Tag Archives: focusing

Rainy Reading Days

What super weather we are having recently! So my weekends have been spent reading and playing with my toys…cameras and literal toys.

I decided to start a new project just for the hell of it and to freak out my friends. It is based around a toy I got when I was about seven years old. Meet Charlie the Chatter Chimp, though he doesn’t chatter without help any more.

Honestly, if I get bored I tend to find things to do and they might be a bit weird. Some friends call them mini passions, some call them projects, some think I need help. I don’t mind any of those descriptions, I am enjoying myself.

I can come up with projects myself, but there are plenty of creative exercises out there, like this one. I especially like suggestion five, take a roll of film and limit yourself to 24 or 36 shots. Well, who would do that these days?! Or what about suggestion seven, take a something with you to photograph…Hello Charlie 🙂 Though I did think of it before seeing the video, it is hardly original.

And now I am going to demonstrate how dumb I can be sometime…sometimes, I said. I was playing with a camera, a Vito B which I am currently testing.

I added the rangefinder, because I could. When I posted these photos on my instagram feed a friend said, “why not set the camera to f8?” I though fair enough but close things would not be focusing. Then I remembered another friend telling me how he zone focused and didn’t really need to use a distance gauge. And I began to wonder, is my idea of zone focusing the same as theirs? Do I really know what zone focusing actually is? I know of the symbols on zone focused cameras, but beyond that I have not really thought about it. So I googled it and found this great article. And then I felt dumb, the gauges on the lens barrel with the diamond…

I had never really looked at them before. Oh well, I have tested over 270 cameras and never once looked at or thought about that scale. I think this might become a mini passion/project for one of the cameras I will test soon.

What else might I be missing? Well if you read the comments below you will see that I missed the hyperfocal distance which is shown on the photo markings. This great article explains all about that and how it relates to zone focusing.

It would be a great system to understand if you are a street photographer, which I am not. But either way, it just shows you can never be at a point in your life where you can’t learn something new or gain a better understanding of a subject.

For now I will carry on relaxing and enjoying the women’s world cup. Talking of world cups, don’t forget to vote in the Black and White World Cup.

Finally, do you own and Olympus OM 20? If so please check the serial number. If it is serial number 1032853 then please read this article as the camera could be important in a murder case.

Contax 167 MT

This is one of my favourite, non-autofocus SLR…at the moment. I know I have raved about Olympus cameras, but holy-moly I love this camera. I have recently tried another Contax camera and that persuaded me to get this one. But the road to my love was a long and windy path.

I saw the body on eBay from a Japanese seller I have used before. It seemed very cheap compared with the others for sale, but it said excellent condition so I thought I would take a risk. Practically the next day the camera arrived, it even had the blue plastic cover on the screen (I have resisted pulling it off). I set about getting a lens as soon as possible. I was going to Akihabara, Tokyo to meet a friend and try out the VR Zone (for the second time). Gosh, it is fun. Anyway, I stopped at a camera shop to buy a lens…no C/Y lens. Hmmm. I tried another, they had ONE, one, a f1.4 aperture 50mm and it had a bit of dust in it and a scratch to the front. The shop-keep said none of these things would be an issue but these lenses were also very rare in Japan. I had already told my friend I had a budget and it was all the money I had in my wallet. If the lens went over that, I had to wait….It was under my limit by 20yen, about 20 cents. The guy asked me what camera it was for and I said a 167MT. He replied it was a very reliable camera. He carefully wrapped the lens and I put my bag in a locker at the station so I wouldn’t virtually or literally damage anything and then we went off to be terrified by virtual heights and speed.

When I finally got home I put the lens on the body and thought…behold my beautiful camera!!! Yeah…..no. Behold my camera that doesn’t seem to focus and has a funny image in the viewfinder????

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WTF???? Was it the lens? Was the camera? Was it me? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH IT!!!

Calm yourself and ask the internet gods, I thought. I have recently joined a facebook group of vintage camera lovers who make me feel normal again as they seem to have way more cameras than me. The members quickly said…”You’ve got no focusing plate there mate”. Oh. And there on the listing for Ebay, right at the bottom, “missing focusing plate” 😦

I have never removed or replaced one. I didn’t know where to begin. Luckily the internet gods did. I found a replacement and ordered it. Then I sadly put the camera away and waited for it to arrive. Two weeks later….

It came with a little tool and instructions. It was a lot easier than I thought it ever would be and voila..it worked. Here is a shot through the viewfinder…focusing achieved.

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And after all that, did the damn thing work?

Here are some shots around my house and school to try out my handy work.

Yeah, Look at that focusing!!! Since I fixed this camera, I love it more. I have taken it out a few times. This camera and the autofocus NX are all the cameras I should ever really need. I should stick with these two cameras and get to know them better, but gosh that G.A.S.

Oh, this camera is from 1986 and takes 4 AAA batteries, how convenient.

As I was trying it out the plastic window fell out, or it was never there. I kind of remember it being there, but I can’t be sure. Whatever, black tape fixes it.

Interestingly, after writing this I left it in the draft section for ages. Plus, I seem to be using my Pentax ME Super more than any other camera. It is super light compared with this one. Fewer buttons and bells too. So given the number of cameras I have, I sold this one. Though I was sad about it and regret it a bit.