Category Archives: Personal Vision

Frugal Film Project 2020: The Plan

I’ve been an provisional participant in 2019; started in June.  My Camera was a Goodwill purchased Canonet QL and the film was Kodak Color Plus 200.  A fine film, but I found that I was tired of shooting color.  Up to this point I’ve been primarily a B&W photographer.  When I want color, I use my Portra 400.  Also the camera has limitations (i.e. only one lens), so I felt constricted.  Finally the light meter died and I needed to find a ‘new’ old camera.

By Project Definition I am supposed to use the cheapest camera and film.  I did see that one of the 2019 participants was using Ilford HP5.  It’s a film I have recently become ‘friends’ with.  AND I can develop it myself, so that brings the price down considerably.  And Currently it’s selling for $4.99 per roll.  So we’ve solved the 2020 film problem: Ilford HP5.

A new change is that we can switch cameras on a quarterly basis.  So of my options below the question is which do I start with?  And am I going to change up cameras during the process?

Now, I have four inexpensive camera options.  What could be cheaper than a camera (or in this case two) that were given to me by a neighbor.  My freebie choices: the Fujica ST-705 with a normal and zoom lens; and the Yashica Electro 25 GSN, a rangefinder that has telephoto and wide angle lens add-ons (i.e. they screw on over the attached lens).

Fujica_ST_705

Yashica1_Posted_Sm

Both cameras work and are in good condition.  Which would you choose?  But hold on, another camera has entered the Mix.  I was rearranging the storage of my 35mm cameras and found that my Minolta SRT-202 had a partially exposed roll.  So I decided to finish that roll and add the SRT-202 into the Frugal Film Mix.  Shown here with my Fisheye Lens.  And that’s the factor weighing heavily in it’s favor.  I would have the versatility of all my Minolta lens options. The actual value of the camera is borderline for the project.  But we’ll see.

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For October,and November I have posted examples from the Yashica and Minolta.   I had decided to give the Fujica away, but my husband said that he would like to try it out.  It’s a lovely camera camera, and seems like it’s going to stay in the Family.  So it may make an appearance for one quarter of Frugal Film.

Now a forth option appeared when I made a film purchase from the Film Photography Project.  There was a ‘new’ plastic camera, the Debonair, for $19.99.  At that price I had to buy it:

 

I had thought to post a survey on Twitter in November for my followers to vote on which camera to use.  But after signing on officially for 2020 and corresponding with the Frugal Film Founder Sherry,  I learned that the rules will be changing slightly.  So I would have more flexibility. I’ll post the new rules in January…….

Grosvenor Arch: Grand Staircase-Escalante

On a recent road trip back from Phoenix we stopped by the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Capitol Reef National Parks.  Both are currently under threat for oil, gas and mining exploration.  So they would be greatly reduced in size or eliminated by the current Administration.  So see it while you can…….

Here is a really spectacular triple Arch:  The Grosvenor Arch:

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Main view point from the parking lot only shows two of the Arches……

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You have to drive further up the road and Look Back to see the last Arch:

GrosvenorArch1

Minolta XD-11: The Best Camera That Nobody Wanted

I came across an article on-line regarding “High Water Marks” for various camera brands. It seems to support my statement that the XD-11 was the BEST camera that nobody wanted. Making its appearance in 1977, the XD-11 was part of the late 70’s technology boom in lens development and film quality.

XD-11

Winning Features:

  • Auto Exposure with both Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority options
  • Programmable override for Shutter Speed Priority
  • Excellent viewing screen (very bright)
  • Great ergonomics
  • Leaf Shutter

Leaf_Shutter

The quality of Minolta MD Rokker lenses is also vastly under-rated. This may have been due to mass marketing to amateurs with little attention to attracting the professional photographer. In turn, lack of professional exposure discouraged amateurs, etc, eventually killing the Brand, although their recent technology was purchased by Sony.

