THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

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The Big Buddha is a work in progress

Before moving to the focusing bit, lets start by a few shots from Phuket. My eyesight for short distances is becoming quite bad so I cannot read the markings on the camera, so when I loaded this roll of Kodak Pro image 100 I put the speed selector to 1600 instead of 100. 2020-11-F3-2-4

So the pictures from Phuket are underexposed by 4 stops, but end up being quite exploitable , the colors are still pleasant. Nice job Kodak.

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Inside the shrine

 

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Karon football stadium
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Karon football stadium
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A resort in Karon
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Karon beach scene
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Phuket airport

I realized my mistake at Phuket airport and changes the speed. Above the colorful planes at the airport terminal; I quite like the colors of this film.

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Apples in Chinatown

Back in Singapore, I had my black and white film processed and as the results were OK (See last post), so I decided to finish this roll with the F3. I changed the screen to the Split screen model K as its easier to focus, so it will give a better indication of the accuracy of the camera focusing.

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Lost in Chinatown

Of course the shot above is a hip shot where distance has been guesstimated, so it does not prove much.

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Taoist ceremony in Chinatown

The two following shots are related to a Taoist ceremony in the center of town, the afternoon weather was quite bright so the shots were done with a small aperture, balancing potential focusing problems.

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Flags in Chinatown

I think this ceremony is held by one of temples situated in the nearby habitation block. The place were the tent is set, often hosts funeral wakes, and even a medium ceremony after Chinese new year.

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Inside TWG tea shop

In TWG tea shop at raffles hotel, the lens was nearly wide open and the focusing on the letters quite easy, it looks the picture is in focus.

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Yellow throat lizard

The lizard also is is focus, though small.

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Tiong Bahru Monkey God temple

The shot above  was done probably at F4 and quite close, looks reasonably in focus as well, I really love the warn tones or the film.

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Next table

So far so good until the last shot, wide open (F1.4) , the light was a bit dim, I focused on the glass at the front where it seems the actual focus is on the middle of the table (or the Asahi beer logo), so 10 to 15 cm back. So this is not very conclusive then.

  • Nikon F3
  • Nikkor AI-S 50mm F1.4
  • Kodak Pro Image 100ISO
  • Epson v800

 

THE NIKON F3 : DOES IT FOCUS OR NOT

Leica M6 + summaron 35mmF2.8

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That’s it, it did not took me one year to upgrade, or at least expand my Leica toolbox.

I was a bit frustrated last summer when trying the M240 for nearly 4 days. This is of course a wonder of a camera but I found all in all a few issues. Definitely for its price it is not the one fits all camera I am wishing for; it cannot take Circular polarizers, the close range is not so close, older lenses are visibly outdated, for the price you would wish every shot to be a piece of art which actually it is not. Also, having to wear glasses to see things at short distance the back screen and live view is a total loss for me (maybe there is something I have to learn here). Don’t get me wrong I had a lot of fun, and probably I will end up owning one sometime, but really I felt no urge to do so. I concluded my small review saying that instead I would more likely invest in a newer film body in the short term.

I already own a M4 with a Summilux 50mm V2, a Leica IIIc with a Summitar 50mmF2 and a few Ltm lens; most notably a Color Skopar 21mmF4. I was quite interested in getting a body with a meter and a wider lend. I ended up purchasing a boxed M6 Classic black and a Summaron 35mmF2.8, the version with the goggles.

Subodh Gupta – Le Domaine du Muy – France Shot with Fuji Provia 100 ISO, Summilux 50mmF1.4

Both pieces come in excellent condition (but I am not a collector), no dents or scratches, difficult to see how much films they shot.

I have now shot 6 films with the M6 and the Summaron or the Summilux and I must say I am very happy. Both works very smoothly and are very easy to use.

The metering is a lot better that using a handheld meter. Actually this cause a bit of a problem because if I have the M6 and the M4 in the bag, the M4 tends to stay there. Focusing is very easy; the finder is very bright, although I suspect there is a bit of haze in one of the front glass. With the goggles of the Summaron the viewfinder is a bit less luminous, something I would not have though of.

Compression de Porsche – César – Mougins – France TMAX100 – Summaron 35mmF2.8

There is absolutely no difficulties using the M6 if you had another M before; actually I would think that if you played with a few film cameras before it’s difficult to come with a surprise. The only small problem, which Leica solved in the M6TTL is the size of the speed dial. It is quite frustrating to manipulate it when looking at the meter arrows inside the finder.

The Summaron is a nice piece of kit; the infinite lock is particular and easy to handle. The focusing is smooth and does mot require as much course as the Summilux. I think F2.8 is fine for daylight. Some shots have a very nice 3D effect as the lady from the lab puts it.

