Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yashica FX-3 Super

  • Shutter metal focal plane
  • Shutter speeds B, 1-1/1000
  • Exposure meter shutter release activated CdS TTL with over/under LEDs
  • Battery 2 x SR44/LR44 1.5v
  • Hotshoe, but no PC sync 
  • flash ready indicator in the finder. 
  • Self-timer (Mirror Lock Up) 

 I found this Yashica FX-3 Super at the Covered Bridge Festival the same day that I found the Pentax K1000 that I wrote about earlier.  For $10 I got the camera along with a lens and a couple of flash units.  Introduced in 1984 the FX-3 Super was one of three models of the FX-3 made for Yashica by Cosina.  All were on the economy level, however since they use the Yashica/Contax lens mount they can use the many excellent lenses made for this mount.  And even if this was an economy model that doesn't mean that it isn't well-made.  In fact, other then the well-known problem in this brand of cameras with the leather covering, the FX-3 has proven to be a durable and dependable camera.  Of course in features there isn't a lot to talk about.  The whole story is in the list above. There isn't anything in this camera that would keep you always looking up info in the camera manual.  Much like the K1000 the FX-3 just gives you the basics.  It is funny to me that I should find two cameras of the same spirit on the same day.  Both the FX-3 and the K1000 are basic cameras elevated by their dependability and access to a great system of lenses.

You might have noticed the lens that came with my FX-3.  It is a Sakar 35-200mm f3.5/4.8 Macro Zoom Lens. So far I haven't found much info on this lens.  I think I would be safe in guessing that it was an economy model.  Eventually I'd like to get a Yashica/Contax lens to try out.  Anyway here are a couple of images from the Sakar.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Asahi Pentax K1000

Asahi Pentax K1000 with Sears Auto MC 1:1.7 lens. I found the camera body at one of the flea markets taking place during the Parke County, IN Covered Bridge Festival. So far I don't have the 50mm f/2 SMC Pentax that was standard with this camera.  Although I think the Sears lens is pretty good.

I didn't have high expectations when I went to this years CBF.  However right at the start I got lucky in finding a nice Yashica FX-3. After that it was a long run of dirty over-priced box cameras.  Then I came across this K1000 in excellent shape. It was marked $25 and I got the dealer to come down to $18.  From the serial number it looks like it was made sometime between 1976 to 1978.  The body almost looks new and the viewfinder is bright and clear.  After having run a roll of Kentmere 400 it also seems like the exposure meter is working well.

Eventually I would like to get some of the K lenses that Pentax made, however I think Sears f1.7 lens does a nice job.  I believer this len is a re-branded Rikoh Rikenon.

The K1000 is famous for being a camera that has just the basics that you need and nothing more. For years it was the camera that students learned photography with.  And from my own experience I would say that it is a pleasure to shoot with.  There is just enough in this camera to be helpful, but nothing to distract from actual picture taking.  I can easily see why this camera has a fan base.

In reading about the K1000 I came across this article by Jason Schneider. Schneider used to write about camera collecting for Modern Photography.  Later he became Editor in Chief for Popular Photography.  If you like camera collecting his books on the subject are worth seeking out. Schneider was not a camera snob.  In his writings he covered both common and rare cameras.  Anyway I think his article on the Asahi Pentax K1000 covers the topic well.

Featured User Collectible Camera: The Pentax K1000 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

People Pictures From 2012 Covered Bridge Festival

I don't do much people photography. At the Covered Bridge Festival I decided to take a few shots of what may be a vanishing group of dealers and collectors. I say vanishing since operations like Ebay seem to have taken a bite out of the face-to-face dealer seller world.

Don't see many people smoking in public anymore. When I smelled his pipe smoke it took a moment for me to realize what it was.

If you are a dealer you hope not to spend most of your day sitting watching the crowd walk by. Last Friday morning was an especially chilly time to be doing that.

Instead of sitting, hopefully there will be some sales to record.

Just judging by observation, crowds at flea markets have gotten smaller and older since I occasionally did them in the 80's and early 90's.

A dealer selling things in Rockville, IN.

The woman with blond hair and the dealer with the hat were haggling over several items.

Did a B&W conversion on this one.

I was fairly pleased with how most of these turned out.  Especially since the lighting wasn't the best. Although it does seem like the light is starting to get softer this time of year. I used my digital SLR which isn't an inconspicuous camera, however I have never encountered any problem taking photos at an event like this.  I am surprised that I seldom see anyone else with a camera at such events.  

