Tag Archives: 120

Landscape Photography with the Mamiya m645 Super

It’s been a snowy and cold start to the new year and I’m already behind updating UTFP. Searching back through my catalog of film images, I decided to share these from June 2015. The Mamiya m645 Super with the 80mm f/2.8 lens is not ideal for landscape photography. Stopping down the lens, like you would expect to do when creating a landscape image, closes out much of the light in the viewfinder. As I stated in my early review on the Mamiya m645 Super, I found the best solution was to focus, stop down (f/16 or f/22), check the meter, set the shutter speed, and then take the shot. Even outdoors in bright sunlight, f/22 is very dark through the viewfinder. These images were shot on Lomography Color 100, processed by TheDarkroom.com, and scanned on my Epson Perfection V600 Photo.

Chesterfield is located between Lava Hot Springs and Soda Springs, Idaho. The town was settled in 1880 by Chester Call and his family along the Oregon Trail. Some of the homes and buildings have been restored, some are in the process of being restored, and others have been abandoned.

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Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

One of the most recognizable cameras in history is the Kodak Brownie. They made several models of the Brownie, but the Hawkeye Flash stands out because of its simple square bakelite body. The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash was designed by Arthur H. Crapsey, and manufactured from May 1949 to July 1961. The cost, $5.00 USD for the camera, $7.00 USD with the flash.

This camera is easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble. Even for a guy like me that barely knows which end of a screwdriver to use. Two screws on the top and two on the front of the camera can be removed to clean the viewfinder and front glass element. Two screws inside remove the entire film chamber giving you access to the shutter mechanism.

Over the course of the production, Kodak made some minor changes to the Brownie Hawkeye Flash. My version has a glass lens, but later models had plastic. The camera has an aperture of f/14.5 – f/16. Shutter speed is about 1/30 sec, along with a bulb mode. Focal length is approximately 75mm and the focal distance is about 5 feet to infinity.

The Brownie Hawkeye Flash uses 620 film. The only difference between 620 and 120 film are the size of the film spools. There are many methods for using 120 film in 620 film cameras depending on the make and model. Instead of re-spooling 120 film, or grinding down plastic 120 spools, I chose to modify the camera. I took a Drummel tool and ground out just enough of the bakelite so a loaded 120 spool would fit. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room in the camera to modify it to use a 120 take-up spool.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have to admit I’m happy with the results. The images below were shot on Ilford Pan F Plus 50 BW Film, processed by RepliColor in Salt Lake City, and scanned on an Epson Perfection V600 Photo. It’s not very often that I share an entire roll of images, but I’m going to this time so you can see the accidental double-exposures. The Brownie Hawkeye Flash has a spring loaded shutter, so it’s always cocked and ready to go. My mistakes took place when forgetting to advance the film. Overall, the images are sharp. There’s some slight curving in the images, something I would expect, so it doesn’t surprise me.

You can find various Brownie Hawkeye Flash cameras on eBay. Some are in better condition than others. Some come with the flash attachment and others are a complete boxed kit. I wouldn’t pay more than $15 for this camera. It’s not a rare gem, but certainly fun to use. This camera and its limitations push you to slow down, compose the image, and think. Another benefit of the Brownie Hawkeye Flash is the number of resources available online. Check out the Brownie Camera Page, or Kurt Munger’s site for a detailed breakdown and cleaning guide.

 

 


Kodak No. 1 Panoram

This week we’re featuring a guest post from Maurice Greeson. I’ve come to know Maurice from visiting the Ogden Union Station Restoration Shop in Ogden, Utah. Each week, members of The Golden Spike Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society volunteer time restoring, Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad steam locomotive #223 to an operational engine. Maurice is a talented photographer with a vast collection of vintage cameras. You can see more of his work on Flickr. Maurice has a Kodak No. 1 Panoram camera that was manufactured by Kodak from 1900 – 1926 and cost $10. This Model-D was made around 1915. A 6-exposure 2 1/4 x 7 film cartridge was $.40 or you could use a 3-exposure cartridge that was $.20.

Kodak No. 1 Panoram

Kodak No. 1 Panoram

The steam locomotive is No. 223, an 1881 Grant loco currently under restoration at Ogden’s Union Station. Photo by Maurice Greeson.

