I saw some random camera bits on eBay the other week, bidding starting at £10. It wasn’t completely obvious what some of the things were, but some of them looked useful – the small lens hoods looked like they’d fit my Voigtlander Vito B cameras. There were a few filters in there too, and a rangefinder, surely some of these would be useful. So I put a bid in.
No-one else bid, so I won the lot. Some of the stuff is useful, some not…
Small lens hoods: both 30mm and I need 32mm! No use to me at all!
White shutter release cable: not bad at all, that’ll get used
Black shutter release cable: broken, not repairable
Monocular: Seems to work fine. Do I need one? Not really.
Rangefinder: Numbers are almost too faint to read, but it works.
Light Meter: Works ok I think, although it’s designed for old, slow film types
Leather-covered box: Catch works, no key, but great condition (except strap has perished)
Filter Glass 31mm: I can use these with filter holder
42mm Filter: Or is it a lens? Not sure what it does, fits 3 of my cameras
Close-up Filter: Can use with 2 cameras (or anything accepting Series VI)
Small film Spool tin: No use for film, but tin could be handy
Filter Pouch: Ok, I could use this. Probably won’t.
Small Metal Thing: It has small thread and large thread, no idea what this is!
Filter Box: A disappointingly empty filter box. Am using it to store a filter.
Drawstring bag for telephoto lens: If I ever buy a tele lens…
The weird thing with the numbers on it and an eye piece is a kind of exposure meter, which as it has almost no moving parts, is still in working order. The numbers on the rangefinder are almost too faint to read, but it works.
The small black lens hood unscrews to fit the filter glass, I’d never seen one like that before. So I bought one that fit my cameras and now I can use the filters, and there is less to mess about with when taking photos as filter and hood are one piece.
It was a bit risky buying a collection like this, which is obviously the seller having a bit of a clear out…
I’m new to medium format cameras (but I’ve already got 4 of them!) so I don’t get everything right. My first roll, shot with a Lubitel 166B, came out looking horrible, as if I’d deliberately overexposed it. The 2nd, shot on a Diana F+ was beyond terrible, only 2 shots came out ok, the rest it looked like fungus the Bogeyman had been sick on them (light leak problems were the least of it).
Yesterday I got the rolls back from my Baby Bessa and my Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/16. I shot B&W for the Baby. I shot what I thought was normal colour film with the Zeiss. I was slightly surprised/mortified to get an email form the lab asking me if i was sure I wanted this slide film processed in normal chemicals. I checked the box of films again – sure enough, it was slide film. Since slide processing is an extra £1.50 and I am nothing if not a cheapskate, I said ‘sure what the hell – cross process it!’ (or words to that effect).
Cross-processed film (sometimes called x-pro) is notorious/celebrated for the unusual and sometime bizarre things that happen to the colours. These pink trees are not only cross-processed, it is also a double-exposure. This is very easy to do with these old cameras without meaning to.
This photo of some trees (I get impatient shooting test-rolls and tend to snap just anything) is a bit more normal, but still obviously different, like this bridge.
The English Bridge, Shrewsbury (X-pro)
I think I’ll be doing some more X-pro films, soon.
I had decided this year to stop buying cameras, and sell some of my 35mm collection as I wasn’t really shooting with them all and there were some I wasn’t that fussed about keeping. I’d bought a Fuji XF1 in the sales, so I had a really good digital camera too. Now I’ve got a Lomography Belair X 6-12.
Belair x 6-12
I somehow decided to start shooting 120 film, in addition to 35mm, and ended up buying a few medium format cameras. This new one is one of them. (I also have a Baby Bessa and a Zeiss Ikon Nettar).
in folder state
There aren’t many new film cameras being made today, not at the consumer end of the market (at least not at the affordable end of it), and certainly not shooting 120 film. One of the advantages of 120 film over 35mm, is the size of the negatives, the standard size is 6cm x 6cm and 6cm x 9cm is common. This camera can shoot both of those, plus 12cm x 6cm – which I’m hoping with be great for panoramas.
The camera is quite big – it needs to be – but not too heavy. Even though it’s plastic, it doesn’t feel too flimsy. Unfortunately, it is missing one of the lenses (which is why I got it cheap) but somehow the viewfinder is the one that matches the missing lens… so I’ll have to guess what is in my shot, unless I can get a finder from somewhere! (The other lens is wide-angle).
It seems all the rage now, giving up alcohol for January. This is my second year of doing it. Only one of my friends tried doing it, but failed due to peer pressure and a couple of birthdays.
There are a number of reasons I put myself through this:
Save money (I’m usually pretty overspent after Xmas, every little helps, etc)
Health (I usually feed like crap after Xmas, after eating all that fat instead of my usual chickpea-rich diet)
A challenge (It’s a habit , dropping a beer or 3 in my shopping basket)
Sleep (I wanted to eliminate booze as a cause for my insomnia)
Results? I saved some money, I lost some of the weight I’d put on in the past couple of months, I’m getting better at not making impulse purchases (except for vintage film cameras, obviously!) and I can’t decide whether booze affects my sleep or not (yeah, crap conclusion I know).
