Interesting Reads

Look at this, another blog recommendations post. Again not something I usually do, but I was really moved by this post. It might be due to the fact I have been working in a few nurseries recently and have been put in the baby room. Being with babies 9am-5pm does things to your mind 🙂

Then, as I was reading some photography blogs I saw this one by Casual Photophile on how to improve my photography. But it wasn’t about that at all. It was a heartfelt post about trying to get pregnant. I skim read it as I was on a bus and thought I might cry, I am a big crier. I put it in my pocket account to read later. I recommend you read it in private, not on the bus if you are a crier too.

It reminded me of an article about going to Holland and I search for that famous article again. In the meantime I found another post saying they hated that original text, she has a point.

Lomography Konstructor

Today was a terrible day, lots of rain and wind. So I decided to stay inside and build a DIY camera. I had seen it second-hand packet on eBay at less than half the price of the new version, an unwanted present. Really? I would have been happy with a gift like this, each to their own. Everything was there, even the stickers and screwdriver.

I had a look through the instructions and just as I suspected, they weren’t great. I have other Lomography items and they seem to spend more money on leaflet design and promotion than they do on the actual instructions.

In the above images, you can see the different parts I made, ready to be snapped together. I found the screwdriver was poorly fitting and stripped the screws.

This reviewer found the same thing. Plus he recommended sorting the screws before you start as they are all clumped together in one bag. I agree with that direction, though it didn’t seem to matter in the end. I found my counter did work correctly though.

It did take me the 1-2 hours suggested and here it is all done.

Even though I put it together correctly, I didn’t have any confidence in it to take actual photos. When I looked through the lens to observe the shutter motion, I didn’t see any light appearing when it was in action. That part comes pre-assembled and you do not construct it, you slot it in. So I did my part ok, but the supplied part seemed faulty. I put a film in and took 5 shots before the whole thing became stiff and jammed, like many toy cameras. I only intended to take a few shots to trial the camera anyway, but still, it was disappointing.

When I developed the film, my suspicions were confirmed. It was completely blank. No fogging, but no photos. The end of the film was fogged as you would expect, meaning the development process was fine. On another site, I read the builder made it once then took it apart again to make improvements and repairs. I might take it apart another day, but not for now.

Here is a great video I found detailing the box contents and finished camera. I did not find his photos so maybe his didn’t work either?

Afterward, I went to the Lomography site to check if there was any extra information on their own site. They have the same instructions posted online with videos. BUT the videos are very poor, no close-ups and dull lighting. When you are trying to look at a small black part being fitted to another black part, you really need to zoom in and have stronger lighting. From what I could see, I didn’t do anything wrong and the shutter just doesn’t work on my version.

Though for 1-2 hours I was thoroughly engaged, now I am thoroughly disappointed. I don’t think I will bother with another DIY camera unless it is an actual gift. I might try to make a pinhole though, maybe I can scrounge parts from this camera…ooooh…or turn this INTO a pinhole camera.

UPDATE: I had another go at getting it working. Read about it here.

Canon EOS 300 (EOS Rebel 2000, EOS Kiss III)

I was expecting to write a scathing review of this plastic camera from 1999 but I loved it. Another camera I love and a cheap one at that. I can’t even remember where I got this one from so it must have been really cheap. I think I got it in order to use the one EOS lens I have.

You can find technical details here. The first thing I noticed and liked was that it loaded all the film into the body of the camera and then counted down as you used it. I always like that, easy. It was also really quiet, barely a peep out of it. But the main thing I liked was the weight and feel. It is very light and surprisingly pleasant to hold. It won’t hurt your neck on a long walk. Also, you may think it is going to be very plasticky, but the two-tone material on the front of the body actually makes it feel nice in your hand.

In terms of modes, it has all the modes you might ever need. It has iso override, bracketing, presets, manual, aperture priority, speed priority and can take multiple exposures.

As you can see by the photos of the camera, I took it on a walk in the countryside and Bingley Five Rises Locks. I am going to try and take photos of the cameras I use where I use them. I might forget, but that is the plan.

Here are the shots I got using some donated Kodak Ekta 100.

I think I might keep this one, I need something to put on the lens.

Agfamatic 2000 Sensor (110mm)

This camera is another batch swapped for one, if you understand that weird sentence. I almost didn’t take it as I didn’t really want to bother with 110mm film again. But it looked so clean and small, a bit like a spy camera. I could imagine whipping it out of my pocket and copying some illicit documents.

