Category Archives: Thoughts and Musings

Time for a break

I find winter a tricky time in terms of photography, this winter especially. Last year I was only working part time and the weather was mild. That meant plenty of time to get out and about taking photos and testing cameras.

This year has been quite different and quite frustrating. I have been working almost full time. That means leaving my house when it is dark and arriving home in the same conditions. On the days that I have been free it seems to be raining nearly every time. And just when I thought I was able to get out and about I have had to deal with a knee injury. Oh woe is me. So what to do when you just can’t get out? All the blogs and books I have read say, never mind stay inside and practice still photography or flash. Well, I don’t want to. I like being out and about. It’s not even that I don’t want to ruin a camera, but more that I don’t want to waste film. It has become more expensive recently or I have become poorer. I don’t want to waste it on things I am not interested in.

I know this all sounds like a bit of a rant, I suppose it is really. But I love being out and about, walking and exploring, breathing fresh air and enjoying the sounds of nature. Let’s just say, I am really looking forward to spring!

With that slight rant over I have decided to take a break from this blog for a month. A short break to recharge my interests and prepare some draft post ideas. I have never felt like I have to post something each week, but that is what I have been doing for the past 3 or so years. Time for a break.

See you in a short while 🙂

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 None of those 10 will be a format that is obsolete such as APS, 127 or 620.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.

2019 Most Popular Posts

It’s the end of the year and though this is a small site compared to some, it is mine and I like to reflect on the year.

Every year this blog has been active it has increased in the number of hits received. This year has been no exception. The total for this year, with a few days to go, is around 150,000. That is six times the number obtained during the first 3 years combined. Thank you to everyone who has passed by, read a few words or linked to my little blog. Ultimately this blog is written for myself as a way to document the cameras I have tried and places I have visited. I often wonder how many of those hits are just myself looking back on my life.

But looking through the list of most popular posts this year, I realised it can’t just me 🙂 As many of them I haven’t visited for ages.

So, without further ado, here are the most popular posts from 2019 and the date they were first published.

  1. Fujica Auto-7 Date (2018-04-22)
  2. Nikon TW Zoom (2017-12-05)
  3. Minolta Hi-Matic AF-D (2016-05-21)
  4. Fujicolor Simple Ace Disposable Camera (2018-05-18)
  5. Fuji TW-3 (2017-12-20)
  6. Two Nikon TW Point and Shoots (2017-07-05)
  7. Olympus Trip MD (2017-09-08)
  8. Konica Z-up 80 super zoom (2018-02-26)
  9. Ricoh LX-55W (2016-01-12)
  10. Ricoh XR 500 (2017-09-17)

I put the dates on as I found it interesting that the most popular posts are all pre-2019, which means they were probably stumbled upon by searches.

And just for fun and as a comparison, here is the list from 2018

  1. Minolta Hi-Matic AF-D
  2. Olympus AZ-1 Zoom
  3. Fuji HD-M
  4. Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 MD
  5. Two Nikon TW Point and Shoots
  6. Nikon TW Zoom
  7. Olympus Pen EED
  8. Ricoh XR 500
  9. Fuji TW-3
  10. Konica Z-up 80 super zoom

There are many duplicates with the Minolta H-Matic AF-D in the top three for both years which is surprising for me as I really didn’t care for that camera.

Selling at a Vintage Fair

Last weekend I was invited to sell some of my cameras at a local vintage fair. I say invited, but I had to rent the table of course. What I mean is, I had forgotten all about it and received and email reminding me and hoping that I would be there.

At first I declined. Last time, I only sold 3 cameras, but gained 4 or something like that. I just about covered the cost of the stall. My wares were a bit of a curiosity, different from the other vintage stalls, a topic of conversation…not real antiques or vintage apparently. But then I remembered HOW many people I spoke to and the man who gave me the Contax RTS III. I still have that, maybe he would come to the fair again and I could hand it back?

So I changed my mind and said yes. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have enough cameras to sell…ha ha ha what was I thinking and this was before I got a heap of brownies.

I packed the night before and while doing so made a list of prices. Last time I put the price on the camera which seemed to stop people looking altogether. This way the customers had to ask, and seeing as they were talking to me anyway it seemed the way to go.

Last time I was a newby and felt out of place. This time, I was in the club and the other store holders remembered me, it felt much friendlier. Some of the other stall holders asked me about cameras and what to charge. One offered to sell me his father’s old camera, but the price I could offer was way less than it was worth sentimentally to him.

I set my table up in price order, that way I knew where to keep my eyes it if got busy or I left the table for a drink or bathroom break. The person on the next stall happened to be wearing the same jumper as me, so we were immediately friends. We covered for each other.

