Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vivitar 24mm 1:2.8 Auto-Wide-Angle

From what little info I could find about this lens it seems to have been made by Tokina in the late 1970's. The camera, a Sears KS Super II, is all automatic with no manual option. From the one time that I used it I can say it performs well, however I don't get too excited about a camera without a manual option.

I wouldn't normally buy a camera like the Sears KS Super II on Ebay, however I noticed it had a couple of extra lens.  One was a Sears 135mm f/2.8 and the other was the lens featured here.  There also was the standard Sears f/2.0 lens.  All three are decent lenses and the price for the whole package was under $20. So I put it on my watch list and was pleased to win the auction for slightly less than $20.  I had been needing some K-mount lenses and I was very happy to get three new ones to try out for a low cost. I tend to think that if the Vivitar 24mm had been properly listed by itself that it would have gotten a better price than what I payed for all three lenses.  Especially since I have since found out that the Tokina version of the Vivitar 24mm has a very good reputation.

This image looks a lot better at a size that wouldn't be convenient for my blog.  I do have a fondness for the bare trees and shadows of winter.

I like a wide-angle for getting a different look with machinery.

Overall I have been pleased with the Vivitar 24mm.  It may be slightly less sharp than my Canon 24mm, however to me there isn't a great difference in the performance of the two lenses.  Which I think speaks well for the Vivitar.

I took these photos with my Pentax K1000 on Kentmere 400 film developed in Xtol.  I think the Kentmere 400 does pretty well in Xtol.  Still my next roll of bulk film is going to be some Ilford HP5.  It doesn't cost a lot more than the Kentmere and from the single rolls I have used in the past the results of the HP5 is more what I am looking for in B&W.  Still the Kentmere has come to earn some respect and I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it out.

I am excited that I should be getting a Zenit S this week.  It is a Soviet 1950's SLR.  Basically, it is a Zorgi rangefinder with a reflex-box added.  I only recently learned about it and was enamored by its appearance. So I should have something to report about my experience in meeting the Zenti S in person soon.  The picture is from Wiki Commons. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Olympus ∞ Stylus ZOOM (DLX)

Introduced: 1993
Lens: 35-70mm zoom, f/4.5-6.9
Automatic exposure with programmed shutter speeds: 1/5-1/400s on some models and up to 2 seconds or even B (bulb) on others.
Power: 3V lithium CR123A.
Dimensions: 124x64x45mm.

I believe this was the first zoom camera in the Olympus mju/Stylus series.  This series was one of the most popular camera series of all time.  Altogether more than 20 million were sold.  Today the Olympus mju/Stylus series is unusual in that it is one of the few 1990's point and shoots for which there is still some demand.  Probably the first in series non-zoom models are the most popular, however the zoom types have some fans. 

I think Simon is a good test subject for a camera.  Here with him being a dark subject with a light background he shows that the Stylus DLX performs well with its auto exposure.  I think the auto focus also did well in that he is a subject who doesn't often stand still.I do occasionally get a light leak with this camera.

I liked what seems to me a good rendering of the color in this image.

From the few images that I have taken with this camera I can see why they have been so popular.  The Olympus Stylus is a camera that is small enough for a shirt pocket, however it gives some of the best results that I have gotten from an automatic point and shoot.

So if you are looking for a compact 35mm camera the Olympus mju/Stylus series is worth looking into.  From what I have read people seem to think that the non-zoom versions give the best results.  However from my experience with just one of the zooms I would say they are worth some consideration.  Also the zooms cost much less.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Konica C35 AF

Introduced: 1979
35mm Auto focus & Auto exposure

Lens: Hexanon 38mm f/2.8, 4 elements in 3 groups
Shutter: Programmed Leaf shutter with 3 speeds - 1/60s, 1/125s & 1/250s
Exposure: Fully automatic - 25-400 ASA

The Konica C35 AF was the first auto focus camera.  It worked well enough that a lot of them sold, even though at $283 it was fairly expensive.  Within a year and a half Canon followed with its Sureshot auto focus camera. Today it is hard to find a camera without auto focus and it was the Konica C35 AF that started it all.

I have been doing this blog for about a year now and was surprised to see that I hadn't done a post about this camera before. Especially since I got this camera in a box with some other stuff at the same time that I was starting this blog.  I can't honestly say that I would have sought this camera out.  Still since it is very inexpensive in relationship to its place in photo history I think it is a nice addition to any frugal camera collection. 

When it works the auto focus gives pretty good results with the Hexanon lens. Still a lot of time the focus isn't very good or not where I would have liked it to be.

