5 Months since I’ve last posted.. oof

Hey gang… few updates for you since it has been a while since I’ve posted…

First.. new camera!
My Dad likes to go to yard sales, auctions, and estate sales (who doesn’t) always comes up with new and interesting things. He surprised me by sending me this Brownie Target Six-20 camera made by Kodak. Other than being a little rough around the edges works well. The shutter works, and the lens is pretty clean on it and for being as old as it is (different resources I’ve found say that it is from late 40’s early 50’s) and seems to be light tight and advances film properly.

The only problem… it is only be only able to use 620 film, which is now long discontinued. There is even a little warning in the camera that says “ONLY TO BE USED WITH 620 FILM! DO NOT USE 120! ON PAIN OF DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT!” or some other kind of onerous warning from Kodak to only use their proprietary, dead format film.

WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME KODAK?!?!

Anyways, after a little bit of investigating, and sacrificing an old roll of Fujichrome 120 64T film, I discovered that the only thing preventing me from using 120 was a little metal spring spacer that was only being held in with a small pin. Turns out it was easy enough to pull out with needle nose pliers. After a little cussing, and nearly ripping my finger open, I was able to get the 120 film in and advance properly. Once I shoot through this roll of film, I’ll open up the inside and show you the warning. It is a fun little box camera, the mirrors for aiming are blown out so you just have to aim it with your best guess.

I love the styling of this camera. Very art deco, and very friendly looking, like a face looking at you. The outer coating is either leather or faux leather, the film advance knob works, and the advance window is clean. I might try and clean it up a bit more to see if I can get it to shine again.

Like I said, earlier, I’ve got some Fujichrome 64T film in there now, all of the research I’ve done for this points to the film used during this time was really “slow” speed film, i.e. 25 – 50 ISO.. with 100 ISO being “Fast”. I’m going to pick up some Ektar film to throw in there and see how it comes out. I’m not too eager to see what the Fujichrome is going to look like since:

1. It was out of date when my friend Alliey was given it a few years ago. She told me she had it for a few years and it was sitting in a box of other random things. It has been sitting my in freezer for a year.
2. The first two shots are going to be burned because I was messing with it.
3. I’m shooting outside with Tungsten balanced film.

Ehh it is retro to make all your stuff like crappy right? 😀 I’ll let you know what it looks like when I get it developed.

Update 2: Camera pass!
It has been passed to 3 new people since I’ve updated it, it has now been all over North East Ohio and now Pittsburgh. I have to look at my list of people, but hopefully I’ll get it shipped out to the net few people here in the next week or so.

Update 3:
My buddy and Big, Tatar, has started a tumblr account. Go take a look here.

 

That is it for now, I will hopefully update a little bit more often than before. Take care guys, and feel free to leave some comments!

 

1st pass completed!

The camera has made its first pass!

I finished up my third shot this morning on the way to meeting up with the second photographer in this experiment. Deciding what I was going to take pictures of was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The first shot I think is going to be meh, but the second and third ones should be pretty good.

So, with my third shot, it was time to pass the camera on!

Why is it that photographers don't like to have their picture taken?

The next person to have the camera is a friend of mine from my days at the bike shop. Sue was in town today at the Ledges in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for her annual birthday weekend hike. She led a very informative journal through the ledges and the Pennsylvanian era rock formations and outcroppings.We crawled through rocks, and ancient structures. I had never been down there before so it was really interesting.

So Sue is taking shots 4-5-6 on the camera, and getting it back to me next weekend. After that it is probably going to Ron since he is the next easiest to get it to. ^_^

 

 

While we were out in the woods to give the camera, we joined up with a group called Why not adventure who sponsor hikes and other fun outdoors events. I’ll post some of the highlights of the day in a gallery below. I got some neat shots of the rocks and formations and it felt good to haul my butt out of bed at 7:30 on a Sunday to go for a hike. We got to meet a lot of new and fun people and we met Cari’s twin! I swear we didn’t plan it, they just both happen to like purple and went to Hiram.


Ledges

 

Some things about the camera pass and the camera

Alright, now that I’ve run a roll of film through the camera and I know that it works, time to get to some of the specifics about the gear as well as the.

