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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.

Simple Counter Plugin

Posted 2009.07.15 10.12 in Computers/Internet/Technology

A while or two ago, I mentioned I was working on a counter plugin for WordPress. I still haven’t written the documentation, but seeing as that’s not going to happen any time soon I figured I ought to publish what I have so far, and worry about documenting it later.

The specs are all in the previous post (linked above). You can download the file here: SimpleCounter for WordPress.

Here are two examples of how it can look, as the style is entirely controlled via css:

Screen 1 Sample Screenshot

And here is a screenshot of the settings screen (click to enlarge):

Settings Screen

The plugin provides a widget, and it also lets you place a counter on subsequent pages… this is where the documentation is really necessary, I’m afraid. It’s coming though, someday, soon, I promise…

To install, just unzip the file and put the php file into your plugins directory. Activate the plugins, then you can access the settings screen through Settings -> Simple Counter. To place the widget in  your sidebar, just go to Appearance -> Widgets and drag the widget where you want it to appear.

The plugin is tested and compatible with WordPress versions 2.7 through 2.8.1

Super Simple Counter 2

Posted 2009.04.29 18.31 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I’ve been working some more on the super simple counter I mentioned here. It’s still very simple, but maybe not super simple any more. The goal is still to replace the older (and more complicated) cgi-based counter with something that is entirely contained within WordPress. I’ve already achieved that for the main site counter, but I also have a number of page-specific counters on some of my static pages (eg. the Lasers page, Knife-Making page, etc.)

I’ve been enhancing it further, and adding more features. It now includes all the following features, in one easy-to-install WordPress plugin:

  • Can be used as a sidebar widget or placed anywhere else on the site.
  • Output is styled through the theme’s CSS file, using a .counter class.
  • A starting number can be specified, to facilitate migrating from other counters.
  • The counter defaults to display only on the site’s Front Page, but can be set to appear on all pages.
  • The counter only increments when the site’s Front Page is displayed.
  • The counter can be suppressed so it doesn’t even display on the Front Page, just increments.
  • The counter logs the last visitor IP address, so page refreshes aren’t counted.
  • The number of digits displayed can be set.
  • The counter can be configured to display the output with commas separating the thousands.
  • The title can be customized (only applies to the sidebar widget.)
  • Settings are configured through the WordPress Admin site, as a Settings sub-page.

In addition to the saved settings, I’m looking to include the functionality of run-time arguments to enable further customization. 

Much of the functionality is already in there, only a few things are yet to be enabled. I’m testing it now, and when I’m confident it is working as advertised, I’ll post a link to download the plugin. Oh – and this time, there’ll be Documentation!  🙂