Thursday, February 14, 2013

Challenging Perceptions..

To the left you will see a photo of a camera that to me is probably the most interesting, and special, cameras in my collection.  I used to say, "Oh if I had this or that camera, I could do what so and so did!"
And so I'd go out and try to get that camera, like a Nikon F4 or a Canon F1, or whatever camera they were using.. Maybe a Nikon S2.  Sure, they are stupid expensive, and honestly, I never did get an F1, or S2, or even that F4...
In fact, I found this little camera in a flea market, just sitting completely neglected, and actually in a bad way.   The front lens ring was frozen because of that wonderful Agfa green goo (Isolette owners know what I'm talking about).  So that needed to be disassembled.
The other parts were dirty, and needed cleaning, plus a bit of haze on inner element (it's a triplet lens).

So apart the camera came, and I cleaned it up inside and out.  Gave the Vulcanite a bit of a polish, the glass a good cleaning, and even the viewfinder got spritzed up!
The grease on the focusing threads was completely removed, and replaced, with Olive Oil.  Hey, it's what I had at the time, and not Gun Oil, which is awesome stuff!
Well this camera popped into my hands loaded with the first roll of film through it in probably 40 odd years, and I went off to shooting with a Tower Selenium light meter in my hands.
Well, first roll through, and I wasn't very happy with the camera, and so onto the shelf it went.
Well, being a scale focus camera, and that I had forgotten to properly reset Infinity on it, obviously it was going to give disappointing results. 
That didn't stop me from trying again and again with it, but after 3 rolls in, I had just about given up.
Well, then I decided to see if I had Infinity, which is something I should have done...
So almost a year later, and another dozen plus cameras in my collection, I reset infinity on this camera, and gave it another go.
Sure enough... these photos came out of the camera...

Yup!  I was hooked.. about 12 months after I bought the camera at a flea market, and being disenchanted with it within weeks, I finally found out why I was so far off the rocker with it.  I had forgotten to do something as simple as resetting Infinity on the lens.  So now it was back in business, and shooting again!

So this camera began to be a bit of a conundrum for me.  See, I was always under the impression (I was a little green at the time) that it depended on the lens, how many elements, what # of groups, what the widest stop was, etc. that would help determine the sharpness and quality of a photo.  Better construction means better resolving power of the glass, right?
So what was it about this lens that had me so enchanted with it?  It was a triplet! 
Three elements, in three groups.  No fancy 8 elements in 6 groups, or even 14 elements in 5 groups, or whatever the lenses are today.
A basic three element lens, known as a Cooke Triplet.  Well, a copy of one anyway.  Go look up how much one of those are selling for today!

So this camera began to challenge my perception of photography greatly.  From looking at it as a "Oh I need that camera for this type of photography.." to.... "Oh, lets see how I can achieve what I want with using what I have!"
And that's what I started to do.
The camera began to quickly grow on me, and I found that I was reaching for it and quickly putting it back when I realized..."Nope, not bright enough outside for you, little camera!"...
But those days where I was getting great sunshine (I usually had it loaded with a slow film) I would happily pick it up, and wander around snapping photo after photo with it.

Well, my latest foray out with it, and this is some of the imagery I have done with it..

"Faucet" - Kalimar A 35mm Scale Focus - 45mm ƒ/3.5 Terinon Lens - Polypan F 50

"Satellite" - Kalimar A 35mm Scale Focus - 45mm ƒ/3.5 Terinon Lens - Polypan F 50

"Bell" - Kalimar A 35mm Scale Focus - 45mm ƒ/3.5 Terinon Lens - Polypan F 50

"Path In The Snow" - Kalimar A 35mm Scale Focus - 45mm ƒ/3.5 Terinon Lens - Polypan F 50

"Street View" - Kalimar A 35mm Scale Focus - 45mm ƒ/3.5 Terinon Lens - Polypan F 50
The most exciting part is that I now, as the first image on the page shows, have it loaded with Fuji Sensia 100F E6 Reversal Slide film.  Yup, using a Chrome in it!
Should make for an interesting week #7!

Until next time fellow shooters... Keep those shutters firing!

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