Monday, February 28, 2011

A Fungus Among Us

Definitely not the best phrase you want to hear when you take a camera to the repair shop.

During my lunch break I brought my new used Olympus OM-1 camera to my trusty camera repair establishment and while going over the list of repairs/modification I want (new light seals, mirror sponge, battery conversion, meter check/repair, shutter speeds test, replace focus screen) I also mention to clean some grime in the viewfinder. Matt takes a look at it and says "there's a fungus among us". The fungus appeared to be on the irreplaceable prism! They said they would be able to clean it, but it might come back. Sad face. Maybe once back in my possession I should figure out how to blast some ultra-violet light to kill off any possible remaining spores.

What I love about the camera is its size, ergonomics, viewfinder, and non-reliance on batteries and can not wait until I have it back in my hands. I also have an OM-10, but the thing eats my batteries and the meter is off, so I am not likely to take it out. I thought about having work done on that one, but the OM-1 is a real classic SLR so I may as well put some money into that one, right? I hope.

Will let you know its performance after all I shoot and develop a roll.

flickr photos

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Classic Camera and Photo Class

Today was an absolutely wonderful day. I took my old Voigtlander Perkeo I out to take pictures at one of my favorite parks to make a study of light and shadow. I am very anxious to see how these pictures turn out as I love the look that comes from the type of lens on this camera.

1) The lens on the Perkeo (Voigtlander Color-Skopar) has a Tessar type formula (4 elements in 3 groups) that renders images somewhat soft at open apertures and very sharp when stopped down to the mid apertures. It is this bipolar element that is unlike anything made today - it is like getting two lenses in one!

2) This lens has a single coating which reduces flare, but should still render shadow detail very nicely and this is especially good for black and white photography. I have even been thinking of getting some single coated lenses for my Nikon and Olympus cameras because the ever present multi-coated lenses have a high degree of contrast which is not especially to my liking.

Walking about and taking pictures felt so nice, even though it was a little bit cold. I ended up in the café drinking a mildly expensive, but nonetheless excellent, cup of coffee to cap off the morning. On the way back to my apartment I entered the library on a whim to check out their photography books, and though they did not have that great of a selection I picked out two: Icons of Photography and The Book of Photography. Perhaps a review down the road...

Switching gears a little bit, I would say my black and white photography class is going well. I now know how to develop film and print pictures, but need oh so much more practice at both.

The teacher had assigned (more like suggested) us to do some self portraits, intentional composition shots, and studies of depth of field so here are a few scans of my negatives that I think turned out well:

I tried to print this picture, and am semi-pleased with the result. I am going to try and get this one right.

This was the other picture I tried to print, but failed hard. Again, I am also going to try this one out again.

I will try printing this one - though it might be a dodging and burning nightmare!

flickr photos