Tag Archives: photography

52 Cameras: # 125 — Kodak Six-20

For lending me the camera — Thanks Dave!

Amazing collection of Kodak catalogs at Kodakcollector.com.

A clarification: The camera could be as late as 1934. The catalog years overlap — 1932-33, 1933-34, 1934-35. The 34-35 catalog is the first one to show the “Action Front” push button bed release. The 32-33 catalog is the only one that explicitly states the camera is available in black or brown but I don’t know if later model years had the color choice. If it is from 33-34, the doublet was the low-end lens with an f/6.3 or f/4.5 anastigmat as an upgrade and a Diodak shutter option which added 1/10 second to the speeds of the Kodon.



View of the Truchas Mountains.

View of the Truchas Mountains.

The scalloping at the top of the next image is from re-spooling the film. I didn’t have it perfectly parallel to the 620 spool rim so the film & paper came off at an angle and wrinkled.

No idea -- it looks like water.

No idea — it looks like water.

Taken with the tape and poster board seals. Still leaked.

Trinity in the sun.  Instax with the tape/cardboard seals.

Trinity in the sun. Instax with the tape/cardboard seals.

Trinity on the sun porch.  No leaks!

Trinity on the sun porch. No leaks!




That’s it for posted images taken with this camera. About the kludges follows.

Dark room and an LED flashlight inside show just how leaky the bellows is.

Dark room and an LED flashlight inside show just how leaky the bellows is.

Sketching out the "over bellows".

Sketching out the “over bellows”.

Getting the cardboard between the bellows and the folding front was a challenge. Good view of the aperture setting: U.S. 8=f/11, 16=f/16, 32=f/22, 64=f/32.

Nothing like a closeup to show how dusty it is.

Nothing like a closeup to show how dusty it is.

I thought I was done here.

I thought I was done here.

The back is 6 X 9cm and the front is sized to let the Instax frame slide in.

Instax Mini adapter.

Instax Mini adapter.

I still got light leaks between the top and body. I tried yet more tape before giving up and shrouding the whole thing with my dark bag.

Getting kind of silly with the tape.

Getting kind of silly with the tape.

I don’t have a proper darkroom so here’s the process. I taped up the Instax film box to use as a transfer station.

  1. Put the film in the box.
  2. The box and camera go into the dark bag. Remove the film, remove one frame from the cartridge, insert it in the holder in the camera, and put the cartridge back in the box.
  3. Meter, carefully take the camera out of the bag, and shroud everything but the lens and shutter trigger.
  4. Take the shot and put the camera back in the bag.
  5. Take the frame out of the holder, slide it back in the Instax cartridge, and put the cartridge in the light-tight box.
  6. Put the Instax camera in the bag, load the cartridge, take it out, cover the lens, and shoot it to run the print through the Instax rollers.

I got turned around a couple of times and loaded the Instax frame with the image side towards the lens. I burned through most of a box of 10 prints to get two OK images but it was still a lot cheaper and faster than using negative film (re-spool, reload, process) for each iteration.

52 Cameras: # 124 — Olympus Infinity Stylus Zoom 140




I did a bit of editing on most of the images. It’s from the film (age=grain and loss of speed) and scanner noise.
I walked around Santa Fe while my car was being serviced.  This chicken was hanging out in a bush by the sidewalk.

I walked around Santa Fe while my car was being serviced. This chicken was hanging out in a bush by the sidewalk.


"Brickface Hope" by James Tyler.

Brickface Hope” by James Tyler.


Window in downtown Santa Fe.

Window in downtown Santa Fe.


Beautiful old Pinzgauer.

Beautiful old Pinzgauer.

52 Cameras: # 123 — Minolta XE-5




Fuji ISO 200 film of unknown vintage. Some grain in low light but not bad for being in someone’s garage. Processed and scanned by The Camera Shop of Santa Fe.

Bulb and writing with the cats' laser pointer.

Bulb and writing with the cats’ laser pointer.


Sleepy Zoe.  Mostly shots of the cats on this roll.  Handheld at f/1.7 at ~ 1/30.

