Rusty shutters #27.

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Polaroid one600|Ultra.

January 2006.

I’m pretty sure I bought this camera at Costco. 13 years makes an old man’s memory shaky.

At any rate, it was before Polaroid stopped producing their 600 film, which was available from Costco at a not-too-terrible price. As I recall, 5 packs were less than 40 dollars US.

This guy got a lot of use before I moved on to the SX-70. I shot it around downtown San Jose and my old neighborhood in Santa Clara, CA.

Sad thing is I no longer have this camera – or if I do, I don’t know where I stashed it – but I do have a few other Polaroids that’ll use up my remaining packs of 600 film.

Body: Two-tone silver/darkgrey, pop-up
Lens: 100mm, 2 element, plastic, fixed focal length
Aperture: ƒ/2.9
Shutter speed 1/3 – 1/200sec
Flash modes: Auto mode, flash off mode, red-eye reduction
Viewfinder: LCD info screen shows flash mode, film counter and self timer status
Focus: 2 ft to infinity
Size WDH: 4.7in x 6.2in x 3.6in
Weight: 18oz

Moody.

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Willie, too.

I made it down to Austin this morning for a stroll with the PhotowalksATX gang. Simi had us meet beneath the sculpture of Wille Nelson, outside the legendary Moody Theater of Austin City Limits fame – attending a show there is on my bucket list – and by 8:30 am we’d reached a quorum of 8.

Besides Simi, I knew Michael and RJ (that’s his Kodak Pony, above) from previous walks, plus Ed, who I know from NAPƒS, showed up. That was pretty cool. George, Ina, Sean, and Timothy were the new folks I got to meet this time around. (I hope I got their names right!)

We started out by walking over to West Cesar Chavez St., stopping to shoot around Austin City Hall.

After that, we slowly made our way west on Cesar Chavez until we reached the Austin Library. We made our way to the butterfly bridge, crossed it then inched our way eastward on 2nd till we ended back at Lavaca Street.

I… found myself shooting in B&W mode. And square. A lot.

I took the GX8 and X100s with me, but used the Panny mostly and found myself shooting in B&W mode. And square. A lot. That’s okay, though. I got a few decent shots.

It was pretty close to 11 a.m. by then, so everyone headed over to the downtown Whole Foods for lunch. We had a hell of a time finding enough chairs to seat all 8 of us around the larger of the two sizes of tables they had, but eventually everyone had a place to sit and we ate then talked for at least an hour.

Great fun. Simi is awesome. If you’re in the Austin area, you should give this once-a-month gathering a try.

I headed out a little after noon, driving up Lamar until a left on 45th then a right on Burnet Road got me closer to my last stop. I finally dropped off the 4 rolls of 35mm C41 at Austin Camera. It’ll all be ready for me to pick up next Sunday. Yay!

 

Rusty shutters #26.

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Samsung NV11.

May 2007.

I really liked this little guy and was getting a lot of use out of it. I even took it to Omaha, Nebraska. I walked all over town with it in-between attending a conference for the university. Got amazing results. I absolutely loved the user-interface and menu system.

And then one day after work I was getting out of the truck and I dropped it. It wasn’t the first time that had happened. It was the third. And final. Dead.

It came with one strap lug and a hand strap. Not my favorite set-up. I’ll never be a fan of that configuration.

Over the years, I’d occasionally scour eBay to see if anyone was selling theirs. In early November 2018 I finally found a used Samsung NV11 in near mint condition for an extremely reasonable price.

Back in the saddle, you might say.

This time ’round I attached a lanyard. Better safe than sorry… again.

Resolution: 10 megapixels
Max image size: 3648 x 2736
Display: 2.7in LCD @ 230,000 pixels
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 4 sec – 1/2000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.8 – 4.4
Focal Length: 7.8 – 39mm
Macro: .39in
Zoom: 5x optical
Metering: Center-weighted, multi-segment, spot
Dimensions WDH: 4.2in x .9in x 2.5in
Weight: 6.8oz
Power: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (SLB-1137D)
Memory card: SD/MMC/SDHC

Rusty shutters #25.

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Olympus XA.

March 2006.

I’d been on Flickr a couple of years and noticed a fair amount of folks using film cameras and posting their work in film-only groups.

There was a lot of positive information about this tiny 35mm rangefinder and I just could not resist adding one to my collection.

The XA is pocket-sized with great glass and it’s just plain simple to use.