I saw more cameras this year at the CBF than I did last year.  Although most were the dirty over-priced box cameras.  Still I did get a nice Pentax K1000 and a Yashica FX-3.  I'll probably have more to say about them later in the week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Balda Baldessa 1b

Produced: 1959
Lens: Baldanar 45mm f/2.8, probably 3 elements.
Shutter: Prontor-Svs, 1 to 1/300 and B.
Focus: Coupled Rangefinder
Exposure: Uncoupled selenium meter.
Film type: 35mm

The Baldessa 1b was the last in the Baldessa series.  Its key new feature was a uncoupled selenium exposure meter. I think this camera earns its place in most collections for its looks and design.  It is not reported to be anything special as far as image making goes.  Although I would not know from personal experience since this is another of my none functioning cameras.  The problem is that the film advance will not advance the film.  Everything else including the selenium meter seems to work.  I wouldn't mind being able to run some film though it sometime since it looks like it could be an enjoyable camera to use.  However the possibility of shooting with the Baldessa 1b hasn't so far been enough to motivate me into finding out about fixing it.  Still I do think that it very well qualifies as a camera to have around just for its looks.

Since I don't care to repeat what others have already written, here are some links about the Baldessa series.

Balda Baldessa 1b at Dominic's Classic Cameras

Baldessa 1 Fun, Despite Its Performance at Shutterbug

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yashica Half 17 Rapid

Introduced: 1965
Lens: Six element Yashinon 32mm f/1.7
Format: 35mm half frame. Uses rapid film system.

The Yashica Half 17 Rapid is one of Yashica's contributions to the half frame craze of the 1960's. It uses the Rapid Film System instead of a 35mm cassette. Yashica also made a version using standard 35mm called the Yashica Half 17.  Besides the difference in film systems the Rapid version has a different exposure system.  The 35mm is fully auto exposure while the Rapid version has a choice of aperture/shutter speed combinations that are selected with the help of a selenium match needle meter.  The aperture/shutter speed settings run from f/1.7,1/30 to f/16,1/800. The film speed is set automatically from a speed setting on the rapid cassette. Focusing is by distance.  The Focusing range is from 2.5 feet to infinity.

Of all my broken cameras this is the one I would like to see working the most.  At the moment it has a stuck shutter that has defeated my limited skills in fixing such things.  The selenium meter still seems to work and the camera is pretty good shape.  So hopefully one day I will get it figured out.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Festivals

Fall festivals are a good place to take pictures.  There are usually a lot of interesting objects.  Also the light and the weather are often good. I saw this parrot at the Apple & Pork Festival in Clinton, Illinois Saturday.

One of the best events for pictures around here is the Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County Indiana.  I took a lot of pictures there last year with a Holga lens on a digital camera. I think the Holga fit the subject pretty well.

I wonder how many years she has been going to flea markets?  The flea market seems to be one thing that hasn't changed much in the last thirty years or so. Although I would guess that the average vendor is much older today.  However since I am also much older I tend not to notice.

At least in this part of the US there are always some old tractors at the fall festivals.  I took this last year at the CBF on Legacy Pro 100 with a Canon F1 using a 24mm lens.

The main challenge for me at these festivals is deciding what cameras to bring.  Usually you have to park far away from the event so it is not convenient to return to the car for cameras or lenses.  I usually carry a combination of film and digital cameras and hope one will suit whatever I see.  After some experience I am getting to like the combination of the Olympus XA, the digital Sony TX7, one digital SLR, and a film SLR.  I can carry the Olympus and the Sony in a pocket and the SLRs with some lenses in a shoulder bag.

So far I haven't had much luck finding camera stuff at these festivals.  I didn't see a single thing that tempted me at the Apple and Pork Festival.  Just a few dirty old box cameras that were priced like they were mint.  So mostly I just see these events as picture taking opportunities. If you are the kind that likes to take pictures of people these are good events.  Most people are too wrapped up in what they are doing to pay much attention to someone taking pictures.  

Saturday I did see quite a few people taking pictures with camera phones, however I only saw one person with a more traditional camera.

So even if you don't like the festival/flea market stuff it still might be worthwhile to pay a visit just to take some pictures.  One of the first galleries that I made on Google is of some photos that I took at the Covered Bridge Festival last year.  Covered Bridge Gallery.