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    Lomography Petzval Lens

    I funded the Lomography Petzval Lens through Kickstarter last summer and received the lens last week.  I wanted to go out and shoot with the lens mounted on a Nikon FM2 and digital Nikon D5100. I discovered that there is much to learn when using a old style lens. I need to learn more about shooting the uncoupled lens with the digital camera before I try it again.  I was unable to make that combination work, so the lens was mounted to an FM2 and loaded with roll of 35mm Ektar film (100 ISO) for my first outing. I have no doubt that I will be able to use the lens with my digital SLR, but a little research and practice is needed before I take that combo out for my next test shoot.

    The lens is beautifully made and a pleasure to hold when mounted on the Nikon F or FM2. I find it amusing that it is harder to use this lens with the more advanced digital camera.

    I will post my results and thoughts about my first rolls of film and the lens performance later, when I've had a chance to process and examine my film.



    Nikon S2

    I took my Nikon S2 with me on a walk down to Gasworks Park. Shooting with this camera is a slow, deliberate process. There is no onboard light meter, so I need to stop and take a reading from an external meter. Then set the camera exposure and then manually focus. The feel of the mechanical shutter tripping and the pull of the manual film advance is a tactile pleasure. It embodies many of the things I like about shooting with film cameras.

    I just purchased a Russian made Jupiter 12 35mm lens for it. From the research I did on this lens, while not a perfect fit, it should work with this camera.


    Camera Mod: Polabrownie - Kodak Brownie 2C with a Polaroid Film Back

    I built this hybrid Kodak Box Brownie - Polaroid (Polabrownie) some time ago. I cut the "nose" off a plastic Polaroid packfilm camera (probably a Colorpack IV or Supershooter) and attached the filmpack back to the back of th Kodak 2C box camera. Focus distance is about 3 to 3-1/2 feet, which makes it good for portraiture, like a Polaroid Big Shot.

    The photo was taken last weekend in early dusk near a window.

    When I heard that the deadline for Glazer's Instant Photography contest had been extended. I grabbed a pack of FP100-C and the Polabrownie and took several photos. It took a few tries to get my exposure right.

    Film: Fujifilm FP-100C

    Exposure: f/5.6 (widest camera aperture) for 6sec.



    Thrift Store Find: Pentax K1000 with a 28-70mm Zoom Lens.

    This is a thrift store find. It's a Pentax K1000 with a 28-70mm zoom lens (f/3.4-4.5). The lens has no identification other than it's specs so I'm it is probably not an original Pentax lens. I will have to do a little research.

    Other than a few dings on the filter mount ring, it's in good condition and seems to be fully operational.

    It came without a lens cap, so the battery was dead. The Pentax K1000 has no on-off switch for the light meter. It turns "off" when you put the lens cap back on.

    Battery Test for Pentax K1000:

    Testing the battery on the Pentax K1000 isn't obvious. There is no switch or button.

    To test the battery, set the ISO-ASA setting on the dial to 100.

    Set the shutter speed dial to B (bulb setting).

    Look through the viewfinder and look at the light meter needle on the right side. If the needle is in the up position and steady, the battery is good. If it is not, then replace the battery. The camera uses a 1.5v SR44 silver oxide battery or an equivalent. The LR44 battery is cheaper, but I don't recommend them, because they may leak and damage your equipment. I figure spending a little more money on the silver oxide battery is the better investment, because they last much longer than the alkalines and are lower risk for damaging the camera.

    The battery compartment is on the bottom of the camera.



    Olympus XA4

    The Olympus XA4 is the wide angle version of the Olympus XA compact 35mm film cameras.It sports a 28mm lens vs the 35mm lens of the other XA cameras. I picked this one up on eBay. it had a stiff sliding cover, but a partial disassembly and cleaning improved it. It still isn't as smooth as my XA, but much better than it had been. I'm shooting my first roll of Tri-X through it now. I'm doing some comparison shots with my XA, so we'll be able to see the difference in each camera's field of view.

    The XA4 does not have a rangefinder like the XA, but uses a zone focus system with 7 settings (1 ft, 1.7ft, 2.3ft, 3.3 ft, 5ft, 10ft, infinity) The wide angle lens allows a much closer focus distance, 1 ft, and the camera strap serves as an aid to focus at 1 ft or 1.7 ft. It does not have the manual aperture settings of the XA. The XA aperture control on the left of the lens is replaced with the focus control on the XA4.