the photoblog

Experiment on the Roses

Yesterday I was able to head over to the rose garden in Peninsula City Park and shoot some roses. It was great fun. My weapon of choice, a 1980-ish Chinon CS 35mm camera with an extension tube I made from an extra lens multiplier by removing the elements. This allowed to me to cut my close focusing distance in half. This is what gave the images that incredible out-of-focus background. I mounted the camera to a tripod and carried it around the garden searching for great close-up images.

Camera: Chinon 35mm SLR
Lens: Chinon 135mm f2.8
Film: Kodak Gold 200

An Afternoon at the Theatre

I have enjoyed the Chinon CS lately. There is something very special about an all mechanical FSLR. This thing is big and slow and very clunky to use. I love it. Nobody gives it a second look when walking down the street. I suppose the marketing geniuses over at the big Camera Manufacturers are to be thanked. They tell the world that film is dead and that there is no way that anybody serious about photography is using it. I think that’s fine though.

I like to plan my shots 10 to 15 seconds into the future instead of the 6 or 7 milliseconds that the average DSLR shooter plans their shots. I am willing to wait and get ready for my shot.

In this shot; I was walking around the corner from my left when I saw the old man smoking next to that door. Traffic was crazy and I wanted to get that picture. So I planned my steps with traffic and zone focused and calculated DoF before even coming to the spot just as this hole in the traffic appeared. I raised my camera snapped a picture and kept walking. I got lucky, if I would have gotten to my spot and traffic was rushing through here, I would have just kept walking. This was the only frame on the roll that I tried that technique with. I’m glad I got the shot.


Camera: Chinon CS, Lens: Chinon 35mm f2.8 screwmount.
Film: Kodak Gold 200.

The Fountain

Camera: Koni-Omega Rapid | Film: Kodak TMAX 100My day of shooting came to a close with a fountain shot in downtown Portland. The light was getting really low and with TMAX 100 I ended up hand holding this shot at 1/30th of a second at f3.5. I normally carry a small MeFoto tripod but on this day I just forgot to bring it with me. Ugh. The quality of light in the late afternoon in downtown Portland is generally pretty nice.

These fountains are dotted all over Portland with a concentration of them in downtown Portland. This bubbler is normally running everyday. Crows can be seen stopping for a drink here. This fountain is not to be confused with the Benson Bubbler which has four fountains in a clover formation.

These fountains are such a great feature of the city. I can’t tell you how often I turn a corner and see a fountain and be glad it was there. Thank you Water Bureau.


Camera: Koni-Omega Rapid | Film: Kodak TMAX 100

A Lovely Gift from Bozeman

WP_20150523_007Last week, I received a small package from Donald Duck. Yeah, Donald Duck. Inside this package originating from Ducksworth Way in Bozeman, Montana, was a camera. I thought it was funny. I laughed pretty good. The camera is nothing special, an early 80s Nikon point and shoot camera. This camera comes from a time when even point-and-shoot cameras were fairly sturdy. It’s heavy and has a fixed 35mm f2.8 lens. This focal length is my favorite focal length in the 35mm format. I like it even more than 28mm and 40mm for street photography.

The camera came with batteries and I walked over to Blue Moon Camera and Machine to buy a roll of film. I opted for a cheap roll of Lomography 100 Color. That’s not a great film, but it’s the perfect film for this situation. I decided to walk across the St Johns bridge with it.

What did I learn? This camera is in rough shape mechanically. I’m not sure if it has trouble focusing or the shutter is dragging or both. I venture to guess the focus mechanism is out of whack (technical term) the exposures seemed very good. I just couldn’t get a sharp image. The first several frames were completely blurry. I went through the roll and the images came to be a lot sharper, but not actually sharp. This camera makes me feel like a photographer from the pictorialism era of the early 20th century.

Vivitar 200mm f3,5 – The Tokina Version

This is not a review, it’s really just a first-impression.

The other day I cruised over to the Goodwill in SE Portland and went camera hunting. Well, there was a lot of stuff to choose from. The prices weren’t bargain prices across the board, but there were a few things a worth buying. I bought a lens, another Vivitar lens. Despite Vivitar being something of a household name, they never made actually made their own lenses. They did hire some of the best lens designers they could find and had them manufactured by some best guys in the business.

This particular lens was made by Tokina. Perhaps not the most popular version, but this as far as I can tell is a very good lens. When I bought this M42 screwmount lens I happened to have an expired roll of Kodak MAX 800 35mm film and my Chinon CX II 35mm camera. This camera is not exactly reliable, the shutter sticks and the meter cannot be trusted. This makes things interesting.

I exposed the film I had at e.i. 400 (I should have exposed it at 200) and used Sunny 16 to measure my exposure. This is a large, heavy lens. I tried to keep my shutter speed at 1/250th and 1/500th of a second to keep camera shake at a minimum.

How does this lens handle? This thing is heavy, but it is very well balanced. The focus ring takes a while to get all the way around, but this is perfect for making micro-adjustments. The built in lens hood is a nice feature. I like lens hoods. It has a built-in tripod collar and I am very excited to throw this thing on my Fujifilm mirrorless camera. I ordered an adapter, I think this will be a fine duck lens. This lens appears to be very sharp and I think I will find a place for it in my camera bag. I have been on a long-lens kick for the last for months and this one is a good addition.