Tag Archives: BW

Lomography Berlin Kino 400

One of the coolest things about the online film community is the generosity of film photographers. Last year I emailed Natalie Smart, a Brighton UK film photographer after reading one of her blog posts. Seeing that she had just purchased a Hasselblad 500 C/M, I had several original Hasselblad brochures, and some other film items I thought she might be interested in, so I sent them to her. Natalie asked how she could return the favor and I asked for one of her darkroom prints. In return, she not only sent me a print, but several film-related items. One item she sent was a roll of Lomography Berlin Kino 400 film.

I’ve had an interesting experience with Lomography film over the years. Whenever I’ve shot with Lomo film, my shots have never looked anything like what they’ve advertised. Even when processed at a lab, my colors don’t look the same, or the black and white contrast is just meh. With the Berlin Kino, I decided to shoot it at box speed, and develop with CineStill DF96 Monobath. This is probably the first time I got what I expected with Lomo film. The film has a lot of grain. And the contrast is either just right or too little. And that’s exactly what I’ve seen in other examples of this film.

Camera: Leica M3 (1959)
Film: Lomography Berlin Kino 400
Process: CineStill DF96 Monobath
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo

 

 


Rollei 35 (1966 – 1974)

I was contacted last May by someone looking to donate a camera. A reader named Sarah had acquired her grandfather’s Rollei 35 and wanted to make sure it would go to someone that would use it. After a few back-and-forth emails, Sarah sent the camera from North Dakota. I asked Sarah to tell me a little about her grandfather, John S. Anderson, the owner of the camera.

John Sherwood Anderson

John Sherwood Anderson (December 31, 1908 – July 11, 1995)

John Sherwood Anderson (December 31, 1908 – July 11, 1995) was born in Cleveland and grew up in Ohio. He had an older brother named Robert, and a younger sister named Marion (“Mimi”). His mother, Cornelia (Lane) Anderson, was the first of four wives to his father, author Sherwood Anderson. Sherwood was a novelist known for his subjective and self-revealing works. In 1916 when John was four years old, his father Sherwood had a nervous breakdown, divorced Cornelia, and quickly married his mistress.

John and his wife Eleanor were the Editors of the Damascus Blade, a newspaper in the western Virginia town of Damascus. His siblings were also involved in the small-town newspaper business located in Marion, Virginia. John was a visual artist. In his later years he lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago and taught visual art. He likely used his Rollei 35 to capture beautiful or newsworthy parts of Virginia and Chicago.

What became of John’s father? Sherwood died in 1941 in Panama when he and his wife disembarked the cruise they were on headed to South America. He swallowed a toothpick that had done internal damage resulting in peritonitis. Sherwood was buried in Marion, Virginia. The epitaph on his grave marker reads: Life, Not Death, Is the Great Adventure. None of his novels were financially successful, however his short stories have become classics and influenced future writers like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner.

Rollei 35 (1966 – 1974)

Rollei 35 (1966 – 1974)

The Rollei 35 was introduced at Photokina in Cologne, Germany, in 1966. It was the first 35mm camera that Rollei produced. At the time, it was the smallest full frame 35mm camera made. About 2 million Rollei 35 models were sold worldwide. In his spare time, Heinz Waaske, the chief engineer of Wirgin cameras in Germany, made the first technical drawings of the camera in 1962. He designed the lens to be 40mm that would collapse into the body of the camera making it a thinner, more pocketable camera. Because of the limited space around the collapsed lens, a central shutter was impossible, so Waaske invented a new type of shutter that was separated in two individual parts: the shutter control clockwork was mounted to the camera body, and the shutter lamellas were mounted inside the sliding lens tube. For an exposure meter, Waaske used a selenium cell powered by a Mallory PX-13 (PX 625) 1.35-volt battery.

Waaske eventually left Wirgin and was looking for new employment in the industry, showing his compact design to Leitz and Kodak. In 1965, Waaske started working for Rollei where Dr. Peesel, the managing director, accidently got a glimpse of the new employee’s design. Dr. Peesel decided that the camera should be developed immediately. When it was finally presented at Photokina, the specs were greatly improved with a better lens, a Gossen CdS-exposure meter and a Compur shutter using Waaske’s patented design.

