30 December 2009

Some recent shots

A local vineyard recently held a food & wine day, so I loaded up the Minolta with some highly prized Kodak 400 (hey, I needed some 400 & it's the only stuff I could get at short notice) & took a few happy snaps.

I was also introduced to Van Dieman Brewing, whose Ragged Jack amber ale (all their beers are named after features of Ben Lomond) is possibly my favourite beer right now. There's so many good local brewers around right now, I feel spoiled for choice. And seeing as this is a film related blog, my current top 5 local beers are:

1. Wizard Smith (english style amber ale, Boags)
2. Ragged Jack (amber ale, Van Dieman)
3. Ironhouse porter (dark, Ironhouse)
4. Hefeweizen (weisbier, Moo Brew)
5. Boags Premium (lager, Boags)

If you can find any of these, & you happen to have a similar taste in beer as I do, you won't be disappointed. There are also some other local small-scale brewers: Wineglass Bay Brewing (east coast), Two-Metre Tall (Derwent Valley), Seven Sheds (Railton), & Taverners (Launceston)...all worth trying if you can find their products!

28 December 2009

Tamar Island preview...

This morning I went for a walk at the Tamar Wetlands, my favourite urban wetland reserve. As well as taking the Minolta out for a spin - and more importantly, testing out Ilford SFX200 - I took a few photos on my mobile as well. These photos are never particularly good, but with a dose of basic levelling in GIMP, they scrub up okay. It does feel kind of odd using digital photos on a blog supposedly dedicated to my bloody minded determination to keep using film, but I consider these a preview of film-based shots to come. Perhaps not black & white, and without the extended red sensitivity, but ehhh...it's my blog, it is.

25 December 2009

New Camera!!!

It's that time of year in offices & workplaces across the country - Secret Santa time. As the office camera nerd, it was inevitable that I would receive something like this: and i present to you, the Pink Princess.

Packed with such features as a pop-up flash, a view finder, and taking one of them fancy flat round battteries, the camera surprises photographer & model alike with authentic phrases such as "Smile!", "You're as pretty as a picture!" and "Oh, beautiful!". As such, it would be a good candidate for circuit bending, if I knew anything about electronics...

Possibly the greatest Secret Santa present I've ever received (the last two years have been cheap bottles of wine).

11 December 2009

Weekly Vintage Image: 12

Possibly my great aunt & her...son? I'm a bit hazy on the multitude of relatives on this side of the family.

Nice red dress, though.

10 December 2009

Playing Favourites - Cameras

There are cameras I own that I like, and some I don't. In the interests of being completely biased, here is my top 5 list of the cameras I own:

1. Minolta XG-M - Dependable, solid, aperture priority + fully manual, great lens (1.7 Rokkor MD), and fairly light. It's been with me since 2003, my second year of uni. I know I can always get what I want from it, and it was duly promoted to number one for our honeymoon to NZ. The snaps were good. Damn good.

2. Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super (new) - the name's a bit of a mouthful, but this is a superb SLR. Shutter makes a satisfyingly quirky "zttttt!" noise which I describe as "like a cat sneezing", and despite being over 50, it still works like a dream and is cosmetically close to perfick. The guy was selling it for $85, but when he couldn't figure out how to work the shutter, said I could have it for $40. Good deal.

3. Kiev 6C - Only had two rolls through it, and already it's impressed me to death. As I once said, "it's massive, ugly, and so awesome I could cry". Fully manual, a super lens, a waist level finder - a different way of working, but fun. The only thing that I dislike about the whole contraption is loading film - but I guess it's a matter of practice.

4. Agfa Isolette II - The camera that introduced me to the wonders of square format. I've never spent so much time fixing a camera as I have on this one, and the one roll of film I've put through it so far did not let me down. $20 in a junk shop at Longford, and fairly dirty & unloved when I picked it up. The focus ring was jammed, the bellows were leaking like a sieve, but the shutter fired which fulfills my only criteria for second hand purchases - "they must work". Has recently been having some issues with the shutter.

5. Zorki 4 - this is a rather good looking camera, although the results so far have been a bit soft-looking. However, it's rather good looking. Did I mention that?

honourable mention:
BeLOMO Vilia - this camera kick-started my recent love affair with vintage (and particularly Soviet) cameras. It's solid, but you can really feel the mythical Soviet approach to quality control (ie. patchy at best) in the lens assembly which jiggles slightly. It feels like it was put together by people more used to putting together tanks, but it really does feel like a true "people's camera" - cheap, solid, and simple. The shots are probably more from the LSI school of photography (rather strong vignetting for one), but it revived my interest in all this stuff. Hardly ever gets a run now, but it's still in my heart. Somewhere.

There we have it - one Japanese, two West German, one Ukrainian, one from Russia, one from Belarus.

When I get a chance, I might do some more lists. Although I guess film is the logical next step.

04 December 2009

Weekly Vintage Image: 11

I don't know whether I can make the assumption that this is the MS Princess of Tasmania (no, not that princess), the first vessel of any meaningful size to provide a connection between Tasmania & the mainland by sea for all & sundry. It appears to be moored on the eastern bank of the Mersey River, which is still the spot that the current Spirit of Tasmania I & II drop off weary (and slightly green-ish) tourists & locals to do whatever it is they feel the urge whilst in Tasmania.

There does seem to be far less on that eastern bank than there is nowadays. It's hard to judge from a 40+ year old still image just where along the bank this is...

03 December 2009

Kiev 6C photos

Latest photos from the MURK. Took about 3 weeks for it to come back via the local camera chain, and cost a small fortune (thanks to someone requesting high-res scans.

Top one is my birthday cake as presented by my wife a few months back.

The three in the middle are of our cat, Ava. She doesn't usually play up to the camera like this. Poser.

The bottom two are from Bridport in NE Tasmania. Nice beach for swimming. People love it. I don't blame them.

I'm loving the MURK. It's one hell of a camera. A bastard to load the film if you're in any kind of a hurry, though. But so far, it hasn't let me down in the quality of images it produces.

And as I am currently prone to making broad sweeping statements of love, I'd like to go on the record as saying I now love square format. A lot.