CCCP: Some output from the Zorki 1

Not all commie cameras are crappy. I sung the praises of the Pentacon Six before and the Moskva 5 was a well featured camera for its time.
The Zorki 1, or at least my Zorki 1, is crappy indeed, if only because it didn’t age well. It’s industar lens is visibly wonky and the movement in the shutter curtain is uneven to the point where part of the frame often looks overexposed.
It is also a bottom feeding model, needing a Leica cut to the film leader –not a crappy feature in itself, but a decidedly old fashioned way of doing things.
Nevertheless, it yielded enough results to move beyond a twitter post. The first usable frame on the role is of a row of trees by the side of a road. The road is not very pretty, and neither is this edge of the forest in real life, but it looks good on photo. I like the softish focus from these older lenses which isn’t quite blurry and more subtle than what is obtained from soft focus filters.
Most of the other shots were taken at the sea by New Brighton -usually a good place. In some of them, the uneven exposure actually works or is not noticeable.
I also tried a long exposure at night. This gave me a well defined flare (I have no hood for this lens) and little else.
To nobody’s surprise the camera revealed its flaws and limitations. And yet, even a beat up 70 year old camera from a line of products with deserved reputation for poor quality control can on average perform adequately. Not a perfect result, but better than the régime that oversaw its production.

Miranda Solo Panorama Doubleplusungood

A fair number of shitty cameras have graced the pages of this blog. They will all be under-performed by today’s example: the Miranda Solo Panorama.

The Miranda Solo Panorama is one of these very basic reusable cameras with all the technological sophistication of a disposable one. It sports a 28mm wide angle lens, fixed focus, a single exposure time (probably 1/60-1/125 or thereabouts) and an aperture like f11 or Continue reading “Miranda Solo Panorama Doubleplusungood”

Mamiya C330 Shutter Not-firing? Three non-issues to rule out before sending it for repair.

The Mamiya C330 TLR is currently gaining popularity. Deservedly so, it is a widely underrated medium format camera. Judging by online discussions of the C330, one frequent problem is a sticking shutter. So if you are new to the C330 and your shutter does not fire, here are three non-problems to identify before you send the camera or lens for a repair & service: Continue reading “Mamiya C330 Shutter Not-firing? Three non-issues to rule out before sending it for repair.”

Resuscitating an analogue Canon EOS300

As analogue photography regains popularity, a frequent question in photography forums is, which cheap, good quality analogue camera to pick when trying out film. Until recently, this would not have been an issue: almost all analogue gear was cheap, but prices have been rising for a while. In spite of this: late SLR models from the 1990s and beyond are often overlooked. 

Where the main motivation is the look and feel of old or purely mechanical gear, this makes sense. But those who mainly want to try film as a medium and get the most bang for their buck should look at late analogue SLRs. They are likely to look like digital cameras but offer everything a film camera can, from full manual control to point and shoot automation. Continue reading “Resuscitating an analogue Canon EOS300”