Tag Archives: camera

Prinz Mastermatic III

I have a feeling this camera was part of a job lot otherwise I have no idea where I got it. It is certainly not something I would have chosen. The skin of the camera dropped off the moment I picked it up. I decided to recover it even before I tested it with film. Looking it over everything seemed to work so I though why not and why not use a completely new-to-me type of skin.

Animals of Farthing Wood. I got a book from a charity shop and used the old skin as a template. The paper was a little stiff on the curves but once the varnish made the paper a little wetter it was easier to manipulate.

This camera from 1967 was cheap and cheerful at the time and still is. The selenium cell means you don’t even have to buy batteries. Even though it is partly metal, I thought it felt quite cheap. Before the new skin, I thought it looked it too but now it looks awesome. The photos of the cameras are enhanced by the lovely Nidderdale countryside where I took it to try it out. It seemed appropriate.

The meter’s needle indicator on this example was a bit hit and miss, I have a feeling there might be a loose wire inside, but I don’t feel like taking it apart to see. The meter gives a reading in EV mode. The camera can be set to operate in regular or EV mode. It is much easier to change the settings than on some other EV cameras I have tried. There is no rangefinder so you have to guess the distance or use zone focusing.

I have already promised the camera to someone who liked the look of it, so I wanted to try it very quickly. That meant I tried a new developing company. They offered a download link of the scans. Literally the next day from posting the films I received an email with the link, amazingly quick. I paid for the cheapest version of scans and that is what I got. Though it looks like the films I sent were developed very well, I am unimpressed with the scans. I am not going to name names, but I will stick to my regular C41 developer as they are cheaper when choosing a decent set of scans. Unless I am in a hurry again, but then I will try the more expensive scans to check the difference.

Ok that said, I put in a half used roll of XP2 that I was given. Here are the test shots.

Well, the light meter was accurate when it worked. But the focus and lens is “funky”, that is the only word I can think of. I kind of like it, but it is funky with a definite drop off. Focusing at close range was tricky and I would recommend sticking with infinity-ish.

I tried processing some of these shots with the Snapseed App on my phone. I love the results.

Today I sold three cameras including this one, I sort of regret it but I always do and I can’t use all the cameras I have so in the end it is a good thing…keep saying it out loud, selling your cameras is a good thing.

Pentax Zoom 70 R

For a compact camera, this Pentax is massive! Plus it takes two CR123 batteries…TWO!

For that reason alone I initially did not like this camera from 1991.

There was a found film inside and I blasted through it, just trying to lighten my load. I took it to Huddersfield quickly finished it off with the industrial landscape.

Nothing special and that film was poor too. My feeling for this camera just took a bigger plummet. I started writing this blog almost immediately and while doing so I found the manual.

In the manual I saw these two pages…

Look at all those settings! Bulb, bulb with synchro flash, Multi Exposure, Dual Frame Self Timer, backlight compensation…no wonder this camera needs two batteries. I think I better give this camera another chance.

Of course I did play with all the buttons on the camera and did see the symbols, but it is easy to forget them when you have already formed an opinion about something. Changing your mind after a bad first impression is very hard to do, hence all the advice against it during interviews etc.

I loaded a fresher Kodak 200 and decided to focus on the colour red meaning I would carry the camera with me, despite the size, and have something of red in each photo.

That was until I got bored and the rain came down and I just wanted to get rid of the damn thing. The first impression stuck. Here are some shots from the next roll.

As you can see I went to the UCI finishing line in Harrogate, in fact I was a volunteer up two of the main climbs during terrible weather. Today, I am coughing from a cold as a result of a very rainy weekend in a tent. Worth it? Maybe, but I would prefer to be working. The whole week wasn’t the best advertisement for the Yorkshire area in terms of weather, which was a shame as it really is gorgeous. For the UCI I volunteered for the location of Lofthouse, little did I know there were two places with that name in Yorkshire. The one I volunteered for was a couple of hours from my house. So this roll has both Lofthouses on it, I bet that doesn’t happen often.

I also took the camera to Blackpool, hence the deckchairs and that is it, experiment over. I do not like this camera 😦

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.

Ricoh FF-9

There is something about this camera from 1988 that I absolutely love. I think it is the way the flash pops up from the side when it is needed. Or it might be the lovely selection of modes that are not easily found on other point and shoots, including multi exposure. It is a nice size for a bag, but not a pocket. AND it has a slot for a cable release, that is quite rare indeed. Quite smart looking all round.

I took mine on a trip to Blackpool when the weather was quite miserable. This camera coped beautifully as you can see by my results below.

What a cracking little camera 🙂 Cheap, cheerful..does what it says on the tin with a little extra class.

Oh and it looks like WordPress are updating their gallery settings, so things might be a bit iffy until they sort that out. Sorry about that, but if it stabilises I think it has lots more options for the creators.