Sleepy Zoe. Mostly shots of the cats on this roll. Handheld at f/1.7 at ~ 1/30.


Goober.  Handheld at f/1.7 & ~1/30.

Goober. Handheld at f/1.7 & ~1/30.


Goober with flash.  F/16 & 1/90 at 3 feet*.

Goober with flash. F/16 & 1/90 at 3 feet*.


* With the old Achiever 115A flash, ISO 200 should be at f/22 at 3 feet but the Rokkor-X PF 50mm f/1.7 only stops down to f/16. Exposure compensation wouldn’t help since the exposure is based on the flash duration and the only correction the camera could do would be to double the shutter speed at -1 exposure compensation (to adjust the exposure down to ISO 100 which is on the flash table at f/16 and 3 feet). A -1 stop ND filter would work but I didn’t have one handy. I got lucky with the film’s exposure latitude (or it’s slower because it’s old) and it’s not overexposed.

F/1.7 = tiny depth of field.  I tried to focus on Trinity as she came towards me.  With the shutter so slow it's hard to tell.

F/1.7 = tiny depth of field. I tried to focus on Trinity as she came towards me. With the shutter so slow it’s hard to tell.


I darkened everything but her eyes.  Lemonade!

I darkened everything but her eyes. Lemonade!


One more of Zoe just because I like it.

One more of Zoe just because I like it.


I turned on the den light & remembered the camera was on the tripod just outside the window.  I thought I'd ruined the shot and stopped the exposure at about 10 minutes.

I turned on the den light & remembered the camera was on the tripod just outside the window. I thought I’d ruined the shot and stopped the exposure at about 10 minutes.

52 Cameras: # 122 — Argus Argoflex Seventy-Five




It really is one of the brighter viewfinders I've seen.  L-R reversed.

It really is one of the brighter viewfinders I’ve seen. L-R reversed.


I included this to show the film edge markings.

I included this to show the film edge markings.


Blurry from the shutter sticking but I kind of like it.

Blurry from the shutter sticking but I kind of like it.


Super-blurry but I like this one too.

Super-blurry but I like this one too.


I’m still trying to find my Photoshop Elements disk. It’s in a box somewhere. In the meantime, I’ve been using GIMP. The workflow is really different but it’s growing on me.
I did a digital graduated filter on this one to boost the shadows on the bottom.

I did a digital graduated filter on this one to boost the shadows on the bottom.




I have a few shots from disassembling the camera to clean it. I’ll combine those with photos of the 2nd tear-down to fix the shutter and post here. Hopefully followed by another roll of images.


Not much for images — the shutter still sticks. A couple of images and the disassembly/attempted repair experiment.

So I’ve had this film in my freezer for a while…

Kodak High Contrast Copy Film

Kodak High Contrast Copy Film

Type 5455 to be more specific

Type 5455 to be more specific

Information is pretty sparse for this film. I found a datasheet for “Recordak Micro-File Film Types 5455 & 7455” that seems to be the stuff.

Not knowing how to properly read a film datasheet yet, I searched around and found some info on Type 5069 and started there. If it’s similar, this film was originally rated for ~ ISO 25 (or less — specs for microfilm film are strange). Bracketing my first 24 exposure roll, this stuff is about ISO 6.

Tree bark.  Nikon FA set to ISO 25 and +1 exposure compensation (ISO 12).

Tree bark. Nikon FA set to ISO 25 and +1 exposure compensation (ISO 12).

Cloudy sky through the trees.

Cloudy sky through the trees.

Wormy wood.

Wormy wood.

I used Kodak HC110 developer dilution ‘B’ at 68F for 6 minutes, agitating the 1st 30 seconds and then 5 seconds every 30 after that. Definitely too much agitation for this film. I got nasty over-development marks at the sprocket holes. Next time I’ll try a much weaker dilution, less agitation, and longer time. I’ve also read that highly dilute Rodinal works well and Photographer’s Formulary makes TD-3 for techpan films. I still have about 97 feet so it will be fun to experiment.

I used Canon Scan Gear for the first two and VueScan for the last one.

Once I learn what I’m doing with this film, I think it will turn out some great exposures.

