52 Cameras: Camera 55 part 1 – Polaroid SX-4

It’s not actually a Polaroid except for the film back and the rollers but I don’t know how else to categorize it. I loaded film before I realized just how little information is out there for this camera. When I finish the pack, I’ll open it up and see if there are any markings on the inside. I can measure to get the aperture but the shutter will be difficult — it only fires with film loaded.

52 Cameras: Camera 54 part 2 – Canon A520

I like not being under the camera-a-week time pressure. The button battery had gone dead so I missed a lot of shots fiddling with the date every time I turned it on. I had the luxury of getting a battery and taking the camera with me for another week.

An early macro shot.  I blew it out with the flash but some tweaks on the levels and it looks like I did it on purpose.

An early macro shot. I blew it out with the flash but some tweaks on the levels and it looks like I did it on purpose.

Me and Zoe the wonder cat in the new digs.  Photo by M.

Me and Zoe the wonder cat in the new digs. Photo by M.

Purrfect focus on this shot of Jem bathing.

Purrfect focus on this shot of Jem bathing.

100% crop of a macro shot of a burr.

100% crop of a macro shot of a burr.

Mountain of recycables at the Santa Fe transfer station (100% crop).

Mountain of recycables at the Santa Fe transfer station (100% crop).

And a mountain of tires.

And a mountain of tires.

I messed up and used "postcard" mode.  1600X1200 and date/time stamp.  I was trying to get the shot and protect the 60D from the rain.

I messed up and used “postcard” mode. 1600X1200 and date/time stamp. I was trying to get the shot and protect the 60D from the rain.

I don’t know that I’d seek this camera out as a keeper but for small prints and digital work, it’s nice. Native resolution is 2272X1704. The effects, sepia, B&W, etc. are just OK. Manual controls, including focus, are great.

Apple has officially lost their $#@!

I was showing a coworker how to bring up his iTunes purchase history (he got an email about buying a book he didn’t buy). Looking at my history, everything is correct. When I click on “Music” and then “Purchased” there’s a brand new U2 album in my work account.

I freak a little and email iTunes support.

I freak a little and email iTunes support.

When I log out of the iTunes account, the album rotator display just happens to go past the new U2 album.

When I log out of the iTunes account, the album rotator display just happens to go past the new U2 album.

I go back in to bring up the case number, follow up, and rip them for f__king with my account without asking.

I go back in to bring up the case number, follow up, and rip them for f__king with my account without asking.

Good thing I was saving PDFs as I went.

Good thing I was saving PDFs as I went.

I guess threatening to use a competitor's phone causes this.

I guess threatening to use a competitor’s phone causes this.

I pasted the stuff back in, added a PS rant about the error that cleared the form data, changed the subject to match the first email, and “Continue” worked.

Not being Microsoft isn’t good enough any more.

52 Cameras: Camera 53 part 2 – Sony DSC F717

Sadly, the sensor kept getting worse. The camera rarely powers up working now. A pretty good time to wrap it up and post some results.

All of the IR photos are ISO 100, f/2, and 1/60 second. I chose a low ISO to keep noise down and the f-stop and shutter are the camera settings in “Night Shot”.

Infrared sunflowers

Infrared sunflowers

Great macro.  ISO 100, f/5, 1/500 sec.  Mild sharpening in Photoshop.

Great macro. ISO 100, f/5, 1/500 sec. Mild sharpening in Photoshop.

Oops, left the camera in macro and they were too far away. I had to sharpen again.

Musicians at the co-op.  ISO 100, f/4 at 1/160

Musicians at the co-op. ISO 100, f/4 at 1/160

IR does strange things with eyes. Hers are dark brown and look blue. Mine are blue and come out black.

I love the luminous quality of skin in infrared.

I love the luminous quality of skin in infrared.

One of my favorites.  The clouds cleared so the white leaves and petals pop against the sky.

One of my favorites. The clouds cleared so the white leaves and petals pop against the sky.

Spider web at the new casa.

Spider web at the new casa.

When I get the new sensor, I’ll post about the repair.

Loading 35mm film in a 126 cartidge

Flex the cartridge a few times to crack the seams.

To get the thing started flex in one direction...

To get the thing started flex in one direction…

... and then the other.

… and then the other.

