Tag Archives: 35mm

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 🙂

Voigtländer Vito B

I got this film developed before I went on holiday and I thought I had already written the draft, but you know what thought did.

This camera was a cheap eBay purchase well over a year ago and I never got around to using it. Too many other cameras I suppose. I have never tried a Voigtlander and wanted to add one to this blog, this was the cheapest I could find. Look how small and shiny it is.

My example has the small viewfinder which means it is an earlier model from 1954-57. There are loads of technical details on the net about this camera. Here is one. That link and this link mention the shutter is cocked by the advancement of the film. So without the film inside the winding mechanism just keeps turning making you think it might be broken. You can test it by manually moving the sprockets to cock the shutter, but I wouldn’t recommend it..just in case something happens and you blame me.

Mine came in a case with a paper manual. The case was useful as the body didn’t have any lugs to attach a strap or I don’t have the kind of strap that would attach. Having looked over the camera and noticed the markings in the lens barrel, I wrote this post about zone focusing. I decided to try a few shots with a rangefinder attached and some using the zone focusing technique. The camera uses an Exposure Value system. You set the speed and the aperture you want and then the system moves both at the same time. It means you need to change the setting if the available light changes. I do find this system annoying to use in the UK as the light it nearly always changing. I tried to keep the camera on the highest aperture possible, that would give me the widest depth of field for zone focusing. I also avoided setting the camera to infinity as the depth of field should be covered by the zone choice as well.

I took the camera on a bike ride along the Trans Pennine Trail which goes just passed my house. I have recently discovered how lucky I am in this regard. Summer is here, so expect more photos from this area. I also used it around a garden and Gawthorpe which has a large maypole, but I went in June. You can see a video of the festival from 1914 here, very interesting. I might try and catch it next year.

As for the new WordPress gallery, I have figured out how to avoid cropped photos. I upload all the landscape first and then the portraits.

The camera performed really well and the images are nice and sharp with a lovely quality. It was smooth to use and load. Considering it is a small camera, it is fairly heavy even without the case. These cameras are easy to find and many are in fantastic condition. If you want a cool looking film camera, then you can’t go wrong with this camera for the price. I might keep mine as it seems the price I would get would not be worth the hassle of selling it.

Konica S II

This was a bargain of a camera that I had no intention of buying. There I was in the junk section of a Japanese camera shop and I remembered someone asking me to look out for a Konica S2 rangefinder. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the label Konica, on further inspection it was an actual SII. It was only $10, a bit messy. I tried the shutter and it seemed fine. I looked inside and it looked clean. The selenium cell didn’t seem to be working, but it was a manual camera so that didn’t matter. It was worth the risk as a present for my friend.

This great blog says it is rare to find an example of this camera with a working meter, so no worries on that front. It was released in 1961 and sold mainly in Japan, exactly where I was and probably the reason it was so cheap. The only real fault I could find was a hole above the selenium cell, but that didn’t seem to have any affect at all. According to this website, that hole might be to allow extra light into the viewfinder which is indeed bright. The winder movement felt very short, barely over 90 degrees. In fact while using it, I thought it might not be fully winding the film on and expected overlapping images. The focusing second image was clear enough to use the camera comfortably, so if it worked I had found a nice little bargain. You can find lots of technical details on the first link of this post.

As I had found it in Japan, I put in some of original Fuji Acros Neopan 100. I am so happy to read it is being rereleased. Then I headed over to the Manchester Day Parade to use it up.

I used another camera at the parade as well, I will write about that in another post. I was feeling quite brave and asked many people if I could take their photo, only one person said no. Usually I am a bit more shy about these things, but I was with a film photography group and that always gives me more confidence. Everyone was so happy, I recommend a day out in Manchester if you like street photography.

As for the camera, it was a delight to use. It looked cool, it worked perfectly, and look at those images. The lens is super sharp, what a cracker!

It was a touch on the heavy side for me, only a touch though. If I didn’t have a million cameras, I would be happy to keep this one, but I am more than happy to give it to my friend.

Yashica T AF

This camera was a complete gamble. I know I usually buy cameras that are in junk bins and are a gamble, but usually they don’t cost much or I can test them a little in the shop to check them. But this for this one I could not test it at all and it was electronic so there could be things wrong that I could not fix. The price of the camera was $25, so it was more than I would usually spend on a broken electronic camera. I figured I could at least sell if for parts and get some of my money back if it didn’t work. At the end of the day it was a Yashica T and I probably would not be able to afford one in any other circumstance.

As you can see it was fairly clean with just a small crack on the lens cover. The flash did not stay retracted, but it still worked when I put in two AA batteries and slid the button. Also it seemed to want to load a film when you opened the back door. When I pressed the shutter the lens cover retracted and it seemed to take a photo. It activated 4 times then stopped completely. I opened the back once more, and again it tried to load a film, but then the shutter button would not do anything and the lens cover didn’t retract. So the shutter was stuck or sticky. Bugger. I did a search online and found this video.

That seemed to be exactly what my version did, maybe I could fix it too. I followed the video and did the same thing. Low and behold it worked. I pressed the shutter many times and fake loaded it many times, it carried on working. So now to test it with a film, but holy moly I was excited at the prospect. I liked how the lens cover retracted for each shot then returned to its original position. So there would be no forgetting the open it for shooting or closing it for protection. But that movement added to the electronics and might add to the issues. I also liked the slider which turned on the camera as it covered the shutter button when it was turned off. No bag shots with this camera. Plus the flash is off until you slide it on, so no random flashes

Here is the test roll, or half a roll as I had previously used it on another test camera.