I experienced this ‘disdain’ when I returned to college after my Christmas break freshman year with a Minolta SRT-SCII, marked down to discount prices because of the new XD- models. One of my wealthier friends returned with a Canon AE-1, but since my photos were often much better than hers I didn’t let it phase me.

I had already upgraded to the X-700 in the late 1980’s.  Then I heard about this wonderful camera:  The XD-11. I have three XD-Series. My first XD-11 (Shown above) has been sent to the ‘parts’ box due an unfixable film advance problem.  The second one that I acquired is a Japan Market model that is labelled XD, but not Minolta. Number 3 & 4 are both XD-11’s with black bodies.

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Regarding the XD-model, I wondered if I had been scammed, but I took it to my local repair shop and he immediately recognized it.  Told me that for a while the Minolta Cameras left off the Japanese manufacturer’s name in hopes of improving market share.  Mine had probably been brought back to the U.S. by an American Serviceman.

Check out my recent Article in 35mmc featuring the XD-11.

Frugal Film Project Roll #6: The Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Here are some example images from my second Frugal Film camera option for 2020. The Yashica Electro 35: also has two lenses that attach to the 45 mm Normal lens:  a wide angle lens (37.7 mm) and a telephoto lens (58.4 mm).  These extend or decrease the focal length of the Normal lens to the given focal lengths.

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So I tested all three lens set-ups.  First my Castor Bean Plant, left to right: wide angle, normal and telephoto lenses.

 

And views from Cache la Poudre, same lens arrangement as above:

Poudre_Wide
Wide Angle
Poudre_Normal
Normal
Poudre_Telephoto
Telephoto

I need to work on the focus a bit.  I still say that Mamiya has the best rangefinder focussing viewfinders.  Very large and bright.  This one, maybe second best.

So now I am waiting on the final rules and schedule for the 2020 campaign, when I become an official member………

Frugal Film Project Roll #5: Minolta SRT-202

I was rearranging my 35 mm storage when I found this cameraRolling out images from a more than 2 year old partially exposed roll of Ilford HP5.  I know it’s that old because I found some photo notes.

So We’ll start with three of the older images.  I love this Power Plant and always go there to test new films and new cameras. So I decided to make a photo project to capture images from everywhere the Plant is visible.  I only got this far.  But I will pick this up as a theme for Frugal Film 2020.

Frugal_PowerPlant3

 

I finished off the roll this Fall with my Zenitar Fisheye lens:

 

Minolta_SRT_202_Posted

So this camera is one of my two options for the Frugal Film Project 2020.  What do you think?

Last Recall from Holga Week 2013

Pinhole_Print1

Also at the Lafayette Library.  They used to sponsor a very nice Pinhole Day event……

Holga Week Officially Starts Today for Postings.  None of mine this year were very spectacular.  But I will share them here starting on Sunday………

 

Lomo Purple Revisited: Lessons Learned Part II

PurpleLoveliness4

Lomo Purple is definitely an interesting film.  I had never tried a ‘special effects’ film before.  And surprisingly, I like it.  But there are some caveats that never seem to be mentioned in Lomo Purple posts and promotions,

So this is more of a user’s guide than a film review.  I’ll let you try the film and decide if you like it. FIRST:  the angle of the sun with respect to your image scene is the biggest factor for a successful image.  I’ve discussed in a Lomo Purple is definitely an interesting film.  I had never tried a ‘special effects’ film before.  And surprisingly, I like it.  But there are some caveats that never seem to be mentioned in Lomo Purple posts and promotions, I have touched upon this in previous post and hope to publish a full summary review of my experiences soon.  But note that the ideal sun angle is 90 to 180 degrees from the image scene.  In my most recent Lomo Purple roll shown here, I was careful with the sun angle.

 

I have one more roll of medium format Lomo Purple being developed now.  I also plan on running an exposure time test for the RSS Pinhole.  AND in a few weeks I expect an @35mmc summary article of My Lomo Purple experiences to be published.