All in all I am very happy; for the price of a new Elmarit 28mmF2.8 (That I did not found great last year) I have a new kit. I went on my summer holidays with the two bodies, the two lenses and the Color Skopar a very happy combo. All of this fits in a Crumpler 6Mio, with a couple of spare films, wallet, keys, sunglasses and reading glasses.

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Church of the black Nazarene – Manila – Philippines – Portra 400 – Color Skopar 21mmF4

Film wise, I had the chance to shoot a mix of :

  • Provia 100 slides
  • Kodak Tmax 100, my favorite B&W for daylight
  • Kodak TriX and Rollei RPX400, different grain but both nice for street shots
  • Kodak Portra 400, an excellent film, unfortunately under bad weather
  • Cinestill 50, first try, very promising

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La Kitchenette – Katong – Singapore – Cinestill 50 – Summaron 35mmF2.8

It is difficult to conclude. Having a better film camera is not replacing having a digital body, none of the shortcomings of the M240 are solved by the M6, but I can do better Leica shots. But I feel I did a good move. I saved a lot of money, I can happily have my new toy around my neck and still agree that the D700 is the best camera I ever had without looking like a fool. Which is important at my age.

Leica M6 + summaron 35mmF2.8

Мой новый Зоркий с камерой (My new Zorki S Camera)

Zorki S

Last Tuesday I could not resist when I pass by the antique shop outside Golden Landmark mall. There were a couple of russian camera eyeing at me and well I though I could well be in for a bargain.

It’s very difficult t check in the spot a camera that you never used before. I never used a Screw Mount camera before so I had no idea how to dismount the lens to have a look at the shutter curtains. It’s not easy to try the rangefinder when its pissing rain and you cannot see 2 meters away. The corking and speed change mechanism was also foreign to me so the idea of listening shutter to check the shutter speeds by ear was also a miss. Plus the two models I wanted a Fed-2 and a Zorki-S do not have a removable back so you cannot check the inside.

It took me 15 minutes to realize that my first choice, the Fed-2, has the tripod bolt missing from the bottom plate hence being unusable without a dirty fix. I ruled it out fr the time being.

Unfortunately I was in a bit of a hurry and the very courteous seller spotted very quickly that I was not very good at bargaining, so as usual I probably overpaid for my new toy (50 US).

Back home, after a couple of hours google-ing and playing with the toy the diagnostic was not so good:
– the shutter only fires intermittently
– the rangefinder does not work
– the aperture ring does move with difficulty.

Thursday out of disappointment I put a 6 years expired Kodak Gold film inside and wen shooting out haphazardly on the way to the office. I focused at hyper-focal distance, set the speed and aperture with the guess-o-meter and fired 5 times each shot before the shutter worked. So I expect 5 or 6 shots in 4 or 5 days. … to follow

A couple of links if you are interested:

http://www.sovietcams.com/

www.ussrphoto.com

Isaak S. Maizenberg’s bible of Russian Cameras, a huge compendium on usage, design and repair:
maizenberg-cameras1.pdf

Мой новый Зоркий с камерой (My new Zorki S Camera)

The return of the Hi-Matic (2)

So the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, is out of the box. I find out a suitable Duracell battery in my magic cupboard and a roll of TMax from the fridge and off we go. As I said elsewhere I am not a mass shouter, I picked up photography in the old days of film when we were taking one shot at a time because well it costs. I don’t care too much about the cost nowadays but still I kept the habit, so unless there is a special event it takes me a few weeks to shoot a full roll of film. This is something I like with the Hasselblad or 120 film cameras in general, 12 shots per film is pretty good for a week end if nothing special happens. Hey also remember that this is not digital so ISO is fixed; there’s just so much time in the day where you can use your camera. Back to the cost, 1 TMax = 8 SGD, processing 6.5 SGD, 4 bus rides to the shop 3 SGD = 17.5 SGD for a roll so 50 cents per shot; 4 shots per EURO.

We are the rrobots

A Robot in a toy store (N’gee Ann City, Orchard Road, Singapore), shot wide open (F1.8) probably 1/30s handheld

Shark Aid 2012

There is always something happening on Orchard Road, that day it was the Shark Aid 2012 campaign to save sharks from Shark Fin soup

Walter by Dwan Ng

This is WALTER: A Big Bunny by artist Dawn Ng, in front of SAM (Singapore Art Museum)

Low Kee Hong and Jeremiah Choy,

Singapore Arts festival 2012 presentation in Kinokuniya bookstore by Low Kee Hong and Jeremiah Choy, interesting and funny.

Shot wide open F1.8 at 1/30s handheld, a bit blurry… duh!

Ok that was funny, but I’m not  sure my practice of photography have made a big leap forward. I think I have to get rid of the leather case whose strap comes in the middle when framing vertically,  also the  shutter-release button is not that soft, you have to press it with some strength before it actually fire, causing some shake; very unlike my Leica M4.

The return of the Hi-Matic (2)