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.






Feb 29 2016

Olympus LT-1


Style over function is what the Olympus LT-1 is.  The association that is often made between something wrapped in leather and quality is broken by the plastic Lt-1. All this would be forgiven of course (by me) if it was a good camera but sorrowfully it is not.  It has a 35mm f3.5 three element lens that is said to be the same as the Olympus Stylus and to be honest I have to go against the prevailing notions and say it isn’t that great.  I know the Stylus (not to be confused with the Stylus Epic) is an important camera that sold in the millions but I find that wide open there is a lot of softness and aberrations in the corners with this lens.  Also lacking in the functional department is the on/off switch, whereas the Stylus and the Epic turn on by sliding open their clamshells, here you need to pull the leather lens flap away and fiddle with the switch beside the lens on the side of the camera you are supposed to be pointing at something rather than looking at.  And that flap is always threatening to include itself in your pictures doing what flaps do…flapping.

On the positive side of things it is a nice looking and feeling camera and it stands out as different, and sometimes isn’t that what you want?  A camera that is a lifestyle choice rather than pure performance. If your using this camera you’ve already chosen to use film so it probably matches your handmade leather belt and satchel.


One thing about one camera:  LT stands for leather tech and if you don’t like the notion of your camera being covered in an animal you can relax it is faux leather.



Jan 7 2016

Canon Z180u

_K3_2691_K3_2692The defining feature of this camera has to be that 38-180mm focal length lens.  A lens that I might point out has an aperture of f12.9  at the long end.  Doing a little math in the form of a word problem.

Q: On a nice clear day Little Suzy has a Canon Z180 loaded with 400 ASA film and wants to take a picture of her friend Phil who is off in the distance on the edge of the woods looking like a hipster lumberjack.  If Suzy zooms to 180mm how much motion blur will the picture have?

A:  As Phil is in the shade of the woods and has a dark beard the light is likely to be around EV 11 so the camera would select a shutter speed of around 1/60 of a second or about 2 stops too slow for that focal length on 35mm film resulting in just enough blur to make you say ‘Ugggg where is my digital camera and is that a squirrel attacking Phils face’

I also don’t think that the focusing is quite up to the zoom factor of the lens as it seems to miss focus more than less ambitious zoom models.

One thing about one camera:  You can set the flash to always be off through this simple method.  With the camera off hold down the timer button then press the flash button, CF 1-0 will show on the LCD (That’s custom function 1 – off) press the zoom in button once to select CF 2-0 now press the flash button to set it to CF 2-1 (Custom function 2 – on) , turn the camera on to finish the setting.  Now when you turn the camera off it will remember the shooting and flash mode so you can disable the flash and keep it that way.  Super easy, Ugggg where is my digital camera?

Dec 23 2015

Konica Autoreflex T and Hexanon AR 57mm f1.4

I have a limited selection of lenses for my Konica Autoreflex T but one of them is a 57mm f1.4  which is a little longer than most lenses considered to give a normal view on 35mm film.  Also at 1.4 its quite fast and helps supply a nice bright viewfinder image which is good because it also provides very shallow depth of field which I may have gone a little wild with on this roll of film.  I really like the bokeh and general look from the lens although images from it can stand a little boost in contrast.

Nov 16 2015

Vivitar Tec155

VivitarTec155-8673This camera is interesting for several reasons, the primary one being that although it is a point and shoot with a fixed lens the zoom is controlled by twisting the front of the lens instead of some small button or lever like most other point and shoots. VivitarTec155-8670

This allows for very fast zooming with the focal length indicated in a window on the top plate.   Unfortunately the lens has very bad chromatic aberrations which appear as coloured fringing around objects particularly towards the edges of the image.


Additionally my copy of this camera has obvious dust and fibers inside the lens somewhere that show up in some of the images as well as a hazy blue spot sometimes in the center. Vivitar_Tel155_Kodak400_2015_009

None of this is outwardly visible on the lens.   So the only thing this camera is good for is if you are trying to take pictures that look like they came from a terrible camera.  This is despite the fact that the lens is branded as Vivitars top of the line ‘Series 1’ with 8 elements in 7 groups.

Sep 28 2015

Polaroid P-12

I find myself at my twelfth remaining frame of original Polaroid Spectra. I’ve been using it so judiciously that I’m pretty sure I’ve taken a picture of this tree during another autumn with it. This short video is a sped up look at the image developing.


Sep 22 2015

Ricoh FF9-SD I can see clearly or ‘The Limited Edition Fully Automatic See Thru 35mm Panoramic Camera’


The first order of business is to correct the marketing hype on the front of the camera as I’ve stated before in this post Ricoh FF9SD the camera is not see through as much as see into and panoramic isn’t anything more that setting the focus to infinity and suppressing the flash.   What it should say on the front is that it is a good camera for taking double exposures, you just need to press the mode button until the top LCD shows M.E. (Multiple Exposure).  After you take the first image the film doesn’t advance automatically until the second image is taken it doesn’t get much easier.  There are a few other features of this camera such as an interval mode but a real missed opportunity is that despite having a cable release port it doesn’t have a bulb mode, too bad.  The images that it produces are respectable though with well controlled aberrations through its 35mm f3.5 4 element lens.   It certainly stands out as different with it’s clear plastic shell.


Jul 29 2015

Lomochrome Purple with the Canon Ql17


I have mixed feelings about Lomochrome Purple which matches the mixed results I’ve gotten.  Perhaps my expectations of achieving a look along the lines of an infrared film are at fault but it’s also the fact that it doesn’t appear to shift in colour in quite the way Lomography suggests.  You can see from the chart I did to go with my first post how the colours shift Lomochrome Purple.   I like how deep blues turn cyan and yellows turn a pink but I’m frustrated by the lack of shift I have achieved with green the one colour I had the highest hope for.  I will have to rethink the way I use this film if I do again.  Choosing things that people know to be a certain colour are the most effective, something that could be green or purple isn’t going to have the same impact as say seeing a pink line down the middle of a road or a sunflower that looks like a shade of alizarin crimson.

LomochromePurple_May2015_038 LomochromePurple_May2015_039

On one side is a digital image from the same scene as the Lomochrome Purple version opposite.


Jul 7 2015

Fuji DL mini take along


Again with the Fuji DL mini?  Yes again, I like this camera to the point that I think I will try to find another one that isn’t so beaten up.  As I was going into Vancouver or as I always remember it as a kid ‘going downtown’ I grabbed a roll of expired drug store 400 ISO film and slipped the camera into a pocket.  Yes the results match but that’s okay its actually the look I’m after.  More about this camera here  28mm Verticals  The Sardine Tin  Fuji Dl Super Mini  Fuji DL super Mini



Jun 15 2015

Pentax 928


The Pentax Espio 928M has for me a very desirable focal length of 28-90mm which makes it directly comparable to the Canon Z90W which I also have.  The Pentax has the slightly slower lens at f4.8-10.9 verses the Canon at f4.5-9.9 either way if you choose to use one of these anachronisms your going to want to use a film of at least ISO400.  It should be mentioned that the 928M is not the same camera as the 928 as the lens is slower and it does away with some great features like exposure compensation and multi-exposure mode.  So if it were not for the fact that it has a wide angle of 28mm I wouldn’t have even bothered to pick it up.  The thing is despite it’s short comings in the end it’s the lens in front of the film that maters and the lens performed quite well actually.  Even the corners of the frame are reasonably distortion free when compared to other similar cameras.  So with good light and fast film the Espio 928M is almost a camera worth using but really if your still shooting film at this point there are going to be better options.  P.S. the Konica Lexio 70 is not one of them trust me.