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.

Party like it’s 19FP4

Those who developed their own black and white films in the last century are bound to be familiar with Ilford’s signature products.

So much so that some of them barely get noticed. Maybe this is the motive for the FP4 parties recurring among the twitter analogue photography community.
It works for me. For really fine grain, there are slower films, for maximal versatility, there’s HP5 and then there are high speed T-grain offerings …
I didn’t get round to much in April, but at least the FP4 party got me shooting again. I post some shots from this year, and an earlier occasion in 2018.

Locked Down

The last year offered few opportunities for photography, but it offered some. These opportunities were eerie, sometimes depressing but at least they were there, interrupting the monotony centrally planned withdrawal from public space.
Over this period, I shot a roll of Tmax P3200 at ISO1600 in an old Canon FTb. Roaming the streets like Omega man at least came with the unusual attraction of seeing the inner city like a still life, unusually quiet in daylight.
There are some shots in near empty shops when the lock down was relaxed somewhat and some from a sparsely populated gallery.
All in all, the lock-downs left a strange impression. An unusual, strangely tempting photographic backdrop on the one hand coupled with an unsettling sense of foreboding with what the aftermath will bring.
Birkenhead park had more squirrels than joggers while the lock-down was first eased. In time, it will fill again but the empty pubs and shops may not.

I don’t think anybody knows what will happen next, but something tells me this will not end well. At least my Ilfotech-DDX didn’t go off -things could always be worse …

Going Through old Digital Shots …

Currently sifting through old digital shots and, compared to my film archives, there surprisingly little of interest.
West Kriby 2015

No obvious reason why this should be, maybe it’s just to fleeting …. This one was taken with an entry level body (Canon EOS 1200D) and a cheap 70-300 mm zoom.

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”

ORWO Expired?

ORWO NP22

The East German ORWO products have long appealed to more old fashioned photographers. I shot ORWO black and white films occasionally, when they were still being made and used their photo paper regularly. ORWO paper was actually made of paper, or cardboard, at a point when most modern photo papers were made of some form of plastic or at least resin coated. To those photographers with a bit of a Luddite streak the traditional paper just looked nicer. Continue reading “ORWO Expired?”

Bulb only …

Once upon a time, during the first #ShittyCameraChallenge I took part in, I used that beat up but functional Agfa Silette. This time round, the shutter gave in when testing different speeds, leaving me with bulb mode and no reliable timed exposure. Anyway, I decided to use it one more time, but now was confined to long exposures. With this constraint, I did not go so far as using a shitty film as well and decided to shoot Fuji Acros 100 pulled one stop to ISO 50. With this low speed and favouring small apertures, I expected to be constantly tripod bound with multi second exposure times.

It turned out Continue reading “Bulb only …”

Some thoughts on Tetenal’s Crisis and their C-41 Kit

Today, I noticed a number of tweets under the #SaveTetenal hashtag, which was new to me. The linked article contains a video in which the narrator states that Tetenal had declared bancruptcy. That’s not quite accurate. The term bankcruptcy suggests that the firm has collapsed. I am no accountant, but from what I hear, Tetenal has gone into administration in October 2018 with a view to keeping the company commercially viable. The German term used Continue reading “Some thoughts on Tetenal’s Crisis and their C-41 Kit”

Goldline Presto N – Reflections on October’s #ShittyCameraChallenge

Following on from the two crappy cameras at the last #ShittyCameraChallenge, I moved on to a fixed focus point and shoot for the October edition. The Goldline Presto N is a point and shoot with built in flash, fixed focus, fixed shutter speed and fixed aperture.

In fact, it very much works like the disposable cameras currently on sale: along with the overall primitive set-up, the flash fires whenever the shutter is pressed.
Unlike in the case of disposable cameras, the battery can be removed and an ordinary film cartridge has to be inserted. The shutter Continue reading “Goldline Presto N – Reflections on October’s #ShittyCameraChallenge”