Category: Cameras


Trolley Museum

April 21 was requalification day at Seashore Trolley Museum. One weekend every spring, the volunteers descend on Kennebunkport to renew our trolley driver’s licenses.


Picnic Grove

Visitors’ Center



Nikon FM2, 20mm lens, expired Portra 160. If you want it to look like an old picture, shoot with old film.



Skipping ahead a bit, this past Sunday was World Pinhole Day. I’m not sure exactly who declared it, but if the Internet says it then it must be true. I read about many pinhole designs and theories before settling on my approach.


I used a Nikon body cap, fitted with a pinhole made from a Diet Coke can. It will fit any of our Nikons, it only cost about $2, and it’s the best use I can think of for a can of Diet Coke.



This is proof of concept from 4/26. Taken with the D70 at 400ASA, 13 seconds.

4/27 – FM2 pinhole, expired Tri-X 400. Handheld long exposure.


4/29 – Another long handheld exposure. FM2/Tri-X
4/30 – The Farm. FM2/Tri-X

5/2 – Obs Deck. FM2 with Tri-X 400. All were home developed.


Experimental photography (P366)

With #MarchofFilm completed, I need to pay attention to Project 366 again. I’ve still been doing as much film shooting as possible. This past week saw two experiments, one successful and one not so much.


First up was an attempt at red scale photography. Redscale is a technique where film is respooled backwards so the light passes through the film base before striking the emulsion. The resulting images show a red or orange color cast.


4/1 “Medic 9”

I shot my first roll in the Nikon N65. The auto DX coding made it difficult to get enough overexposure, resulting in dark, grainy images.


4/2 Emmett

4/2 Dover Point

4/3 Negatives!

First negatives out of the new darkroom, and the first ones at home in over a decade. Ilford HP5+ black & white.

4/4 – Beth ‘training’ with Cricket.

Voigtlander Vito B with Ektar 100.

The end of the week brought a different experiment. I attempted my first roll of cross-processed film, Fuji Velvia 100 shot in the YashicaMat LM. Cross-processing (x-pro) also involves a color shift, based on processing slide film in negative chemistry. The results vary based on the film and chemistry used. In contrast to the redscale, these came out stunning.

4/5/12, Old Town Hill with Beth & Cricket:

4/6/12 “Locust Towers”:



4/7 – Sunrise over Stetson St. Vito B/Ektar 100.

4/7 – lest you think I forgot (iPhone)

4/8 – the ambulance bay (again) Voigtlander Vito B, Kodak Ektar 100, handheld slow exposure. It’s a lucky effect but I love it.

Also 4/8. Another lucky shot.

4/9 – Newburyport waterfront. Vito B/Ektar again.

4/10 is already here.




Expired film

This is a little film geek-y, but please bear with me. The $100 darkroom included a shopping bag full of expired film. Some people like expired film for its unpredictability, but I’d never tried shooting any. The Tri-X 400 shouldn’t be too hard to handle, the Portra 160 might have some interesting colors, but the 12-year expired Tmax 3200 could be trouble. Internet wisdom tells me that faster films are subject to more degradation and fogging.

There is no formula. It’s all dependent on how long ago the film expired, how it has been stored, how you shoot it, how you develop it, and a bit of luck. After much reading I decided to try overexposing my Tmax by two stops (800ASA). Beth grabbed the Holga 135BC, I loaded up the Olympus 35RC, and we headed out to Maudslay State Park.

Most of my shots were junk, but I was able to salvage a few in post-processing. The results are very grainy and very cool.

Swamp by Mack505 on Flickr


Path by Mack505 on Flickr


The Mighty Merrimac by Mack505 on Flickr

The Mighty Merrimac

Field by Mack505 on Flickr


Tower by Mack505 on Flickr


For those who care, development was in D76 for 13 1/2 minutes, per the standard instructions for Tmax 3200.

March of Film wrap-up

Week four, all rolled into one post.
Kodak Gold 200 in a Voigtlander Vito B

This was supposed to be a double exposure, but I wound the camera out of habit. Oops.
Shot on a Super Ricohflex TLR, another eBay find.

I am an engineer, after all.
Olympus 35RC with Kodak Gold

Shot with the Olympus at —

Beach Access
Beach Access #1, Salisbury

I snuck this one with the Voigtlander Bessamatic (Kodak Gold 400) while passing through the USCG Station Portsmouth Harbor on the way to shoot Fort Constitution.

And finally

The End
Holga 135BC, Kodak Gold 400

My madness for the month has ended, but I’ve recently installed a darkroom so this is not the last of my film photography.


Impressions: Yashica-Mat LM

Twin lens reflex.

I’d never considered one until recently. When I resumed shooting film and began exploring eBay, TLR’s looked interesting. My first acquisition was the Yashica-Mat LM.

First impressions are of a tank of a camera. It’s all metal and very heavy. Focusing is done on a ground glass screen on the top of the camera. A magnifying loupe flips up to aid with detailed focus. The entire front of the camera moves in and out using a knob on the left side.

LM stands for light meter; the YashicaMat uses an uncoupled selenium meter which reads in EV. A mechanical computer built into the focus knob translates EV into shutter/aperture combinations. Shutter speed and f-stop are adjusted with small knobs on either side of the lenses and visible in a small window on top. Film advance is via a crank on the right side which also cocks the shutter. While smooth to use, this does preclude double exposing, whether intentional or inadvertent.

It uses 120 roll film, taking 12 6×6 exposures per roll. Mine came ready to roll right out of the box with only a quick superficial cleaning.

As an experienced manual camera user I had no trouble figuring it out, or so I thought. I mis-read the exposure computer and overexposed half of my first roll.

Once I learned the controls, the results were very nice. This one is a current favorite shooter.





Olympus 35RC follow up

A nice fat package arrived from the photo lab today. I’ve spent much of the evening importing, tagging, and correcting dates. My notes aren’t really what they should be.

As promised, here are a few highlights from the first roll through the Olympus 35RC. I’m very pleased with them.


“End of Trail” but not really. Cross at your own risk, though.








It’s not as versatile as my big SLR’s simply because it does not have interchangeable lenses, but its small size weighs heavily in its favor. This one will be high on my regularly-carried list.

First impression: Olympus 35RC

It’s been an interesting month. I’ve been shooting a lot of film, and I indulged in a bit of Gear Acquisition Syndrome on eBay. One of my new toys is an Olympus 35RC.

The 35RC is a pocket 35mm rangefinder manufactured in the 1970s. There is a detailed review here.

First impressions are of a nicely sized, nicely weighted camera. The aperture control ring is a bit small and difficult to handle, but the automatic mode makes it unnecessary to adjust it often. I had my doubts about the accuracy of the meter because of a non-standard replacement battery. It seemed to be overexposing in the house.

After a quick dusting, I loaded a test roll of 200ASA and headed out.

The meter seemed to behave outdoors, shooting close to sunny 16. The wind is smooth and quiet. The lack of a mirror makes the shutter release with a gentle click and no vibration. As this is my first rangefinder, focusing took a bit of experimentation. Beth and I shot most of a roll along the Topsfield Linear Common.

If the shots come out well, this one should figure high on my regular carry list. I’ll post a few once they are developed.

UPDATE: Highlights of the first roll are here.