Over the years, several Rollei 35 models have been manufactured and sold. The model that Sarah sent me was an originally 35 model but has a Rollei Honeywell badge on the back of the camera and is engraved with “Made in Germany by Rollei.” The camera has an ISO range from 25 to 1600, impressive for a compact camera. The lens is a f/3.5 40mm Carl Zeiss Tessar and has shutter speeds from bulb to 1/500th of a second. Focusing on the lens is scale/zone and is shown on the lens measured in feet. Minimum focusing distance is 3 feet. The CdS meter is a match-needle displayed on top of the camera and is surprisingly accurate for the age of the camera.

Using the Rollei 35 reminds me of shooting with the Olympus XA because it’s so small. I feel like I have giant clumsy hands when I use cameras this small. The benefit of the size is the ability to slip this camera in your pocket, the side pocket of a camera bag, or a bike bag. The collapsing lens is unique on this camera. Before the lens can be collapsed, you advance the film. This is because part of the shutter mechanism is inside the collapsing lens tube. The shutter release button and the lens barrel release button on the top of the camera are very close to each other. I didn’t make the mistake, but I can see how someone would mistakenly trigger the shutter when they meant to collapse the lens. And like many cameras made during this time, the camera has no on/off switch. This means the meter is always active, measuring light and draining the battery. When I wasn’t using the camera, I made sure to put it back in my camera bag. And when I was done shooting a roll, I removed the battery all together.

Overall, the Rollei 35 is simple compact point-and-shoot, with an incredibly sharp lens. While using the camera, I had to stop and think a few times before making an image. The film advance is located on the left-side of the camera, so the film cartridge is loaded the opposite of what you expect. The film travels from the cartridge on the right, to the take up spool on the left. The film rewind knob, accessory shoe (cold shoe), film counter, and back lock are located on the bottom of the camera.

Camera: Rollei 35 (1966 – 1974)
Film: Ultrafine eXtreme 100
Process: CineStill DF96 Monobath
Scanned: Epson V600 Photo

 

 


Even More Photos with the Yashica No. 2 Close-up Lenses

Okay, one last post using the Close-Up Lenses No. 2 on the Yashica Mat-124 G and then I’ll move on to something else. This time I heated the CineStill Df96 Monobath up 32° C, pushing it one stop. Something I’ve not tried before and I’m happy with the results.

Camera: Yashica Mat-124 G (1970 – 1986) with
Yashica No. 2 Close-up Lenses.
Film: Kosmo Foto Mono 100
Process: CineStill Df96 Monobath 3 Mins @ 32° C (Push +1)
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo

 

 


Abandoned 280ZX

A few miles away from my house an abandoned Datsun 280ZX has been sitting in a private parking lot for several years. Each time I drove past it, I thought how I should stop and capture some images of the car as it slowly became surrounded by weeds and the exterior became more weathered with each passing season. I’m glad I stopped to photograph the car because the next week, it was gone.

Camera: Yashica Mat-124 G (1970 – 1986)
Film: Ultrafine Extreme 400
Process: CineStill Df96 Monobath
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo

 

 


More Photos with Yashica Close-Up Lenses No. 2

Here are some additional photos with the Close-Up Lenses No. 2 on the Yashica Mat-124 G. These were shot on expired Kodak Tri-X. The resulting images have a lot of grain.

Camera: Yashica Mat-124 G (1970 – 1986)
with Yashica No. 2 Close-up Lenses.
Film: Kodak Tri-X (Exp 6/2003).
Process: CineStill Df96 Monobath 3 Mins @ 26° C.
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo

 

 


Yashica Mat-124 G Close-Up Lenses No. 2

Since having my Yashica Mat-124 G CLA’d by Mark Hama, I’ve used it more often. And recently found another film photographer on Facebook that was selling a set of close-up lenses for Yashica TLR’s. The set of lenses includes one that goes on taking lens, and the other on the viewing lens. According to yashicatlr.com, Yashica made close-up lenses that were both slip-on and bayonet mount. And two separate sets of close-up lenses were made for the Mat-124 G: No. 1 allows focusing as close as 44-61cm, and No.2 allows focusing as close as 36-45cm.

