Tag Archives: camera

Minolta Vectis 20 – APS

This is the last APS camera I will ever try, seriously. I sold all the APS film I have so I couldn’t try another even if I wanted to. Though, selling the film is a whole other story due to an unscrupulous eBayer who decided to open a case just to see if they might get a refund. And now they are blocked.

Anyhow, here is the camera.

This crappy, yes I assumed it would be a crappy little camera was produced from 1996 and you can find all the technical details you need here. As this is a typically basic point and shoot aps camera, I decided to try some more double exposures. Increasing the exposure by two wouldn’t hurt the expired film.

First I took the camera around my local park and then to Conisbrough Castle. In retrospect, I wish I had trusted in the film and the camera a little more. The results show that the camera and the film performed quite admirably. In its day I think this camera would have been perfect as a sling-in-your-bag or a fun night out camera.

Here are some of the results from the test and experiment.

They didn’t come out as well as the last aps double exposure trial I tried, but I do like the castle photos.

As for APS film, I am sad that it isn’t more readily available. It is slowly getting more and more expensive, and harder to find. As they are slowly getting used up this trend will only continue. I am happy to get out now. At the moment I still have the IX7, but only for memory sake as I no longer have a Canon lens to attach to it or any APS film. If that camera sells then so be it. Goodbye APS and thanks for the fish.

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.

Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin

This is the second crappy photo post for the day after my break. It is disappointing to post crappy photos, but as this blog is a record of the cameras I have used, I decided to go ahead and post them anyway.

The camera was in the job lot of box brownie cameras and as it was a nice day I decided to try it out. Because it is called penguin!!! How cool is that. Besides that, look at it…

I also decided to try it out because I had some expired film left and thought, why not. It turned out it wasn’t such a great decision for a number of reasons.

  1. There was no viewfinder on the camera. I ended up using a spirit level attached to the camera with bluetack and guessed the rest.
  2. My chemicals were expired, bugger!
  3. I could not get the film out of the camera, the winder knob was stuck.
  4. I took the camera to Conisborough Castle and when I saw the tower I couldn’t help myself and climbed it….I am not supposed to put any extra strain on my knees right now…but…castle!

Anyway, apart from the missing viewfinder there didn’t seem to be much else wrong with the camera. It is a simple, metal, folding camera from around 1951. There are two aperture choices f11 or f16, one speed – probably 1/50th, and a distance scale that moves from 6ft to infinity. That is it. As you can see on the photos I put tape around mine as I can’t confident it would be light tight, funnily, I didn’t check the bellows as they seemed to be in very good condition.

So as I said, I used a spirit level to try and keeps things straight and for the most part that worked fine, I might use it on other box cameras. But, as I said my chemicals had issues, something you don’t know until this happens. Once developed the film was opaque which makes me think my fixer was exhausted. The only problem with that theory is that another film developed after was fine. Oh well, it still gives me a chance to see what the camera can do.

I honestly couldn’t be bothered to get rid of any hairs. There are a couple of shots that are obviously not straight. I found the shutter button to be quite sensitive and it took the photo while I was playing with the camera.

So final result. This is a camera that will look nice on a shelf, but not worth the effort to use it with film. I am going to donate it to a film project I was asked about. Someone contacted me for old cameras to go in a display, here, have this one 🙂

Pentax P30n

Someone asked if I was still making reviews. Well, I still have quite a few cameras on my shelf and can’t quite kick the addiction yet, but this is the last one in my draft folder. It is also the last of the P30 cameras, definitely my last of this series. I have already tried the other, very similar ones, namely the P30 and P30t. On looks alone, I prefer the P30t. On use, I don’t really have a preference. While trying this version I decided to try a film experiment of sorts.

According to this site the only real difference between the P30n and the P30t are the looks. On this website you can find all the technical details you might need for this 1988 camera and some personal stories about the camera.

As I said I decided to try an experiment with this camera. I already knew how the camera worked and how it felt, so this time I focused on the film. Recently I have been trying to process my own slide film, but it has been coming out a bit funky. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong and it didn’t seem possible that I had the wrong chemicals, but the scans were coming out very psychedelic. A friend suggested I send one film away to be processed by someone else to see if the results were the same. I thought this was a good suggestion so I did. I loaded a roll and walked around my local area, it was a dull day so mostly the camera was set to F1.7 and 1/60th. I sent the film to John Salim Photographic, who did a great job. The film was expired, as is all my E6 film, but the film returned did look better than when I processed it myself. It was purple but not psycho. So then I got down to scanning it and…

Return of the psycho! What is it? Ok Occam’s Razor…simplest solution. It must be the way I am scanning them. I did some research and found this article. It basically said, turn off all colour correcting software as it is fooled quite easily. So I did that and scanned the film again.

With all options set to “none”

So the colours are better, but they are not amazingly sharp. I do find that sharpness is an issue with the canonscan though. One day I will get a camera set up like explained in this video.

