14 December 2010

Old one from the Nettar

Civic Square.

27 November 2010

I will still use film, I promise...

...however, after shelling out for a Nikon DSLR today, it might not be all that frequently.

I have to admit, though - as nice as it is to get instant feedback and the ability to "get rid of the crap ones" then and there, I think there's something missing from the digital experience. So I will keep going with film as well when the mood takes me.

25 November 2010

Return of the D-I-Y Guy

On a whim, I decided that the MURK's lens needed to be fixed. The issue being that the aperture is stuck wide open - not overly useful unless all I want to do is shoot at f4. I've known for a while that is the little aperture-trigger-knob on the back of the lens that is the problem: something rattles. However, you can sometimes "fix" the lens temporarily by shaking vigorously - not practical and not a good luck.

So my solution? Wrap a whole lot of that horrible pink plastic twine around the aperture-trigger-knob-thingy (what do you actually call that?)  so it's permanently "out", and now the aperture responds accordingly. All that's needed now is to make allowances for this in the viewer - very difficult to accurately focus inside - but otherwise it works like a charm. It may even get a run at uni this summer...

18 November 2010

Holga 120GN

It arrived today: A Holga with a glass lens (AKA Holga 120GN, Woca). Why? For uni. I've decided that it's important to use this particular camera for whatever project I decide to run with.

Now, all I need is some Shanghai GP3 and I'm set...although my heart tells me to spend a bit extra and get Ilford Delta 400 or HP5, or even some Fomapan.

17 November 2010

Willow Court

Part of the derelict Willow Court complex at New Norfolk. 

There are a lot of different styles going on around Willow Court and the adjacent Royal Derwent complex, including this (quite obvious) art deco building which I believe was an administration centre. Some parts of Willow Court date back to 1827, which is about as old as it gets in Tasmania. It's a rather bleak and depressing site, much of it fenced off from the public until it's decided what to do with it*, and I am glad that I and other members of my family and friends never had the misfortune to require its service.

There was a superb example of what I, in my own lack of architectural wisdom, call "Soviet-bloc/Eastern Europe circa 1980), but unfortunately I didn't get a decent photo with the Holga.

* I've just read that parts of Willow Court are being converted to high and low end holiday accommodation.

01 November 2010

...And here I am.

I have been quiet of late with the film. Partly because it was somewhat disheartening to go from 80c per scan from 120 to $3.50, which means using medium format is now so prohibitively expensive that I may as well give up on it. Or I could just fork out for a scanner of my own.

Last week, I enrolled in the local university's summer school program, undertaking the decoratively-titled "Dialogues in Black & White". It's a 10 day course in January on B&W film photography. This includes access to the university's wet darkroom. Nice.

In preparation, I am going to order myself a Holga GFN (aka 'Woca') and a bunch of film.

I'm excited.

18 October 2010

More recent-ish Holga shots.

07 October 2010


Been a while since I had a film developed. This is an old film I finally got done.

24 August 2010

Moskva 5 - first results

There seems to be a funny sort of light leak in the form of a reddish "stain" on the top right of the image (therefore bottom left of camera), I'll have to figure out if this is from the bellows or  perhaps the body of the camera itself.

Speaking more about the camera itself, it is a weighty sort of thing but feels good to use. I've never quite liked the way the shutter has to be cocked with folders, and this one is no exception - feels a bit tough. But I do like the focussing mechanism (this image being out of focus is my issue, not the cameras) and it's not an overly complex camera to use. This one will definitely get more use in future.

I need to come up with a name that isn't such a mouthful as "Moskva", though. I thought about "Moscow", but eh. Perhaps "The Mok5"?

Agfa Isola - first results

Again, there appears to be light leakage from the lack of tightness of the roll. It wasn't unexpected.

This isn't too bad a camera, but it feels awfully light, and it's only marginally more complicated than a Holga, so it might not get a lot of use. But I do like it.

Zeiss Ikon Nettar - first results

Not too shabby. The results are probably on par with my sadly defunct Isolette. There appears to be a bit of light leakage around the bottom of most of the images, which stems from the roll not being very tightly wound. If anyone has tips on how to avoid this, it would be helpful.

I think this would make a good camera to take when my wife and I got for day trips hither &/or thither - it's fairly compact, simple to use, and in such good condition I could never imagine a situation where it would fail completely. I just have to get that winding issue sorted and I think it'll be close to perfect.

extension tubes

Had a chance to use the new extesnion tubes last week, just wandered around the house taking some photos. It was much easier without needing to juggle an unattached lens.

