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Sunday, June 29, 2014

This is the most important book you will ever own. There is no reason to not have one, no matter where you are from, you need to get one.

It is the smallest book with the largest amount of information. It is a key to the entire world, there is almost no limits to where it can take you.

By my 30th birthday this will have taken me to 35 countries, 33 of which are in the last six years. Some of these trips were last minute, some were well planned, all of them possible because of this little book.

Get your passport. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

In June I did the Bike Ride Across Georgia with my dad. It ended up being a 389 mile bike ride, owing to the fact that I was unable to do the first day, and on the loop day I only did 70 miles instead of 101 with my Pops. I had a broken spoke and it made the ride terribly difficult. For those who do not know, this was an organized ride through Georgia for a week.

The route was 
Washington to Thomson
Thomson to Waynesboro
Waynesboro to Waynesboro
Waynesboro to Metter
Metter to Jesup
Jesup to Darien

Though I did not take many photos of the ride itself, as I rode a fixed gear and could not coast, I took photos at rest stops. These really are not in any order, though, so get ready for that. 

My dad and I opted to not stay in the school gyms or camp, instead getting hotels and having our luggage transported from place to place. While I would not mind camping, as there is a bit of good experience involved in that, the motels were nice to have.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The camera is the reason I got into rangefinder cameras. I remember having no idea what a rangefinder was prior to this, and googling "rangefinder" to try to figure out what ultimately turned out to be a simple design.

This camera (well, a different one) was given to me by a friend. It is by no means an expensive camera, but a quality camera with a great build and sharp optics.

The Minolta AL was introduced in 1961. It has a Rokkor -PF 45mm F2. I have been extremely pleased with the results this lens produces. The camera has a leaf shutter with speeds up to 1/1000th of a second, which is nice, as most leaf shutters I have go up to 1/500th.

The camera has a selenium meter, which on mine is dead. I had an example that had a working meter, which was nice, however, this one does not work. There is a needle on the top of the camera that you match in the middle by changing the aperture and shutter speed.

The shutter on this version does have click stops, the aperture does not, though one version I had did have clicks. What is nice about this camera is that you can change both at the same time, as both are around the lens barrel. They both rotate the same way, so one can change stops by holding both and rotating them.

The rangefinder patch on the camera is not as bright as other cameras I have had, but it is completely usable. The viewfinder has one set of lines as the lens is not interchangeable. The viewfinder is not cluttered, and it is pretty bright.

The camera has a cold shoe as well as a threaded shutter button for use with cable releases. It has a smooth film wind, and a flip out knob for rewind. The only strange thing about the camera is that it has the frame counter on the bottom. It automatically resets when you open the film door, which opens on a hinge.

The camera just looks like a classic camera, with leatherette and metal. It is a solid camera that feels like it could take a beating. One can adjust the rangefinder through the top, and it is pretty easy. 

What is really nice about this kind of camera, is that not only is the leaf shutter super silent, flash will sync at all speeds. The camera is also small enough to pocket if need be. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

I've been shooting more and black and white and for some reason, it has mostly been trains. Here is a little mix of those. I'll note what film and camera they are.

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Crown Graphic
Kodak Tmax 100

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

These were all developed in Ilfotec DDx at 1:4, I really like that developer. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I shot a wedding, way back in October of 2013. It was for a friend and her fiancee. The wedding was a small gathering in Nag's Head, North Carolina. It was a learning experience for sure, and I would not write off doing it again. I'm severely lacking in the attention span needed to edit the mass amount of photos in one, two, or even three sittings; I am done, though I keep going back and looking back over them and fiddling.

I rented a D600 and a 70-200 2.8 as well as a 16-28 2.8. After having been given a Nikon F5 as well as the full array of lenses, I would really like to try this again, but with film, I'd probably toss in some 4x5 and some 6x6/6x7 photos with my other film cameras as well. I'm not going to narrate each photo, but just post about 40 in a row, have a look, make a comment, I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I am parting ways with this amazing piece of equipment, so I figured I would write up a little bit of a review about it. This camera and lens combination are superb, and if I could afford to keep it, I would. Unfortunately I cannot hang onto it, so it has to head over to a friend. I am going to do my best to keep this impartial, but I am much more pleased with my GF670 than this camera, and they are similar.

For those who are not acquainted with this camera in any way, it is a 6x7 rangefinder, interchangeable lens camera that will shoot 120 or 220 film. The camera has a built in meter with aperture priority or manual mode. The camera does require a battery to operate. The shutter is in each lens, as such, it is extremely silent.

The lenses for this camera are:

  •  43mm F4.5
  •  50mm F4.5
  •  65mm F4
  •  80mm F4
  •  150mm F4.5
  •  210mm F8
The 43mm and the 50mm require external viewfinders, as do the 150mm and 210. I have the 43mm and external viewfinder. The 43mm is equivalent to 21mm or so on a 35mm camera. It is wide, very wide, and even though I shoot wide and enjoy it, for some reason I was never able to connect with this camera. 

The 43mm is extremely sharp, with very little distortion. I found the focus a bit stiffer than I enjoy with my Fuji, but about equal to my Leica. The external viewfinder is super bright, though it might be a touch over-large for some folks. It does add some bulk to the camera, and having to remove and replace it every time one takes it out of, and returns it to the bag is a bit bothersome, to the point that I started shooting without it, which was pretty fun, actually. Shooting the 43 with a flash was exciting, too!

The camera body itself feels solid, and is built well, with a few strange caveats to that. The shutter button is a modern button, but there is a shutter cable release on the side of the camera. The PC connect, though the camera has a hotshoe, is on the front bottom, right near the bottom of the lens. 

This camera has a film advance lever, not a knob, like my fuji, which is far better than a knob. I've heard that the gearing in these can be weak and you have to be gentle with it, but I never had any problems. 

One huge advantage, besides the film advance lever, is that the camera has a timer, which is awesome for when we travel and I want to do pictures of my lady and myself. For my fuji, I had to get a mechanical timer that screws into the shutter.

The shutter, or all the lenses and shutters, go from 4 seconds to 1/500th of a second, as well as Bulb. There is a shutter priority mode, as well as an Auto Exposure Lock mode, which I find works well. The meter is center weighted, and not through the lens. The meter is located directly above the lens. 

Iso settings go from 25-1600, you can set the camera to over, or underexpose 2 full stops, giving you an effective Iso range of 6-6400, which is pretty nice. 

This camera was later replaced with a Mamiya 7ii, which has a more contrasty viewfinder, and a few other minor changes. The 7 system is pretty amazing, and a great buy if you do not mind the dedicated 6x7 and a rather bulky camera. The glass is tac sharp, and the range is versatile. 

Ilford FP4

Kodak Ektachrome E200

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