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Concrete and Rubber

Posted 2009.11.16 7.42 in Photography

With all the road work and construction going on around the office, I have been wanting to take some pictures of the giant watermain tubes for a while.

I finally threw some film in my Canonet and went around on Sunday when I figured nobody would be around. Oops – they were working Sunday! I stopped and took some shots anyways though.

There’s something about the big massive roundness of these watermain sections that I find oddly compelling. They are over 2 meters in diameter – big enough to stand in.

Technical Details: Shot with Canonet GIII QL17 using Silvertone ISO 100 aka Agfa APX 100 film. Pushed to ISO 400, processed in T-Max 1:4 for 12 minutes.

Sunday Pictures

Posted 2009.10.19 22.50 in Hobbies, Photography

There were a few pictures from the roll I developed last night that were ok, or at least mildly interesting. I need to find something interesting to take pictures of.

These were shot with my Canonet GIII QL17, on Ilford HP5+ at ISO400. It was developed in T-Max for 6 1/2 minutes.

Home Camera Repair

Posted 2009.09.20 15.43 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather

Hey, how hard can it be, right? Today we’re going to be working on an ‘antique’, a ~37 year old Canonet GIII QL17, mechanical manual-focus rangefinder camera.

First thing is, make sure before you get started that you’re fully prepared. Have all your tools ready, any spare parts or supplies that you’ll need, and for goodness sake, make sure your beer is handy. A clean and tidy well-lit work area is important too, though in a pinch, just shove stuff off to one side of your dimly-lit desk and keep a flashlight handy for when you need some light.

Camera Repair 1

Step two, dive right on in. Cameras are fairly simple things, as you can see in the pictures. Really it’s just a pound of metal and glass. It only seems complicated because they take that pound of metal and make it into about eleventy-million little springs and levers and ratcheting doo-hickeys. At the end of the day though, metal is still just metal, and glass is still just glass. Except when they make it out of some funky rare-earth crystal stuff.

Camera Repair 2

So once the camera is fixed, just put it back together by reversing the disassembly process.

That’s it – it’s just that easy.

Canonet Test Roll

Posted 2009.09.12 8.15 in Hobbies, Photography

I processed the first roll shot with my ‘new’ Canonet QL17, and the results were… mixed. Almost the entire roll came out under-exposed, so I have to try and figure out why. Two possibilities come to mind, the first being that the Electric Eye is not working right, i.e. giving incorrect metering, and the second being that I &#%ed up the developing somehow.

I’ll have to do another roll and be sure to vary the exposures so there are some different levels I can compare. The Electric Eye was designed to use the now-verbotten 1.35v mercury battery; the alkaline replacement is 1.55 volts and that might be enough to throw the meter off by one or two stops. And alternatively, when I decided to process the film it was late at night and I’d enjoyed a few adult beverages, so it’s entirely possible that the camera is fine and I baffed the whole thing up by mixing the chemicals wrong or getting the timing wrong.

I tried to find a book yesterday at Chapters that would include some info on developing film, but literally every single book in the ‘photography’ section includes the word ‘digital’. Even the darkroom books are all ‘digital darkroom’. ¬†Ptooey!

Anyhow, here are a few results from that first test-roll.

Because the whole roll had come out under-exposed, I was forced to push the exposure when scanning the negs and that affected the quality somewhat. It’s not unlike going from neg to print, you can fix some problems by varying how you expose and develop the paper.

Also, I was more interested in rushing through the roll so I could ensure that the camera was working, and didn’t think much (at all) about actually composing good shots. I’ll have to work on that – still trying to re-train my eye for photography.

Cheers!

New Old Camera

Posted 2009.09.09 17.39 in Hobbies

1972_netg3-17My photographicalogical interests continue to spread out, having gone from a shiney new DSLR to my old manual Minolta, and are stretching further back in time. Today I got a nifty ‘new’ Canonet GIII QL17 35mm Rangefinder! The very best compact photographic technology that 1972 had to offer!

It really is a ‘compact’ camera, yet has all the bells and whistles of a serious / pro rangefinder. This website compares the QL17 to a Leica M6 – and I do believe the very economical QL17 stands up pretty well to the rather expensive Leica.

For a camera that’s pushing 37 years old, it’s in reasonably good shape. As soon as I verified that the shutter, aperture and winding mechanism were working, I threw in a roll of B&W film and when I’ve worked through the 36 shots I’ll develop it and post the results.

The camera is ‘almost’ entirely manual – the only non-manual thing it can do is it has an Electric Eye sensor that can be used to run the camera in Shutter Priority mode. That is, you pick a shutter speed and the camera can select the correct aperture. This is actually opposite of my prefered mode (Aperture Priority) on my DSLR and my Minolta X370. The QL17 uses a (banned) mercury battery to power the Electric Eye, but there are non-toxic replacements now. Without a battery, the camera works just fine in manual mode.

Camerapedia has an entry for the Canonet GIII QL17 which has some good info and links. Canon even has a page for the camera in their Camera Museum site.