All posts by Peggy

Olympus iS-100

This camera is very similar to another Olympus I have tried. And maybe I should have read that review before putting a film in this camera.

I think I got this one in a job lot and as I was a bit bored so thought I would try it out. Big mistake, I hated it, hated, hated it. I found it cumbersome, pointless and quite honestly…ugly. Though I did enjoy my morning out in Leeds.

I decided to take the camera to Lower Briggate as I don’t think I have ever walked around there before. BUT every time I took the camera out to use, I felt like a complete idiot. Some cameras are cool and feel cool to use. This one just felt nerdy, embarrassing and awkward. I would take a shot and quickly put it away. Once I got the film developed I found a few photos from a recent trip to Edinburgh. Obviously I thought the same on that trip, forgot about it and put it away.

So here is the one and only roll I will be taking with this camera.

To be fair, the photos came out quite well and when I checked online, there are great examples all over this site. You can find more information about this camera on this great website. They came to the same conclusion, a capable camera with a face only a mother can love.

Kodak Six-20 Brownie Model E

This was one of the cleaner examples of Brownies from my job lot. I gave it an extra clean as the front pops off easily and, well, I could. It is also one of the prettiest from the collection. Look at it.

There are two versions of this camera, this is the second which was released between 1953-57. You can tell the difference by the horizontally striped design faceplate, plastic winding knob, and a plastic shutter release button. This version of the Brownie has more features than most models.

  • A built-in sliding portrait lens for close-ups
  • A yellow filter for use with black and white film, adding contrast
  • 2-pin flash contacts…though you might not be able to use them
  • Tripod sockets for landscape and portrait photos
  • A shutter lock stops double or accidental exposures…though I do think I got a couple of them on my test roll
  • A cable release socket

I loaded mine with Fuji Acros and took it to Wales for the weekend, though I did take all the shots at one destination…Goodrich castle. I decided on that destination as I have just bought membership to English Heritage. Basically for the cost of visiting this location was more expensive than the monthly fee, so why the hell not. This year I have decided to resurrect my other blog and want to visit more castles and stuff. But this blog is about the camera.

…And this camera was great. It just worked. The shutter release was a tiny bit juddery, but nothing serious. The viewfinders were big and bright, though you do have to look at just the right angle. The only thing that detracts from this version of the Brownie is the Six-20 in the name, meaning you have to respool 120 film in order to use it more smoothly.

But respool it I did, and here are the shots I got from this camera. Actually a couple of the shots were taken by the person in the photos. She is now the proud owner of this camera and has set herself the goal of learning to use it and develop a roll of film.

These are the shots from that excursion.

The first couple of shots do look like there is a double exposure, and that is possible on this camera. I can’t be totally sure as I wasn’t holding the camera the whole time the film was inside. But for a 60+ year old camera, the results are very nice. If you are going to get a Brownie then this version is a great one to have…apart from the re-rolling of course.

Fake X-Pan

One film camera that will probably never appear on this blog is the Hasselblad Xpan. Though I love the shots I have seen taken with it, I cannot even attempt to justify the expensive. Then I saw this video…

…and thought, ” Gosh I love his videos”…and then, “Why not try something similar?”

Though I didn’t have the same fancy camera he had, I did have a spare Panasonic DMC-FS11 that I got for £1 because there was a bump on the front and the screen had pixel damage. And it had a film grain mode. So I taped off the screen as suggested and took it for a walk around my local area…which is the complete opposite to the area he walked around. So really, my trial was nothing like his apart from the tape.

The tape did really help, of course the final photos were the full image and I had to crop them down to the 3:1 ish ratio of the original X-Pan. Here are a few of the full crop versions.

Then I chose 24 of the ones I shot and cropped them. I measured the pixels on the long side and divided that by three to get the ratio I wanted. When you use Preview on Mac the crop gives you a live readout of the pixels which helped enormously.

Here are the fake-pan versions. Yes all 24 🙂

I do like the results, though why do film modes always choose to represent an expired film from 1980, just look at that grain. Film would definitely look better, sharper. I think I will print one of the silver birch photos to see what it would look like. This did not inspire me to buy a real x-pan, not even if I win the lottery tomorrow.

And all that because it wasn’t raining and I didn’t get a job today. Have to fill my time somehow 🙂

Minolta Vectis 20 – APS

This is the last APS camera I will ever try, seriously. I sold all the APS film I have so I couldn’t try another even if I wanted to. Though, selling the film is a whole other story due to an unscrupulous eBayer who decided to open a case just to see if they might get a refund. And now they are blocked.

Anyhow, here is the camera.