Anyway the camera worked well and I have solved my wild colour issue, though I have to say I do quite like it in certain circumstances. It works very well for grafitti.

Here are some more shots from the rest of the film. Note the little library is now much less psycho.

Basically, you can’t go wrong with a Pentax SLR.

Coronet D-20

Now, even though I just posted that my plans for my photolife are changing, I still have a few cameras with films inside. So I will be posting more reviews for now, but they will slowly die off.

One of the reasons for the change is because of cameras like this…I hate this camera. In fact I can honestly say I haven’t tried a coronet I do like. So this will be the last one I put a film in. I do have a few more, but due to my new plans for the future, I will not be wasting film in them.

My dislike of this camera is based purely on the viewfinder. I couldn’t see a bloody thing. It was clean enough, but you have to look through it at a specific angle to see anything. I rarely hit that sweet spot. So my test roll shot results were based purely on luck. I don’t think photography should be down to luck.

The one good thing about this 1950s camera is that it can take 620 or 120 film. That is handy, as I didn’t have to respool the film before loading it. Side loading by the way. To be honest, I also kind of liked the ratchety wind on mechanism. It clicked as you turned the knob, but a clicky knob can’t save it in my eyes.

The days I used the D-20 were dull so there was no need to use the built in filter for bright days. Oh I have to say, the plastic strap was equally annoying. It never quite went straight and was uncomfortable around my neck.

Not my favourite results. The one on the bottom, the field, was supposed to be of a cow, but I couldn’t see it in the viewfinder.

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.

Kodak Duaflex

Finally, finally!!!! a day with a tiny bit of sun and brightness and I just happened to have camera fully loaded and ready to try. This is the very smart looking Kodak Duaflex which was available in the UK between 1949-1955.

If you want a closer look at this camera, I found a really neat 3D model of it here.

Mine is in pretty good condition considering the age. It has a 75 mm Kodet lens with a fixed aperture of f15. I would guess the shutter speed is about 1/50th or less. There is an option for bulb setting, but that is it really. I have seen a few posts on instagram or blogs about attaching a digital camera to the enormous viewfinder. My example is a little dirty, but still very bright and clear. I might be tempted to clean it and try this type of photography. The square shape of the camera means this type of photography might not be too tricky…now I am even more tempted, but I think I will wait for the spring and longer, brighter days.

As for this camera in its current state, I like it. I liked using it, I like how it looks and I love how the shots came out. They have a definite look to them, a real tapering off of sharpness. I used mine at a local park during a few minutes of sun.

I am definitely going to try this camera again, maybe some portraits to really show off the bizarre focusing effect.

Here are a couple of the images quickly processed using the Snapseed app on my android phone.

Conway "Popular"

I have been working a lot the past few weeks, preparing for the lack of funds over the winter break. That combined with the rain and the short days does not make for many opportunities to use cameras like this one. I liked the look of this camera from the start. As a bonus it was easy to take apart and clean. Just undo the screw at the front and the mirrors are accessible.

For me, the best thing about this camera was the “Made in England” proudly displayed on the front. Searching for information on the camera proved a little fruitless, there isn’t much. I found nothing but photos of this version, with very little test attached. A very similar camera has more written about it, stating it was on sale around 1955. The company has a bit more information to be found. This site says it was based in Birmingham and originally called Standard Cameras Ltd, they also made Coronet cameras. Any other information you need has to be garnered by looking at the photos.

* There is a closeup and distance setting on the lens barrel.
* There is a green filter option, accessed with a slider on the side, to be used with foliage to make the shades more natural and dark green leaves lighter.
* There are two large, bright viewfinders for portrait or landscape shots.
* There is no tripod mount or cable release which is unfortunate as the shutter speed is probably around 1/40th-1/50th
* The aperture is set, probably to f11
* There is a bulb setting, again there is no tripod or cable release to make using this function more effective.
* The camera accepts 120 or 620 film. I used 120 but I found the film hard to advance so I think the 620 roll would be a better fit.
* The film is placed in the camera opposite to regular box cameras. You insert on the bottom and transfer to the top.
* There are two hooks to keep the camera closed. On my version they would slip off and leave the camera prone to opening slightly. It would be better to tape those down while using it.

I can’t think of anything else. So here are my test shots taken around Victoria Tower, Huddersfield. I went to this location as it was a lovely but cold sunny day, and we haven’t had a lot of those recently. This place would be a bit tricky to get to on a bad winter’s day as it is really exposed.

When I developed the film I was excited to see the results. On the negative, the images looked clear, sharp and contrasty. But on scanning, you can see a few soft spots on them. The focusing drifts throughout the shots. The last one was a timed shot taken inside of my father reading as the rain came back. I held the camera on a sturdy book for about 30 seconds, with the near setting activated, though I don’t think a tripod would have helped with the softness of the focus.

Though I do still like the look of the camera, I doubt I will use it again. The images are too soft and the winder was too stiff.