Saturday, 14 January 2017

Off to a good start!

Here we are; 14 days into the new year and so far...... so good.

I dropped off the first two of hopefully many films this year, to my Lab yesterday.  Film will be ready on Monday but I am working dayshift on Monday and Tuesday at my real job so I won't be able to pick up until Wednesday.  Sometimes the suspense nearly kills me just waiting to pick it up!

I'd had a Fuji C200 sitting in my Kodak Retinette 1A for some months now.  Not a full roll of film though, I rescued about 30 frames from a film that had become scrunched up in another camera earlier in 2016.  Cut off the scrunched up bit and loaded it into the Kodak.  That will be a little surprise package.

This is my Kodak Retinette 1A.  A lovely little camera.  Nice size and in such good condition for it's age.  This camera is almost as old as me, being produced from October 1959 to February 1961.  It came with a 50mm f3.5 lens.  I would love to use it for portraits with that lens but if I opened up the lens to f3.5, I don't have the shutter speed to match; top shutter speed is only 1/250.  I may have to search for a ND filter that will allow me to have the aperture wide open and keep the shutter speed at 1/250 or less.

The other film I put into the Lab is a Kodak Portra 160.  I used this film to test out a Minolta X700 35mm camera that have been given to me by a friend from my workplace.  

There is a story to that camera.

In mid December, I put some film into the black & white Lab run by Les Porter.  He asked me if I owned a Minolta (which I do - Konica-Minolta Dynax 40).   He then proceeded to give me 3 Minolta lenses; an MD 28-70 f3.5-4.8, an MD 50mm f1.7, a Tokina SD 70-200mm f4-5.6 and, a 2X MX Macro Teleplus MC7 Converter!  Les often has people give him older cameras and lenses that they do not want anymore.  He said that he would not use them and that they would probably fit my Minolta.

 Well..... I was very happy!   However, they did not fit my Minolta Dynax 40.   I started Googling for information about the lenses and found which cameras they would fit.  I put up a facebook status about my lens good fortune and mentioned the cameras I would now be searching eBay for.  One of the girls I work with replied and said that she had an older Minolta and I was more than welcome to it (you know me - I just love to rescue older film cameras!)  Anyway, she brought it into work and it was exactly one of the cameras I was searching for - a Minolta X700.

I was a bit concerned at first because the film wind on lever would not work and seemed to get stuck at one third of its full opening arc.  Not only that but the shutter release button seemed to be stuck as well.  Turns out that the X700 takes small batteries and the shutter is battery powered.  If the shutter won't open, the film will not wind on either.  The batteries it uses are very common and in no time I had the film wind on going to the end of its arc and the camera working perfectly.  This camera has the sweetest shutter sound of any other camera I have used!

So, on Wednesday I'll get to see the results from these two rolls!

Another thing I am excited about is the purchase of a Canon EF 85mm f1.8 USM portrait lens!

My camera is a cropped sensor - Canon 600D.

At first I was eyeing off the EF-S 60mm f1.8 lens.  It was made for my cropped sensor camera and is also a macro lens as well as a portrait lens.  But, the more I delved into portrait lenses and read a number of reviews, the more it became apparent that I would be better off with the full frame EF 85mm f1.8.  It would work on my 600D, it would work on my Canon 300V (love that camera!) and, eventually when I do upsize to a full frame camera, I would not have to purchase lenses.  In fact from now on, all my lens purchases are going to be full frame.  

I am also going to try and make this 'blog year' where I post a little more often than every 2-3 weeks.

We'll see how that goes!