Inside an Agfa Rapid Cartridge

Emboldened by having two ‘D’ cartridges, I decided to dissect one to see what’s what.

Somewhere, I saw a complete Rapid tab letter to film speed chart but I can’t find it (I hate it when I do that). The charts I can find skip ‘D’.

One camera had CT18 film in it and had a supply side cartridge ‘D’.
This photo shows CT18 as being ISO 50.
The chart I found (A=25, B=25, E = 64, G=100, H=125, J=200, N=400) puts ‘D’ between ISO 25 and 64.

From this, I can be reasonably confident that a ‘D’ tab is ISO 50.

Edit: Found a more complete chart: A=25, B=32, C=40, D=50 E=64, G=100, H=125, J=200, N=400

D-tab cartridge

D-tab cartridge

I used to think the copper fangs helped hold the cartridge together. Once I really started looking at it, I decided they would interfere with the film if that were the case. Maybe they hold the felt in place?

Copper fangs -- What do they do?

Copper fangs — What do they do?

It took me a while of pretty close examination to figure out that the ends are crimped on over a lip on the body of the cartridge.

Carefully working the end off.

Carefully working the end off.

Success and not too mangled!

Success and not too mangled!

This is a bit of a surprise.

This is a bit of a surprise.

There is an inner spool.

There is an inner spool.

The spool fits inside these springy bits.

The spool fits inside these springy bits.

The springy bits are attached to the cartridge by the fangs.

The springy bits are attached to the cartridge by the fangs.

The film is guided by (goes inside) the springy bits and around the outside of the plastic spool. No wonder it was so hard to push in a 24 exposure roll of film.

Speed tab rivets.

Speed tab rivets.

The system seems really complex but Rapid film was designed to drop in and wind without having to insert the film leader into the take-up cartridge. The spool/springy bits system would allow the film to exit flat across the feed sprockets and roll up inside the take-up cartridge without binding.

I think I can make a workable cartridge out of plastic.



The film:

For Rapid cameras that produce 24mm X 24mm images, this film is 16 exposures. The overall length is 23 7/8″ or ~ 60cm.

The leader is 1 3/8" or about 3.5cm.

The leader is 1 3/8″ or about 3.5cm.

The tail, marked "EXP", is 2 3/8" or about 6cm.

The tail, marked “EXP”, is 2 3/8″ or about 6cm.

The leader and tail are textured to stiffen them.  It probably helps the film not slip into the cartridge too.

The leader and tail are textured to stiffen them. It probably helps the film not slip into the cartridge too.

That’s it for now for my mini-adventure with Rapid film.

52 Cameras: # 120 — Agfa Isoflash-Rapid C




One specification missing from the manual and most of the web is the focal length of the lens. I haven’t independently verified it but this Lomography article says it is 42.5mm.

The T-shirt is a design by my brother Mike. He did it when Catherine Coulson, best known as the log lady from Twin Peaks, died in 2015.

Since I found the second camera and have 4 Rapid cartridges, I can afford to dissect one and see if it’s practical to duplicate them.

Grainy trash can.

Grainy trash can.

Walk-up window at the Stop & Eat.

Walk-up window at the Stop & Eat.

I’m using new scanning software, Vuescan. So far, I love it. Its batch processing is kind of weak. You have to be able to give it the frame spacing beforehand and I scan too much weird stuff. Also, including spacing around the negatives throws off the exposure (see images below for the way around it). Still, it’s much better for just about everything than Canon’s software.

Using the Canoscan 9000f film holder.

Using the Canoscan 9000f film holder.

Same image with the negative directly on the flatbed.  I can't even express how useful this is going to be.

Same image with the negative directly on the flatbed. I can’t even express how useful this is going to be.

Negative scanned as slide film.

Negative scanned as slide film.

Playing with inversion and contrast boost made something interesting.

Playing with inversion and contrast boost made something interesting.

Telling the software that negatives are slides removes the correction for the color of the emulsion. It’s pretty easy to do it right but this was fun, learn the software time. The right way: Set it for color negatives (most B&W emulsion is pretty clear), set the crop area to the image, lock the exposure, expand the crop area to include the sprocket holes, and hit the scan button.

