Shen-Hao HZX45-II.

Look out, 2021.

I have this.

I also have a half-dozen 4×5 film holders.

And three boxes of black and white sheet film **.

And a Polaroid 405 back, not t’mention a healthy stash of fuji peel-apart.

And a shade cloth.

And a Toyo focusing loupe.

And light meters.

And a sturdy old Calumet tripod.

Using all that was one of 2020’s goals.

Getting out with all this stuff is now a 2021 goal.

Wish me luck.

** I also ordered that cool LomoGraflok 4×5 instant back (and 10 2-packs of Instax Wide film. That’s 200 shots!). Their site lists an April 2021 ship date – here’s hoping it arrives before Spring ‘Roid Week, which starts on 4/18. Fingers crossed!

Bums.

Another drive-by shooting.

October 2007. Polaroid Spectra AF + Spectra 990 film.

Described as “Fall ‘Roid Week 2007, day two!”, here’s what I wrote about it for my original Flickr post

“I tried walking into this place once before. It gave me the heebie-jeebies! I had to leave. Really!

I was on my way home after work yesterday and knew this opportunity was presenting its spooky self once again. Since I was carrying my Spectra with me I decided to stop. I’m glad I did. I went in. Got permission from the owner. Took two shots. This was the better of the two. Still gave me chills, but I got the shot I’d envisioned.”

13 years later, I still have this camera. But no film. Polaroid Originals stopped making film for these cameras earlier this year and I know the Impossible folks aren’t producing any, either.

eBay prices are a little out of my comfort zone, so I guess my Spectra AF will be for display only.

Sad.

Argus Autronic I.

Broken beauty.

I was given this old Argus Autronic I by a friend, who tells me it belonged to to his dad.

It was produced between 1962-65. 50mm ƒ/2.8. For a 35mm camera it is huge. And it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 2.77 lbs, including the fan-flash, half-case, and strap.

He also gave me the original manual, a bit tattered but intact.

First thing I did was open up the back, crank the film advance and checked to see of the shutter opened. It didn’t. I tried a few more times, could see the the shutter leaves moving, but no light was coming through. Bummer.

I’m gonna make a wooden stand for it, counter-sink a hole on the top of the stand to accomodate the case knob – so the camera sits flatly on top of the stand – and another hole on the bottom of the stand for a short 1/4-20 bolt/washer to secure it.

I’m thinking I’ll decopage/collage the manual pages to the stand and glue a chunk of felt to the bottom.

It’d be cool to find an old, unused M-base flash bulb, as I’d want to open up the fan-flash while on display and having a bulb in it would be a nice touch. I’ll check eBay.

Very cool.

Classical glass.

 

tiny-yellow-acid-1080

A little macro action.

I have an adapter that allows me to use old manual-focus Minolta lenses on my micro four thirds cameras.

I made this particular lockdown garden shot – one of three Bulbine’s we have in pots on the back patio – using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and a Minolta MD Rokkor X 50mm ƒ/1.4 lens that I’ve had for years.

I shot it square, there’s no cropping, but I did run it through the Urban Acid action, adding a few personal tweaks.

A twilight shot, the camera was pointed into the sun-less early evening sky, I shut it down a bit to get more of the flower and buds in focus – plus a smaller aperture allowed me to move the camera in closer. No flash, all natural light.

Titled “Yellow Bulbine,” I like this shot bunches.

Oh, and sorry about the really poor Mason Williams reference. Sometimes I just can’t help mysef.

It’s that time again.

brownie-trio

Shitty, shitty, shitty.

The Shitty Camera Challenge is happening soon. It’ll be a little different than last year, I think, as it’s being touted as the “Quarantine Special” this time ’round.

It lasts from June 1 to August 31, 2020. Not exactly clear about when to post, but I’m sure that’ll all get figured out as time progresses.

I looked on eBay to see if I could find some camera that’d be adequately awful to use, but found zero inspiration. I was about ready to throw in the towel.

Larry found it in the garage when they moved into the house…

Fiddlin’ in the studio I came a cross a handful of old 120 spools, mostly plastic, but one of them was metal. It has the words “KODAK FILM” embossed on both ends. Pretty cool.

It reminded me that I have a 50th Anniversary Kodak Brownie that a neighbor in the old ‘hood gave me. That old thing had a roll of Verichrome Pan in it, which I developed using D76. That’s where the spool came from.

wp-brownie

Of the three pictures that turned out (see top of post), two looked to be from the seventies and one looked earlier, maybe late fifties or early sixties.

Larry found it in the garage when they moved into the house, held onto it until late 2007, when he gave the camera to me.

I also have two rolls of expired film to use, a March 1968 expired roll of Verichrome Pan plus a June 2008 expired roll of Plus-X. The camera shoots ~6×9 so I’ll get 8 shots per roll.

 I’ll probably rig something up so I can compose and shoot horizontally…

Today I dusted it off and cleaned the, uh, viewfinder. It’s really not much of a viewfinder, honestly. I’ll probably rig something up so I can compose and shoot horizontally… you know, landscape.

