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!

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.

Not quite Spring.

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Felt like it, though.

I spent the first Saturday morning of February walking around Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. Around 10 folks showed up for Simi’s PhotowalksATX gathering.

There were a few familiar faces – Greg, George, Ed, Ana – and a few folks I’d not met before – Justin, Derrick, Another Ed, Scott – and some folks whose names I did not get nor hear.

It was a beautiful Winter morning in the garden.

It was a beautiful Winter morning in the garden. A little chilly to start, but by the time folks were heading to lunch, it’d warmed up nicely.

It was my first visit to Zilker Gardens. Beautiful grounds. It has a lot of nice winding, gently sloped, paved paths, for ADA compliance I’m guessing, but there were also steps to use. Thoughtful.

I brought along the Sony RX100 III, my trusty Panasonic Lumix LX100, and it was my first outing with the Fujifilm XQ1.

There were a few paper whites popping out of the ground, and rose blossoms, pansies, and a few other flowers, but since it’s the dead of winter, mostly palms, ferns, and well, just a whole lot of green.

… it was my first outing with the Fujifilm XQ1.

Entrance into the gardens was $7 US for me, a senior, but that included parking. Not bad really.

There was a beautiful waterfall in one section of the gardens that I’m pretty sure everyone got a shot of… my picture was a little off-center, but it managed to catch a little cool lookin’ sun flare.

I was so busy focusing on getting into the gardens that I didn’t notice the front entrance gates, but the Rose Garden Gate on the north side of the property was something to behold. The only reference to the artist that I could find online was Lars Stanley and Louis Herrera.

Lunch was at Schlotsky’s on South Lamar. There weren’t as many folks as on the walk, but it was still a good crowd.

Simi’s photo strolls are always awesome.

Trust.

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Pure and simple.

My efforts to learn about and appreciate Lone Star talent have resulted in a new addition to the Texan Photographers section of the Morris Library.

Weeping Mary
Photographs by O. Rufus Lovett
First Edition, 2006.

Beautiful images, interesting story.

I spotted a black and white “ussie” of Mr. Lovett and Scott C. Campbell in IG Explore – it’s spooky how much Texas-related stuff shows up there – and noticed a comment made by Keith Carter, another legendary Texas discovery.

Side note: I added Carter’s Fifty Years to my library last year.

Anyway, me, being the snoop I am, had to take a peek at Lovett’s stream. Lots of interesting shots, and after a little more internet research I came across high and wide praise for his charming book of photos of a very small town and its residents in East Texas.

I was able to find a first edition of Weeping Mary in excellent condition for a great price.

Around the world.

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Well, kind of.

There’s always a story.

Back in mid-August I purchased one of the G3 Ondu 6×12 pinhole cameras.

I’d just missed the Kickstarter pre-order deadline, but the good folks at Ondu were kind enough to give the pre-launch price, even though it was my fault for letting the purchase linger in the shopping cart on their site. They actually reached out to me, which was nice.

The 6×12 arrived in around 3 weeks. It’s a beautiful piece of art.

About 3 days later, another box arrived. It was another 6×12. Not sure how that happened, but I reached out to them via email, telling them that I’d be happy to send it back if they covered shipping. They appreciated my honesty and gave me a mailing address. About a week later I finally got to the local post office and sent the package via mail.

I sent them a note with a picture of the receipt and Jessi at Ondu asked how to reimburse me. So cool.

I was waiting for word from them that the package had arrived, occasionally checking my PayPal account for evidence that it’d reached Slovenia.

Nothing.

Then right around Christmas the box I’d sent came back. For some unknown reason it was returned to me. So weird.

I waited a couple of weeks past the holiday to reach out via email to let them know what had happened, attaching a picture of the travel-worn package. I asked them in my note “I’m not sure what to do about this, folks. Any ideas?” and Elvis replied “… this camera just is meant to be yours. Lets not complicate things more.”

Now I have two Ondu 6×12 pinhole cameras.

Still deciding what I’ll do with it, keep it or gift it.