Showing posts from 2021

More Lomography, More 110

I took the Minolta Autopak 450E out for some snaps last month then tried out some Ilford ID11 developer on the Lomography Orca film with some nice results. It's a very useful pocket-sized film camera and can take good photos with a little care. I've uploaded an album of the photos to my Lomography home at  ayesongs · Lomography .

Further into the Tiny World of 110 Cameras

 Flushed with the success of my project with my old Dolphin Sirius, I managed to acquire a Minolta Autopak 450E, probably the best of Minolta's 110 offerings of the 1970s. It features an actual focusable glass lens and two exposure levels with exposure metering plus a built in Minolta Pocket flash. Once I get used to the symbols for the zone focusing this camera should be at least as usable as a good Kodak viewfinder camera from the 1960s. The first roll of Lomography Orca 100 film has yielded some very nice results. Have a look at my Lomography album for more shots. It's quite interesting to see the results from 110 photography when some care is taken over the processing. I have an old West German movie film developing tank which takes the 110 film in its 16mm spiral and I can lovingly develop these black and white images which look a lot better than the old high street developing we had in the 1970s.

Birthday Camera

My brother came up with a brilliant birthday present this year: a Petri 7S rangefinder, one of those wonderfully sophisticated Japanese cameras from the 1960s. It has metering visible in the viewfinder and not a battery in sight. So you use it like and SLR while having the immediacy and quiet operation of the rangefinder. Great wee camera and great results too.

Into the Tiny World of 110 Cameras

 I found my old Dolphin Sirius underwater camera and decided to give it a run with some film. The Dolphin Sirius is a 110 camera that takes tiny little film cartidges and produces teensy negatives that make 35mm negatives look like posters. Fortunately the nice people at Lomography make good quality 110 film and I bought a panchromatic Orca cartridge and popped it into the Sirius. Taking the pictures was a simple affair. The flash which came with the camera no longer functions, so my choices were between sunny exposure or cloudy exposure. No focussing allowed. One thing that is clear from the resulting pictures is that the camera's fixed focus is not set up for landscapes. This makes sense for an underwater camera as visibilty for snorkelling is usually only 10 to 20 feet. The real trick was developing the film. 110 film is only 16mm wide and so doesn't fit in the usual 135 or 120 spirals that come with developing tanks. However I managed to find an old West German movie develo

Film Test: FED 5V

 Well, I ran a film through the old FED 5V and got to know it a lot better. The film of choice was Kosmo Foto Mono, a nice 100 ISO black and white film with an appropriate Soviet aesthetic. I developed this with Ultrafin at 20°C, with a 10+1 dilution for 6 minutes. I add this detail because Kosmo Foto films aren't listed on the  Massive Dev Chart Film Development  pages. So what were the results? Well I had some difficulty actually passing the film through the camera. At first there was no movement on the film counter and the odd fairly chunky film advance but this got easier with use. I think this camera has been in a drawer or an attic for a couple of decades and it is needing to work out some solidifying lubricants. I think sitting and winding and firing this for a few hours before I put in another film will be a good idea. The pictures aren't bad. There were some misfires where the exposure is clearly not good enough but they may reduce after I've worked the stiffness o

Another Old New Camera

 I managed to find another vintage rangefinder, or is it? This one is a FED-5V designed in the 1970s. However it has a very late serial number and may well be one of the last models built in the mid-1990s. Anyway, it all works mechanically and the rangefinder appears to be accurate. So I'm running a film through it to see whether it is light tight and whether the lens is functioning well. I'll post my progress here.

Busy Exploring with a New Camera

 Oops - looks like I missed posting for the past month. That's because I've been out and about testing and setting up an old 1960s Minolta A5 rangefinder camera. I've had mixed results with rangefinders; a lot of these mid-60s Japanese cameras come with some electronics which means finding replacement batteries and then dealing with shutter mechanisms that are intimately involved with the light meter. No such problems with the Minolta A5 as it has no light meter and no electronics. There isn't a lot of info on this camera online as regards making adjustments to get it ready for photography and there were some issues with aligning the rangefinder mechanism on this one. However the top shell comes off fairly easily (once you remove the film winders and a small screw; make sure you don't lose the shutter button which drops out) and then there is a mini optics bench clearly exposed which holds the main mirror of the rangefinder. There are five screws to play with; two a

Easter Monday on the Crichton Campus, Dumfries

We had another beautiful spring day yesterday and missed the cold snap and snow that struck the east side of Scotland. Some fantastic spring colours were to be found amongst the wonderful old buildings that Elizabeth Crichton gifted to our town. The first two photos are of the more industrial buildings. The fancy rooftop is on the School of Multidisciplinary Studies. The trees seemd to be just showing off in the amazing spring light. All of these were taken with my trusty Pentax K-7, equipped with a Ricoh 35-70mm f/3.4 vintage zoom lens. 

Contagion - the full story

 Magpie of Space story Contagion is now complete and free to read at Magpie of Space . 

Magpie of Space: Contagion - Episode 13

Magpie of Space: Contagion - Episode 13 :  Dr Trope makes her way to the Bridge, eager to hear news of the miniaturised away team. Have they managed to access the Space Station charg... New episode now available.

Other Health Issues Still Arise

The global pandemic doesn't have a monopoly on human health and this winter we've had our problems here in Space Pilot HQ. My wife is undergoing cancer treatment and so I haven't been around the blog or web comics very regularly. I hope to come back to these things later but other priorities are more pressing for us for now. Thanks for your interest in my work. I do have the last parts of the Magpie Contagion story and I will draw them for you soon.