Lensless.

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x 3.

I recently added the ONDU 6×12 Multiformat pinhole camera to my pinhole camera collection.

Nice little box. I got the walnut version. It is so pretty.

I also have the 8Banners MC and Zero Image 2000 6×9 pinholes.

I’ll use the 8Banners for 6×6 and keep the other two at their intended format.

I found an inexpensive padded insert on Amazon that has handles and a hook-and-loop attached lid with a zippered pouch, perfect for storing a yellow filter for the ONDU and a shutter release cable for the Zero Image.

It came with a pair of padded dividers, to help keep the cameras separate. Nifty find.

Each camera has its own Manfrotto 785PL Quick Release Plate, used with the awesome 785B Modo tripod.

I also put together and printed a separate exposure chart for each box using Mr. Pinhole’s Pinhole Camera Exposure Guide. A very useful resource.

I’ll get out with these boxes in a couple of weeks, most likely shooting B&W for a while so I can tank develop at home. I’ll shoot color, too.

Should be fun.

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Ex Libris.

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Learning is never ending.

A half-dozen photography related books I’ve added to my library over the past year.

Photographers on Photography: How the Masters See, Think & Shoot
Henry Carroll

Analog Photography: Reference Manual for Shooting Film
Andrew Bellamy

A Chronology of Photography: A Cultural Timeline From Camera Obscura to Instagram
Paul Lowe

Photography Changes Everything
Marvin Heiferman

Experimental Photography: A Handbook of Techniques
Marco Antonini, Sergio Minniti, Francisco Gómez, Gabriele Lungarella, Luca Bendandi

Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography
David Ulrich

Messy.

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But essential.

I replaced the seals on the Olympus 35RC Saturday afternoon. It was another hot Texas day, but I had the fan blowing on me while I sat at my work table in the garage.

Removing the old seals was pretty easy, but messy as hell.

I used any and every tool I could find in the studio to scrape off the old seals and adhesive. Q-Tips, tooth picks, and mineral spirits were helpful in coaxing off all that ages old gunk. As was a couple of different X-Acto knives, skewers, and craft sticks.

Getting the new seals on was a bit tricky – fortunately the kit came with two sets of seals. Very helpful!

The trick is brushing on a little Purell hand sanitizer (the kind without moisturizer) to the sticky-back of the new seals, leaving a bit sticky where the seal is first applied.

You’re given a little bit of time to position the new seal, let the purell evaporate, then press the seal into place.

About an hour and a half total. Not bad.

I loaded it up with a 24 exposure roll of Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be getting out next week with two local area film shooters. A short trip down to Austin is planned, with preliminary sights on walking the streets around the newish Austin Library. Maybe even go inside. We’ll see.

At ay rate, I have one of my Domke F6 bags filled with a handful of film shooters for the event. The 35RC, an Olympus Stylus Epic, Nikon One•Touch Zoom 90, Sprocket Rocket, the Fujifilm SQ6, and my Minolta XG-1 + 24mm ƒ/2.8.

Should be fun.

Use what you have, revisited.

scan-comparison.jpgA little experiment.

An update on my adventures last Sunday morning with my Zero Image 6×9 pinhole camera.

I developed the Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 that was in the camera back on Thursday, along with the *fat roll I posted about last Tuesday… more on the mystery roll soon.

Everything went smoothly with the developing. Stock D76 @ 68º for 7 minutes 15 seconds.

The negatives hung in the hall bathroom until the next day, and they were dry by the time I was ready to scan.

The Epson V500 I have has been a work horse over the years, handling everything I throw at it. But things went south from the beginning on this particular task.

Things went south from the beginning on this particular task…

There’s a white background that snaps in-and-out of the scanner lid, it’s not needed when scanning film. Took it out. Then I pulled out the 120 negative scan tray and loaded up a strip of three shots, set up the scan software per usual, and went through the process of creating a preview before actually scanning.

That’s when things started to go awry. The preview was splitting up the negatives in a way that was totally unusable.

I fiddled with every the setting I could, but the results did not change.

I remembered watching a You Tube video some time ago that showed how to scan a negative as if it were paper. I figured I’d play a bit and put the white background back in the bottom of the lid and removed the negative from the scan tray, placing it emulsion side down so the film curled away from the glass, then ran the software as normal for scanning documents.

Well, that worked. Kind of…

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Intrigued, but not totally satisfied that I couldn’t get the scanner to work properly, I set about fiddling some more. I noticed a button near the bottom of the interface that was labeled “reset” and thought, what the hell, then clicked it.

And this time the machine worked as designed. Happiness.

After a few dialog boxes, everything seemed like normal, so I set the scanner up again for negatives.

And this time the machine worked as designed. Happiness.

Here’s the result…

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I like them both. You can see more detail in the shadows of the first scan, and I like the somewhat distressed appearance. The second, proper scan is very clear (for a pinhole shot) and not as washed out.

It’s a 3 second exposure, taken at the La Frontera shopping mall, from a car wash located in the southeast corner of the property. I asked permission to park and played in an adjacent field, with my tripod and camera set-up in the shadows cast by the fly-over.

Love the lines, curves, and shadows. The sun was still pretty low in the sky and being blocked by the column on the left side of the image.

* a fat roll is when 120 film does not roll tightly around the take-up spool, usually resulting in light leaking to expose the edges of the last few coils at the end of the roll.

Use what you have.