Pentax Espio 738S (738G)

I put the 738S and 738G versions in the title as I obtained both in a job lot purchase. Looking both over, I could not see any differences between them apart from a few variations on appearance. I sent the 738G to a friend and used the 738S to try out the DX altered film I prepared previously as the camera accepts films with an iso rating from 25-1600. This camera was released around 1998.

As I also have the Espio 928M which I feel is a slightly better camera, I will not be keeping this one no matter how it performs in the test.

The film I chose was an expired truprint 200 I found inside the camera. I changed the DX code so the camera would think it was a 50 iso and took the camera to The Great North Run. I had to drop some family members off at the start and wait for them at the finish. That meant I had a couple of hours to hang around in South Shields, so why not test a camera?

In the end how many photos can you take of people running, so I finished the film off around The Hepworth Wakefield. Here are the results.

Well, changing the iso rating worked really well for this camera and film. The original rating of 200 would have under exposed the shots. The camera is a fine point and shoot, but as I have many others, to keep one it would have to be very special. For me, this one has nothing special to offer. It is fine, it is ok, it does the job without bells and whistles.

Olympus Superzoom 140S (Accura 140)

Well, I thought I had tried this camera before, but that was the mju version. They are very similar, but apparently this is the cheap version. Both cameras were out at the same time, this one released in 1999. The superzoom was not as pretty, but bit more rugged. You can find some German technical details here.

I really liked the mju version, but I didn’t have much luck with it so I eventually sold it. If this one worked I might keep it…might. Inside was a found film which I finished off while on a bike ride. Why not? The camera is rugged and in its case it fit perfectly in the water holder.

There were only a few shots left on the film, the rest of the shots were fogged. Someone probably opened the film door at some point.

Well, for an expired film these are ok. There isn’t much to the camera for the user, the best feature is the titled “superzoom”. I also liked the addition of the diopter as my eyesight is getting worse with age.

It is a fine camera and a great, cheaper, alternative to the mju version. It is not exactly a heavy duty camera, but it is cheap enough to through around a bit.

Canon Ixus Z50 (ELPH LT260, IXY 220) APS

I obtained this camera in a pile of point and shoots along with some containing films. The film I tried in this one was a retrieved film. I took it out of a camera that was already on my list, used a screw driver to change the position of the indicator and reloaded it in this camera. The original camera’s counter was set at two exposures and the first two of this film were double exposed quite nicely so that left 23 of the Kodak Advantix Ultra for me 🙂

When I lived in Japan lots of the Canon APS cameras I found where named IXY, now they are Ixus as I am in Europe. They can also be called Elph, this camera from 2000 also has many names. You can find them here along with some extra details here.

It is tiny but feels well built. When you turn it on the flash pops up, but you can turn it off manually. I would say, if you are going to go for a small point and shoot APS camera, then this is a good one to try. Though I am sure the flash is not very powerful so it would be best to use it outside on a nice day.

I took my found film and camera on a trip to Huddersfield. It was my first visit there and I quite liked it, not that I would go back as the train journey back was a real pain but that was not Huddersfield’s fault. I was just unlucky with demonstrations and accidents.

The film didn’t do too bad considering it was left inside the original camera for an undetermined amount of time in undetermined conditions. This camera’s ISO cannot be changed so that did well too. A nice, small camera to keep in a pocket…except I have a few APS cameras of that description so it will be moved along.

Pinholes with expired Svema

Continuing with the photo posts, I have tried my pinhole cameras again. This time with Svema 125 film from around 1990. The first camera I reused was the Ondu. Each of these were exposed for 2 minutes, on a tripod of course. The film was developed with ilfosol 3 as that is all I have right now. I presoaked the film for 5 minutes, then developed for 14 minutes at 20 degrees. I found that over developed the film, so will try 10 minutes next time. I used water and a few drops of vinegar as a stop bath, then fixed it in the regular way.

The photos are very grainy. I have a love/hate relationship with this pinhole camera. I think the actual camera is beautiful, but am struggling to love the images it produces. The one where I shot straight into the sun had a black hole where the sun was, I deleted that so the rays would be more of a focus.

The next camera, and only other pinhole I tried was the Diana F+, the multi functioning toy camera. I mainly stuck with the 2 minute exposures except the ones inside. One of them is 4 hours long. Now to be fair, I screwed this film up royally. I HIGHLY do NOT recommend trying to thread an old film onto a developing roll in a dark bag when it is hot and humid. I just could not get it to go on. It just kept getting stuck, bending and I was touching it all over the place. I did not have fun!

But you can see the Diana is not as sharp as the Ondu. And if I do bother with Pinholes again that is the camera I will choose. But why, it is just not my thing. I would prefer to put the film in the Kiev 88 or another medium format camera.

I hope my next post has much sharper photos 🙂