I imagine the Konica C35 AF was a wonder to those who were challenged by manual focusing.

Even though it was a ground-breaking camera, the Konica C35 AF is not collected much.  A good example can easily be found for under $20. Because it has a good lens, is pretty quiet, and has auto focus and auto exposure some might find it good for street photography.

In 2008 Jason Schneider named the Konica C35 AF as one of his top twenty most historical cameras

A post about the Konica C35 AF in ClassiCameras.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vivtar EZ35

Seems like it has been a while since I took some pictures with a cheap plastic camera. The Vivitar EZ35 is certainly in that category. I think the aperture is f/8 and the shutter speed is 1/125. There is not much else to it.

One thing I have just realized about this sort of camera is that it is pretty hard to be disappointed in the results since my expectations at the start are so low.

Sometimes it is interesting to shoot into the sun.

There must have been a panorama craze with these cheap cameras for a time.  A lot of the cameras that I would guess are in the post time-life type camera era have some option for fake panoramas. The EZ35 has a mask that is inside the camera that cuts off part of the upper and lowers frames.  If you want normally framed images you have to remove the mask before you load the film. I only discovered this after taking a roll of film so I got all panoramas.

Here is the optional black border showing how much is cut out of the frame.

This format does leave quite a bit of room for text.  Unfortunately at least for me there is not a lot to say about this camera. I used Kentmere 400 developed in Xtol for the images.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Universal Camera Corp.Meteor

When I saw a photo of this camera it went on my mental list for camera acquisition. Maybe the most unusual thing about this camera is that it has a square aperture. The aperture sizes are 11, 18, 22, and 32.  The shutter speed is 1/30. There also is a time setting. The lens will telescope into the camera to make it somewhat more compact when being carried. The photo here is with the lens retracted.

This is another camera that I have mostly because of the way it looks.  I have only once gone to the trouble of making 620 film for it. Besides its looks, the Meteor is a solidly made camera.  It was sold for $15 back in 1949.  Like with a lot of cameras of this type it is hard to find the exact dates for when it was made.  Some said it was as early as 1947 while others said 1949.  Probably it stopped being made in the early 1950's since Universal Camera Corp. was having serious financial trouble by then.

One of the few photos I have taken with the meteor. At least for me there was nothing so interesting about the picture taking results that made me want to go to the trouble of making 620 film for it.

Here are a few links for more details, pictures and opinions about the Meteor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pho-Tak Traveler 120

Another simple box camera, the Traveler uses 120 film and has one shutter speed, 1/50.  It was first made in 1948 and was continued for a few years into the 1950's.  Made by the Pho-Tak Corporation in Chicago. To me it is interesting that Chicago seems to have once been a hotbed for the making of cameras of this sort.

For reasons that I can't currently explain the Pho-Tak Traveler is one of my favorite box cameras. When I decided that I would thin out my box cameras in favor of more classic SLRs, the Traveler was quickly included in the keep list. For me I think a lot of the Traveler's appeal is its heavy metal construction.  I believe that in a pinch I could probably drive a nail or crack nuts with this camera.  The Traveler weighs 504 grams which tops the 320 grams that the similarly sized Agfa Clack weighs.

The Pho-Tak Traveler takes 6x9 images on 120 film. Here it shows the classic sharp center with soft edges. I like the 6x9 format. It is more impressive when viewed at sizes larger than what is usually convenient for using on the internet.

For me the Traveler has more shelf appeal than it has appeal as a picture taker.  So far I have only ran one or two rolls of film through it in a couple of years.  Probably it is good for the Traveler that I have come to appreciate having a camera around just for its looks.

Below are a couple of links for some photos taken with the Pho-Tak Traveler.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Imperial Savoy

I found this camera at a shop in Sullivan IL Wednesday.  It still needs some cleaning up, however it is a nice example of a popular box camera made by the Imperial Camera Corp. of Chicago during the late 1950's to the early 1960's.

Haven't had much new stuff to blog about in the last couple weeks.  Since having some good luck at the Covered Bridge Festival I haven't come across much else.  I have seen a lot of these Savoy cameras, however this is the first one that I came across with a flash attachment.  More than likely I won't run any film through it since it takes 620 film and I have run out of the desire to re-spool 120 film to work for 620 cameras. Still it is kinda a interesting camera to look at.  In its simple way I think is shows some of the spirit of the early space age. 

The Imperial Savoy came in different colors.  I have this one in green.  There also are blue, red, and tan versions.

That is it for now.  Hopefully, I will think up some more things to post about.