The first attempt I made at using these lenses was back in the spring when my wife and I went to our local nursery to buy vegetable plants for the garden. I thought using these close-up lenses in the greenhouses would make some interesting photos. The photos were all taken at f/3.5, hand-held. I think I could have done better with a tripod.

Camera: Yashica Mat-124 G (1970 – 1986) with
Yashica No. 2 Close-up Lenses.
Film: Ultrafine Exteme 100
Process: CineStill Df96 Monobath 3 Mins @ 26° C
Scanned: Epson V600 Photo

 

 


Yashica Mat-124 G CLA

I recently sent my Yashica Mat-124 G off to Mr. Mark Hama in Georgia (USA) for a CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust). Mark is known for working on the team that built the Mat-124 G at Yashica’s factory in Japan. For the past 30 years he’s been repairing cameras from his home. If you recall, he also repaired my Yashica 44 last year.

I was having issues with the shutter button. For whatever reason it would not click after advancing the film. For the past two weeks I’ve been running a few rolls of 120 film through the camera to ensure that it’s working correctly. I’m happy to report that it works as good as new. I’m not sure what I did wrong with the negatives, but they’re showing some banding at the top. Possible light piping? If you have some ideas, please leave me a comment.

Camera: Yashica Mat-124 G (1970 – 1986)
Film: Ilford HP5+ 400 (Exp 8/2018)
Process: Kodak HC-110 (1+31) 5 Min @ 68°
Scanned: Epson V700 Photo

 

 


Yashica 44 LM (1958 – 1962)

Soon after I sent my Yashica 44 off to Mark Hama for repairs, I purchased this Yashica 44 LM. This camera was the last of Yashica’s 44 line of TLR’s that used 127 film.

Manufactured from 1958 to 1962, the Yashica 44 LM is nearly identical to the 44 and 44A. The main difference being the LM has a selenium light meter. Both the viewing and taking lenses are multi-coated, 4-element, 60mm f/3.5 Yashinon. Like the 44, the 44 LM has a Copal SV leaf shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500th of a second and bulb. Mounted above the viewing lens is a semi-coupled selenium-cell light meter.

Aside from the light meter and the upgraded Yashinon lens with bayonet mount for lens attachments, the LM isn’t as good looking in my opinion as the 44 with the film advance crank and the gray color scheme. The selenium meter on this camera works and was accurate. I had no problems with exposure. I did have some light piping on my cut roll of 127 film. A roll of 120 film is both longer and thicker than original 127 film. When 120 is cut and rolled on to a 127 spool, there’s always a chance to expose the edges to light when loading and unloading the film from the camera. I fat-fingered the film while trying to load it. You can see the results of those shots below. And like the original 44, the LM is a quality-built camera. While the LM has a light meter, and that’s a useful feature, I still think the original 44 is my favorite 127 camera.

Clinton Days Car Show 2019
Camera: Yashica 44 LM (1958 – 1962)
Film: Rera Pan 100
Process: FPP-110 (1+31) 7 Min @ 68°
Scanner: Epson V600 Photo

Clinton Days Car Show 2019
Camera: Yashica 44 LM (1958 – 1962)
Film: Ultrafine Extreme 100
Process: FPP-110 (1+31) 7 Min @ 68°
Scanner: Epson V600 Photo

 

 


Yashica 44 (1958)

After purchasing the Camerhack FCK127 film cutter, one camera that kept calling to me was the Yashica 44. Small, grey, and admittedly cute. I spent a lot of time on eBay looking at 44’s, but most of them were beat up, dented, and missing parts. I found one that was in fair condition and made my purchase. When I received the camera, it was in good shape with the original box and paperwork. The only repair I made was replacing the red plastic window on the back of the camera, an easy fix. Shortly after cleaning the lenses and the rest of the camera, the shutter jammed. I asked my friend Maurice to inspect the camera to see what he thought. He confirmed that the shutter was stuck. I admit I was disappointed but refused to make it a shelf queen. I sent an email to Mark Hama and asked for a repair estimate. He responded with an amount that I thought was reasonable and shipped him the camera. Mark Hama is well known in the online film community as the expert on all things Yashica since he actually worked in Yashica’s Nagano, Japan, factory building cameras. Within a few days, he called me on the phone to tell me that the repairs were done and wanted to confirm my home address. We had a short conversation about the history of the Yashica 44 line of cameras. Mr. Hama is a genuinely nice guy. I worry about the future of camera repairs in a world without people like Mr. Hama.

