Jan 31 2021

Lomo Tim and 50/50 chances

Don’t be fooled by its cute little face this camera hates me. Somehow it managed to botch up a quarter of the roll…there is no way it could be user error.

The Holga Tim is a cute concept but with some issues. Even if your okay with the cheap plastic camera look the Tim takes it to a whole other level. Each of the two lenses has its own little eyelid that you can use to cover up one lens at a time so that you can use it to squeeze out twice as many shots from a roll but keeping track of which lens you last used and remembering to switch between them and cock the shutter before advancing the film requires the level of attention this camera doesn’t elicit. Probably half the pictures I took had some unexpected problem and for some both are completely blank.

If you do manage to take a picture though get ready for some plastic fantastic soft images. The one from the roll that does appear sharp I must have stopped down the lens all the way in the bright sunlight. That aperture is said to be f11 while the cloudy setting is f8. The shutter fires at 1/100sec and the focus is also fixed. A previous post about the TIM can be found here

Jan 16 2021

Konica Big Mini

I haven’t had the greatest of luck with Konica Big Mini cameras. Most recently this cameras predecessor the Konica A4 let me down. Not easily deterred I loaded this Big Mini with the worst film I had, a roll of expired Konica VX400 a film that does not age well. And this is aged, at least if the camera didn’t function I wouldn’t be out a nice roll of Portra or similar.

The camera worked well and the film was as expected, bad. The Big Mini is truly a point and shoot with little user control but when that is what you want it delivers through its sharp 4 element lens (5 if you count the built in skylight filter which you should not).

One thing about one camera the Konica Big Mini can hold its shutter open for up to 7.5 seconds

Jan 3 2021

Canon Elan 7ne

I’ve posted about this camera previously The one that knows where your looking and have been impressed with the performance and results. The 7 in the name comes from the 7 focus points it can use. The interesting aspect of that being the selection of them through the detection of where you are looking in a scene. (I wrote more about that in the link above) What the NE stands for I don’t know but it was called the 7s in Japan.

Some notable features for a film camera are:

  • Shutter speeds of 1/4000 to 30 second
  • 35 zone evaluative metering
  • incorporating a transport system that features a state-of-the-art noise-reduction design to ensure exceptionally quiet performance
  • Predictive AF (When subjects moving towards/away at a constant rate)
  • Up to 9 multiple exposures
  • The top and bottom aluminum plates have a alumite surface treatment. (tougher surface structure ?)
  • Continuous shooting of 4fps
  • It coexisted at the same time as 10-16 Mpixel cameras that cost 10-20 times as much. (Canon 1Ds Mark II, Nikon D2X)

The nicest feature though is that it uses Canon EF lenses which are abundant. If I were the owner of a Canon DSLR and I wanted a film camera to use along side of it this would be my choice.

Dec 13 2020

Konica Dual

Once the question had been asked and answered “What would happen if you put two lenses on one camera” Two Lenses are better than one I though I should do it again this time with a little more care in setting the focus. You can see the results bellow. One of the things I find interesting is to see the two different exposures side by side. One lens being f4 and the other f5.6 neither of them having the capacity to cover an entire 35mm film frame. In fact a disc image is only 8x10mm which is about 1/10th the size of 35mm film. In this case though I’ve allowed them to cover as much as they physically can with overlap. The wide angle lens is 12.5mm and the Tele is 22mm

Nov 28 2020

Leica Mini 3

Thanks to a kind donation to my camera collection I now have two Leica cameras but not that kind of Leicas.

I’m always a little cautious about running an expensive roll of film through a new to me camera so I tend to initially use a roll of expired film with almost predictably awful results. The upside is you get to see if the main functions of the camera such as focus and shutter are working without the expense of a good roll of film. And ta-da the Leica Mini worked and the film sucked. With any fixed lens camera the most important thing after it working is the lens and the Leica mini is supposed to have a great one. It has a 32mm f3.2 Leica Summar lens. I don’t speak Leica so as best as I can tell Summar refers to the design and that it has 6 elements. That name is more closely associated with much older 50mm lenses for Leica rangefinders though. The Mini 3 was only made briefly so didn’t make much of an impact and isn’t very common (unlike the Mini which seems to be everywhere in multiple forms) I do really like the 32mm focal length as it sits nicely between 28 and 35mm much like the Pentax UC1. Now that I know the camera works I guess I will give it another shot with some better film.

Nov 1 2020

Konica 1 Xpro

The Konica 1 is a very old camera with a very old lens so it isn’t the camera you would choose for optimum photo results. The reason that you might pick it to use is that the shutter is completely disconnected from the film advance. Ordinarily this would be a bad thing but it allows for easily taking multi-exposures or what I like to do with it which is to advance the film part way for each exposure and then turn to take in a slightly new overlapping view. Not always successfully.