The little red window that’s supposed to show the picture numbers has faded to a fairly transparent orange-ish yellow, so I made a little flap out of a piece of gaffers to cover-up between advancing shots. Should help.

I think it’ll do. Funky, fun, and free.

Rusty shutters #36.

0000-pinholaroid-35mm-f140

Pinholaroid.

September 2008.

Modified Polaroid Colorpack II – 35mm @ ƒ/140. No batteries required!

After removing the lens and shutter, I lopped off a good portion the front, then fitted a neatly cut and trimmed piece of black ABS to cover the resulting hole. This made for a shorter distance to the film plane and a wide angle of view.

I measured for center, then drilled a 4/16″ hole through the front plate. The shutter and shutter-stops came next. I measured for the shutter location, drilled a pilot hole, then attached the shutter with a small brass screw, washer and nut. The stops were super-glued. Super-simple operation.

I cut a 3/4″ square piece of soda can and used a very small sewing needle and a sheet of binder paper folded up a bit and placed beneath it to punch the hole through the aluminum, slowly, sanding the back of the puncture to smooth it out. The pinhole is attached to the inside of the camera with gaffer tape.

I turned the camera upside down and added a viewfinder, using a simple 200 degree peep-hole from Home Depot. I used ABS for the viewfinder support, drilled a hole to accommodate the peep-hole and super-glued the bracket to the camera body. The viewfinder placement is dead center above the pinhole.

Having removed the original Colorpack II viewfinder – which is now on the bottom of the camera – I cut out 6 of pieces of ABS that mimicked the shape of the Manfrotto tripod mount I use, each slightly smaller than the next. I glued them together, then drilled a hole for a 1/4-20 sleeve to attach the Manfrotto mount.

In a stroke of good luck, the pattern on the ABS was a close match to that of the Colorpack II. I finished off the Pinholaroid by painting all the exposed ABS satin black.

A fun little project. I even have a decent stash of Fuji pack-film to use with this camera.

The party’s over.

 

March 2020 FP4 Party: A few final observations.

It was quite the experience.

I enjoyed every aspect.

It got me out with film cameras, new and old.

I tried a film new to me.

My skill at loading 35mm and 120 film on the Paterson reels continues to improve.

Developing with D76 yielded excellent results.

I found a groove every week.

Looking through Twitter at the #fp4party hashtag for the past 7 days to see what other party-goers posted was a treat.

Followed some new folks, gained a few followers on Twitter, IG, and Flickr.

Thanks to the FP4 Party hosts.

Here are my 7 submissions, last-to-first…

the-gate.jpg

The gate
Georgetown, TX
Saturday, March 7, 2020
ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 7

sprinkles.jpg

Sprinkles
Georgetown, TX
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 6

used-cars.jpg

Used cars
Thorndale, TX
Friday, March 6, 2020
Hasselblad 500c/m, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 5

bridge-to-nowhere.jpg

Bridge to nowhere
Georgetown, TX
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 4

the-bucket.jpg

The bucket
Round Rock, TX
Monday, March 2, 2020
Hasselblad 500c/m, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 3

nine-right.jpg

9 right
Georgetown, TX
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Smena 8M, FP4+ 35mm, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 2

mid-century-emptiness.jpg

Mid-century modern emptiness
Taylor, TX
Friday March 6, 2020
ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole, FP4+ 120, D76
FP4 Party Post Week, Day 1

Necessity…

fingers.jpg

… is the mother of invention.

I got out with my new-ish ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole camera a coupla’ weeks back for FP4 Plus Party.

Multiformat means it’ll shoot 6×6, 6×9, or 6×12.

I have a really cool 8Banners Mc pinhole that’s set to shoot square, a shiny Zero Image 6×9, so the ONDU will be dedicated to 6×12.

As previously noted, I shot 6 images with the ONDU. Of the 6, 3 had my fat fingers showing in the right side of the frame. Those shots were roughly 1 second exposures. Super-sunny days. There are lines in the top of the camera that tell you what’ll be in view for each, and my fingers fell into that space.

I’ve come up with a nifty way to get my digits out of the picture.

I used Illustrator to draw up a simple extender. Then I used a low-tack spray adhesive to affix the drawing to a piece of repurposed plastic from my 2019 Office Max calendar cover. I keep everything. The perfect-sized hole was made using simple hole punch. I sanded the edges and tied a piece of ribbon in the hole at the other end.

The rubber band was already in place – it keeps the shutter from opening while the box is in my camera case. Now it can hold the extender in place and serve as tension when using the extender. Easy to put on, take off.

Simple. Used stuff I had. Great solution. Free.

I started posting shots for the FP4 Plus Party on Twitter today.

Loaded.

plus2-03.jpg

Ready to party.

Three cameras, loaded and ready for FP4 Plus Party. Starting tomorrow.

I may add one more, the tiny Olympus Stylus Epic.

I have a few shots in mind, but mostly I’ll just try to get out as many days as I can and shoot up all these frames… 6 in the Ondu pinhole, 12 in the Hassy, 24 in the Smena 8M.

42 frames over 7 days. Averages out to 6 shots per day.

Should be interesting.