September 25, 2010

Nikon D40 + M42 to K/AR mount adapter + CZ Jena Biotar 58mm f2

One of my six year olds took this. Full manual. Okay, I preset the f-stop and he danced around until my face was in focus. Nevertheless, he did a good job.
Plunking a M42 lens onto a Nikon is actually fun.
The lens is set at infinity focus. It's actually focused at around 2.6 feet. Judging from the depth of field it was set at f4 or f5.6.

The rig:

September 24, 2010

Canon MC

Canon MC, originally uploaded by *jj*.

Started shooting with this camera today. Using Kodak BW400CN. Set at 100 ASA. Mostly.

For an update on shooting with the Canon MC read here.


TypeFully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter autofocus camera
Picture Size24 x 36 mm
AF SystemTriangulation system with near-infrared beam. Prefocus enabled.
Lens35mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 4 groups)
ShutterElectromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture. EV 6 (f/2.8 at 1/8 sec.) - 17 (f/16 at 1/500 sec.). Built-in electronic self-timer.
ViewfinderReversed Galilean viewfinder with projected frames. Within the image area are the AF frame, zone focusing marks for near, medium, and far distances, parallax correction marks, and battery check and camera-shake warning. 0.46x magnification,
EESPC for full-auto program EE. Metering range of EV 6 - 17 (at ISO 100). Film speed range of ISO 64 - 1000.
Power SourceTwo 1.5 V size-AAA batteries
Film Loading &
After opening camera back, align film leader at mark then close the camera back for auto loading. Film advance is automatic with the built-in motor. Film advance speed of 1 fps.
Frame CounterCounts up. Resets automatically when camera back is opened. Counts down during rewind.
Film RewindAutomatic rewind with built-in motor. Midroll rewind enabled.
Direct attachment with locking feature. Guide No. 11 (at ISO 100 in meters). Fires at full output at all times. Powered separately by two 1.5 V size-AAA batteries.
Dimensions &
106 x 65 x 42 mm, 255 g (with batteries)
137 x 65 x 42 mm, 330 g (with MC-S and batteries)

September 21, 2010

Minolta Freedom Escort

Minolta Freedom Escort, originally uploaded by *jj*.
Leica this, Leica really doesn't feel like a Leica but then neither did Leica Mini II.
Designed by Minolta and Panasonic. Made by Panasonic.

For the specs, visit Sylvain Hagland's website. It will be for the Leica Mini II. Here's how it was ballyhooed by Popular Science:

Here is a nice picture of the Leica version on Flickr, notice it's described as a 35mm Elmar (some version say 34mm....are they actually different?), and also a Panasonic from Arty Smokes Photostream:

Leica mini II

Panasonic C-625AF Super Mini

The equivalent of the blue screen of death for the cheap flickr user.

By Tony Kemplen: reflected self-portrait with Voigtlander Bessa-L camera

Tony posted @

Taken with Voigtlander Bessa-L camera in week 37 of my 52 film cameras in 52 weeks project:

At 12mm, this lens claims to be the widest angle rectilinear full frame 35mm lens available.

The front of the lens was only 15cm from the mirror.

Sometimes super wides seem like trick shots but this lens is superb for the self-portrait.

In many ways, the lens captures the way we see familiar environments. By that I mean it conveys what we know is there, even if it is in the periphery of our normal (50mm-like) vision.

Longer focal lengths frame away parts of the world and thereby alter they way we see the world around it. They can even renew how we see the world.

The superwide can confirm our familiar domestic vision - such a weird focal length and yet it may be the best lens to describe the quotidian. Nice work.

September 19, 2010

Fujifilm X100 autofocus viewfinder camera

Photokina, the camera festival in Cologne just launched. The above DIGITAL, APS-C camera by Fuji was presented.

It is a true optical viewfinder that also uses a LCD information display which can be seen simultaneously through the viewfinder.

The easy access to setting shutter speed and aperture is amazing. How making changes on one dial effects the performance of the other.

It may have an autoselect between aperture and shutter priority which would explain the easy access +/- exposure dial.

It's beautiful. It will come out in 2011.

**Extra: If you're wondering what you can see in the viewfinder. 1. Shot Mode 2. Shutter speed 3. Aperture (sorry, pretty obvious, I know) 4. This is neat, this is the depth of focus indicator 5. File size. I'm not quite sure what's on the left hand side.

September 18, 2010

Biotar on AR adapter on Nikon D40 shoots Tessar

, originally uploaded by *jj*.

Interesting discovery.

