Out of the blue.

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Now that’s service.

I received a envelope in the mail last week. It was totally unexpected.

After looking at the return address, I had to think back to an eBay win I had back in November 2019. It was the Minolta Spotmeter F w/Case, through a seller known as Classic Camera Authority.

… this is the first time something like this has happened.

The envelope contain the original manual. They sent it gratis. Amazing.

In all the years I’ve been buying photography stuff on eBay, this is the first time something like this has happened.

Ahem… save this seller!

Cool and dark.

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Life’s about making adjustments.

My extremely rocky re-entry into developing film last year resulted in one botched and one barely salvageable roll of Ilford Pan F Plus, shot with my Hasselblad 500c/m and Holga 120S.

I was using a new dark bag to load the film onto Paterson reels. Even though it was done in an air conditioned room, the amount of heat my nervous and excited hands and arms generated caused enough steam in the bag to make the film stick to itself, totally ruining the Hassy roll.

The Holga roll wasn’t much better. The edges of the film got pretty crinkled, but I managed to feed the whole roll onto the reel without sticking to itself in the process.

Seems like a lot of trouble, huh?

The hall bathroom in our home has a separate water closet with a door. I can close the hall door, get my film rolls, reels, the tank parts, scissors, and any thing else I might need set up on the lid of the plastic tub where all this dev stuff is stored. I then turn off the light over the sinks. It’s easy to move the tub into the closet and close the second door.

It is absolutely dark in there, but I put a rolled up towel at the base of the door, just in case. I also take off my watch. After everything is situated, I sit on the toilet lid with the tub in front of me and turn off the light.

Seems like a lot of trouble, huh?

I haven’t screwed up a single roll since making this change, so the effort is worth it.

Plus, I’ve ditched the dark bag.

Offbeat.

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Fun and funky lenses.

It must be my love of toy cameras that compels me to experiment with offbeat lenses on my mirrorless cameras.

I have a good collection of weird add-ons, from Lensbabies to C-mount CCTV lenses and I recently added an Olympus M.Zuiko 9mm ƒ/8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens to use on my m43 boxes. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but reviews and sample images I found were convincing.

Pictured above are are four from my stash of curious and weird lenses… Olympus 9mm ƒ/8 Fisheye Body Cap, Thingyfy Pinhole Pro S, Pentax 25mm ƒ/1.4 CCTV, Lensbaby Composer Pro/Sweet 35.

Rusty shutters #35.

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Diana Mini.

August 2009.

I already had a Diana 151 when the Lomography folks released this little guy, and I thought adding this 35mm camera to the collection could be fun.

It’s a cool toy that’ll shoot half-frame and square, but I keep it on the square setting.

Loading film is super-easy, and all the controls are quite similar to what you’d find on the Diana 151, so there’s zero learning curve.

I’ve run 3 rolls of Kodak film through it so far, BW400CN, Elite Chrome 100 (XPRO), and Gold 200. All three performed well.

Yet another film camera I need to put a little more effort into using.

Film type: 35mm
Shutter Speeds: ~1/60 – 1/100 sec
Aperture: ƒ/8, ƒ/11
Focal Length: 24mm
Viewfinder: Optical
Focusing: Manual/zone – ~2ft – infinity
Dimensions HWD: 2.8in x 4in x 2.4in

Party on!

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Ilford FP4 Plus party.

This’ll be my first FP4 Plus Party, and in more ways than one – I’ve not used the film before.

The plan: 6 shots in the Ondu 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, 12 shots in the Hasselblad 500c/m, 24 shots in the Smena 8M.

I’ll need to mix up a fresh batch of D76.

It seems this is primarily a Twitter thing, but I’ll post a few scans here and eventually post a few faves on @dogbonesoup, too.

March 2-8: shoot week
March 9-15: dev/scan week
March 16-22: post week
March 23-29: lamentation week

Should be fun.

Rusty shutters #34.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III.

May 2019.

I wanted to bring a few point-and-shoot cameras on our 2-week tour of Portugal and Spain last year, but they had to be small enough to fit in the awesome Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L.

The RX100III was one of three that made the trip.

I like this little shooter a lot. My fave parts are the flip-up LCD, the Zeiss 24-70mm ƒ/1.8 lens, and the lens ring. The macro’s not bad, either.

The camera’s menu system is just okay and the controls are nicely arranged, so using the camera is pretty much a breeze.

I like this little shooter a lot.

I don’t use the viewfinder. No real need. Plus it has the nasty habit of turning off the camera when pushed back into the body.

I added a tasteful Gariz half-case and – since I’m not a big fan of wrist straps – I use an extra neck strap I had, a super-thin Panny with plastic clip/nylon cord connectors. Works perfectly.

Great little digital camera.

Resolution: 20.1 megapixels
Max image size – 5472 x 3648
Display: Tilting 3in LCD @ 1,228,800 pixels
ISO: Auto, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800
Shutter Speeds: 30 sec – 1/2000 sec
Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Focal Length: 24-70mm
Macro: 1.97in
Dimensions WHD: 4in x 2.3in x 1.6in
Weight: 9.28 oz
Power: Sony NP-BX1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC

New Old Stock.

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Quirky new addition.

This little guy arrived in the mail last week. It’s a Smena 8M. A Russian viewfinder camera.

An eBay purchase, it’s New Old Stock. Seriously. The box that showed up in the mail was sealed and unopened. They were manufactured from 1952 until the late 80s, but a little internet research reveals this one’s likely closer to the late 80s.

To call this thing quirky would be an understatement.

Full manual. 35mm. No battery. The shutter needs to be cocked before each shot.

The aperture ring – ƒ/16 to ƒ/4 – is inconvenient as hell, and loading and unloading film will be interesting because the rewind is a smaller-than-a-dime button with a serrated edge on top of the camera. No crank. The film take-up spool is loose.

It has shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/250 second, or one can go by sunny to cloudy icons at the top of the lens barrel.

There are videos aplenty on YouTube, if you’re the curious type.

So, besides the Smena 8M, I’m down to about 20 cameras to document:

  • Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
  • Diana Mini
  • Shen-Hao HZX45-II
  • Polaroid Land Camera Model 180
  • Voigtlander Bessa I
  • Minolta XG-1
  • Minolta XG-7
  • Polaroid Colorpack II
  • Argus 520
  • Debonair 120
  • Pinholaroid (hacked Polaroid Colorpack II pinhole)
  • Sprocket Rocket
  • 8Banners Mc (pinhole)
  • Zero Image 2000 (pinhole)
  • Ondu 6×12 Multiformat (pinhole)
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Spartus Fullview
  • Argus Argoflex
  • Yashica-Mat 66

It’ll take a while to go through them all since they’re mostly old film cameras, but it’ll give me a chance – and excuse – to use up my film stash.

I’m pretty sure I’ll keep adding cameras to the list – because GAS – but putting these cameras through their paces will be my main focus for 2020-2021.

Take a few seconds and check out what I’ve put together so far over on @rustyshutters.