Dec 29 2022

4 cameras 1 roll

I wanted to test out four cameras but was not willing to commit to giving them each a roll of film so I opted to make them share a roll of Ilford HP5plus. I did this by taking a few shots with one camera then rewinding the roll then loading it into the next camera and advancing the film while covering the lens until it was past where I thought the last one had ended. I did this for all four camera’s providing them each with about 8 shots out of the 36 exposure roll. This worked well despite one of the cameras but I will get to that a little later.

Lets start with the second camera then. The Minolta Himatic F which has a four element 38mm f2.7 lens gave some good results.

The third camera was the Minolta Himatic C which is particularly interesting in the Himatic line due to its ability to collapse the lens into the camera body. The lens is a three element 40mm f2.7 lens. It is the collapsing lens though that is a weak link with this camera where it leaks some light in.

The final camera to share this roll of film was the Fujica Auto S which gets its own blog post but a quick summery would be it is cheaply made but exceeds its looks and as a bonus it doesn’t require a battery.

So getting back to the first camera. It was a plastic camera that purported to be panoramic. The panoramic image comes from just masking off some of the 35mm film frame but it did have a wide angle lens. So I decided to remove all the masking material and make it cover the entire film area.

Additionally I removed some superfluous metal weights intended to give the camera some gravitas.

Next up I gave it a coat of paint because I like yellow

Unfortunately it was all for naught because the results were horrific. The thing is that instead of having a normal pressure plate the film is slightly curved and so are a number of ridges that are intended to keep the film in position.

Well the film I used did a better job of recording those ridges than of what was in front of the camera.

I don’t think it was a light leak in the usual sense because it doesn’t impact the entire frame I think that the light made its way through the film and scattered on the back returning to re-expose the film some more. Oh well maybe one day I will put some sort of flocking there and try again…or not.

Dec 11 2022

Olympus 35 SP with Kodak Portra 160

In my opinion the Olympus 35 SP is one of the best fixed lens rangefinders ever made. Far more refined than the Canon QL17 and more versatile than the Yashica Electro 35s it is a real joy to use. The lens with its G designation which in Olympus language means it has 7 elements produces sharp images with little distortion. The gallery images were shot on Portra 160 a film I have mixed feelings about Portra 160, The defining feature though of the camera is of course the spot meter from which it derives its SP name. To utilize the spot meter you use it in manual mode: The method is to select a shutter speed and then while pointing the central focus patch at what you want to meter press the rear spot meter button. The resulting EV number that you now see in the viewfinder is the value that you will want to match by altering the aperture on the lens. Now with both shutter speed and aperture set you can vary the settings by turning them together keeping the same overall exposure. For ultimate ease though you can just put both shutter speed and aperture to the A settings for Auto and shoot away pressing the spot meter as needed to override the average metering.

Originally I wrote this blog post quite some time ago and in the interim I have picked up the more rare all black version of the SP, that’s how much I like this camera model.