Tagged: portra

Week 40 – East Side

Week 40 brings me to a partial roll, finishing some Portra in the Mamiyaflex which Mrs. Mack505 started on vacation. We had occasion to be in Providence overnight in November, and the weather was typical Rhode Island fall: cold, gray & wet. It was still wonderful to visit college hill again.


Thayer St bus tunnel


Meeting Street

Camera: Mamiyaflex C2

Lens: 80mm

Film: Portra 400

Developed at home: JOBO processor, Unicolor kit, Epson v700

Minolta Uniomat – week 41 results

The Uniomat is a bit of a contradiction. It feels heavy yet delicate to me. The film advance is a smooth, single stroke lever. The meter moves an orange pointer in a window on the top plate, and the exposure ring adjusts a green needle to match it.

The shutter fires easily, with a smooth press and a neat mechanical “ZIP” sound. The rangefinder was clean, bright, and easy to focus. The meter functions as designed, yet it’s design makes it very hard to meter for a specific portion of a scene.

I like it, but its bulk keeps me from carrying it as often as I might.

My Tri-X was a disaster. It was the last of a batch of unknown expired film I found at a flea market. There was nothing usable. I loaded up a roll of Portra 400 at the RISD museum and set the ASA for 1600.  Interestingly the roll performed wonderfully inside without a flash, but my later excursion to Salisbury Beach on a cold grey afternoon did not fare as well.


These were developed at my local pharmacy minilab and were not pushed during development.

Week 24 Results – Minolta 600si

I confess I was lazy this week, shooting mostly in full automatic mode with a bit of aperture priority when I was working with depth of field.

The 600si is a tank of a camera. I haven’t weighed it, but it just feels heavy in spite of its mostly plastic construction. Occasionally it would refuse to focus, but I chalked that up to the dodgy lens. Repeating the attempt always fixed the problem.

I shot a roll of Portra pushed two stops. I did this in order to shoot at the New York State Museum without a flash. It’s an incredible place. My primary attraction was the Fire Engine Hall, which contains the only known surviving Ahrens-Fox from New York City. It also showcases many of the major historic manufacturers who were headquartered in New York State.

The Fire Engine Hall is located next to Metropolis Hall. What would you expect where fire engines intersect with Metropolis?


It’s a shocking sight to the unsuspecting. This is not a model or a replica. Engine 6 was one of the first engines at the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. Seven members responded that morning; only three returned. I can stand in reverent silence here all day.

Around the corner on the edge of the Fire Engine Hall stands this memorial. Though lesser known and a late addition to the 9/11 exhibit, Ambulance 485 also suffered tragedy that day. Two paramedics responded, one returned. The ambulance survived in service although it still bears the scuffs and scars of that day.

In the Hall itself, this American LaFrance is a lost ancestor of the modern fire engine. The JO/JOX series were built immediately prior to WWII and showed the first steps between the classic styles of the 1930s and the more ergonomic designs of the 1950s. Production was interrupted by the war, and the more advanced 700 Series replaced them when production resumed in the late 1940s.

The Hall is difficult to shoot without a tripod. The walls and backgrounds are flat black. Even at 1600 ASA, shutter speeds were slow and depth of field short.


The museum is more than just fire engines. Make sure you see and ride the antique carousel upstairs.

For the end of the roll, we left the museum. This is Saffron, one of our current foster kitties. She and her two sisters are looking for the right Forever Home.

Lower Zone, a closeup from a demonstrator that visited the firehouse last week.

If you have the chance to pick up a Minolta 600si, I highly recommend it. If you are anywhere near Albany, take an hour or two at the museum. It’s free. You won’t regret it.


52 Cameras – Week 5 Results – Fujica ST605

The ST605 was a nice camera to shoot. Focus was a bit stiff, but it improved with use. The lens is missing its plastic ring to indicate focus distance, so depth of field was always a guess. With a maximum f=16, max shutter speed of 1/700 and 400 ASA film there were some situations in which I had too much light to shoot. Poor planning on my part.

The meter is activated by a button to the right of the lens. This means no inadvertently dead batteries, but it also makes the camera next to impossible to shoot one-handed. I'm sure I would get used to it with use.

Overall the ST605 was a nice camera to shoot. My roll of 36 exposures went very quickly.

Before the recent storms, most of this foundation was covered by sand.

Oceanfront South, Salisbury Beach


Oceanfront South, Salisbury Beach

Tripoli -Joes

Broadway, Salisbury Beach


52 Cameras – Week 1 Results – Leica M3


The Leica is a dream to shoot. Many writers have sung its praises; I won’t try to outdo them. It’s solidly built but not too heavy; nothing feels plastic or cheap because nothing is plastic or cheap. It’s over 50 years old yet still functions like the day it left the factory. I defy any modern camera, film or digital, to do that.

Beth, Cricket and I went for a late winter’s walk in a few of our favorite spots.





(Not So) Wordless Wednesday #11

The scene: a famous central Florida amusement park.

The time: dusk on a hot July evening

The setting: your intrepid blogger and his family stand in a milling crowd of thousands, awaiting the nightly fireworks show. The lights go down, the music reaches a crescendo, and thousands of people raise their digital cameras to the sky and stare at tiny LCD screens.

Could George Eastman have possibly foreseen this? When did we become so obsessed with documenting our lives that we stopped living them in the first person?

Most of the photos and videos taken tonight will be garbage. The average CanoNikondak cannot handle low light; the average shooter has no idea how to begin trying. Most seem unable or unwilling to turn off their flashes. They have missed the experience in favor of documentation.

At my side, Beth is in awe. I intend to remember this moment as it is. My photographs will deliberately look nothing like what my eyes have seen, but will be a gateway to the memories we've made.