52 Cameras: # 111 — Samsung Maxima Zoom 145


The Maxima Zoom 125 review.



Fujicolor Super G Plus, ISO 200, expired in 1997.

Processing and scanning by The Camera Shop of Santa Fe.

Lizard teasing the gatos on the other side of the screen.

Lizard teasing the gatos on the other side of the screen.


Zoe loves her catnip tomato.

Zoe loves her catnip tomato.


Migas -- breakfast of champions!

Migas — breakfast of champions!


My iffy migas recipe (for two):
In a (preferably cast iron) skillet, soften 2-3 chopped corn tortillas in ~ 2 tbsp oil.
When soft, add 2-3 whisked eggs.
When the eggs are almost hard scrambled, add 2-3 heaping tbsp salsa and 2-3 heaping tbsp grated/shredded cheddar or longhorn cheese.
Top with more cheese, chopped tomato, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with warmed flour or corn tortillas.
Eat lots.

Random Post for 2 September 2016

A while back, M was having a bad day at work and sent this to me.

Some "Shining" stuff going on here.

Some “Shining” stuff going on here.


Yesterday, I put in a request via the “one stop shop” email for tech support.
I *thought* I was being clear that I needed help with the form.

I *thought* I was being clear that I needed help with the form.


The response today.
Nope.  Holy $#@!, where's the Tylenol?

Nope. Holy $#@!, where’s the Tylenol?


I understand now… the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the catin the hat the cati nthe hatthe cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hatthe cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat the cat in the hat


Here’s a picture of us with John Waters in 2012 taken with M’s Powershot SD1000.
He takes a Polaroid of everyone who enters his house.

He takes a Polaroid of everyone who enters his house.

52 Cameras: # 109 — Ansco Readyflash 620




It’s really pushing the limits of the lens to get 6X9cm images. Some vignetting and distortion but a nice effect overall.
Fruit trees in the yard.

Fruit trees in the yard.

THEY LIVE

I like this image in spite of the scratch and texture from the backing paper.

I like this image in spite of the scratch and texture from the backing paper.

The lens takes the image right to the edge — you can see the edge marking “SGPFF” at the bottom.

The dog pen that now hosts our compost pile.

The dog pen that now hosts our compost pile.

52 Cameras: # 108 — Canon T70

More expired-in-1997 Fuji print film.

Grashoppers have been eating the Jimson weed.  They don't die or appear to get high so I guess they're used to it.

Grashoppers have been eating the Jimson weed. They don’t die or appear to get high so I guess they’re used to it.

A lot of scanner noise but nice colors and not too much grain.

A lot of scanner noise but nice colors and not too much grain.

The 50mm f/1.4 is a sweet lens.

The 50mm f/1.4 is a sweet lens.

Heavy noise reduction -- the monster cloud shows all the noise.

Heavy noise reduction — the monster cloud shows all the noise.

More hummingbirds with the Vivitar zoom.

More hummingbirds with the Vivitar zoom.

52 Cameras: # 107 — Kodak Mickey-Matic

I got about four reasonably well-exposed frames counting the found image in the video. The ones that are properly exposed are really saturated, particularly the blues. Ferrania is known for really saturated colors. This review of Scotch Color films from 1991 (PDF) says they’re really saturated and this camera-wiki article says Ferrania was sold under the Scotch brand. Conclusive? Not by a long shot. Strong evidence? I think so. Enough about the film, on to some photos.

I scanned at 2400DPI, which is low for tiny 110 negatives. The old film (1990-ish) was a gamble so I didn’t want to wait forever for little or no results.

Cropped to exclude scanning buffer and speck & cat hair cleanup but no color or exposure correction.

Cropped to exclude scanning buffer and speck & cat hair cleanup but no color or exposure correction.

Ye olde colorful herb pots.  One of my go-tos besides the cats.

Ye olde colorful herb pots. One of my go-tos besides the cats.

What a coincidence, it’s Goober! I included it for a reason. Going back through frames I excluded, I found something interesting. This frame was cropped pretty tight on the scanner. The blacks coming out red are on the images where the scanner software cranked up the exposure. Apparently, 3 layers of dye + bright yellow backing = red.

Scanner boost for underexposure.

Scanner boost for underexposure.

The Canon Scan Gear driver doesn’t give a nice gradient. Selecting a larger area to find the frames (auto select is useless for 110) looks like the image below. Moving the frame lines in, at some point the software “finds” the frame and jumps to the higher exposure (image above).

Selecting a wider area gives a better idea of what's really on the negative.

Selecting a wider area gives a better idea of what’s really on the negative.

