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Kalimar “Colt 44”

Posted 2011.10.10 10.01 in Hobbies, Photography

Here is a super simple 127-format camera from 1960. The Kalimar “Colt 44”, also known as the Kalimar 44, also known as the Anny 44, is about one step up from a box camera. As with many other cameras with a ’44’ designation, it takes twelve square 4x4cm frames on a roll of 127 film.

It’s designed to look like a rangefinder, but really it’s just a fake-out. The ‘focus lever’ is actually a lock for the shutter release, with the ‘rangefinder window’ turning red when the shutter is locked, and black when the camera is ready to shoot.

The fixed-focus lens has a focal length of 60mm, and is set to capture subjects from 5 feet to infinity. The camera has a single fixed shutter speed of roughly 1/60th – not even a bulb setting. The only thing you can control is the aperture, which can be set from f/8 to f/22. An indicator on the lens barrel suggests f/8 and f/11 for colour film, and f/16 and f/22 for black & white.

The 127 format is nearly obsolete, but there are a few places still selling fresh / new film, such as the Frugal Photographer. You can also respool 35mm film with a 127 spool and backer paper, but you will have sprocket holes in the image. Or skinny panoramic images, if you crop out the sprockets.

One other funky thing with this camera, it has an accessory shoe (not a hot shoe) and it has a PC connector, but it is not an X-sync — it’s an M-sync. This means it is timed for old ‘medium’ flash bulbs. Meaning, it triggers the flash about 20 milliseconds before the shutter is opened. So with an electronic flash, the flash is over and done with before the shutter has fully opened. So even though the camera looks like you can use a flash, it’s no-go. Unless you have some bulbs, that is…

All in all, the Colt 44 reminds me of the Holga, in fact. It is smaller, and made of metal and glass rather than plastic. And where the Holga has fixed exposure and zone focus, the Colt 44 has fixed focus and lets you set the aperture… ok in fact the Colt 44 and Holga are really nothing alike. Yet they still remind me of each other all the same.

The shots below were taken on a generic “store brand” colour negative 35mm film that was made by Fuji.

Souped, as usual, in my exhausted C41 chemistry. By exhausted I mean, it’s nearly the end of the road for that batch. Soon I’ll have to bid it fare well, wash out the containers, and prepare a shiney new batch. Then I’ll have to reset all my timers and start over.

Compact Camera Quest (Part 2)

Posted 2011.07.16 10.21 in Pointless Blather

In Part 1 of my quest, I started to identify what I was looking for in a classic compact film camera: small, not-too-heavy, full-frame 35mm, classic (as in, not a point-and-shoot), but also convenient and easy to shoot (not 100% manual).┬áSpelling that out, it does sound a bit like I’m looking for the impossible – or at least, that some of my requirements are at odds — not too manual but not too automatic? WTF?

Part 1 also looked at my first compact 35mm camera, the Rollei B35. A solid, well-built compact manual camera. But a little too heavy, a little too manual, and it didn’t have any built-in protection for the lens or viewfinder.

Before long, I came across another intriguing compact camera – coincidentally, another Rollei too. This time, it was the Rollei A26

Rollei A26

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Those Darn iPods

Posted 2010.09.27 10.11 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

What is it about those crazy iPods? They just don’t wanna stay put-together!

This was iPodasaurus, a third-generation iPod, from the days when 40GB was top-of-the-line, black and white was all the rage, and USB was called Firewire.

Mad Science Happens Here

Posted 2010.08.16 17.45 in Computers/Internet/Technology

All I wanted to do was get the raw data off of one (marginally obsolete) (mini-sized) hard drive and onto another (marginally obsolete) (mini-sized) (but slightly larger) hard drive.

Another Technology Rant

Posted 2009.08.15 7.25 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

Time for another rant about what ticks me off with technology.

They keep changing the accessories.

On what seems like a regular basis, suddenly all your accessories aren’t compatible with the newest gizmo. I’ve been through this with the cellphone companies, both Nokia and Sony/Ericsson have rendered all their A/C adaptors and car adaptors obsolete by changing the specs. There’s no reason for this. Other than, they’ve decided it’s time to sell more adaptors. Seriously – the sub-mini phono jack is a fine standard for headsets and the coaxial DC jack is fine for power. All your stupid annoying proprietary molded plastic plugs just earn you more hate – and a deeper level in hell every time you change them on us!

However, my specific ire today is not for cellphone companies – although they, and virtually every other tech company is guilty of this at one time or another. No, today I am ranting again about Apple.

So last night I decided I wanted to watch a certain movie on my tv in my bedroom. I bought & downloaded the movie a month or two ago from the iTunes store, and have watched it on my computer once or twice, but now I want to see it on an actual TV. So I poked around and checked and found that indeed, you cannot burn purchased movies to a DVD. (You can burn purchased music to CDs, so I had hoped maybe movies would work the same.)

Oh well – there’s always another way. I have an “Apple universal dock” on which I spend about $50 and it has an AV port on it. So I unplugged that from my computer and dug up an AV cable and hooked it all up to my TV, after first transfering the movie to my iPhone. Figuring I’ll just run the movie on the iPhone and play it to the TV. The iPhone has TV-out and it was all set up right.

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