First – The camera pass:

“Thou shalt take 3 shots, no more, no less. Three shall be the number of shots thou shalt shoot, and the number of shots shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that though then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then thou returnest the camera to Ed”

 

The idea behind this project is take your time, breathe and focus on the shots that we are going to take. With the proliferation of digital, it is nothing to take a hundred shots without thinking about it.

Take your time, focus on what your taking a picture of. Visualize what the shot is going to look like before you snap the shutter.

Everyone gets three shots, and after the roll is used, I’ll post the results and label everyone. It will be exciting to see what we get!

The camera:

The Minolta X-370: The baby of the X Series

 

The Minolta X-370

The Minolta X-370 is the base model of the Minolta X series, it uses the Minolta M mount (It will accept both MC and MD lenses). The camera has full metered manual mode and an Aperture Priority mode. It is compatible with all of the X series MDS components such as the data back, the motor grip, and the flash peripheral. The limitation on this model is that it does not have a “P” mode and it does not have a depth of field preview button. So the numbers on the Aperture ring become really important!!

The mode is controlled by the dial around the shutter button: Automatic for Aperture Priority Mode, and then shutter speed modes are further controlled down the dial.

The Film:

Negatively and Positively

I’ve narrowed it down to two options, either Kodak Porta 400VC which is a very contrasty (Hence the VC designation) or Kodak Elite Chrome film. Each of them have their pros and cons.

The Porta 400VC is very poppy with its color, giving a very glam magazine type look to shots. It really accentuates bright colors even on cruddy days and it is a fast film so it is very forgiving in many light conditions. The downside to Porta is that it doesn’t register neutral colors very well like skin tones and such.

The Elite Chrome is an all around balanced color reversal (slide) film that renders great colors which are very lifelike. The downside is that it is a slower speed film and since it is slide film, it is a lot less forgiving when it comes to exposure.

I’m thinking of going with the slide film, it is different and I doubt a lot of people have shot on it since it is a bit expensive to purchase and then have processed.

 

That is it for now, since the one of the farther participants is going to be in town this weekend, I’m going to give it to her first for the initial 3 shots. I’ll keep everyone updated as the project moves along.

First Pics from the camera

Before sending the camera out into the world, I decided to run a roll of film through it just to make sure that everything worked well.

I used Kodak Porta 400VC film, and shot mostly in Aperture mode, though I did shoot a few in manual. I took my camera with me out to Hiram during weekend college as well as to work in Akron one day.

I’m glad that they came out well, means that the camera is ready to go to the first person!

In the next post, I’ll outline some observations about the X-370 and some of the intricacies of shooting with it.

The great camera pass project

It all started the other day when I was out at the thrift store…

As many of you know, I like to hit up the thrift stores occasionally to see if there are any old cameras around. Sometimes, I find a gem, other times, junk. On this particular day I was in the Salvation Army thrift store at Chapel Hill when I saw it sitting there on the shelf, a Minolta X-370 for $2.00!

It is a little rough around the edges, but it works, and the shutter fires. A veritable tank of a camera.

I greedily snatched it up off of the shelf and took it home with 2 other cameras and spent a total of 6.40 on the whole transaction.

Full disclosure, I’m kind of a camera hoarder. Much to my wife’s chagrin, we are probably going to end up on “Hoarders” being buried alive under camera junk. Polaroids, Canons, Minoltas, Point and Shoots, if it is interesting and the shutter fires, I’ll take it.

So back to the X-370. This particular find was exciting since I have a smorgasbord of other Minolta MF cameras, the Minolta X-700, Minolta XG-A, and a Minolta SRT-101.

The happy Minolta Family. (Ignore the Canon on the books)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, now that I have another Minolta to the collection, what do I do with it?

About month ago, I saw an article on RAW file about a photographer who was loading up 5 film cameras and sending them to his Pulitzer price winning friends to shoot 1 photo and pass the camera along. In the world of digital, with the ability to shoot thousands of shots on 1 memory card it was in interesting idea. One thoughtful shot before you have to put the camera down and not seeing your shot for a month or longer maybe.

I have to try it.

So, my little Minolta is going on a world tour! I’ve enlisted the help of my friends who happen to be photogs to help me in this little experiment over the next couple of months.

The next post, I’ll go over the parameters and specifics of the project.