The steam locomotive is No. 223, an 1881 Grant loco currently under restoration at Ogden’s Union Station. Photo by Maurice Greeson.

This was shot on April 24th, 2015 at The Union Station, Ogden, Utah, with a one hundred year old Kodak No. 1 Panoram camera.   I’ve had this camera sitting on the shelf for a few years and finally decided to try it out. I’m not sure where or when I acquired it. (Old cameras seem to float in and out of my life) Originally using Kodak No. 105 roll film it seemed a perfect candidate to modify for 120. Too easy! All that was necessary was to file down a slightly protruding metal piece in the bottom of the supply chamber. It also helped to sand down the plastic Fuji 120 spool on one end. (The older metal 120 spools could be a problem) The next thing was to figure out the number spacing. Since the negatives from the Kodak are 7” long it wasn’t too hard to figure out that 2,5,10, & 14 would work. I just laid out a discarded paper backing from a 120 roll film and saw that the numbers for shooting 16 shots with a 1 5/8” x 2 ¼” camera would be under the red window. Although touted by Kodak as being able to shoot hand held, I used a tripod.   Keeping the camera level is a good thing although shooting up or at an angle might give some interesting effects. I still haven’t figured out the shutter speeds or f/stop, but the simple meniscus lens does a pretty nice job on a sunny day. This is a fun camera to use, even if it is a bit fiddly. You have to cock the lens by moving a lever on the top of the camera to the left or to the right. Pressing the release button lets the lens swing to give you the 112 degree picture. The only down side is that it costs about $1.25 per exposure. Shot with Fuji Acros negative film size 120 and developed in a home brewed MQ developer. Yup… D76!   If you haven’t tried making up your own developer from scratch just give it a try. There are only four chemicals in D76! The steam locomotive is No. 223, an 1881 Grant loco currently under restoration at Ogden’s Union Station.

 

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Yashica-A

The Yashica-A is a basic TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) medium format 120 film camera that was manufactured by Yashica from 1959 to 1969 in Nagano, Japan. When introduced in the United States, it was advertised as an entry-level TLR for $29 (US). The Yashica A, C and LM cameras led the way for the popular Yashica Mat line of TLR cameras. During production of the Yashica-A, twin 80mm Yashimar lenses were used, but later changed to a Yashikor 80mm. All of Yashica’s lenses were manufactured by the Tomioka Optical Works in Japan. My Yashica-A has the 80mm Yashikor lenses, f/3.5 – f/22. The shutter speeds are bulb, 1/25 – 1/300. The color of the camera body also changed during the production: all black, black/gray, and a rare cream/brown. The Yashica-A has a leaf shutter and PC connection for flash sync. The shutter control, shutter lever and aperture control are all located around the lower photographic lens.

Yashica A - 120 Film (1959 - 1969)

This is the first quality TLR camera I’ve used or owned. While the top-down viewfinder is big and clear, I’ve learned that using it can be very frustrating. The viewfinder does have a grid, and it has an additional magnifying glass to ensure accurate focus. However, I found that it really slowed me down when trying to compose an image. I did not take the time to use the camera with the Sportsfinder Window. This allows you to hold the camera up at eye level to compose the shot. Setting the shutter speed and aperture is extremely easy and straightforward. The first roll of film I used was Kodak Porta 400. Color was good, images are sharp and what I expected. The second roll I used was Lomography Lady Grey 400. The Lomo film has medium grain and overall I’m happy with the look and feel of the images. I have one complaint about Lomogoraphy’s 120 film. I understand that 120 film is a paper-backed film. The paper-side against the film is black for obvious reasons. However, the paper on the outside opposite of the film is also black with faint gray lettering. When winding the film, this makes looking for the image number in the red film counter window almost impossible. With the two rolls of Lomo Lady Grey film I used in the Yashica-A, I’ve missed the first frame because I couldn’t see the number in the film counter until it was 2 (late). I realize I could have used a film changing bag or a dark room to roll the film back, but I was at the beach and it wasn’t an option. As I continue to use medium format cameras, I may need to rethink the brand of film I’m using.

 

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