Category Archives: Photo Post

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 🙂

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 🙂

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.

My Favourite Photos of 2019

I started the year being very organised and made a folder to save my favourite photos in preparation for this post. Then somewhere along the line I either got waylaid or gave up, I am not sure which. So I decided not to bother. Then I thought…wait a minute, Instagram. I post all my favourite photos there and tag the details. So if I look back at the last year I should be able to choose my favourites. Simple. Except now I have to take screen shots and include some Instagram formatting. Oh well, I am not perfect. Maybe it will spur me on the make better decision in the future.

With that said, here are my favourite photos from 2019. They are not in any order, I wasn’t able to choose that specifically.

Silver birch taken on a victorian large format camera with 4×5 sheet film

Greylag goose taken with a Nikon d750
Photo from a cosplay photoshoot at airoute studio taken on my phone a huaweip20pro
A tame baby crow taken with a  Nikon d750
A view of Nidderdale in North Yorkshire while I was out camping, taken on my phone a huaweip20pro
A view of Lofthouse in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire taken on Prinzmastermatic iii with ilford xp2
A photo of a staircase at Hive cafe in Blackpool while attending Unframing Identities exhibition, taken on my phone a Huaweip20pro
A view of Blackpool Tower from the Hive cafe while attending Unframing Identities exhibition, taken on my phone a Huaweip20pro

Despite the flaws in the film, I still love this portrait of my father, taken with a Mamiya C2
A photo take in my local pub carpark with my phone camera a Huaweip20pro
A photo of my sister taken at Camden market taken with chinon ce4 with ilford hp5plus
An image from Doncaster light night taken with my phone, a Huaweip20pro using the night mode
Photo from a cosplay photoshoot in an abandoned castle taken with a Nikon d750

Actually, I think the last one might be my favourite. It was the first time I took a photo and after processing it was exactly as I envisioned when I took it.

Lots of these photos were taken on my phone, which proves the adage, the best camera is the one you have with you.

Plus I think I love the one of my sister because of the time we spent in London more than the actual photo. We went away for my birthday and it was a super weekend.

Next year I think I will forgo the folder idea and stick to Instagram. So much easier.

Plans for 2020

When I started this blog at the end of 2015 it was just a way to pass some time, now it has become a pastime I enjoy. But it as been over four years now and I feel I must move on or at least change.

So I have decided to sell most of my film cameras. I will keep less than 10 from the collection I have. None of those 10 will be a format that is obsolete such as APS, 127 or 620. To accomplish this I have started to post items for sale on eBay. If there is something you would like and it is not yet posted there, just send me a message through the contact page. I am open to offers on all cameras marked with a **have**. I might also try attending some car boot sales to relieve myself of a few brownies.

I want to get a new lens for my Nikon D750 that mean I don’t have to swap lenses quite so often while on photoshoots. Any money gained through sales will go into a virtual pot towards this lens. I also want to focus more on the creative and commercial side of photography. I have already started a few courses to learn more, taken part in exhibitions, and made some zines. I don’t think that photography will ever be my main source of income, but I do need to fund my hobby a bit better than I am doing now.

This winter break I undertook a photoshoot in an abandoned castle in Scotland. A friend of mine loves cosplay and we often do these kinds of shoot. I want to do more of this kind of stuff.

Captured on Nikon D750, 28mm lens, processed in GIMP

I also took an Olympus OM4 that I haven’t used in a while. I am trying to decide which cameras to keep. This will be one of them. It was the first camera I searched for, before I started finding junk cameras. I paid a proper amount for it as it was CLA’d and worked perfectly. I loved it when it arrived. It was my favourite, so it was nice to use it again. Here are some photos I took at the shoot.

It was quite dark in the castle so the 50mm f1.4 lens I have was wide open most of the time and I pushed the film from 100asa to 400asa. I should have pushed it a bit further. Anyway, that is the plan, only time will tell if I managed this during 2020.

2019 Instagram Best Nine

I do like instagram, it is one of my favourite apps. And I really like the best nine apps that pop up at the end of the year.

This one is quick and easy to use, but you have to give an email address.
https://topnine.co/

This one takes longer, but it looks a little better and you can see instagram’s top account’s top nines. Gosh that is hard to write and say.
https://bestnine.net/en

On my account I post film and digital photos, I rarely post personal photos. Recently I have been going through my back catalogue and reprocessing them. It has been interesting to revisit places and times, revisit photos with new apps.

Here is my top nine for 2019.

I am glad the victorian camera made it into the top nine. I wish I could have kept the camera as it was beautiful, but I didn’t think I would ever use it again as it really was cumbersome. The photo below it was taken by that camera.

If you would like to see more of my photos without all the text, you can find a link to my Instagram account at the end of this post.