This crappy, yes I assumed it would be a crappy little camera was produced from 1996 and you can find all the technical details you need here. As this is a typically basic point and shoot aps camera, I decided to try some more double exposures. Increasing the exposure by two wouldn’t hurt the expired film.

First I took the camera around my local park and then to Conisbrough Castle. In retrospect, I wish I had trusted in the film and the camera a little more. The results show that the camera and the film performed quite admirably. In its day I think this camera would have been perfect as a sling-in-your-bag or a fun night out camera.

Here are some of the results from the test and experiment.

They didn’t come out as well as the last aps double exposure trial I tried, but I do like the castle photos.

As for APS film, I am sad that it isn’t more readily available. It is slowly getting more and more expensive, and harder to find. As they are slowly getting used up this trend will only continue. I am happy to get out now. At the moment I still have the IX7, but only for memory sake as I no longer have a Canon lens to attach to it or any APS film. If that camera sells then so be it. Goodbye APS and thanks for the fish.

Macro Photographic Organization Storm

Yesterday…and today..the UK was in the throes of Storm Dennis. As the area I live in, well, most of the UK…was under a yellow storm warning…Scratch all that. Yesterday there was a storm and I decided to stay in and hunt through my photo equipment boxes to make a list of what I had.

Basically, I wanted to know what lenses I had for what mounts. I was looking for a Minolta 100-300mm which I thought I might have. Despite the storm, spring is on the way and I will be going out birding and wanted a lens to fit the Sony a37 I have. That camera is my, take out and don’t mind if it gets destroyed camera. Rather than my, holy crap please don’t break, camera. I know lots of people take their best, most expensive camera everywhere. I am not one of those people. If I am going to drop a camera in mud or bash it against a rock by mistake, it can be the one I got for £100 and can afford to replace. I doubt I will ever be in a position to take a photo of a bird where I absolutely need a Nikon D750 to improve it. And I certainly can’t afford a super zoom lens for it. Anyway…I didn’t have one. I left it in Japan, bugger. You are enjoying this post aren’t ya 🙂

Here is are some photos of bird I took to make yourself feel better.

So what was in the box? Or boxes, I took the time to organise them better too. Now one box is for flash stuff and filters, one box is for lenses and adapters. AND in that box I found two Nikon reversing rings. well, I actually I found two ringy type things that I had no idea what they were. The packages said AT 58mm and AT 52mm. So I did a google search…and voila reversing rings, cool!!! and they would fit my Nikon, double cool!!!

…and now labeled

Well, might as well give them a whirl.

To use it, I put the camera in manual mode and focused by moving the camera backwards and forwards. With the lens on in reverse, you have no control of the auto focus or the aperture adjustment. Luckily, there is a handy lever on the side of the lens.

You can use that to adjust the aperture, pushing it will open it wider. The effects are visible through the viewfinder immediately. You can also use an old type lens with a built in aperture selector. I have found with this type of photography, you need as much light as possible.

The last time I tried macro photography I used a film camera and a bellows attachment. It was tricky to get the exposure right. I much prefer digital for this type of activity. It is cheaper and you don’t have to wait to see if you got it right. Once attached I wandered around my house and then, during a break in the rain, I went outside. I didn’t take many photos as I was just trying it out, but I am really looking forward to trying it in spring…or if there is ever some snow/ice.

Here are the results.

As with all macro photography, there is a very shallow depth of field. You can see two photos of long leaves that I took on rapid shutter, the difference in focusing points was caused by my slight camera movement..really slight. I might try a tripod setup in the future and try some focus stacking. I haven’t done that before either.

So what else was in the boxes?? At least 3 lenses that I have no body to attach them too…that drives me crazy. One of them I can’t even tell what it would fit, nothing I own right now.

Chinon CE-5

As part of my new year plan, I am selling most of my film cameras, but not this one. I have decided I love Chinon cameras. I love them. I love this one. I love that it is unpretentious. It is not one of the cameras on the hit list of the trend setters. It rarely or if ever comes up on lists of must have cameras. But here it is, a cracking little camera, as is the CE4.

It is light, easy to carry around all day. It looks great, a very traditional looking SLR. It is simple to use. It has manual and aperture mode with a clear viewfinder display. And it takes Pentax lenses, but the Chinon lenses are great too.

The camera has an ISO range between 25 – 3200 and takes two LR44 or SR44, which is very convenient.

I loaded it with some expired FP4 and wandered around my local area. Then rushed home to develop the film and… was disappointed. Not with the camera, but with the film. It was just so dense and grainy, something was wrong. I suspected the fixer. I developed another, different film after this and that showed the same issues. I changed the fixer after that and all was restored. As for the camera I still loved it. Here are a few shots from the weird fix film.