Most of the edges come apart pretty easily but there are some “welds”. The top (label right side up) is the hardest part. The back (label side) overlaps the inside by about 5mm and there is a glue weld inside the overlap. You might get lucky, you might have to use a knife or razor blade, or, like my first one, you might mangle it. It’s still usable, I just have to use more tape to seal it.

Most of the cartridges I have are marked where the glue has melted the seams together.

Most of the cartridges I have are marked where the glue has melted the seams together.

The bottom has less overlap but it's glued inside as well.

The bottom has less overlap but it’s glued inside as well.

The take-up spool side is edge glued and came apart pretty cleanly.

The take-up spool side is edge glued and came apart pretty cleanly (note the cat hair from my curious assistant).

The supply side has a very small overlap and mostly came apart.  The crooked part is where I tried to get a razor blade in the seam.

The supply side has a very small overlap and mostly came apart. The crooked part is where I tried to get a razor blade in the seam.

The old film will be really curly. I saved it for testing frame spacing and used a piece of the paper as fixed film backing.

The image area is well defined.  The film will be a little too far from the lens unless...

The image area is well defined. The film will be a little too far from the lens unless…

Most of the articles I’ve read skip this part. You can go without but the focus will be a little off. A lot of Instamatics had pretty soft focus from cheap plastic lenses. It depends — do you want to embrace the Lomo-style effects or try to take a “good” photograph?

... you use some backing paper.  This is vintage 126 paper but you can cut down 120 backing paper or use anything black that's the right thickness.

… you use some backing paper. This is vintage 126 paper but you can cut down 120 backing paper or use anything black that’s the right thickness.

After smoothing the tape and giving the cartridge a good dusting, it’s time to get things ready to go into the dark. I use a changing bag but anywhere you can work in total darkness is fine.

The small spool is from a roll of dog poo bags.

The small spool is from a roll of dog poo bags.

I haven’t seen other articles where the supply side was put onto a spool. It made it a lot easier for me to get it rolled properly.

Tape the film count window on the cartridge and the camera.

Tape the film count window on the cartridge and the camera.

    My dark bag checklist:

  1. camera
  2. cartridge front and back
  3. spools
  4. 35mm film in the cartridge
  5. scissors
  6. four precut pieces of studio tape attached in order to a small ruler

Go slow, turn off your phone, and give the cat some snacks. You want to be able to do this by feel without distraction.

    The in-the-dark sequence from my written notes:

  1. cut the 35mm leader
  2. tape film to supply spool
  3. wind film and cut from 35mm cart.
  4. tape film to take-up spool
  5. assemble and close 126 cartridge
  6. tape take-up side of 126 cart.
  7. tape supply side of 126 cart.
  8. put the film in the camera and close the back

I decided to cut the 35mm leader in the bag so I could pull enough to make it easy to tape to the supply spool without exposing a couple of frames. The tape pieces were pre-measured for taping to the spools and holding the ends of the cartridge together. I felt for the short spool pieces and went left to right along the ruler so I got the right piece for each step. Because the cartridge was somewhat mangled, I decided to tape the camera back light-tight instead. The top and bottom edges of the cartridge would be a pretty precise tape job in the dark bag.

After pulling the camera out of the bag, I used more studio tape on the seams of the camera back.

I’ll do another, shorter, post about actually using this kludge in the camera.

52 Cameras: Week 52 part 2 – Kodak Instamatic 77x

This is the end-ish of the 52 Cameras Project. I’ll still be posting but I won’t hold to anything near a camera a week. A lot of cameras need TLC, I have a documentary photography class coming up in October, and a lot of projects need a push to get into production.


Not bad for a camera that was low-end 37 years ago. I’ll do a post about reloading 35mm film into a 126 cartridge later. I only had time to use the 35mm adapter in the scanner. The image overlaps the lower sprocket holes on 35mm film.

Scanned with the CanoScan 9000f at 4800 DPI using Image Capture.app and resized to 15% for upload. No idea why, but the Canon software overexposed everything.

Walking downtown we heard a dog barking.  Who thinks to look UP when a dog barks?

Walking downtown we heard a dog barking. Who thinks to look UP when a dog barks?

My sweetie rockin' Cher bangs and her cool VONA shirt.

My sweetie rockin’ Cher bangs and her cool VONA shirt.

Sunflowers at the co-op.

Sunflowers at the co-op.

Statue on the patio at India Palace in Santa Fe.

Statue on the patio at India Palace in Santa Fe.