I do manual versioning when I monkey with images. Sometimes I simplify file names before uploading. The honking file name of the image below gives an idea of the workflow. “Untitled-13b_crop_defuzz_BWurban_autoCont_1024”. “Untitled-” because I’m lazy and let PS name the imports — cameras get their own folders and multiple rolls get folders under that so I don’t need to care about the base file name. The “13” is the order they came off of the scanner and not the actual frame number. That’s something I should change. If I like a frame and want to re-scan at a higher resolution, I have to hold the negs up and find it instead of being able to go right to it in the sleeve. ‘B’ is the 2nd version of the scan. The “_crop” is to remove scanner margin. The software usually gets 35mm and 120 right so it’s not always there. If I crop again for aesthetics, there will be another “_crop”. “_defuzz” is the version after dust and cat hair cleanup. Canon’s FARE usually makes things worse so I don’t use it. “_BWurban” is convert to black & white using the “Urban/Snapshots” preset. “_autoCont” is PS’s automatic contrast correction. I tried a bunch of manual tweaks but I liked it better. Finally, “_1024” is resizing to 1024 on the longest side for upload. Frequently, I’ll use a percent instead and that looks like “_30pct”.

Might as well have some fun with it.

Might as well have some fun with it.

In the video but I really like it and I didn't have to dork with it.

In the video but I really like it and I didn’t have to dork with it.

I’ve been meaning to talk about workflow and it’s a really simple camera so there wasn’t a lot to say about it. My Polaroid project has hit a big snag too so I needed to step away from it for a while. That’s the nice way of saying PROCRASTINATION!

Random Post For 27 July 2016

This was in a cyber security thing at work. I love how clip art and stock photos mash up something computer-y and an old school caricature of a thief, usually a mask and gloves, to represent cyber crimes. This one is extra funny because touchscreens don’t work with these $2.00 a pair drugstore gloves.

"Smartphone in hand with gloves" by Adam Radosavljevic - GettyImages/iStockphoto

“Smartphone in hand with gloves” by Adam Radosavljevic – GettyImages/iStockphoto




Just got off of a phone call with Toyota Financial. Does everyone just put “Wait times may be longer than normal” at the beginning of their message now? It was an 18 minute call, with literally, 1 minute spent speaking to a human to get the information I needed. No touch tone — voice menu only. It got right up to the part I needed, payoff information (mysteriously under “something else” and not “payment information”), before deciding to not understand me. I could hang up or suck it up and hold. I really needed the information so I held.

Not to be too Seinfeld but, what is the deal with hold music? It wasn’t a particularly hideous mix but why does digital hold music always sound like a stretched cassette tape with the tempo and volume wobbling in and out? Is it mixed into the “please have your account number ready, blah blah” (that I already gave to the voice menu bot) from an outsourced service?

I can see some telco room in Mumbai with a 90s MP3 player jacked into the sound card of an even older PC. Not one of those cool, tidy, color coded telcos either. A working room with fans, extension cords, and cables everywhere and a UPS that died years ago beeping away — still used to get more outlets. A profitable room. The kind of room that would make an OSHA nerd weep.

Toyota really doesn’t want you to pay off early. There’s no place on the coupon for extra principal. One time I sent extra and the next bill was reduced by the extra amount. I wondered why the payoff is more than the “outstanding balance” on the bill. Sneaky buggers, the balance on the bill is just principal owed. The bill amount times the number of payments to go is considerably more.



On a more up note, I found this card for my sister’s birthday. I really like it. The card is available in the “Mischievous Menagerie” box from Pomegranate. I may try and find a print.

"Barry and Pumpkin On the Way Up" by Kathy DeZarn Beynette

“Barry and Pumpkin On the Way Up” by Kathy DeZarn Beynette

52 Cameras: # 106 — Samsung Maxima Zoom 125

Thanks Jimmy! Sorry for the potato video quality. No idea why it went to 360p when I uploaded.

M's grandmother.  The shot from the video.

M’s grandmother. The shot from the video.

The old (19+ years) film is grainy and blue.  Noise reduction, Photoshop's "Auto Smart Fix", and color correction.

The old (19+ years) film is grainy and blue. Noise reduction, Photoshop’s “Auto Smart Fix”, and color correction.

The munchkin perspective.  The crazy tilt with the beer bottle works.

The munchkin perspective. The crazy tilt with the beer bottle works.

Another shot by M's niece.

Another shot by M’s niece.