Really, look how small it is and I have tiny girl hands. Before I tried a film, I played around with it. The wind on movement is completed by pushing the camera on the sides like an accordion. This example’s movement felt really smooth. In fact, once I did put in some Lomography film I took a shot and thought the film had not wound on. The movement was so perfect, I thought it could not have worked so I took the same shot again and watched the numbers as I pushed the camera. The number went to 3, so it had worked. The movement is sheer butter.

It was originally released in 1973 and I found it very easy to use. It has just two settings, sunny or cloudy, and a shutter release button. The weather settings change the speed from 1/50th to 1/100th. The aperture is fixed at f9.5. It does not need a battery to work. Simple and cool. In fact so cool that this article refers to it as a design icon. The article is an interview with the actual designer so he might be a little biased.

I tried a few shots at St.Aiden’s RSPB reserve, a place I have written about before. Then I remembered a weird adapter thing I had in my junk box. I fished it out, yeap it said 110 “adaptor”.

It fit the flash cube slots perfectly. I attached a flash and the cable, fired it up. Voila, it seemed to work. I tried a few more shots with the flash.

The adapter fitting was a little loose. Apparently, there is supposed to be a small plastic thingy to make it fit more snuggly. I didn’t have that so I had to hold the unit in place while using it. When I held it correctly, it fired without issue and exposed the shot quite well. The issue of pinhole light leaks from the backing paper is evident on a few shots. I hate those. It is a known fault and should be addressed.

Here are my results, you can see without the flash it is pretty useless inside. It did very well outside, if not pointed into the sun.

I was impressed with this little camera and would recommend it, I still would not recommend the film if there was any other choice, but hey, there is no choice. The camera sound mentioned in the linked article of “Ritsch-Ratsch-Klick” is very appealing and I found myself engaging the camera without a film just to hear it.

For a film, I would recommend for 35mm try Kosmo Foto Mono. Love that stuff.

Buy this camera – Agfamatic 2000 sensor

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details. Included: rare flash adapter


Blog’s New Look

I am trying out a new look for the blog. I have also refreshed the Camera Post page and the sidebar. That change was due to the new blocks writing format on WordPress. I saw a fellow blogger’s page and decided on updating mine too. I wasn’t able to add floating photos on the side though, he is much cleverer 🙂

If you don’t like the sidebar, you can zoom in and cut it out. The formatting of this template seems to work better for that action.

I am going to introduce a few more changes in the future, but not too many. I don’t want to overwhelm myself.

Looking on my smart phone, I don’t liked how it cuts the name when in portrait mode. How is it for you?

Sale at QEGS Antiques Fair

I am very excited to announce my first ever live sale.

On Saturday 2 March 2019 I will be at QEGS Antiques Fair selling cameras and accessories.

So far I have a variety of approximately 30 cameras for sale. I should be sharing the space with another seller who will have other cameras on offer. I will also be selling keyrings, handmade straps, a few magazines, and a selection of books. Plus there will be many other stalls to peruse with a wide variety of none camera related items.

Why? I am selling most of my camera collection to focus on using a few cameras that I really love. So you could benefit, get yourself a tried and tested camera.

Come along for a day out in Wakefield. Even if you don’t buy something from the fair you could visit The Hepworth or West Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Pentax PC35 AF

I am sat at home with the start of a cold, an occupational hazard. Working with children means you are prone to catching their colds and sniffles. I find it difficult to work with enthusiastic students when all I want to do is curl up. But, even when I do take it easy I can’t just chill and do nothing so I am catching up on this review. This is another swap camera and I want to say straight off, I love it. You can find all the tech details you need for this 1982 camera at this great site.

This camera just felt nice in my hand, a point and shoot from the 80s that didn’t have a plastic feel. It has a cool metal finish with a secure sliding lens cover. In terms of features, it really has none.

It does have a light level warning. If there isn’t enough light for your shot you can hear an audible beep, but it will still take the shot. There is a screw fitting on the side which was where a motorized winder could be attached. I didn’t have the winder and couldn’t find one online, but no big deal.

It doesn’t have DX coding, but a manual film selector. That means you can push the film which is what I did for my test film. I used Fomapan 100 pushed to 400 as it was a dull grey day.

I took the camera to Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It is a very cool area of Manchester and well worth a day out, especially if you like street art.

I was really happy with the results. I know they seem a little dark, but I like that look. Plus, I finally seem to have gotten used to Ilfosol 3 as a developing fluid.

This example was quiet and as you can see, the autofocus worked a treat. The viewfinder was bright enough and I really liked how there was a needle indicator showing the autofocus choice.

Forget the expensive point and shoots and try and get one of these. This camera has made me really consider selling my Olympus LT-1 and keep this as my main point and shoot choice.

Oh, the only thing I could fault if I had to, was the rewind lever, it was a little small and tricky to use.