Sunday, January 22, 2012

Black and White Film Photography

I had the opportunity to shoot black and white film on three of my Minolta cameras recently. Overall, I am pleased with the results from my Minolta cameras!

The pictures, taken in Old Placerville, in this collage were taken with the Minolta Hi-matic 7s. I have had it for about 3 years at least and this was the first I'd tried it out. The first shots I took with it, I forgot to focus on the subject by utilizing the built in parallax correction. And there were at least four instances where I forgot to remove the lens cap!! I am rather pleased with the output of this camera! Next, I will be using expired film with it, the better for producing lomography effect!

Here's another shot taken with the Minolta Hi-matic 7s of Main Street in Old Placerville.

I forget how dependent I have become on the auto-focus function of the digital cameras! The pictures in this collage were taken with Minolta X-370 using 28mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4. The focus on the majority of the pictures of people was not particularly sharp. It was a lot easier to focus on objects.

I owned a Minolta Hi-matic AF2 when I was a college student in the early 80s. I was always happy with the output of that camera and when I saw them on ebay, I just had to get one! I got a beautiful looking one for under $20 and I just couldn't wait to try it out. I used a C41 process roll of black and white film because I didn't want to wait two weeks to get the pictures back! As it turned out, the pictures had a reddish tinge on them because the C41 process black and white film was not truly black and white. That was the first I'd tried such a film. I bought a few rolls, but now I know better - the true black and white films produce much better pictures.

The local water tower here in Galt, shot with Minolta Hi-matic AF2 using C41 process black and white film.

Finally, here's a "self portrait" shot with Minolta Hi-matic AF2. :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Film Cameras

As you can see I have been playing with my film cameras!  I have acquired a few more film cameras since the last time I wrote about my vintage camera collection.  Even two vintage instant Polaroid cameras to add to the collection!  And I have a couple more cameras on the way.  :-)

The Minolta Freedom Zoom 90 on the bottom right is a freebie, and I took it the kids school for two days this week and took several pictures of the kids and their friends at school.  I have one more shot left in the camera and the roll is ready to be developed.

I am really thrilled by the Olympus Stylus 120.  I got it for a mere $10 (inclusive of shipping) at a Goodwill auction site.  As if that is not enough, I won a bid (I was the only bidder) on an Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 170 for a mere $15 and that amount includes shipping!  A steal, really!

The pictures of the kids on the right side of the collage were taken with Olympus OM-2n.  I am really happy with the output of this camera.  The pictures of Duncan on the left were taken with Minolta X-370. The pictures taken with that camera were mostly dark, and I suspect that was mostly due to the fact that the majority of the pictures were taken in the shade and the film speed that I used was not that suitable for taking pictures in the shade.  The other possibility could be the inaccuracy of the built-in light meter in the camera - due to its age.  However, I doubt that is the case because the first roll I took using that camera when I first got it came out ok.  I will have to try another roll of film with a higher ISO to be certain.

I sent in 3 rolls of black and white film to be developed some time last week.  I didn't want to have to deal with mailing in the rolls of film to a place outside Sacramento, so I took them to Walmart and let Walmart send them out.  Two weeks turn around time, they said.  So the photos should be ready for pick up by the end of next week.  I can't wait to see the result!  I should tamper my excitement because they could all turn out to be crap! :-)

I ordered a good photo scanner last weekend and it arrived on Wednesday.  I am really happy with this scanner because it can do a much higher resolution scan than my scanner/printer unit.  The new scanner can also scan slides, negatives and editable documents, and much to my delight, it came bundled with Photoshop Elements 9!  Not that I know how to use that software, but hey, there are tutorials on YouTube!

I don't know what it is about film cameras and film photography, nostalgia perhaps, but they seem to have stirred up quite a passion in me!  I am like a kid playing with my toys!  ;-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Moon, Flowers, Cat

Waxing Gibbous on the evening of Jan. 6, 2012

It was a clear evening and the moon was inviting. So I took out my tripod, telescope and my Olympus E-P3 which was already fitted with a T-mount to micro 4/3 adapter. This was my first attempt at capturing the moon with the E-P3 and telescope combo. The crisp picture of the moon showing up on the LCD screen was a delightful surprise. It practically covered the whole screen! No crop was needed for this shot!

It's been a while since I took out my OM 50mm f3.5 auto macro lens. This winter we are experiencing a very mild winter and despite several days of frost there are still daisies on the bush! They are always one of my favorite macro subjects.

Here's a shot of another daisy.

What a pleasant and delightful surprise it was to see Bird's Eye Speedwell on the ground in the winter! In the spring the ground would be covered with this pretty flowering weed! These are very tiny flowers and they measure not quite half an inch in diameter.

How can I not take a picture of my cat that loves to be with me in the yard when I am holding my camera? She was having a jolly old time "bathing" in the dirt that the gopher left on the ground!

*All pictures were shot with Olympus E-P3*

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vintage Cameras

I had never owned a 35mm SLR camera before because I couldn't afford one. My film camera experience was confined to the film point and shoot cameras, and I still remember my very first Minolta semi-auto focus which I bought when I was in college. Boy, did it take quality pictures! Haze started to accumulate in the view finder as years went by, and one of my brothers was the last person to have used it. I am not sure if it is still in his possession. Now I own several vintage film cameras! :-) My mother-in-law gave me about five and recently I acquired a few more from eBay.


  I won this beautiful range finder Yashica Electro 35 on eBay. It appears to be a working one, and I am still waiting for the battery to arrive before I can fully test it with film. Size-wise it is slightly larger than the OM-2n, and it is even a teeny bit larger than the Minolta Hi-matic 7s (given to me by my mother-in-law) which I thought was large!


  This beautiful Olympus OM-G is also another acquisition from eBay. I have several OM lenses that I use, with an adapter, on my Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-P3, and it makes perfect sense to actually own an Olympus OM SLR or two, right? I have not tested it with film yet, but the camera is in good working condition.


  When I received this Olympus OM-2n, also a recent acquisition from eBay, I was dismayed to see only darkness when I looked through the viewfinder. Dang it, the seller sold me a camera without a mirror!! No, no, he did not! :-) Turns out the camera is capable of interchangeable focusing screens and the mirror was in the up position when it was shipped to me. A tool to flip it back down did not come with the camera but the user's manual says using the finger carefully to bring it down works as well. I've not tested this camera either, but it is in good working condition. I need to use up the rolls of film in two other cameras before I start testing these recent acquisitions.


  Today I contacted my niece, who is into photography, and asked if she'd like this Canon AE-1. The answer was a resounding "Yes!" She told me she could not wait to hold the camera in her hands. The camera is now with a Vietnamese friend who is taking it back to Vietnam with him so he can have it CLA'd at a camera service shop there. It costs a lot less to have it serviced there and he will return it to me, together with a Minolta XG-7, via a friend who travels between California and Vietnam frequently. 

  Today I won an Olympus Trip 35 (I was the only bidder) on eBay. So my collection of vintage cameras grows!