I sold a point and shoot almost immediately, then later another and finally the Olympus O-Product. It was a camera I had searched for and would have been happy to keep, but ultimately I wasn’t using. The prices for that camera have gone up recently and will probably continue to rise. I got a fair price for it and it happened to be the buyers birthday, lucky for us both. That was another reason for not putting prices on things, prices are going up. The last time I was there the o-product would probably have been half the price I eventually got for it.

Money in my pocket time for cake! They are smaller than they look.

The day went very quickly for me. I was posting photos online and I got a couple of nibbles on one of the camera forums I am in for other cameras.

And of course I chatted with lots of people. I gave demonstrations and answered questions, especially to children. I am a teacher after all. Some of the children had never seen a film camera let alone held one. Seeing a child hold a hundred year old camera was charming to say the least.

One couple said they had a camera at home they would like to sell, they described it to be and I knew exactly what it was. They went home and brought it in to show me, a polaroid land camera. I really wanted to buy it, but at that time I had not sold the o-product so didn’t have any spare cash. I am too honest so I showed them what they were fetching online and gave them a very low price I would offer. I explained I would have to test it and film was expensive. I even suggested they didn’t sell it to me but post it online as they would get more.

And finally it happened a woman came to the store and told me she had a Leica in the cupboard that her father had brought back from Germany after the war. She doesn’t know what to do with it or anything about it, but it is definitely a Leica.

I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT!!!!!!!! Please let me see it, please let me try it. I could at least let you know if it is working and what it might be worth????? PLEEEEEASE. But she laughed, took a card and walked away 😦

Bugger.

Anyway it was a nice day and I will do it again as I now have a world of Brownies. Roll on March.

Back to the Mamiya C2

I haven’t completed any reviews for a while, busy life and such. So this is a photo post.

I decided to try out my Mamiyaflex C2 again. It has been stuck in a cupboard for a while, which is a real shame. It started when I took it to Blackpool and the exhibition I am feature in. I had taken a few cameras to show and , it garnered a fair bit of attention. Someone even offered to buy it, but as is the usual case, that made me love it more and decide not to part with it and make better use of it. So the weather being of the typical crap kind and time short I decided to pick a subject that was handy and compliant. Hello Daddy. Stay still, watch TV, don’t look directly at me…I am Medusa 🙂

Once developed, the film had the usual few white hairs which I removed post processing. BUT they had lots and lots of tiny black fibers, what is the deal with that?

White hairs is a blocking of light, an actual hair. A black thing is light getting through, it is within the film base?? yes??

Hmm the only thing i did differently with this film processing was during the agitation stage. I used the little stick instead of inverting the tank. So is that it? All help and thoughts appreciated.

All that being said, I still love the photo of my dad. He can be quite patient at times.

Travelling with a film camera

I have started to put ideas for posts in my draft box, this was one of them. But then I read this super post by Kosmofoto and realised it said everything and more that I was going to write, so why write it when that post is so much better than anything I could put together.

The main issue I have when traveling is choosing which camera/cameras to take. I want to take something I trust, maybe something that doesn’t have to rely on batteries, something different, and something waterproof…and I want to fit them in a comfy bag.

Recently I went to Cambridge and decided to try out the Kowa H, on my way around I knocked the back door latch and it came undone and fogged the film. I think from now when I try a new camera in a location I might not visit again I will add some tape to the back door to avoid this. That means remembering to keep some tape in my bag along with all the other bits and pieces.

On that trip I also went to my first airshow. One of the stalls there was selling film, at the time I was surprised but pleased. But I didn’t buy it, I had film in my bag. I now feel regret about that as I felt I should have supported the stall holder in his choice. It might mean he stocks it again in the future. I hope he sold it in the end.

And that’s it for this post. I have a cold. I am waiting for some films to be returned for the latest camera reviews. I am going back to bed.

Upcoming Events

This week has been quite busy photographically for me. Firstly I went to Blackpool to visit the exhibition which has moved there from London. While there I was invited to give a talk about film cameras on the 4th October. I haven’t planned yet what I will talk about as I was just asked. But I will explain the process I used to produce the photos in the exhibition. I will also take along some cameras to show how I have reskinned some in various designs.

Here are some examples.

The other announcement is that I will be at the vintage fair in Wakefield on the 12th October. I will have a few cameras to sell, plus other odds and ends. Last time it was there I spent most of the time chatting and convincing people that film is still alive.

Please come along and say hello, there will be a few bargain point and shoots to buy. Anything I sell me allow me to buy more film and enjoy my hobby a little longer.