Vitoret L – week 78 results

I like the Vitoret L. It’s reasonably sized without being huge. The shutter release on the front feels a bit odd,but it fires smoothly and quietly. I would get used to it with more use.

The Selenium meter seems to work well. As with all general area meters, you must be aware of odd exposure situations and compensate for them manually.

The scale focus is a bit of a handicap for me. I just can’t estimate distances well. The final three examples here made use of an accessory rangefinder. For the others I simply guessed well.

Canobie Lake Park is dog friendly and still has this fountain in the middle of the original section.


imageRockin’ Roosters

image Yum!

image Save me!

image This giant steel dogs have appeared in Newburyport. I don’t know why.


This week’s photos were shot on Ilford PanF+ 50ASA developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 11:00. I should use this film more often.

From the Archives:

Two police cruisers idle in the cul-de-sac, lights off, projecting calm authority. Nothing to see here. Move along. An apologetic looking sergeant steps from his air conditioned refuge as we arrive. “She's off her medications again,” he tells us. “I've spoken to her doctor, and the paperwork is on its way.”

But of course it isn't here yet. We take a moment to discuss the situation and opt to wait. The officers say she won't go voluntarily, and there is no point in escalating the situation until we have all our tools in place.

She has different plans, however. Suddenly she materializes on the front lawn and walks to the side door of our truck, bemused police officer in tow. My first impression is of someone my age trying to look like an 80's pop star. Somehow I don't find that strange on this day, in this city. Her left hand clutches a half-empty iced coffee with which she gestures for effect. “Let's go.” She points at the ambulance with her straw.

Inside, I try to be nice. “So what's going on this afternoon, Ms. Lauper? Why am I here?” The response is vulgar and not informative. I try again, but now she feels my family and lineage are somehow relevant to her situation.

OK then.

I sit on the bench and initiate the Stare of Life. I have nothing to treat and she won't talk to me, so I sit quietly and watch. She alternates her time between looking out the back window at traffic and shooting confused glances at me. I'm not going to play the game.

I have seven minutes of intermission before Act Two will begin at the Emergency Department.

Week 78 – Voigtlander Vitoret L

Manufactured circa 1964, the Voigtlander Vitoret L is a viewfinder camera for 35mm. It features a 50mm f2.8 Color Lanthat lens with a Prontor 1/300 shutter. A coupled Selenium meter reads on the top plate of the camera; adjusting shutter speed or aperture moves another needle to match it.

Focus is via distance markings on the lens. There is no RF or other mechanism to assist.

I’ve loaded a roll of Ilford PanF+ 50ASA for the week. As I’m notoriously bad at estimating distances, I will be using my BLIK rangefinder a lot.

Camera Wiki
Vitoret L

Canonet QL17 GIII – week 77 results

As I’ve journeyed through my camera collection, some stand out as icons of their class. For rangefinders, it’s my M3 and M6.  In SLR, the Nikon FM2 & FG, Minolta SRT200 & XG9, and strangely my Chinon CM7. Box cameras? Brownie Hawkeye. TLRs would be a Yashica, probably the D. Polaroid? Spectra and 250. In viewfinders it’s the Vito B.

Then there’s the QL17.  I have an Olympus 35RC and a Konica C35, but I find myself drawn to the Canonet for a pocket rangefinder.  My example has a bright viewfinder and focus patch. Everything seems to work fine, although I have never tried it with a flash.  As a lefty, I like the focusing lever on the left side of the lens barrel.  Shutter speed is manually set on the lens barrel, and a pointer inside the viewfinder indicates the metered aperture on a scale along the right edge of the frame.  Red areas at the top and bottom indicate under- or over-exposure conditions.  As with all (most?) rangefinders, the shutter fires with a soft click.

The meter uses an obsolete battery, but I have had decent results with a modern alkaline replacement.  The CdS cell takes an average of the scene, which did cause the highlights to blow in a pair of shots where there was a large difference between skin tones and a dark background. A more sophisticated meter might have handled those shots better.