For my mental, physical and financial well-being I am giving up the following for the month of February:
Beer (I’ve changed my mind about this one)*
And that’s the other thing: I struggle with insomnia at the best of times, but alcohol seriously impairs my quality of slumber. I’ve even found that a pint and a half of ale, or less, can give me a disturbed night leaving me to wake when the alarm goes off and stumble around like a confused zombie.
Cheese? I’ve been overdoing the cheese. Just because it comes in large cake-sized slabs doesn’t mean I have to eat it like cake. No, seriously, it doesn’t.
*I’m tired, insomniac, and I haven’t eaten any cheese – of course I need beer.
Yes, I have too many cameras*. It’s not yet become a problem, none of them have cost me over £35 and I still have room underneath my bed to store them. Here is my new one:
This is a pretty small camera, as you can see from the film canister – only 95mm long. The lens partly retracts, making this more-or-less pocket-sized. There is a selenium light meter on the top, which will be handy while I teach myself to use the Sunny-16 rule accurately.
In truth, I have two of these – I bought one as ‘spares or repair’, as previous owner had got the retractable lens jammed in the ‘out’ position, plus other things (The broken one coast me slightly more that the working one!). I’ve sorted the lens, now got a couple of other things to fix. No idea what I’m doing with it then, it’s a bit too beaten-up to sell.
*So far: Voigtländer Vito C (broken), Voigtländer Vitoret D (going to sell this, I think), 2 x Voigtländer Vito B (I love these), Zorki 4, Fed-2, Rollei B35 x 2, Recesky TLR (Gakkenflex clone)
I’ve really let things slide this past couple of years. I used to read loads, at least a book a week. I used to play my guitar and write a song or two every week. I now read a book once a month, on average, and write a song about once a month too. I’m not sure if these two things are connected, whether the imagination required to read a book spills over into songwriting too.*
Last week I start to change things: I set myself the challenge to write a song a day, every day for that week (I was off work that week, handily). I might post some of those songs later this week if you don’t behave yourselves. And I have decided to continue into this week, and possibly forever. Every day I will do something creative.
Also, I am going to spend an hour a day reading a book. I have a backlog of 40 books, so I should really get a move on, in case Santa decides to bring me even more, which has been known to happen.
*This time coincides with me getting a decent-ish internet connection, and spending lots of time sat in front of this infernal machine clicking on things. Not the most creative activity, really.
I seem to have a problem with memory sticks. I have too many of them. This photo is just of what I found on my desk just now, there are more lurking somewhere (and not all of the lurkers even work, and one ancient thumb-drive requires drivers installing which kind of defeats the object).
I don’t need them all, the novelty USB drive in the shape of a well-known brand of razor is just plain stupid (The boss at work had been given it by a rep, he thought it was just some kind of eraser, but then he is not very good with computer technology). The one I got free with a trial of The Economist acts strangely if I store more than 500MB on it. The silver Texet thumb drive only hold 256MB so is pretty useless, same with the white thing front left.
The others all hold either 4 or 8GB of data so they’re ok. BUT WHY DON’T I JUST HAVE A CLEAR OUT? I could format these drives and then recycle them, or give them away. Or maybe sell the novelty one on Ebay.
I’m sure this is a bloke thing, this obsession with gadgets, and the hoarding of gadgety things. Such as having quite a few key-ring torches.* Another example: Somewhere under my bed a have a box of about a dozen USB leads, just in case…
*Not that I do. No. Not at all. I only have 6 or 7, and one day they will come in handy for something.
That’s it for me and lager. I prefer ale anyway, but I’ve come to the point where I just can’t be bothered with that pale fizzy stuff anymore.
I only really bought it because it’s generally quite cheap (although it looks like that is changing*) but it has to be drunk really cold because otherwise it’s not exactly tasty. I’d rather have a cup of tea. Or a glass of Shiraz.
*(The minimum unit price the government is bringing in will increase the price of 15 x 275ml bottles – pictured – from £8.99 to a less reasonable £13.50, which is more than I am prepared to pay for something I don’t really like all that much anyway).
My room is in a right state. A lot of that is my PC, which is playing up and I am trying to troubleshoot, which is edging out into the room day by day. Currently it occupies the bit under my desk where my legs go, so I am typing this in a slightly uncomfortable position.
Until I get that sorted out, the rest of the stuff is sort of … everywhere. I’ve had a case of beer since the weekend, and those bottles need to be taken to the recycle point. The clean laundry is folded, just not put away. ‘Clean my desk’ has been on my to-do list for about a month now, and nothing has happened.
If I put my mind to it, and stop playing with the novelty of having a proper internet connection, I could get this all sorted THIS AFTERNOON. So I shall…