Sunday, November 27, 2011


This is the first photo posted in about a year on Flickr by the amazing "avyavy". I first became acquainted with his work through his Flickr pinhole folder, Transience. I was particularly taken with the painterly qualities of his pinhole images, but he actually pursues a similar style in all his posted work.

I generally have little patience with the efforts of most people who attempt to produce painterly effects with photography; avyavy is the one who gets it right every time. His Flickr photostream is well worth studying at length.

Eleventh and Mountain

Friday, November 25, 2011

South Broadway

The little Olympus Infinity Stylus is often the camera I choose when I need light weight and compactness, but don't want to sacrifice flexibility and image quality.

Los Poblanos

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I went out for a late-morning ride and found hundreds of cranes and Canada geese in the fields of the Los Poblanos Open Space. I went home for the Pentax and a telephoto, but by the time I returned most of the birds were gone, likely toward a next stop at the Bosque del Apache refuge 90 miles to the south. I'm hoping to get back to Los Poblanos again, and will try some different film and lens combinations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Under the Central Avenue Bridge

My Zeiss Ikon Contaflex I is one of my top favorites in my collection because of its quality construction, its compactness and its classic Tessar lens.

Monday, November 21, 2011

No.1A Pocket Kodak

A walk in the Rio Grande Bosque.

My 1A Pocket Kodak was built for 116-format film, but it seems to work fine with still-available 120 rollfilm. The only hitch is that you have to keep the red window covered and roll on the film without reference to the numerals on the film backing. I normally can get six exposures on a roll of 120 by advancing the winding knob 2-and-one-half turns between shots. I got a little off this time because Acros seems to have a shorter leader than the Kodak film, and I ended up with just five exposures. Next time, I'll start the Acros with an initial six turns instead of the eight-and-a-half I give the Kodak to get to the first frame.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shooting the Zorki 2-C

The Zorki 2-C is the most reliable of my of my Soviet-era cameras. The shutter, rangefinder and film advance all work as they should. I also like the camera's compactness, which makes it easy to have on hand when needed.

When the 2-C model appeared in the mid-'50s it was most often equipped with a fixed-barrel Tessar-type lens. Those were excellent lenses, but add considerable bulk. My preference most often is to screw on one of my somewhat earlier collapsible models, either the FED 50 or the Industar 22. Both have an anti-reflective coating and are capable of outstanding resolution.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Albuquerque Municipal Airport Terminal

The Albuquerque Municipal Airport, financed by a half-million dollar WPA grant, was opened in 1939. The Pueblo-style terminal building was designed by Ernest Blumenthal.

The Airport was one of many New Deal projects undertaken in New Mexico from 1933 to 1943. By 1935 over half of the state's population was employed in public works development and construction such as the airport terminal.

The Albuquerque Museum Photo Archives contain a selection of photographs made when the Terminal was in use in the 1940s and 1950s; they can be viewed in a set at Flickr.

My photographs of the terminal were made with the Minoltina AL-S.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

panda love

Took my Panda for a walk in Old Town this morning.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Derby Disappointment

Not all projects work out as hoped.

I shot a roll of film in my Foth Derby at the Day of the Dead parade. All the images were misframed and a large portion of the negative strip was black. I believe the problem lies in my efforts to use 35mm film strips rolled up in 127 backing paper. The process worked ok the first time I tried it, but the last two attempts have been failures. My guess is that the film is buckling and interfering with the movement of the camera's cloth focal plane shutter.

One company, Efke, still makes 127 roll film, but the price is now close to $10, and I'm not willing to lay out that kind of money even though I'm very fond of my little Foth Derby. If I can figure out how to properly roll up some 35mm film inside the 127 backing paper I have saved, I can shoot a roll for a couple bucks. I'll check around the net to see if there are any good hints available on using 35mm film with 127 backing. I may also break down and buy one more roll of Efke just to make sure that there is not some other source to the problems I am seeing; I'll be out the ten bucks, but the backing paper can be re-used many times.

Another possiblity I'm mulling over is to acquire a film splitter that would let me produce 127-format film from 120 rolls. Goat Hill Photo has a model for $35 that looks like it would get the job done.

El Día De Los Muertos

The yearly Marigold Parade in Albuquerque's South Valley celebrates the Day of the Dead.

It was a nice excuse to try out my newly-acquired Ansco Panda, a diminutive plastic wonder that produces 6x6cm images on 620 rollfilm.

The Panda is constructed with a wrap-around-style film frame which reduces the dimensions of the box camera to the smallest possible size. A curved film plane helps image sharpness, and a short 50-60mm focal length means you can get everything in sharp focus from six feet to infinity.

Below are all the cameras in my collection that require the use of 620 roll film. The Vigilant on the left and the Monitor on the right yield 6x9cm negatives, while all the rest including the Panda produce 6x6cm squares. While each of these cameras is capable of producing excellent images, the most surprisingly good is the ultra-simple Panda, which is hardly larger than a Baby Brownie.

The 620 format has been extinct since the mid-'90s, but it is possible to use 120 film in the 620 cameras if you trim down the rims of the 120 spools or re-roll the 120 film onto the old metal 620 spools. On my vintage cameras web site you will find a page on trimming 120 spools and another on my blog illustrating re-spooling 120 to 620 reels.