Tuesday, June 30, 2020

mellow yellow

I took my Nikon F for a stroll in the Sandia foothills.  Mounted on the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 was a yellow filter.  That is something I haven't done more than a couple times.  The results were somewhat underwhelming as the effect is rather subtle.  I left the filter in place for most of the roll of Kentmere 400 which I shot at a stop slow for processing in PMK Pyro.

San Felipe de Neri has reopened for Sunday services.  The shops and restaurants around the plaza are seeing a little business, but many of the smaller ones on the side streets have closed for good.

That was the last of Kentmere I had on hand, but I've ordered ten more from B&H.  I have a roll of HP5+ in the Pentax H3v now and I'll try a few shots with that combination with a red filter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

CLA in a can

I checked the operation of my Retina Reflex before taking it out for a shoot.  To my dismay, I found that the aperture stop-down mechanism was sticky.  With the Retina Reflex you need to advance the film and cock the shutter to bring the mirror down so you can see through the lens.   To test the operation of the shutter and aperture you set the speed to 1/500 and the aperture to f22, and when you release the shutter you should briefly see the aperture opened to its smallest setting before the shutter closes.

What I saw, however, was that the aperture was only closing down to about f8 before the shutter action was complete.

It seemed likely that some congealed lubricant and dirt on the aperture blades was interfering with sequence of events leading to proper exposure.  The problem with the Retina Reflex is that you can't get clear access to the shutter without completely disassembling the camera.   That is more of a repair job than I was prepared to undertake, however, so I decided to just try to resolve the problem with the application of some judiciously applied electronic contact cleaner which I picked up at a local auto supply store.

It is possible to get limited access to the shutter and aperture blades on the Retina Reflex by just removing the front lens group.  I set the shutter to the B setting so I could hold it open and get at the aperture blades underneath.  With  the aperture set to f22 I shot a couple short squirts of the cleaner onto the aperture blades, and worked the shutter open and closed several times which carried the black scum out onto the surface of the blades.  I then scrubbed the blades gently with some cotton q-tips until they looked clean.

I let everything dry thoroughly overnight and cleaned the the lens surfaces.  The shutter seemed to be working fine, so I took the camera out the next day loaded with a roll of Kentmere 400 which I shot at 200 ASA for processing in PMK Pyro.

I won't be surprised if I have to perform this operation again some time in the future, but I'm happy for now to be able to use the Retina Reflex again as it is one of my great favorites.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

June in the Bosque

The cottonwood forest along the river is bursting with life in June.  The Yerba Mansa is particularly impressive this year and I am seeing more varieties of wildflowers than I recall in past years.  Even though it has been warm and rather wet this Spring, there are no mosquitoes in the bosque; that makes riverside walks more pleasant, but may not bode well for the ecosystem.


Yerba Mansa

Siberian Elm

Pale Evening Primrose


I have had poor luck with my C-41 color processing for some time compared with the results I was getting initially when I started with it a few years ago.  I am seeing quite a bit of color shifting and red staining.  Both the Unicolor and Cinestill kits are giving me only half the number of rolls before exhaustion that I was getting before.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

More from the Signet

I spent a couple days walking around with my Kodak Signet 35.  The camera is small enough to jam in a coat pocket and the Ektar lens always performs well.

The old car enthusiasts are back on the Plaza Vieja on the weekends.  This was the first time I've seen this well-restored Buick; I think it is a 1950 Special Jetback.  The lines in sideview are very graceful, but that massive grill kind of ruins the look for me.

The '54 Chevy 4-door is a work in progress.

Fins and quad lights.