This week’s post contains more photos than usual because I enjoyed the subject immensely. As mentioned previously, Beth and I visited Andy Leider’s facility in Circleville, NY.  It’s a mecca for fire apparatus enthusiasts and a home for wayward fire engines. There are reported to be over 400 retired trucks on, in, and around the property. Most are difficult to photograph as they are crammed tightly into a dim warehouse, but it’s a place where we could wander and explore for hours. In fact we did, and we took advantage of the chance to catch up with an old friend as well.

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Shabby elegance – a 1940s sedan cab Mack quadruple combination (pump, tank, hose, and LOTS of ladders) basking in the sunshine from an open doorway.

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Mack painted one truck in stars & stripes as an advertising gimmick in 1976. Some cities loved the idea and ordered the paint scheme. I’d never seen one in person before.

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At the rear of the warehouse looking forward. This is one of the shots where the meter couldn’t handle the exposure extremes.

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IHC R-series. They sure had character.

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When I was a kid, THIS was what a New York City fire engine looked like in my mind. Not many have survived. Shop #MP8306

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Seagrave, Ward LaFrance, Pirsch. When styling counted for something.

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The graveyard out back. Some diamonds in the rough, lots of parts, and more than a few bees.

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1949 Oshkosh. This thing says “Pull over!” like nothing else.

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Old glory, old Snorkel

Week 77 – Canonet QL17 GIII


The Canonet QL17 GIII was the last of Canon’s fixed lens rangefinders. Manufactured sometime in the 1970′s, it has a 40mm lens and aperture priority automatic exposure. The QL designation indicates a quick-loading film system, while the 17 indicates a maximum aperture of f1.7. The Canonet range also included a QL19, QL25, and a Canonet 28 (f2.8) which was not quick loading.

Shutter speeds range from B to 1/500 set with a ring on the lens barrel. When in automatic mode a needle in the viewfinder indicates the selected aperture. Manual exposure is also possible without the meter, and the shutter will fire without a battery. Focus is via a lever on the left side of the lens barrel.

My example is a thrift score of which I’m particularly proud. I found it in the display case of a newly opened store for $4. It has a small dent on the filter ring but is otherwise fully functional.

It had however gone missing for a while. When I finally located it (in my daughter’s camera bag!) it had a partially exposed roll of 400ASA color in it. We took it along on last week’s Fairchester Hose Haulers excursion.

Camera Wiki
All Canonets at eBay. Prices are all over the map, so shop carefully.

Results may be delayed as my schedule is crazy this week.

Week 76 -Polaroid Time Zero OneStep


For week 76, I chose the last SX-70 in my collection. This Time Zero OneStep was my grandfather’s. It was cooler than ours because it has the 2359 flash instead of a flashbar.

Unfortunately the 2359 is its primary handicap. It often fails to fire and locks up the camera. Oddly it works fine on my other OneStep, and the Mint flashbar works fine with this camera.

The camera works fine without the flash, though. I loaded a pack of Impossible Silver Frame and took it to the Fairchester Hose Haulers muster this past weekend.

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1965 GMC/Sanford

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ALF 500 Series

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1949 Oshkosh

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Business End

Spartus 35 – Week 75 results

The Spartus 35 provided a nice afternoon’s shooting. It’s relatively small, light, and simple to use. The viewfinder was useless, however, as it is full of dust. Cleaning the exterior made no difference.

The shutter was also slower than I had guessed. All of my shots were a bit overexposed.

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This isn’t a political blog, I swear.

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Chippy came along with us.

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Last year we found socks and shoes in our travels. Hats are new.

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Carriage house


This week’s images were shot at Maudslay State Park on Fuji 200 ASA and developed at home.

Holga 120N – week 74 results

Wikipedia reports that the Holga was originally designed as an inexpensive family camera for the Chinese masses. The company envisioned a sort of Asian Kodak recording family vacations and events.

Things may not have worked out as originally intended, but I found my Holga perfectly suited to the task when we took it on a recent trip to Six Flags. Its light weight meant I could hang it around my neck and forget it, while its simple construction and lack of electronics meant I could take it places I would never dare take most of my collection.





This week’s images were shot on Portra 400 and developed at home.

random musings from the life of a firefighter, paramedic, train buff, photographer, family man