All posts by Peggy

Update on the Kiev 88

I have been using my Kiev 88 during the lockdown. I wanted to try the extra cassette I bought a while ago. Plus it takes 6×6 shots, so it is much easier to finish a roll.

I have tried the beast a few times before the lockdown, taking it on local walks after work. I also reread my previous post about the camera and reminded myself of the issues I had. It helped. I wound the cassette to the first shot and cocked the shutter before attaching the cassette to the body.

BUT, while using the camera I noticed the cassette behaving in a weird way. It seemed to catch or move irregular distances, was the new cassette faulty?

The counter didn’t seem to be working so I had to look at the film window to see how many shots I had left. Then I developed the film and the issues were apparent.

As I have lots of time, I decided to try and find a video with tips on how to use the camera. I knew the camera has a reputation of being fickle, but was there something I was missing? I found this video.

Holy moly, I had either never read or completely forgot about the slight reverse of the cassette wind on knob to set the counter. No wonder I have been having issues.

I have reloaded both cassettes and will use the beast again on the next sunny day, but I think my issues are solved. Basically I have too many cameras and can’t retain every single camera nuance…another reason to down size.

In the meantime here are some sample photos from the beast.

Yashica Zoomate 70

As the BBC is saying right now, this was filmed before the current government guidelines.

I am not sure where I got this camera, I think it was in a job lot of stuff I bought a while ago, but it was a Yashica so I thought I would try it. I put in a half used film that I had already exposed in another camera. I didn’t think the other camera worked so if I had to pay for processing, then at least there was a chance of a few photos on the roll.

This point and shoot from early 2000 is nothing special, a regular compact camera with an average zoom lens. You can find lots of technical details here. When I loaded the film I had to shoot passed the previous exposures. On pressing the shutter with the lens against my leg to avoid light, the shutter stayed open for quite a while. I was surprised by that. Looking at the technical details I saw the longest exposure was 2.8 seconds, so it took a while to get to the 25th shot and I fogged the first photo by lifting the camera and looking through the lens to check.

I finished the roll on the journey to the photolab. The walk to the bus stop and the walk through Leeds. Looking at the photos now I am struck by the fact the few people in the photos are sort of isolating themselves. That is common near an ATM anyway. In the UK we call these “hole in the wall” or “cashpoint”, though signs say ATM.

Well, it did a pretty good job. Compared with the Konica, they are a little softer, less vibrant. The difference is the lens of course and the manual focusing. Both cameras had the same job to do with the Konica requiring a bit more input from the user…just a bit.

As for this camera, it is fine and cheap. If it was your only choice then its not a terrible one, quite good for wandering around on a bright day…when you get the chance.

Panorama Wide Pic

When I first started writing this review I put “Halina” in the title, I was sure it was a Halina camera. Then, taking photos of the camera I realised it didn’t have a brand name on it. The Halina name was on the bag that I had put the camera in. Plus a fellow blogger had sent me this review about the same camera. He obviously love it.

Mine is at least a nice red version

This isn’t a true panoramic camera as you can see from the photo of the exposure frame. It just masks the top and bottom of the 35mm area. The camera has a fixed focus, a fixed f11 aperture lens. There is a single shutter speed of 1/125th. There is no flash, nothing but a shutter button really.

I put in some Fomapan 100 with the intention of pushing it to 400 in development. All toy cameras work better with 400asa film, or so I have found. I was only going to take half a roll as I had just tried some panoramic photos and wasn’t too interested in this camera. I just have some spare time so I might as well test some cameras.

Then I took it out when I went on walks to local supermarkets.

Oooh so many people about, not.

As with the review I linked to, I found the minimum focusing distance to be quite long, My father was at least 6ft away, but he is still out of focus in from of the cash machines. The film did have some light leaks on it which can be seen in the photo. That could be due to the damage to the film spool side of the internal area which can be seen on the photos. Easily fixed with some tape. Other than that there is not much to say about this camera. A cheap plastic toy. It was fun, but not something I will put another film through. I prefer the digital camera if I am going to try panoramas again.

Return to the Diana F+

Hello fellow covidians, today I decided to try a few pinhole photos. World Pinhole Day is at the end of this month, so why not spend some of this time to return to that format. Just before the “events” I sold my Ondu pinhole camera in order to get a new lens for my digital camera. I haven’t missed it at all, but now I didn’t own a pinhole camera…or did I??

Oh Yeah, the Diana F+ has a pinhole setting. Also, I could use some of the regular lenses to finish the film. I decided to use an old TMax film, that has been lying around for a while.

The pinhole of the Diana has a diameter of about f150. My phone light meter said that would be about a 5 minute exposure inside and about 30 seconds outside as it was cloudy. Roughly. Throughout the process the main issue I had was getting the shutter stopper thingy in the right place.

I wandered around my house and garden, as the government has requested and took a few photos.

Developed the film…

The film looks pink as it needed longer in the fix, or so a knowledgeable friend told me.

These are the results from my Diana Day.

As always I am a bit disappointed with the pinhole results. I expected the shots to be much wider and sharper. I think this camera might be on my “to sell” list when all this is over. For the remaining shots I tried a few different settings.

The fisheye.

The 55mm with the flash.

Poor dad, he hasn’t been away from the home for 15 days now.

The 55mm without the flash.

Bear hunt bears for the local kids.

Yeah, I think I might sell this set-up. The film didn’t really help matters. The combination really isn’t my favourite. Hey, covid quiz…can you find the film numbers and kodak impressions from the paper on the photos?

Anyway, I much prefer Holga cameras to Lomography. I might sell this and use the money for a 120 Holga.

Duaflex TtV Experiment

Well, I seem to have lots of time on my hands so I thought I would try some of the things in this book I received as a Christmas present.