The other thing I did with this roll of film was to run it through my nearly exhausted E6 chemistry even though it was designed for C41. This is called cross processing and is more familiarly found with developing slides in C41 chemistry but clearly I didn’t care that much for this roll of drugstore film.

Oct 10 2020

Minolta AF-C

A camera that really flies under the collectable camera radar the Minolta AF-C is a well built beauty with a sharp 35mm f2.8 6 element lens. Not much bigger than a Olympus XA this compact camera manages to include active infrared Auto Focus. Like the XA it has a thumbwheel for film advance which I prefer over a lever on little cameras. The lens is revealed by sliding the lens cover down. This mechanism is well engineered and has a satisfying motion. As a true point and shoot though there is no further direct control beyond composing and taking an image. You can however lock the autofocus system through a half press and recompose. Don’t look at the front of the lens and expect movement though during focusing that all happens inside at the rear element.

The exposure system is also automatic with a range of 1/8 sec at f2.8 to 1/430 sec at f17. For shutter speeds below 1/40 of a second a red LED warns you against shake and to use the side mounting flash. A similar and equally overlooked camera is the Canon MC

The range of film ISO is limited though from 25-400 in this case I took it to the max with some Kodak Portra400. While not a total disaster the images were under exposed resulting in grainy dark images. I’m not sure at this point what happened but more than likely it was the batteries as it takes 4 LR44’s to power the metering and focus.

Sep 5 2020

Agfa CRD Duplicating film

I’m often looking at ways to take photography to the extremes of what it can do. In that spirit I exposed a roll of Agfa CRD duplicating film at 12 ISO and used neutral density filters in some cases to achieve long exposures in daylight. The first one in the gallery was 4 minutes for example while this image bellow represents the same scene at 1/4 of a second

f3.5 1/4 second

So much time recorded on one frame of film of course requires a sturdy tripod and to maximize the effect I have included a static object in most of the scenes. I think this would be a fun experiment to conduct with people instead of water and maybe that’s what I will do with my remaining roll.

As a duplicating film it is designed for tungsten lighting at 3200K so images shot under daylight have a blueish cast.

The cast became even more extreme with some of the longer exposures and since I did not use any filter compensation while shooting I made some colour balance adjustments when scanning. As a positive slide film I processed it using E6 chemistry. Having such a slow speed film was a nice change of pace and a fun experiment.

Aug 9 2020

Agfa Precisa 100 Home Developed

This roll of Agfa Precisa sat for almost two years after being shot waiting for me to gather up enough rolls of E6 slide film to warrant mixing up my chemistry. Agfa claims that the emulsion has good storage capabilities but there is no mention if that is before or after exposure.

(4) Advanced Emulsion Aging Stability Technology With the introduction of newly developed additives that promote emulion stability, CT precisa will exhibit excellent long term storage characteristics with minimal color balance and sensitivity changes.

The effort required to develop E6 by hand is somewhere around double what it takes to do C41 negatives and they require more care and effort over developing Black and White film. That all said it only is a matter of maintaining temperature and following the directions of the developer. No one should be scared off from trying it.

I used a small kit of Arista capable of processing 8 rolls of E6. I was pleased with the results overall but even though I made the requisite time changes for each roll I could see the fall off as I approached 8 rolls. As a side note although it may not strictly be necessary I always use distilled water when mixing up my chemistry.

Some parting notes from Agfa on Precisa 100. AgfaPhoto CT precisa 100 is an ultra-high-quality, daylight type ISO 100 color reversal film. This film boasts the finest grain and very high sharpness among ISO 100 color reversal film. Through the application of a newly-developed technology, it attains an RMS granularity value of 8, a level that is unsurpassed by any other color reversal film in the world. In effect, it surpasses the performance expected of ISO 25 – 50 films. It also provides rich gradation, vivid color reproduction and well controlled gradation balance, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of subject matter, from product and outdoor photography to fashion work and portraiture. Moreover, it maintains superb contrast and color balance even under push-/pull-processing conditions of minus 1/2 stop to plus 2 stops (equivalent to EI 70 to EI 400). This film can be processed worldwide by the readily available E-6 process.

Aug 1 2020

Yashica GX with Ektachrome 100

A nice pairing of a great camera and a great film. What could go wrong? Well I’m not sure but I seem to have over exposed the images a bit as well as have a few light leaks. I also did my own developing to throw another variable in there. I think that with colour negative film the over exposure wouldn’t have been an issue but slide film demands a higher level of accuracy. Just the same I like the look it has a slightly washed out appearance that looks like older slides (not Kodachrome) as well as leaning towards blue. For posts about the Yashica GX look here and about Ektachrome E100 here