Random Post for 11 July 2016

It started with a meeting. Simultaneously resisting the urge to kill and fighting to stay awake, I thought of a haiku:

Want me to listen?
Perhaps you should have a point
And then get to it

I doodled and sort of liked it so I redid it in pencil and inked it. Then off to the scanner and a bit of color in Photoshop.

Meetings

Meetings

52 Cameras: # 105 — Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 104

Not much to show for finished images. I shot three Fuji FP-100C frames but the last one was a test to see if I’d found the problem with the intermittent connection and it’s completely black. I have to be frugal since Fuji has discontinued the last of their pack films.

<DAVE RANT>
How can you have a global monopoly on pack film with millions (tens of millions?) of cameras still in use and not make enough money to bother manufacturing it any more?

Seriously, how much profit margin does Fuji need? They don’t have any engineering costs to pay down, it was Polaroid’s design. Maybe a little bit to improve it over the years but they didn’t eat billions (in today’s dollars) like Polaroid did to invent integral film from scratch.

We’re stuck with Instax (a derivative of Kodak’s instant film) for now but if anyone figures out how to mirror-image Impossible film or shoot it through the back, I’m done with these greedy, fickle [bleep]s forever.

Seriously, sell the manufacturing equipment and put the film formulas into the public domain. If you can’t make money with a monopoly, you’re the problem, not the product. Let someone else have a go at it.
</DAVE RANT>

Sorry, I had to get that out.

I tested this camera after cleaning the battery compartment and contacts and the shutter opened. To get some justice from the battery that crapped up the camera, I removed the snaps from the ends of it (the 3V batteries have larger connectors than 9V batteries) and soldered them to the ends of a CR123 lithium battery.

I’m glad I tested again before loading because it stopped working. That’s when I traced the battery wire to the shutter circuit, re-soldered the battery connector, and replaced the foam.

The old foam was fugly and getting crumbs in the working bits.

The old foam was fugly and getting crumbs in the working bits.

Foam from Michael's and white glue.

Foam from Michael’s and white glue.

The shutter was working consistently now so I loaded film and got a late evening image that was back-lit and too dark.

Still cute though.

Still cute though.

Try again with the flash gun.

Dammit!  No flash.  I even wasted a bulb making sure the 268 flash was working.

Dammit! No flash. I even wasted a bulb making sure the 268 flash was working.

I opened it back up and started doing continuity tests. My meter has a nice diode check function that beeps if point ‘A’ and point ‘B’ are connected. I’d get BEEEEP-BE-BE-[silence]-BEEEEP-BE-BE… Argh! Nothing is a bigger PITA than intermittent connections.

Quote from Brian R: Sometimes it’s intermittent but not always.

I guess was cheaper to manufacture but seeing ribbon cable instead of a proper circuit board made me sad — it can melt before solder becomes liquid and it gets brittle with age. It lasted 50 years so I guess I shouldn’t complain but I am because it made me think and work.

At least there were only seven lines from the photocell side to the shutter side.

At least there were only seven lines from the photocell side to the shutter side.

Spiffed up with colorful telephone wire.  The last power wire isn't connected yet.

Spiffed up with colorful telephone wire. The last power wire isn’t connected yet.

An Instax Wide cartridge is a tight fit vertically but it fits. Side-to-side, I eyeballed the spacing with an empty cartridge and did it by feel with a partially used cartridge in the dark bag.

About a pinky width.

About a pinky width.

The last bit is unscrewing some parts in the Polaroid so the back will close over the Instax cartridge.

Don't have to drill any rivets yet.

Don’t have to drill any rivets yet.

Converting from ISO 800 Instax to 100 for the camera is done with a minus-3-stop (ND8) neutral density filter.

I didn’t adjust the exposure and the image is a little dark. The cell being 50 years old might have something to do with that too.

Herbs in pots.

Herbs in pots.

My dark bag can’t hold a pack film camera and an Lomo Instant Wide with room to work. I transferred the film from the Lomo to a film box in the bag, opened up and swapped the Polaroid in, loaded the film, took the picture, moved the film from the Polaroid to the box in the bag, swapped in the Lomo, loaded the film, took the Lomo out of the bag, and took a shot with the lens cap on. Somewhere in that convoluted mess, I got a light leak.

There’s a video on Youtube where a guy loaded the Instax into a pack film cartridge and shot into the front of the Instax film. I may have to play with that but that’s not how it’s made — just look at how the film is oriented when it exits your Instax camera. Like the Kodak instant film or any camera without a mirror between the lens and the emulsion, you have to shoot the back or you get a mirror image. I’ll update this post or do another one with the optics involved so you can see I’m not full of beans.

I can’t bust his chops too much — he has a calico.