Category Archives: Thoughts and Musings

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.

Post Updates

I have updated this post, Olympus Mju 140 Zoom, as I have tried a new example. I took it to Blackpool to visit the location of the glass plate I found when using the Victorian camera I was given. The area looks very different now as the original building was demolished and over 100 years has past. Around the back of this building you can find Old Tom’s Cabin.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The original glass plate.

Altering the DX Code of Film

Well school has started in some areas, not in others. Either way it is highly unlikely a supply teacher gets a job on the first day and I did not, so I am at a loose end. That being the case, why not experiment?

I read this article recently and found it very interesting. I thought why not try it, so I did. I won’t go into the technical details as the original article has all that and the history of DX coding, read that post.

The article gives a link to a template which I downloaded. To alter the codes I had to delete the frame around the codes then the tables and texts become more easily editable. Plus as I wasn’t using labels the frames did not matter to me. I made my own page of a variety of different codes and also added a code for the +1 and -1 exposure rating because I could.

Next I found a test film to glue it on, meaning I just use the film to test the loading functions of cameras without wasting an actual film.

As you can see the film is actually a 100, but the code I tried was 400.

So the camera should show 400??

Yatta!!!

OK, so now for the actual film I want to try. An expired one I found in a point and shoot purchase. Recently I have acquired lots of point and shoots, so this hack will be very useful in trying out those cameras. Only….the first film I chose was a 200 and I set it to 50.

I tested it in a Canon EOS 300 before putting it in a point and shoot as they sometimes do not let you know the film speed on the display panel. Once I knew it was working I had to pick a camera, and there was the rub. Many point and shoot cameras have a limited ISO range. The first one I picked up was a Yashica Zoomate 70. As you can see from the photo below, the DX contacts were not a complete set of 6. On checking I found it only recognised films from 100 ISO. Hmm…

I had a look through the cameras I obtained and checked the contact points. The Pentax 738 had more than the Yashica and I found it accepted films starting from 25 ISO. Perfect.

So I put the film in there. Now you will have to wait for the results 🙂

My Great Referrers

I started this blog for myself at the end of 2015 to keep myself busy after the death of my mother. In little over 3 years I have hit 200,000 views, which amazes me everyday. Ultimately this blog is for myself and a way of cataloguing the cameras I have tried. In any case thank you to all the people who have visited. Thank you also goes to the people who have sent people my way. That amazes me even more.

At the moment my top referrers, according to wordpress stats, are… (in order of refers)

Jim Grey – An early follower with a great blog. I enjoy reading his blogs that are more personal as well as his camera reviews.

Mike Eckman – If you want to read a truly detailed review of a camera then check this blog. He also has excellent articles on all aspects of photography.

Hamish Gill – I don’t feel I know him quite as well as the top two people, so this entry surprised me. He is very knowledgeable on all things photographic. I really like his 5 shots series of posts.

Chris and Carol – The Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic(s) – These were the first people who interacted with me via the blog. In fact we have swapped a few cameras and I have sent them a few Yashicas I unearthed in Japan. They are lovely people and are dedicated to the history of Yashica.

Thank you one and all. Of course there are a few other referrers, but these are my top four over the years. As for me, I have been on holiday in the south of England this week. I managed to test a few cameras. So over the school break I should be posting a few more reviews, but I am not going to be sourcing any new to me cameras as I want to concentrate on photographic projects. I have about 10 more cameras to try out, from then on I will be concentrating on actually taking photos. Maybe even starting a side blog, we shall see.