I’d only shot a couple of rolls – Fujicolor Superia 400, Ilford XP2 400 – but the results were awesome.

I could probably replace the light seals, but it works just fine as is. I’ll get out with this little guy in 2020. More black and white than color.

Film type: 35mm
Focal length: 35mm
Aperture: Manual ƒ/2.8 – ƒ/22
Focus: Manual .85ft to infinity
Shutter speeds: Auto 10sec – 1/500sec
Viewfinder: Rangefinder
Size HWD 2.6in x 4.1in x 1.6in
Weight: 7.8 oz
ASA: 25 – 800

Practice makes perfect.

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Seeing makes pictures.

I attended last night’s NAPƒS meeting to hear Ted Keller talk about “The Value of Practice.” It was a good talk and his experience with teaching/training was apparent.

It struck me how many of his theories and methods I’ve unconsciously used in my years of playing with cameras.

I am not a classically train photographer. I learn (even to this day) by research, applied practice, and a whole lot of intuition.

I like to play. Experiment. I also spend a lot of time looking at the work of other photographers. I read about photography. I watch videos. I make a lot of pictures.

And that’s where my interest in photography starts… with the picture.

… I’m convinced that paying attention, being in the moment, and seeing is even more critical.

Sure, knowing how to use a camera is important, but I’m convinced that paying attention, being in the moment, and seeing is even more critical.

I’m more interested in the act of making a photograph than I am in the technical details of operating a camera. I find that using extremely simple film cameras – like the Agfa Click I or the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim is a liberating experience.

See. Point. Shoot.

Modern cameras – in all their complexity – can be intimidating. And unforgiving. So Ted’s insistence that practice prepares one for being ready is absolutely true.

Just don’t forget to look around or you might miss the shot you were practicing to get.

One last thing… the member print exhibit. Patti Mitchell’s concert shots were stellar. To paraphrase Bill Bunton, “It’s easy to see why she consistently wins in the competition every month.”

Note: The last photo club meeting I attended was the second Monday back in September, the Round Rock Image Creators. I’ve only attended one Round Rock Photography Club meeting. Now that NAPƒS has split the competition to 1st Thursday and the Speaker to 3rd Thursday I’ll have to weigh which club gets my eyes and ears in 2020. Bummer.

Because one is never enough.

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My light meter collection.

Left-to-right: Minolta Spotmeter F (newest, as recently posted), Minolta Auto Meter IV F, (I’ve had this one the longest), Gossen Luna Pro (yard sale find), Sekonic Flashmate L-308s, Sekonic Twinmate L-208.

After posting about the Spotmeter F, I thought to round up all my meters and document yet another of my many photographic obsessions.

All these meters were purchased for use when shooting film.

I bought the Minolta Auto Meter IV F back in the mid-90s, not long after it was released. Great little incident meter. If memory serves, I bought it at Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto, CA.

The Luna Pro was part of a bunch of gear and expired film I purchased at an estate sale in Sunnyvale, CA. for US $22.50. Not bad, and it works.

The L-308 was added in June 2009. Another nice incident meter, a little smaller than the Auto Meter IV F.

I bought the tiny L-208 in August 2008.

All four incident meters can be used as spot meters, too. Just move the white globe out of the way of the sensor and point at the subject,

 

Evolution.

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Ch-ch-changes.

I love my little X100s. It’s a great camera, both in form and function.

And I’ll admit that I’m a gadget junky, so when I purchased it back in mid-2013, naturally I wanted to dress it up with a few extra gizmos.

I started with a Gariz black leather half-case. Then I attached the extremely useful LensMate thumb grip. Next was the JJC LH-JX100 slotted silver metal lens hood.

Added up to a nice little set-up.

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It was a long while before I’d noticed another shooter using a slightly different JJC lens hood, and thinking it was pretty cool that the original Fujifilm lens cap fit over it, I switched to the JJC LH-JX100II, a cool lookin’ hood without any slots.

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The good thing about both JJC hoods is they fit over a 49mm UV filter, no adapters necessary.

Well, today the Squarehood MkII arrived in the mail. Another cool lens hood for the X100s.

I’d seen pictures of them on IG over the last year or so, mostly the black model, attached mostly to X100f cameras.

I like the look of the Squarehood, but I didn’t get the filter adapter. It’ll do just fine without.

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At some point I’d like to move up to a Fujifilm X100f – or whatever the next iteration happens to be, but I’m still diggin’ the X100s.