The first project I decided to try was this one…

Seeing as I have a few box cameras and the one specifically mentioned in the article, it seemed the best place to start. Taking photos through the viewfinder with a digital camera. And that is what TtV means, Through The Viewfinder. I had also read about the process on this blog.

First though, I needed to clean the viewfinder of my Duaflex. I could find instructions online for other versions of the Duaflex, but not the one I had. So I just looked for the screws and undid them until I had access. After I had finished I found this tutorial. I wish I had found it first as I didn’t know how to remove the front plate though managed to get access to the mirror anyway. Sorry no photos of that, I forgot.

Then I used some random cardboard I had in the house. At first I tried my Sony a37 to take the photos, but it was tricky to focus as the auto focusing would not work. I put it in manual focus mode and moved the camera up and down the tube until focus was achieved. In the end I gave up and switched to my phone camera. That focused without issue.

The resulting photos were reversed, I could digitally correct that, but I wasn’t bother by it.

Here are some of the results I got from the Sony a37, of course I am restricted to my house and garden.

And here are some results from my phone camera, a Huawei P20 pro.

Well, that was a nice use of the day. I much prefer the black and white ones I originally got from this camera, on film. But it has been an interesting experiment, I don’t think I will repeat it.

I will try a few more ideas from the book, though you might get tired of photos from my garden 🙂

Lockdown Activities

Well the news yesterday was not unexpected, but sucks nonetheless. I have lots of hobbies to keep myself busy, food and stocked local shops to keep me fed, and a live in dad to keep me pestered.

I just received some film from Kosmofoto and chemicals for the photoing side of things. But what to photograph? I have a couple of books with ideas, but this was just published today on one of the blogs I follow…

65 ideas for photography when you are stuck inside. Hopefully that is more than enough to keep me occupied.

With that, a kendama, a big book

a stupid mostly brown jigsaw,

and starting a sign language course. I think I have more than enough to keep myself occupied.

What about you?

Franka Solida IIE

I tried this camera a few weeks ago and I love it…which is unfortunate as I dropped it while out using it for the first time. The damn thing doesn’t have any strap lugs and I don’t have the case. So I hope it still works after that. I definitely will try another film sometime to find out. For now here is the camera with added dint.

This version of the Solida is from 1956, there are a few versions. This one can be identified by the uncoupled rangefinder and the square window on the front. Apart from the obvious lack of a strap, the camera feels solid with an all metal build. That is good because I dropped it from quite a height and it just dented the bottom rather than break it altogether.

You open the camera with a button on the side, above the lever to open the back. To close the camera, you push down on the bar at the front of the lens. After I dropped mine, the film back was jammed shut, but luckily my father had just received a free gift, a small tool box, that came with a purchase of some trousers…

Seriously, who gives a tool kit away with trousers. Anyway, it had just the right tools inside to open the camera and to slightly fix the dent.

The camera has speeds ranging from 1/300 to 1 seconds plus a bulb setting. The shutter needs to be cocked before firing. It has a lock to avoid double-exposures, which is the only disappointing thing. There is a cable-release socket on the lens and a slider to cover the red window. The one thing I couldn’t find at first was the aperture adjuster, eventually I found it under the lens along with an EV scale. The choice of apertures are from f3.5 to f22.

The best thing about the camera is the uncoupled rangefinder, which on my example worked well. It was a bit tricky to see the double image, in bright light it was better. Once the two images are aligned the scale on the top of the camera tells you the distance to set the lens. That does mean you have to slow down a bit while out photoing, but that is kind of nice.

I loaded mine with Fomapan 400 and went to Cardiff Castle. At first I had a bit of trouble using the camera, the shutter button needed a hefty press, but once you get use to that all is fine. I did think there might be some camera movement due to the pressure needed for the button. To avoid that I kept the camera at 1/125th. The first shot of the soldier sculpture did show that movement, but after that I was use to the pressure. I also took the camera to Steeton Hall Gateway and Oulton Church. Not bad for just 12 6×6 shots.

Here is another review of the camera with sample photos. I love the look of the photos, plus the camera is light enough to carry around in a bag or pocket, unlike some 120 cameras I have. Best thing of all, it is really cheap to find. What a super little camera.

This Blog during Covid-19

Well, this year is going to hell in a handbag innit!?

I am self isolating to a certain extent right now. I live with my elderly father, just turned 77, so I am limiting my interactions with others. But in regards to paid work the isolation has been imposed by the government. I am a key worker but have been working as a supply teacher, zero hours. So no contract and now no work. Therefore no pay and no compensation. BUT, I am still luckier than so many people. I don’t have to worry about a roof over my head and have plenty of food…and toilet paper. And that is that. My plans for the year have changed, along with those of millions of others.

I was in Japan during the 3/11 earthquake. That experience has coloured many things in my life. The underlying thoughts in my head always go to…well, it is not as bad as that. This will pass, life will go on. Some people in the UK will be ashamed of their behaviour, some will have no idea what they should be ashamed of. But there will be many people that should be very proud of themselves.

Anyway, I will carry on taking photos, trying out the cameras I have around my house. Trying out some of the projects suggested in the books I have. I was trying to reduce my collection and move forward. The current situation means selling my cameras is tricky – No fairs, no boot sales, no post office trips. So I will hold on to them for now and use up some of the film I have…but not the C41, I can’t afford to get it processed. I have a couple of rolls of E6 and the last dregs of my chemicals. So I will use that first.

I have a couple of posts in my draft folder, completed before things escalated. After that the photos will be from my garden, house or away from other people until it is deemed safe to go further and be around other people. My father might become my model 🙂

Take care of yourself and follow the advise from the doctors etc. We are in this together.