I'll admit they aren't the most exciting images. But it's all about testing it out and stuff. Eventually I'll get around to photographing interesting things using the extension tubes.

22 August 2010

memory tape

An image doesn't always have to be in focus to work for you.

18 August 2010

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 518/16

Just arrived today from Solingen, Germany. I am amazed at the condition and quality of this camera. Not only is it in perfect cosmetic condition (VERY minor wear, but you'd have to be looking hard), it works like a dream.

I am so excited about using this camera. I believe they weren't an expensive camera when they were new (Between £9 and £16 in the early 1950s in the UK), but you can feel the quality. From a perfunctory look, you'd guess it was similar in quality to the Agfa Isolette. However, even with the difference in condition between the Zeiss and my (sadly dead) Agfa, you can feel that the Zeiss is the superior camera.

Maybe this weekend, I will give it a burl along with the Moskva.

14 August 2010

New additions

Agfa Isola and Moskva 5.

The postie was kind enought o deliver the Moskva (right) on Saturday morning. I was please to finally have it, I've been eyeing this camera off for a long time. All I can say right now is that it feels like the most well-engineered Soviet camera I've had yet. And it is hefty - somehow it makes the Kiev 6C feel kind of empty and cheap! I haven't used it yet - I want to make sure I know exactly what I'm doing first - but I really look forward to working in 6x9 format.

The Agfa Isola (left) was a find at a small brac-a-brac/junk shop in St Helens. It cost the princely sum of $20, and is in absolutely perfect condition - I'd be surprised if this camera had ever been used. It feels quite light, plasticy, and a bit toy-like. My feeling is it wasn't a particularly expensive camera to begin with. I put a roll through it the same day, results to follow soon.

05 August 2010

batteries not included...

Recently I was advised that my Leningrad 4 light meter needed a battery to run. I was surprised, but as the person who mentioned this is well versed in Soviet photographics (and pointed out the small "hatch" on the back where he indicated the battery should go), I just assumed that as mine is working okay then the battery mustn't need replacing anyway...so why check the veracity of this statement?

On a whim, I was checking out the manual for this light meter on Butkus' website, and there we are: no batteries required. The selenium cell in the light meter basically receives a charge from any light, so it's quite self contained. Nifty.

I have no idea if selenium cells lose sensitivity over time. We'll see, I guess.

Just thought I'd share my discovery.

02 August 2010

Folding Camera Frenzy

Just ordered:

1 x Moskva 5

1 x Zeiss Ikon Nettar 517/16

5 x Fuji Pro 400H (120)

Thankyou, Taxmas & eBay.

29 July 2010

Possibly the most amazing collection of photos I've seen for a while. Taken in the before WWI in Russia, back when colour photography was brand new. Is this a lost world? Perhaps. I'll probably never know, but this is a beautiful collection of images and a fascinating time capsule.


Another (not really weekly) Vintage Image

Another one of those old images from my great grandparents' collection. No idea who the budgie is, but he/she was obviously part of the family.

28 July 2010

More reverse-lens macro...

I had to fill up a film on the weekend to get some shots developed of my newborn (pseudo-, non-blood-relative-) nephew on his second night of being out. So to fill up the roll of film, I took a few reverse-lens macro shots.

I have to admit that the worst thing about film is when you desperately want to get some shots developed but have half a roll left to fill. However, this allows me to take photos of things like this and my wife won't be too disappointed, because there are some people shots too!

I did receive my extension tube set, so look out for more little-things-made-big shots soon.

27 July 2010

ol' timey

Latest photos from the Holga 135. I am more and more impressed with this camera every time I get results back. I was a bit worried it might be a bit like a "pseudo-Holga" in that it mimics the look of the Holga 120, however I think that would be a bit unfair to say: the Holga 135 is definitely it's own camera.

Film used was Fuji Neopan 400.

22 July 2010

Henty House

Not a popular building, but certainly striking. Kind of like a Vogon cruiseliner...

21 July 2010

Extension tubes on the way

After my previous post, I decided that some extension tubes would be useful. I know they don't necessarily turn every lens into a super-macro-happy-time-smile, but it'll be fun to experiment with some new (and inexpensive) equipment.

14 July 2010

Macro on the cheap

As I am a bit of a tight-arse (or, more correctly, I have a mortgage to pay off), I am reluctant to spend upwards of $300 for a good quality macro lens for the Minolta. A few weeks ago I came across a zero-cost way to get around this: you simply take off the fixed-focal length lens, and hold it backwards against the film body. Voila! Macro lens for nix.