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Spot on.

I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on a full-blown spot meter.

The model I’m interested in, the Minolta Spot Meter F, has a price range of roughly $100-$300 US on eBay depending on condition, seller, and shipping.

I spotted (!) another option on eBay. It’s the Minolta Viewfinder II 10 Degree Spot attachment for their Minolta Auto Meter IV F. It just so happens that I have one of those little gems. The Auto Meter IV has been in my kit for many a year.

The attachment goes for around $50. I figured it’d be a good investment and learning tool. There were enough decent reviews in forums to convince me to give it a try and since the cost was reasonable, I went for it.

I’ll look into a Spot Meter F again next year, but for now I think this attachment will be useful.

I’ll be loading up the 4×5 film holders with Fomopan 100.

I’m looking forward to getting out with the Shen Hao.

When something’s broke.

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Fix it.

I did it. I finally sent my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 to The Panasonic Factory Service Center just down the road in McAllen, TX for a good sensor cleaning.

Over the past year or so I’d noticed a few little – and not so little – specs showing up in images that I’d made while using smaller apertures.

I didn’t mind too much, as they could be cloned out or I could do a content-aware fill to remove them. Shooting macros at ƒ/1.7 wasn’t an issue, either. I do a lot of that.

The dust doesn’t show when shooting wide open. But recently I was trying to get some good star flare in a sunset shot, at ƒ/16, and when I looked at the image in Photoshop there were so many specs that cloning or a fill just wasn’t feasible.

… a dusty sensor is kind of a thing with the LX100.

I started doing a little research online and found that a dusty sensor is kind of a thing with the LX100. Plenty of threads on the various forums had complaints. And a few whacky solutions.

One person came up with a device made from a plastic soda bottle that slipped over the lens barrel, with a vacuum hose attached to the other end, and after turning the camera on he’d zoom in-and-out while the vacuum did its thing. Some folks claimed success.

I was hoping the repair department of our local camera store, Austin’s Precision Camera, could do a proper cleaning. I called. It was worth a shot, but no, they suggested sending it to Panasonic.

A little research turned up examples of folks who’d sent their LX100 in to Panasonic. Some under warranty, some not. I couldn’t find what Panasonic charged for out-of-warranty sensor cleaning on any forum.

And finding the page on the Panasonic web site for actually initiating the cleaning was not easy. It’s Service and Repairs on the shop part of their site.

After a few back-and-forth emails, I learned that they’ll do a complete inspection of the camera for free. The sensor cleaning is $100 US. And coincidentally, that amount was kinda’ the threshold for me. Any other issues cost extra. It works fine, so I hope it just needs the sensor cleaned.

… my questions were answered by Agent 5 and Agent 4.

A funny side note… the folks who communicated with me via email didn’t use their given names. Instead, my questions were answered by Agent 5 and Agent 4. A bit quirky, and something I have not previously experienced with any customer help.

The forums all had stories about folks getting back their LX100 and, after use, the dust returning. And there were many questions about the latest version having the same issue.

All I know is the LX100 is probably the best digital camera I’ve owned and after 4 years of use, the $100 is worth making the camera usable again. Hope fully I’ll get another 4 years out of it.

Now, if Panasonic decides to add a flip-up rear display to the LX100III, whenever that might happen, I’d definitely upgrade.

I’ll do a follow-up post when my LX100 is back in my hands.

My desk.

The utter chaos that is my desk

Utter chaos.

Sometimes more, sometimes less, but without a doubt, always a mess.

1 > Olympus Stylus XZ-2 & Sony RX100III battery chargers
2 > An unexposed roll of 35mm Ilford XP2 Super 400 I pulled out of an old Canon SLR
3 > Fuel
4 > An unopened box of Fomapan 100 4×5 film (soon!)
5 > iPhone 8
6 > Blood pressure log & calendar
7 > Zero Image 6×9 pinhole camera
8 > Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
9 > Western Digital 320GB external USB powered hard drive
10 > Apple Mac Mini, 2012 vintage (16GB RAM)
11 > Nikon P300 point and shoot
12 > A pair of Newer Technology 2TB hard drives
13 > 8Banners pinhole camera
14 > Apple Magic Mouse
15 > Nikon One•Touch Zoom90 AF Quartz Date 35mm camera
16 > Thingyfy Pinhole Pro S11 pinhole cap
17 > Olympus M.Zuiko 15mm f8.0 body cap lens
18 > Sekonic Flashmate L-308S light meter
19 > Minolta XG-1 w/Rokkor MD Rokkor-X 28mm ƒ/2.8

There are a few other things that’re just out of view, like an ATT wireless router, a Kodak instant photo from 1984 of my future wife and I (35 years this month), 2 Fuji FP100c prints from the Shen Hao, a 1970 nickle, an ‘R’ scrabble tile, a blue mini-armadillo toy, an Ilford 120 Pan F Plus ‘unexposed’ paper band, a Minolta lens cap and body cap, a Lumix lens cap and body cap, my Epson V500 scanner with a bunch of stuff stacked neatly on top of it, another stack of external drives, an aging Drobo, a really old Mickey Mouse coffee cup that has a Tokina 28-108mm ƒ/3.5 Minolta mount lens in it, an Apple USB Super Drive, an old Sekonic Twinmate L-208 light meter in its storage bag, and those are really nice Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers flanking a pair of ViewSonic LED monitors.

Wild.