Olympus Auto-Eye – Week 82 results

Beth and I took the Auto-Eye to Cape Ann on a photowalk with the Greater Boston Film Photographers meet up group. We shot HP5 and color, but the color is still at the lab.

The Auto-Eye is the only rangefinder I’ve ever used which also has zone focus.  Brackets on the focusing scale and notches in the mechanism indicate CLOSE, GROUP, or SCENE. With the automatic exposure it becomes possible to shoot from the hip if you wish.

The camera is lighter than my Uniomat, but it feels heavier than my Leicas. The aperture indicator in the viewfinder features arrows at either end of the scale showing which way to rotate the shutter speed dial to properly expose. It is, however, possible to ignore them and take an over- or underexposed image.

I find I am more comfortable with aperture priority exposure, but I really enjoyed working with the Auto-Eye. I think it’s a keeper.

Civic duty

In December of 1927, twelve citizens approached the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about something their local government couldn’t or wouldn’t do. They received a charter from the legislature for “the raising and obtaining of funds for the purchase and maintenance of fire fighting apparatus and equipment and for the protection of property from and during such fires as may occur in the town of Rowley and its vicinity.”

Within a year they had raised enough money on their own to buy a brand new Seagrave engine.

They owned one ladder. It took another 8 years to get a station of their own, and there were no fire hydrants until 1948.

The times and the town have changed, but the organization and the station still exist. Pretty cool.

Rescue Dog

Rescue Dog

I don’t often photograph people on the street. I’m just not comfortable approaching them. Today Beth and I went to Gloucester and Rockport with the Greater Boston Film Photographers meetup group. I met this man and his recently-adopted dog at Halibut Point State Park.

One of the nicest things about Instax is that you can shoot an extra to give to your subject. We parted with a smile.

Shot on the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic.

Week 82 – Olympus Auto Eye


Introduced in 1960, the Olympus Auto Eye is a fixed – lens rangefinder with shutter priority auto exposure. It features a 45 mm f2.8 lens. Shutter speed is selected on the lens barrel, and metered aperture is shown on a rotating dial inside the viewfinder.

Mine was a last minute steal on a ShopGoodwill.com auction. I paid less than $10. I’ve loaded a roll of HP5 and have an excursion planned for Saturday.

Official Olympus history page
There are only a couple on ebay right now.

World Class?

Bostonians have a complex about New York. They (we?) resent that NYC is bigger and has a higher profile both nationally and internationally. Sure, we have the better sports teams and all that revolutionary history, but that’s about all.

This week while Kiddo was off at environmental camp, Mrs Mack505 and I took a brief jaunt to Metropolis. We rode the Acela, which is my absolute favorite way to travel, and we stayed in a loft in Chelsea. The train was great, and our AirBnB hosts were pleasant and fun. We didn’t get mugged. We saw the sights, did the things, and had a grand time. Big, scary NYC was a lot bigger and a lot less scary than we expected.

Then we came home.

In the first 20 minutes, a bum* yelled at me for not giving him any change. He then proceed to swear at Mrs. Mack505 when she declined his offer of ‘help’ with her luggage.

The subway musician on the Green Line at Park Street this evening was a beat boxer. At the risk of offending fans of certain types of music, I strongly feel that music requires an instrument. I love subway musicians, but if your talent consists of making sound effects with a PA you are not a musician and should go somewhere else.  Make room for someone with a violin, a saxophone, or at least a good singing voice.

If you must stay, turn it down so I can hear the trolleys over your ‘music.’ K? Thx.

We watched an old woman with large unwieldy luggage try to board a trolley. In lieu of helping, a teenager stepped up to film the proceedings. It’s probably on YouTube already.

Then we arrived at North Station. Boston spent $20 BILLION on the Big Dig yet somehow neglected to connect the subway to the train station. It’s bad enough that there is no rail link between South Station & North. You can’t even take ONE subway. You must change trains, and then you end up on the street in front of the train station. A subway stop inside North Station would have been the right thing to do; a connecting pedestrian tunnel would have made sense; a covered walkway would have been sufficient. Instead we built a brand new subway station across the street. *sigh*

We just barely caught an early train out of North Station, only to be seated next to a woman who had never heard of headphones. This would not have been bad,  but she certainly knew about Netflix.

Maybe I’m just grumpy after a long trip, but Boston is doing everything it can to make me miss New York. As a lifelong Bostonian, that saddens me.


*Yes, a bum. I understand that homelessness is tragic, but if you stand in my path, accost me, and then verbally abuse me or my family, you are a BUM.

Minolta Autopak 400X – week 80 results

The Autopak 400X is a fairly typical 126 camera. Its most interesting feature is that the small round knob on the front is used to extend and retract the shutter button. Popping it up is cool, but it tends to get bumped in the camera bag. The automatic exposure feature seems to work; the red indicator shows when depressing the shutter indoors but not outside.

Unfortunately most 126 film in my experience is so expired as to be junk. These were the only remotely salvagable images from this camera, and they have required intense post-processing to get this far.




I think I’m done with 126 format cameras for now. While it is possible to reload the cartridges, I haven’t found the experience to be worth the effort. The different perforation scheme means that many of the cooler features of 126 (like spring winders) don’t translate to reloaded cartridges. I plan to keep my 126 rangefinder in hopes that Ferrania will someday reintroduce cartridge film, but I’m not holding my breath.

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