I can use my M42 to AR (Konica) adapter to affix the new ancient and dirty East German CZ Jena unbadged "Biotar" 58mm f2 lens to my Nikon D40. It kind of fits but I was to scared to turn the AR adapter on the D40 until it clicked. But it was light tight nonetheless.

The Biotar has bubbles, black flecks and dry grease. The Tessar, however, is perfect and mostly lives behind a Rollei 30.5mm UV filter.

September 15, 2010

Classic Lens Designs

Okay, I keep looking for a nice Zeiss solid-body viewfinder camera. Thing is there are just too many lens types out there. Sometimes I think it be nice to get a Voigtlander Vito or something like that BUT the number of lens names is dizzying. Which one exactly, is supposed to be the equivalent of a four elements in three groups?

Wonder no longer. Here is a list of lens - you can figure which Schneider or Voigtlander design is the equivalent of whichever Zeiss design!

The Biotar lens I bought today would be six elements in four groups.

I used to be quite snobby about not wanting a three element lens on a vintage viewfinder and have consequently avoided them. However, my camera repair man Horst Wenzel - trained in Hasselblads and Leicas - says my triplet TLR, Yashica 635 with a Yashikor 80mm lens, will do fine even against the Yashinon found in the Yashicamat 124-G.

Unless, of course, he says, I plan to blow my negatives up four feet by four feet.

Anyhow, a recent article/sale announcement at Japan Exposures regarding a boutique design triplet has me thinking about being open-minded about triplets as well.

Certainly, Pentax Espio Mini's (aka UC-1, seen above) have done okay with just three elements.

1.Agfa Agnar 1:6,3; 1:4,5; and Agfa Apotar 1:4,5; 1:3,5
2. Zeiss Novar 1:6,3; 1:4,5; 1 :3,5
3. Voigtländer Vaskar 1:4,5
4. Steinheil Cassar 1:4,5; 1:3,5; 1:2,8

5. Schneider Radionar 1:4,5; 1:3,5; 1:2,9
6. Agfa Solinar l :4,5; 1:3,5; 1:2,8
7. Zeiss Tessar 1:3,5; 1:2,8
8. Schneider Xenar 1:3,5; 1:2,8

9. Voigtländer Color Skopar 1:3,5
10. Schneider Xenotar 1:2,8
11. Voigtländer Ultron 1:2,0
12. Rodenstock Heligon 1:2,0

13. Schneider Xenon 1:2,0; 1:1,9
14. Zeiss Biotar 1:2,0
15. Zeiss Sonnar 1:1,5
16. Voigtländer Nokton 1:1,5

C Z Jena 58mm f2 lens with Konica Autoreflex TC with a Konica M42 Adapter

This lens is in rough shape. The classic dried grease problem.

I plan to take it apart and give it a good cleaning. This is the kind of lens I don't mind mucking with.

I just read here about how underneath the first ring, one may find another ring with a scraped off Carl Zeiss. In the post-war period, Carl Zeiss Stuggart took exception the flood of Carl Zeiss Jena product from East Germany. For the East German cameras and lens to be sold in the West, the items were required to stop violating Carl Zeiss in Stuggart's trademark.

I'm glad I've added this as I haven't really put this body in the mix before either. I've decided to make my Konica Autoreflex TC the official M42 body in this household.

September 11, 2010

Pentax Program Plus with Auto Chinon 50mm f1.4

What can I say? I'm a gearhead.

The nice thing I can say about this body is it's a metal shutter camera. It won't fire without batteries.

Wonky shutter speed selector. You have to press the up or down button on the top plate. The flash syn is 1/100 which is better than the 1/60 on my Konica TC-X.

It is a very ugly camera. But it's nice to have a K-mount camera around. My first. This is not the body which came with the lens.

How not to take a picture of a camera for craigslist

I usually try not to let it bother me.

But too often people attempt to sell or perhaps unsell cameras on craigslist.

As a person who supports the gear acquiring habit by also gear selling, I can't imagine how certain postings would appeal to anyone who loves cameras.

I like buying cameras from people who love cameras. I don't like paying a ton. I prefer if it's more like an adoption. It occurs for the good of the camera. I think you might know what I mean.

So how is it even close to a good idea to sell a camera like the ad posted above? It shows disregard for potential buyers.

It demonstrates zero interest in the object sold. I'm sure its just junk to the seller who is greedy enough to think they will find someone callow enough to buy their camera.

I say don't buy it. Even if you want a Minetta, whatever that is.

Sometimes, you find value in a camera because the person doesn't know what they're selling (but is it fair?). I do it. But when it comes to older cameras, I like to treat them and the seller with respect.