The Yahica 44 is a twin lens reflex camera with a coupled waist level viewfinder. Originally manufactured from 1958 to 1965, the 44 was made in three different variations: 44, 44A and 44LM. If you’d like to read more about the variants, and colors, I recommend visiting Mike Eckman Dot Com and Paul Sokk’s Yashica TLR website. The viewing lens (top) of the camera is a 60mm f/3.5 Yashikor coated lens, and the taking lens (bottom) is a 3-element 60mm f/3.5 – 22 coated Yashikor. The shutter is a Copal SV leaf with speeds from 1 to 1/500th of a second and bulb. The 44 doesn’t have an internal exposure meter, so it requires no batteries. It originally sold for about $60 + $10 for a leather case. It’s no secret that the Yashica 44 bares a strong resemblance to the 1957 Rolleiflex “Baby Rollei,” including the color. The overall specs are the same (60mm, f/3.5, 1 – 500th), but the Yashica 44 doesn’t come with a Franke & Heidecke price tag.

This is a fun camera to use. It’s small, but not too small. It fits and feels nice in my hands. I’m finding more-and-more that I need to use reading glasses to see up close, so using a waist level viewfinder can be a challenge. I almost always rely on the flip-up magnifying glass to focus with TLR’s. The 44 is easy to focus and because of how you hold the camera, it’s also easy to set the shutter speed and f-stop. The Yashica 44 (and 44LM to be reviewed later) is a solid camera with excellent build quality. I prefer the film advance crank over a knob. And because the film advance is directly connected to the shutter (on the 44 only), there’s no risk of an accidental double-exposure. If I had to pick a 127 camera to use all the time, this would be it.

Camera: Yashica 44 (1958)
Film: Ultrafine Extreme 400
Process: FPP-110 (1+31) 7 Min @ 68°
Scanner: Epson V600 Photo

 

Shooting the Yashica 44 - Photo by Maurice Greeson

Shooting the Yashica 44 – Photo by Maurice Greeson

 


127 Film & The Kodak Baby Brownie

When 127 film was discontinued in 1995, photographers were left to create their own ways of cutting film to use in their favorite cameras. The easiest method is cutting 120 film down, and re-spooling it, with the backing paper, to a smaller 127 spool. There are a few different ways that this can be done. Some photographers have used a cigar cutter method. This method uses a single or double-bladed guillotine cigar cutter normally used for shouldering cigars, to cut the correct amount of film directly off a 120 spool. There’s also a 3-D printed cutter that comes up every once in awhile on eBay that uses the same cigar cutter design.

Last summer, Claudio at Camerhack in Italy introduced his new FCK127, a 3-D printed kit that contains everything needed to cut 120 film down to 127, in the daylight. To summarize the process, you prepare the 120 roll, cut the film in the winding module, and you’re done. Without going into the details of using the kit, you can watch Claudio’s video here. There are several pieces to the kit, and it may appear to be complicated, but it’s not.

When I purchased the Camerhack FCK127, I had two cameras that used 127 film. A Kodak Brownie Starflash (1957 – 1965) and a Kodak No. 0 Brownie (1914 – 1935). The FCK127 gave me an excuse to look at buying some new cameras. So, I went to eBay and started to look at cameras and purchased not one, but three: Kodak Baby Brownie (1934 – 1941), Yashica 44 (1958), and a Yashica 44 LM (1958 – 1962).

The Kodak Baby Brownie is an art deco styled bakelite camera that was made from 1934 to 1941 in the United States. It’s a simple camera that has a flip up viewfinder with an f/11 meniscus lens, and a rotary shutter that’s approximately 1/40th sec. The following images were created with the Kodak Baby Brownie. I had an issue seeing the frame numbers in the red window on the camera, so I had several shots that overlapped. I’ve decided to leave them for the most part. I had much better results with the two Yashica TLR cameras. In the coming weeks I’ll share those images and details about the two Yashica 44 cameras.

Camera: Kodak Baby Brownie (1934 – 1941)
Film: Fomapan 100
Process: FPP-110 (1+31) 7 Min @ 68°
Scanner: Epson V600 Photo