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Minolta Autopak 700

Posted 2011.09.03 10.34 in Hobbies, Photography

I think one of the reasons I enjoy shooting the 126 format is because I like shooting squares. Rectangular shots are so ubiquitous that the square format on its own is something novel and different. I don’t know if I like it only for its difference, or if it’s truly aesthetically better to my eyes.

Either way, I’m still enjoying the 126 format, and to help enjoy it even more, I recently acquired another camera in this format. Unlike all my other 126 kits, this one allows full manual control of exposure, and even has a perfect focus aid – a coupled rangefinder.

Minolta Autopak 700

Minolta Autopak 700

The Minolta Autopak 700 looks more like Minolta’s Hi-Matic line than it does other 126 cameras. It’s larger and heavier than my other 126 cameras, being made entirely of metal and designed like a ‘real’ camera.

Unfortunately, the camera had some problems when I received it: the front element of the lens was loose and wobbly, the rangefinder was completely non-functional, and the mechanism to wind the film & cock the shutter siezed up after a single crank.

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Good, Bad, or Fugly?

Posted 2009.11.01 9.29 in Hobbies, Photography

Have you heard about this Lomography stuff? It’s sort of a ‘movement’ thingy. They use these Lomo LC-A cameras, or Holgas, or Dianas… the point is using a cheap / crummy / mediocre camera, expired film, ‘shooting from the hip’, cross-processing with the wrong chemistry, whatever – so the end result is sort of the opposite of carefully composed properly exposed photography.

Perhaps its a little like throwing cans of paint at a canvas, and calling it fine art?

It also reminds me a bit of the Dada movement from about a hundred years ago, sort of an anti-art movement, where the Dadaists were rebelling a bit about what the modern world was calling art, and they went in some wierd directions to sort of call attention to the pretentious silliness of it all. (Yeah, I actually learned stuff in the Art History classes in highschool.)

Anyhow, so the thing with Lomography is that ‘bad’ is ‘good’, or something along those lines. That you find the beauty in the results you get, and you don’t know what you get till you get the film back. They do caution that you can’t expect every shot to be a masterpiece, you might only get one good shot out of a whole roll…(**)

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It’s Film!

Posted 2009.08.29 13.31 in Hobbies, Photography

So I’ve been messing around with film the last week or so – 35mm film. I ran two rolls through my old Minolta X-370 manual camera, and one roll through an old-ish Canon EOS-3000 auto-focus that I got for cheap on eeeebay. Using the Minolta was fun, a blast from the past, it brought me back to when I was 14 or so and first received the camera for X-mas.

The Canon EOS body is much more modern, maybe 10 years old or so, and I mainly bought it to take it apart and see how it works. But I figured, before I destroyed the thing, I’d run some film through for fun. And the most fun I had with it was with my Sigma ultra-wide angle lens. This lens is designed specifically for a crop-sensor digital camera, the image it throws is not large enough to cover a full-frame sensor or film, which leads to vignetting. On the other hand — 10mm is so awesomely incredibly wide on a 35mm frame that I just had to mess with it. But enough talk, on with the pictures!

Camera / film specs: The Minolta is an X-370 manual camera, I shoot mostly set to aperture priority (I set the focus and aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed.) The two lenses I used were a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 and a Magnicon 28mm f/2.8 Macro. The Canon is an EOS3000 (aka EOS88) autofocus and I was using it with a Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 DC EX HSM lens. I mostly used the Aperture Priority mode on the Canon, although I did let the autofocus do its thing. In both cameras I have been using Fujicolor Superia ISO 200 film.

I have 3 more rolls of film, but will be trying to choose my shots more carefully in the future, due to the cost of buying & processing the film.

Cheers!

Old Lenses, New Camera

Posted 2009.08.27 9.15 in Photography

This is a neat little gizmo that only cost about $25 on ebay: An adaptor ring that mounts into a Canon EOS body, and allows one to mount a Minolta MD-type lens on the front. It has one adjusting-lens which compensates for the width of the adaptor so that the lens focal-length is unaffected and full focusing remains possible. I’m sure it reduces the aperture by a stop or so, but that is to be expected with any kind of adaptor or extension tubes.

MD/EOS Adaptor Ring

The MD/EOS adaptor does not have any electronics, so there is no communications as far as aperture or anything else. And of course, MD lenses are manual focus.

With this adaptor I can now use my 50mm f/1.7 lens and my 28mm f/2.8 wide/macro lens, along with my 3x Macro Teleconverter. The 50mm lens will make a good portrait lens I think, or a short fast prime telephoto. The 28mm lens is not as useful to me as a prime lens as I already have my 30mm f/1.4 — however, the 28mm lens has a macro function which I do not have otherwise. In addition, using the 3x teleconverter, I can turn either the 50mm or 28mm into a super-macro, with a magnification greater than 1:1. I also have an old telephoto, 80-200mm but it is rather slow and I can do better with a newer lens, I think.

Below is a picture I took using the 28mm f/2.8 lens on the adaptor. The subject is the 50mm f/1.4 lens. This was at f/4 aperture, 1/125 shutter, and with the camera’s onboard flash for illumination.

Adaptor Photo