But is the seller's duty. Show what they look lke as well as you can online. Not a bad idea. I, mean, you're trying to sell a camera. A photograph would be nice, right?

Here are a few other thoughts about good camera selling methods for craigslist:

  • 1. Show a decent picture of the lens. Try to take the lens cap off the lens.
  • 2. Accurately post the brand, model and other significant details - for a body that means shutter speeds, shutter type (cloth or metal), metering options - for a lens I like to know about focal length, minimum focus distance, and aperture range.
  • 3. How about a name? Just a first name if you're worried about security. Even a fake male name if you are a woman. Just something so people can address you properly. I always feel my morale sink when I'm forced to simply say, "Hi, my name is JJ, I'm calling about the XXXX camera." Okay, you know what, it's not too bad. But if you're a man what's wrong with giving out a first name?
  • 4. Telling buyers you've been online checking ebay and really know the value of the camera you are selling only let's the buyer know you know NOTHING about the camera you are selling or its value. They are the last people I want to deal with and I never do.
  • 5. It's okay to know nothing about a a camera you know nothing about - but then sell it for a price you think is fair (I call this internal pricing, if you feel good, it's good a price). I've sold lots of gear for less than the going price and have felt no qualms. It's all about Karma.
  • 6. Saying "thanks for looking" is always polite.

Lots of people who buy gear do it for fun. Trying to make it a pleasant experience for yourself and your buyers just adds a little civility to the whole interaction. Plus, if you are a camera fanatic, you might just make a like-minded friend.

Thanks for looking.

Auto Chinon 50mm f1.4 K-Mount

Auto Chinon 50mm f1.4 K-Mount, originally uploaded by *jj*.

Sometimes one comes across a piece of gear that is so intriguing one can't resist it.

While I'm not a stranger to f1.4 primes, this one drew me in. It is a Chinon, not exactly a Takumar or a Hexanon (those are the ones I have) nevertheless, I had to buy it. It wasn't cheap. It was attached to a DAMAGED k1000 and they wouldn't sell it to me separate.

So I bought the whole kit and immediatedly donated the body back. What can you do?

I thought I'd post it because I haven't seen any online and thought it might add to the collective photographica knowledge.

Auto Chinon 50mm f1.4 side

Warhol camera hunt update

In my search to document the cameras Warhol used, I can confirm, Warhol had THREE boxes of Olympus AFL in his dining room. They were photographed shortly after his death in 1987.

September 9, 2010

Ambivalent shot of the day (or Goodbye Summer)

, originally uploaded by *jj*.

I've had this roll undeveloped in my bag for two weeks.

It had been exposed on my L35AF. Obviously, it was from my day at the beach. I met the gentleman above in my usual patrol of men doing odd things while half-naked.

He made the cut. His kids had covered him in the silty wash from low tide at Locarno Beach. I took two exposures.

I couldn't wait to get the roll developed but it took longer than I thought. I really thought this would be the shot of the summer. One to add as one of my favourites.

As it turns out, it's not. And I'm very disappointed. I only get one or two chances to add a photo to the series every summer. Now, Labour Day has come and gone.

He does have an interesting self-mocking smirk but the composition fails to move me.

I really wanted it to feel like this image:

Diane Arbus MD 1970

There are a zillion reasons why mine does approach what's going on in Arbus's Tattooed Man. But what jumps out the most is how the man has his arms spread.

Next year. Again.


September 8, 2010

Olympus Infinity or AF-1

Olympus Infinity, originally uploaded by *jj*.
Unlike the rest of the Infinity (if not Stylus) family, this camera has a Zuiko lens. It bridges the Zuiko lens of the XA series, while seeking out the full AF AE features of the Infinity Stylus models.

Also known as the AF-1 and Nurepika. (Note: a Warhol camera.)

Arty has the basic specs.
I had to open up the camera to clean the uv filter. The weather proofing gasket made it difficult to take out the screws. I didn't not bother to put the gasket back in. Technically, no longer a wet flash. But I think it will do better and not develop any more fungus on the filter. Just like a leaky condo, sometimes it's better to let a camera breathe.

Note: the camera lacks a NO FLASH option. Learn to love the flash. With a slowest shutter speed of 1/30 (max is 1/700) this camera most likely emphasizes sharpness.

Another thing, the focus lock is very odd. Press the focus lock. Hold it down. Then hold down the shutter. It won't fire. Then recompose. Then RELEASE the focus lock! It shoots.

