like the unmistakable ‘filmness’ either way.  The gallery that follows is a little of each and for the moment it ‘s the 24mm panoramic film camera I use as my Minolta Freedom Vista was stolen from my vehicle.  I suppose the joke is somewhat on them as there isn’t a big market for film cameras let alone ones that only take panoramic shots.  It’s more likely to end up in a dumpster than to take another picture but I hope it does get used even if it isn’t by me.  In the meantime the R1 is one of the best point and shoots I have so I turn to it often.






Apr 9 2016

Konica AF3D


The Konica AF3 and this one with the date stamp the AF3D marked the end of the 16 year run for the Konica C35 and its variations.  From 1967 to 1983 Konica had produced many models adding improvements and features along the way but always with a fixed focal length lens. This final version had a 35mm f2.8 lens of 4 elements and autofocus.  It’s a great lens despite my gallery images but the camera itself is less than inspiring.  It was made available in other colours perhaps that’s what it needs.  The fact that Konica did not include a film advance motor but it still has a film advance lever is a nice touch as it makes the camera very quiet to operate.  You manually set the film speed but it is a limited range of 100-400 ASA so 200 speed film is probably the best allowing for +- 1 stop of adjustment as needed by overriding this setting.

This is perhaps the worst roll of expired film I have ever come across it is or was Kodak Max 400.  The other roll of film in the tank did not have any issues and the camera is unlikely to have caused this so the film is the only culprit left. The images were well enough received on Instagram with some people likely wondering what filter I had used.

Apr 4 2016

Minolta Freedom Zoom 105i (Only from the mind of Minolta)


Only from the mind of Minolta, that was a marketing tag line used by the camera maker to denote the leading edge technological aspects of their gear. In the case of the Freedom Zoom 105i though only from the mind of the marketing department. This feature could only have been dreamed up by a non photographer trying to make their product stand out. It has to be one of the most ill conceived features ever added to a camera. What is it exactly, you may be wondering considering that you probably have never seen one of these cameras and may not ever. It is an automatic zoom feature, (Advanced Program Zoom), and depending on the distance to the subject as determined by the autofocus system it will zoom in or out. Minolta says the camera suggests composition. Trying to use the camera I found myself in a constant battle. You see a nice sweeping landscape and want to take a wide shot, oh no you don’t the camera insists that you zoom in. You want to zoom in and isolate a subject, oh no you don’t the camera knows better. All that wouldn’t matter so much if it stopped once you tried to make an adjustment but it continues to zoom around. The only solution aside from hurling the camera at a solid object is to override the system by holding down both zoom buttons at the same time… Every time you turn the thing on. A T.V. ad from around 1990 suggests that it has a mind of its own making it easy for anyone to take a picture, only from the mind of Minolta.

The camera is also larger than necessary given that it only has a 35-105mm f4-6.7 zoom. It looks more like it belongs as a monocular vision system for a storm trooper in Star Wars. To be fair though ergonomically its actually pretty good and is perhaps the easiest camera to hold steady that I have ever encountered thanks to the natural way your hands fit. If only it didn’t battle you for composition supremacy.