Sunday, March 01, 2015

Shooting the Kiev IIa

My Kiev IIa dates from 1956.  Aside from the addition of the flash synch socket it is a well-made close copy of the Zeiss Contax II.  This is a camera that demands some familiarity to get the best performance it is capable of delivering.  The best explanation of the peculiarities of the Kiev rangefinder I have seen is at Laszio Gerencser's blog, The Camera Collection.

The Contax grip is an essential part of using the Kiev IIa.
Though no fault of the camera, the pictures I snapped during our recent snow storm were not worth posting.  I did like a couple of the compositions from the previous day's outing when the storm was just developing.

Tiguex Playground

San Felipe de Neri
I believe both of these shots were made with the 35mm Jupiter 12 lens which I generally prefer to shoot on this camera, mostly because of the brilliant accessory finder which goes with it.  The 5cm/f2 Jupiter 8 is also a very good performer.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

pardon my digital

Albuquerque gets some snow every winter in the Sandia Foothills.  Significant amounts only reach us in the valley about once in a decade.











I shot some Tri-X with the Kiev IIa which I'll post when it is developed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kodak HC-110 Developer

 I shot a roll of Tri-X in my Pentax K1000 at the zoo yesterday.  As I often do to get close to the subject and eliminate foreground clutter, the camera was mounted with a 135 Super Takumar plus a Vivitar 2X telextender.  The film was processed in HC-110 which has long been my favorite for black and white work as it seems to handle about any film well, and it does particularly well with TMAX and Tri-X.


The liter bottle of HC-110 which I popped open yesterday was the first I've used in about two years since the price doubled.  BHPhotovideo where I usually get my film won't ship HC-110 any longer, so I put in my order with Freestyle where I also get my Unicolor kits for color work.  The price for the HC-110 was $35.99 plus about four bucks for USPS shipping.


While I was sufficiently irritated with the price gouging to avoid buying the HC-110 for a long time, the truth is that even at the current price the developer is still one of the most economical resources for home black and white film processing.  The concentrate is used by most people in the 1:32 one-time-use Dilution B form.  That means the liter bottle will produce nearly 8.5 gallons of working solution to process around one hundred rolls of film.  In fact, it is possible to go to Dilution H with little loss of quality, and get twice the mileage.  For the specifics of mixing and using HC-110 the best source of information is still the old Covington Innovations web site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Getting what you see

I'm often happier with the images from simple cameras than those from some of my more sophisticated models with highly corrected lenses and shutters with a wide range of speeds.  The Argoflex Forty has a decent three-element coated lens, but the shutter has a top speed of just 1/150.  Focus is by estimation.  The camera's big advantage for me is the brilliant finder which gives me a very good idea of what I am actually going to get on the film.





Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Visualizing Albuquerque

The Visualizing Albuquerque exhibit runs from January 31 to May 3, 2015 at the Albuquerque Museum of Art.  It was not until my second visit that I noticed the sign out front said that photography is allowed at this show.  So I snapped a few shots with Tri-X in my Zorki 2-C, mounted with the Jupiter 12 lens.

Mildred Murphey. "Self Portrait", Aluminum

Ford Model T Speedster (1912)

I have taken quite a few photographs at the near-by Natural History Museum over the past few years.  Photography is not normally permitted in the Art Museum, so this exhibit presents an unusual opportunity to explore the museum experience.  I'll likely return several times with my cameras to try a variety of techniques.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

winter flower

This plant flowers in mid-winter in the Mediterranean Conservatory.  I have made quite a few pictures of it over several years with a variety of old cameras.

Pentax K1000

Pentax Spotmatic

Kodak Recomar 18

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Riding the Swan

I patched the last of the light leaks in the bellows of my oldest Kodak Duo Six-20 and took it to the Albuquerque Botanical Garden.  I seem to end up testing all my old cameras at some point with how well they can render a little garden sculpture there.


My impression at this point is that the lens on this camera is not quite as sharp as the ones on my two other Duo Six-20, but it is still a capable shooter if handled with some care.  


This mid-'30s model is very similar to the one Amelia Earhart carried with her on her last flight.  The camera's Deco style fit her nicely.


I felt I had made a little progress in getting the camera working closer to its potential on my outing at the Botanical Garden.  I was also happy with the combination of Tri-X film and D-76 developer on this occasion.  My last efforts with the combo had yielded some thin negatives, so I gave the film an extra minute this time in the 1+1 D-76 and got better density.