If you want to disengage without firing, simply take your finger off the shutter release.
The best way to hold it is with your left hand index finger on the focus lock. This means you will have three fingers on the front side. I tried to do it with my left thumb but it was awkward.
See pics below.

September 7, 2010

From Canon's first commercially available digital EOS SLR

If you've ever wondered what a sample image looked like:

This is from the Canon EOS DCS 3. It had a max of 1.3 megapixels on a sensor slightly smaller (1.7X) than the APS-C. I could be wrong. If it's true, that's impressive. 1995 for $2 million yen.

September 6, 2010

Vernacular photography or found photography

As a person who relies on snapshot type cameras to take most of his pictures, family photographs interest me.

I like the language and composition (however accidental) and overall the artlessness of it all.

A very nice site which accepts found photographic portraits is Look At Me.

September 5, 2010

Nikon AF 600 or Lite Touch

Originally uploaded by *jj*.
I am always disturbed to see discarded images of real, and presumably, living persons at the thrift store. Forgotten. Sad. I can't help but feel its there because of an act of hate or self-hatred. Why is the boy with the nice smile there?
This is shot with a Nikon AF600 which I sought out for a long time. I still haven't given it a thorough work out.

It has a 28mm at a maximum aperture of f3.5. It can focus as close as 14 inches.

A run-down on fine and not-so hot Nikon P&S can be found

and here, if you read French.

In the picture below, it's the one in the top left corner:

Point and Shoots

This is a specs table from poindexter, WHO:

Production date 1993
Camera type 35mm autofocus lens-shutter camera
Picture format Normal 24mm x 36mm, Panorama 13mm x 36mm
Lens type Nikon 28mm f/3.5, 3 elements in 3groups
Lens cover Opens/closes automatically with power button ON/OFF
Shutter Programmed electronic shutter; also serves as diaphragm blades
Max aperture f/3.5
Min aperture f/16
Min shutter speed 1/4 sec.
Max shutter speed 1/25th sec.
Shooting distance 0.35m – infinity (1.1 feet – infinity)
Film speed DX-coded film automatically set to ISO 100, 200, 400 or 1000
Focusing Active autofocus system. Infinity Focus – locks focus at infinity
Auto focus lock Yes.
Autofocus confirmation Yes, red.
Hot shoe or pc sync No.
Self timer One or two self timer shots at 10 second intervals.
Viewfinder Real-image viewfinder; 0.28X magnification; finder coverage (at 3m) approx. 82%
Viewfinder display Normal/panorama format, frame lines.
LCD display Flash, frame counter, low battery indicator, timer, infinity focus
Film loading Auto
Auto rewind Yes, with mid roll override.
Rewind time (24 exp) n/a
Auto shut off Yes. ~ 3 minutes
Metering system ?
Exposure compensation No.
Built in flash Yes, GN 7 (ISO 100 in meters). Auto-flash, red eye, slow sync
Flash recycle time ~ 3 seconds
Tripod socket Yes
Ergonomics Fair
Shutter lag Fair
Battery One 3V (CR123A)
Est. battery life Approx 23 roll of 24 exp., 18 rolls of 36 exp.
Body construction Plastic
Filter ring No
Dimensions (W) 108mm x (H) 62mm x (D) 32mm
Weight 155g

Recent activities

I purchased an Olympus AF-1 and a Minolta Freedom Escort. While reputedly the Minolta was the chasis for the Leica Mini II, I'm not sure this means it is a great camera.

September 3, 2010

Wanted: Nikon Coolpix 700

Friends. Help me out. My camera hunting is becoming odd and exotic. But if any of you have this camera or know of someone who owns it let me know if they're willing to sell or GIVE it to me. I'd like to try shooting with it. PS I know it's digital.

The following specs are from

CoolPix 700 specifications

Type of

Camera E700


high-density CCD; Total number
of pixels: 2.11


Choice of 2
pixel sizes: 1) 1,600 x 1,200
(UXGA), 2) 640 x 480


lens; Multicoated, 5 elements
in 4 groups, aspherical glass
lens, f = 6.8 mm with macro;
(35mm format equivalent: 38),
F 2.6; Fisheye and Wide-angle
adapter can be attached
(optional); Optional step-up
ring required for adapter


digital zoom: 1.25x / 1.6x /
2x / 2.5x


TTL autofocus, 127-step
autofocus control


by menu on LCD : 1) Continuous
AF mode, 2) Single AF mode, 3)


inches (30cm) to infinity, 3.5
inches (9cm) to infinity in
macro mode


TTL metering, 256-element
Matrix, Spot and


and charge-coupled electronic
shutter 1/750 to 1


drive rounded diaphragm
opening; 3 steps at


Auto Exposure (AE), Manual
exposure compensation
(±2EV in 1/3 EV


ISO 100 equivalent


ISO 80 equivalent


Default (approx. 80), 2) 100
(approx. 100), 3) +1 (approx.
160), 4) +2 (approx.