The main issue I encountered is that focussing suddenly becomes a case of moving the whole camera back and forth until things are sharp. As I was also holding the lens in place at the same time, this was trickier than it sounds -  especially as I was trying to prevent light leaks as well. Not helping the situation was the need for the aperture to be wide open at 1.7 to cater for the poor lighting in my kitchen.

For the people interested, I used a Minolta XG-M slr, the lens was a Rokkor 1.7 50mm prime lens, and the film was Fuji Pro 800z. The subject above is a nozzle for piping icing onto cakes. The subjects below are a fork, the tip of the nozzle, and some spilt flour.

It didn't turn out too badly. Here's some other results...


13 July 2010

new project in mind

I'd like to put some 35mm film through this:

as it seems to function perfectly. And it looks amazing.

Some issues:
  • It normally takes 127 film. However as 127 is only marginally wider than a 35mm cannister, I figure that a bit of padding will be all that is required.
  • The built-in mask is wider than 35mm film. My intent is to make my own mask from black card to stick over the top so I don't end up with sprocket hole exposure (I'm not a fan of this look). This will also result in panoramic images, which is part of why I want to do this..
  • There is no rewind. I may need to buy a changing bag so I can get the film out. An interesting quirk is that the film is wound from right to left, but this isn't an issue, more of a novelty.
  • There is a red viewing window on the back. Black electical tape on either side should sort it out.
  • Not sure how the local camera chain will deal with scanning the negatives. We'll have to wait and see. My contingency is to scan it myself when I eventually get around to buying my own flatbed film scanner.
  • Figuring out how far to wind for each exposure. I may have to sacrifice another roll of Lucky. Good thing it's so fecking cheap.
This is my project for the weekend or after work. Wish me luck.

Anyone ever tried something like this? Let me know your experiences if you have

    09 July 2010

    I miss summer...

    I need to get some more Ilford Pan F 50. Just a shame that it takes two weeks for a film to come back from the lab here...

    01 July 2010


    I always like buldings with these kind of rooves.

    Not sure if it's a pity it's blurred (the dreaded B-switch).

    28 June 2010

    On Four Corners Dark's blog, there is an interesting history of the Holga written by the people who make them. Includes this nice little fun fact:

    Lovers of the cameras in China even created the cute name “Big Brother Monkey” which is a Chinese phonetic approximation of “Holga” pronounced in English...

    25 June 2010


    More CH Smith. More urban dead space.

    20 June 2010


    Pylons behind the derelict CH Smith warehouse in Launceston.

    15 June 2010


    We have a letter slot on the inside of our front fence. For outgoing mail, we assume..

    08 June 2010

    Crocs l'Orange

    My French is trivial at best. In 6 days in France, all I learnt was:

    l'addition, sil vous plait - "the bill, please"
    un/deux bier, sil vous plait - "one/two beer/s, please"

    Sorry if Crocs l'Orange is a bit dodgy.

    Prelude to homebrew redscale

    This morning, inspired by a video I saw on youtube, I attempted to create my own redscale film. Thanks to a combination of cheap & cheerful Lucky film, dark mornings, and a think set of bed coverings, I assume I have succeeded. And really, I'm not eager to part with $10+ per roll for Rollei redscale, so the homebrewing option is appealing.

    Anyway, I have yet to load up a camera with it (Holga 135 or Minolta? Decisions, decisions...), but once I do I'll be eager to see how it pans out. If it pans out.

    01 June 2010

    27 May 2010

    Eggs (part 2)

    Beech @ Night

    I tried my hand at night photography a month or so back. A nice bright night was the catalyst - so I took the Holga (loaded with cheap & cheerful Lucky) out and attempted some star trails. Which didn't work out because I'm too impatient.

    This is a view of our new beech & our neighbours' rooves.

    18 May 2010


    Echo (part III)

    Never known a cat to snuggle up in the bathtub, especially when it's still wet.

    07 May 2010

    26 April 2010

    17 April 2010

    07 April 2010

    Holga 135 - first results

    they came out alright - although i have to admit the resuts are not dissimilar to those from the Vilia or the Zorki...and they both have more than one shutter speed. still, the holga 135 has proven itself now as a worthwhile addition to the collection.

    Also worth noting is that the bottom right corner "ghosting" that is so familiar with the Holga 120 is missing. I remember once reading why this happens with the Holga 120, but have completely forgotten what it was or where I read it. Something to do with the shutter, I think? Anyways, whatever happens to make that happen, it doesn't happen with the Holga 135. Which isn't all that important.