52 Cameras: # 119 — Minolta Hi-Matic S




My sweetie at Santa Fe Bar & Grill.

My sweetie at Santa Fe Bar & Grill.


Detail of a controversial (and vandalized) mural in progress in Santa Fe.

Detail of a controversial (and vandalized) mural in progress in Santa Fe.


Interesting morning light on a closed produce stand in Española, NM.

Interesting morning light on a closed produce stand in Española, NM.


This is in the video but Trinity is so darn cute.

This is in the video but Trinity is so darn cute.


Princess Zoe is not amused by the attention the kitten has been getting.

Princess Zoe is not amused by the attention the kitten has been getting.


The velociraptors like that I haven't raked the leaves -- more bugs that way.

The velociraptors like that I haven’t raked the leaves — more bugs that way.




Update 12 July 2017: This camera found a new home on my ETSY store.
New light seals since the review. They were pretty easy to do. Felt at the hinge and thin foam strips press-fitted into the grooves.

Minolta Hi-Matic S -- front

Minolta Hi-Matic S — front


Minolta Hi-Matic S -- bottom

Minolta Hi-Matic S — bottom


Minolta Hi-Matic S -- back

Minolta Hi-Matic S — back


Minolta Hi-Matic S -- flash up

Minolta Hi-Matic S — flash up


Minolta Hi-Matic S -- back open

Minolta Hi-Matic S — back open

52 Cameras: # 118 — Ansco Craftsman (1950)

Thanks Sonette!


Ansco also made a box camera ca. 1926 called the Craftsman No.2A.



Not a lot of images to show in addition to what’s in the video. Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros developed in Kodak HC-110.

Because the shutter is slow I used a Y2 filter (1 stop) for most of the shots on this roll. The yellow provides a nice contrast boost too.

I’m really impressed by the sharpness of the images. No post-processing other than resizing.

Zoe checking out the new-old rug for my office.

Zoe checking out the new-old rug for my office.

Lousy composition but I love the contrasts in aspen bark.

Lousy composition but I love the contrasts in aspen bark.

The neighbor's goats.

The neighbor’s goats.




I struck out trying to find a manual or information and had to find out for myself.

Checking the focal length
I taped the inside edge, where the film insert goes and marked the tape at the film plane.

Marking the film plane

Marking the film plane

Next I taped the lens inside so I wouldn’t scratch it with the calipers and put a thin piece of card stock along the film plane line.

Card stock to measure against the calipers

Card stock to measure against the calipers

The calipers have a post that sticks out as the jaws open allowing depth measurements.

90mm-ish

90mm-ish

Checking the aperture
You can see the aperture in front of the lens but behind the shutter.

Aperture

Aperture

The Play-Doh was covered in plastic food wrap as I held the shutter open with the stem from a cotton swab and pressed it into the aperture. I could have used about five hands for this operation. Thankfully, there isn’t glass in front of the shutter.

7mm-ish

7mm-ish

~90mm focal length / ~7mm diameter = ~f/13.

And then I found this ad. I need to re-find it on the web so I can give proper credit.

f/14

f/14

Checking the shutter speed
I set the Olympus to 240 frames per second and shot the shutter six times. In Quicktime, I counted frames from closed (pure black) to closed again. From my working notes:

Vid at 240 frames / second = 4.17 ms / frame

1. 14
2. 12
3. 12
4. 14
5. 12
6. 11
——
75 / 6 = 12.5 frames

12.5 x 4.17ms = 0.0521 seconds = ~ 5/100 = ~ 1/20 second avg.

fastest = 11 = ~ 4.6/100 = ~ 1/22
slowest = 14 = ~ 5.8/100 = ~ 1/17

Frame counter window

Frame counter window

The red window is bright and easy to read. Maybe too easy. The right edge of the aspen image and the top of the goats have some funky marks. It could be from processing. I’d need to shoot another roll doing frames with the window covered and uncovered to be sure.

Note to self: Cover the window on an old unknown camera unless that’s part of the test.