But I already loved the camera and wanted to try it again. So I loaded it with a roll of Arista Edu Ultra 100 and this time added a yellow filter. I headed to Sheffield for a wander with an amalgamation of two film groups I attend. I bought the film on my last trip to Japan, but after reading a couple of reviews I found out it was Foma 100 in a different package. I didn’t notice any blue tints in the chemicals, so I am not sure about that.

Anyway, walking around Sheffield was a little painful. Firstly I fell over at the station before the meeting time…twice, due to black ice. That was brilliant for my already very tender knee. Then we headed out of the back of the station which leads up a steep hill, also brilliant for my knee. For me, it was a whole new area to explore as I always go out the front of the station. Maybe I should try this tactic in the future at other stations. On this trip I was determined to take a few portraits. I used to take more when I first started out taking photos, but rarely do so now, unless it is of a member of my family.

The others in the group had the same idea and one asked a very interesting character for a photo and he said yes. I didn’t want to have the same shots as everyone else so I asked the person sitting next to him. He also said yes, Yatta! Later a group of teenagers were doing wheelies near a fountain. I had no reserves about asking them to do more so we could practice panning. They were very compliant, actually they went a little overboard.

Anyway, the camera coped beautifully the whole day and I was very pleased with the results. At one point one of the other group members asked me about it as he had noticed the red symbol on the front. He thought is was a Sony and wanted to know what film cameras Sony made, nope Chinon.

Here are some of the shots from the outing.

These are some of my favourite photos I have taken on film recently. Who needs an expensive camera 🙂 Not me…especially as I am selling them off.

Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin

This is the second crappy photo post for the day after my break. It is disappointing to post crappy photos, but as this blog is a record of the cameras I have used, I decided to go ahead and post them anyway.

The camera was in the job lot of box brownie cameras and as it was a nice day I decided to try it out. Because it is called penguin!!! How cool is that. Besides that, look at it…

I also decided to try it out because I had some expired film left and thought, why not. It turned out it wasn’t such a great decision for a number of reasons.

  1. There was no viewfinder on the camera. I ended up using a spirit level attached to the camera with bluetack and guessed the rest.
  2. My chemicals were expired, bugger!
  3. I could not get the film out of the camera, the winder knob was stuck.
  4. I took the camera to Conisborough Castle and when I saw the tower I couldn’t help myself and climbed it….I am not supposed to put any extra strain on my knees right now…but…castle!

Anyway, apart from the missing viewfinder there didn’t seem to be much else wrong with the camera. It is a simple, metal, folding camera from around 1951. There are two aperture choices f11 or f16, one speed – probably 1/50th, and a distance scale that moves from 6ft to infinity. That is it. As you can see on the photos I put tape around mine as I can’t confident it would be light tight, funnily, I didn’t check the bellows as they seemed to be in very good condition.

So as I said, I used a spirit level to try and keeps things straight and for the most part that worked fine, I might use it on other box cameras. But, as I said my chemicals had issues, something you don’t know until this happens. Once developed the film was opaque which makes me think my fixer was exhausted. The only problem with that theory is that another film developed after was fine. Oh well, it still gives me a chance to see what the camera can do.

I honestly couldn’t be bothered to get rid of any hairs. There are a couple of shots that are obviously not straight. I found the shutter button to be quite sensitive and it took the photo while I was playing with the camera.

So final result. This is a camera that will look nice on a shelf, but not worth the effort to use it with film. I am going to donate it to a film project I was asked about. Someone contacted me for old cameras to go in a display, here, have this one 🙂

Developing E6 Slide film in Black and White chemicals

Hello again, I have a few posts in my draft folder so I feel more at ease now. Plus the days are getting longer and I have been able to get out. My knee is healing so all is well in the world. That being said I think I will start posting a few things again. And this post is exactly what it says on the tin. I wondered what would happen if I developed some slide film in black and white chemicals, if the title didn’t let you know that already.

When I research the idea every post said, don’t be daft, why would you bother. But I want to bother, because I can be bothered. So in the end I decided to do it anyway. I took a few shots and developed them in Kodak d-76 1:1 concentration for 16 minutes at 18 degrees. Then fixed it for 10 minutes. There were no recipes out there so I decided to try the same times with a longer fix as when I tried c-41 in black and white chemicals. I also over exposed the film by a few stops for good measure, it was expired film so it couldn’t hurt.

So what were the results?

The negatives were very dense due to the film’s base layer. The end results were very much like the C41 results. Oh, I didn’t see the point in de-hairing them. So at the end of the day, with lots of light and lots of contrast, the shots are interesting-ish. Nothing worse than some very old black and white film I have tried before.

It was an interesting experiment. One that I doubt I will repeat.