I tried a few repeat shots, with and without the flash to see the difference and how the camera coped. For outdoor infinity shots, it seemed to cope very well and the exposure choices were great. For the closer shots, like the flowers, the focus is a bit off. So the minimum focal length can catch you out. I would suggest at least 2 meters to be sure.

Introduced in 1984 it was a top of the line point and shoot. The camera has a shutter speed range of 1/30 to 1/700 seconds, and has film choices of ISO 50 to 1000. Of course it has a Zeiss Tessar lens, but for me I have other cameras that performed better and I don’t think that has anything to do with the sticky shutter. For instance the Pentax PC35 AF which is turning into my favourite non-zoom point and shoot.

Keep or sell: It sold immediately.

Yashica Autofocus

I bought this camera a while ago, it wasn’t expensive and it was a Yashica, yippee. Plus, I hadn’t tried or even seen it before.

There is very little on the net in English about this camera, but I did find one site in Japanese. That one stated that it was released in 1978 and has shutter speeds from 1/60 sec to 1/360 sec. After using the camera I can add, if it is too dark for the shot, a red warning light appears in the viewfinder and it will not fire. It accepts films up to 500asa, a bit of a weird top choice. As you can see from the photos it has a 38mm f2.8 lens.

You can also gather from the photos that it has autofocus, hence the name. Once you have taken a shot you can check the zone chosen by looking at the scale on the front of the camera. That is a cool feature if you want to learn about zone focusing. On the front, you will also find a focus lock button. The flash is activated by pressing down on the top where it says push. On this example, everything worked as it should apart from opening the back. It was a bit sticky and as I had just cut my nails, hard to open. The focusing mechanism was a little loud, but not overwhelmingly so.

I really liked the look of the camera and really enjoyed using it. I took it on a bike ride to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on another beautiful day. Then later I to it to Walton Colliery to finish off the film.

There are two very similar shots, I used the flash on one thinking it was too backlit and it would be underexposed. The camera and film were fine and it didn’t need that help. Wow, what a stunning little camera. The focus lock worked perfectly and produced a rather nice bokeh on some shots. It didn’t handle sky shots well as it probably confused the focusing system.

I will have to ponder this camera a while as I have a few similar ones. I might keep this and sell the Ricoh 800 I just tried. Not sure.

Pentax Espio 928M

I have recently tried another point and shoot from Pentax, which I lent to a friend who hasn’t tried film for a very long time. Then the person who gave me that camera sent me a remote for it, bugger. I always regret parting with cameras, but for the sake of my sanity and wallet, it has to be done. Anyway, in order to try the remote, I looked for a cheap but good replacement. Hello 928M.

The zoom on this 1999 camera was not as long as on the other one, but 28-90mm was still ok for me. I chose this one as I read somewhere that it did multiple exposures. I won’t link to that article, because it doesn’t. Though this one also has a bulb mode which is rather good for a point and shoot. It also accepts DX coded film up to 3200asa, available apertures range from f3.5 – f9, and has a maximum speed of 1/400s. That is all quite impressive really. Here are some more technical details.

I used this camera on a day out in Doncaster, exactly as a point and shoot might be used. One film, one location but I saved a couple of shots to use with the remote, gosh I have been enjoying fish and chips lately looking at my increase belly size. The remote worked perfectly, and the case even had a little pocket to keep it in. Cameras with a brushed metallic finish are always lovely to hold. It was quick and responsive, but the proof is in the pudding or photo whichever you prefer.

Golly, I think this one did well. Even the tricky shot of the market roof is perfectly exposed. I might be converting to Pentax as my main camera of choice. And what the heck is happening to the weather? The day in Doncaster was the warmest day on record for February in the UK, warmer than most summer days. Look at it now, barely a dry day in sight.

As for the camera, I think I will keep this a while seeing as I the other might not be returned and I now have a remote. These cameras are still fairly easy and cheap to find. If you can find a good example it would be a great one to keep in a handy location.

Ricoh 800 EES

This is another swapped camera, I still have quite a few to go through from that pile of swaps.

This one is from 1974 and while searching for it online, the word rare came up a few times. It was quite tricky to find any information about it. From the information I did find, it has shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/800th. That is where the 800 in the name comes from. You can find all the technical details you need here..in French.

As you would have seen in the details I linked to, this camera uses an awkwardly sized battery. The person I got the camera from had a clever workaround which meant I could use the more convenient LR44. A pile of tinfoil wrapped in electrical tape. The other slot was a perfect size for 2 LR44, which are a slightly higher voltage. You might need to change the asa settings if you try this.

I took the camera to Bradford city center and Moses Gate Country Park. The weather, as usual, was rainy and cloudy. I used Fomapan 100 and pushed it to 400, though the camera does have a setting for 800asa film. I found the camera very quiet, but a little disturbing as there was no information in the viewfinder at all. The rangefinders second image was very faint so I added a piece of black tape to the viewfinder to aid focusing.

When I finally finished the film I developed it as usual and waited for it to dry. Then shock horror, my scanner would not turn on. SERIOUSLY!!! It is three months old and I haven’t used it often. I tried different cables, different sockets, but nothing I did would bring it back to life. I was left with the task of calling Canon. The guy on the line was very helpful, but it didn’t make it magically work again. I had to send it to their one and only service center in the UK. It came back in less than a week with a new power “thingy”. It was a bit of a worry as I am working part-time at the moment and scanners are not really essential or cheap. Anyway, I can recommend the Canon service center in the UK.

Moses Country Park

Bradford

I do also have a cheap portable 35mm scanner. Though the cheap scanner’s results are ok, it crops a lot of the image. Neither scanners are as sharp as I would like. Here are some side by side scans from the two ones I have.

Ok, my final thoughts. I love this camera. If you can find a good one get it but be aware, it will not work without batteries and the batteries might be an issue.

Sold.