TTL homing system, can be set
manually for 1) sunny, 2)
cloudy, 3) incandescent, 4)
fluorescent, and 5) flash
conditions. Preset white
balance available, which
allows users to set white
balance using a white subject,
such as a white card or sheet
of white paper, prior to
actual shooting

curve selection

User selectable image tone
curve settings; 1) Standard,
2) Contrast+, 3) Contrast-, 4)
Brightness+, 5)Brightness-


10-second or 3-second


image optical viewfinder;
Magnification: 0.45x; Frame
coverage approx. 85%; LED
indication for Speedlight
Ready and Focus


112,000-dot, TFT LCD
Adjustable back light; Update
rate: 30 frames/sec.; Frame
coverage: approx.

power save

default 30 seconds auto
shutoff; can be changed to 1,
5, or 30 minutes


(Uncompressed) or JPEG (Exif
2.1); 24 bit RGB color

Multiple folders
- Folders except
for the default folder can be

Mode - Hi =
Uncompressed RGB TIFF, Fine =
1:4 JPEG, Normal = 1:8 JPEG,
Basic = 1:16 JPEG


- Removable CompactFlash™

Capacity* - Hi = 1
img., Fine = 8 imgs., Normal =
16 imgs., Basic = 32 imgs.

* Number of images may vary
depending on the image
captured and the resolution


automatic mode (A-REC)
Programmable manual mode
(M-REC); allows choice of 3
custom settings from among
shooting menu


Metering, 2) Capture mode, 3)
Sensitivity, 4) White balance,
5) Tone compensation, 6)
Best-shot selector, 7)
Monochrome, 8) Digital zoom,
9) Converters (for adapter
lenses), 10) Auto file


takes 10 shots automatically
(within approx. 1.5 fps) and
records the most detailed
image of the shots using
anti-jitter logic, which is
effective for telephoto
shooting and macro shooting.
Not available when the
Speedlight is on.


Single, 2) Continuous, 3)
High-speed continuous, 4)
Multiple continuous


Single mode:
Approx. 1 fps
for full-size or smaller size
images. Users need to release
the shutter button after every

2) Continuous mode:
Approx. 1.5 fps for full size
or smaller size images up to
10 images. Camera captures 1
frame every 0.8 sec. when the
shutter button is

3) High-speed continuous
Approx 2 fps for VGA
size images up to 60 images.
Camera captures 1 VGA size
image every 0.5 sec. when the
shutter button is depressed.
Image size is fixed in VGA in
this mode.

4) Multiple continuous:
Approx. 2 fps. Camera captures
16 continuous images and puts
all 16 into 1 full-size image


- 23 feet (at ISO

Flash modes - 1)
Auto-flash, 2) Flash-off, 3)
Force-fill flash, 4) Slow-sync
and 5) Red-eye reduction
Flashes for 0.8 sec. before
main flash


1 Frame, 2) Thumbnails, 3)
Slide show, 4) 2x or 3x zoom
playback with panning
capability. Hide and protect
attributes can be set for each


all frames or selected

September 1, 2010

Konica TC-X

Konica TC-X, originally uploaded by *jj*.
Okay. Here is the deal: I own two Konica Autoreflex T3N slr bodies. I also have the Konica Autoreflex T4 and its little sister the Konica TC.

All of them are fully mechanical cameras. All of them use wonky mercury batteries or expensive modern replacements. Then I came across the above camera, TC-X. Usually I ignore late generation AR-mount cameras but there was something about it.

Maybe it was the 50mm f1.8 (1.8? I thought they only came in 1.7s, 1.4s?). I gave it a whirl. Incredible find.

Unlike all the other mechanical Konica SLR, this one takes an easy to find batteries for the light meter, the 1.5V AAA. It took a good half hour to get the light meter back to life and start working again but it does. And meters well against my Sekonic.

Though this body is made by Cosina and is plastic, it doesn't bother me at all. It's fully mechanical and it takes AR lens. It's light. It isn't a family heirloom like my chrome T3N. It's a perfect knock around camera.

The 50mm f1.8 was so bad I threw it in the bin (I couldn't bear to sell it to anyone). But I think it looks rather nice with the 40mm F1.8. Don't you?