Test Roll Preconceptions

I just loaded up my first motor-drive auto-load 35mm camera for tomorrow’s camera walk. Nikon OneTouch Zoom 70 AF, bought for $2 at Savers. It already has a few problems, though — mainly, it makes an unfortunate grinding noise when I press the shutter. The film advances, the counter changes digits, the flash fires… but that NOISE! It doesn’t sound like a normal shutter noise. It also doesn’t appear to focus when I depress the shutter halfway like it’s supposed to.

I looked up some reviews online — because, well, this camera was manufactured in the 1990s, so people were still buying it new from Costco in the early 2000s. People do not have nice things to say about this camera.

Then I looked up some more reviews of similar cameras. This camera is definitely not behaving the way I would expect it to. I’m seriously doubtful that any of these test photos will actually come out.

Now I’m starting to wonder which would be worse: wasting my last roll of 200 400-speed film by taking it out after 8 exposures and pitching it, or wasting my time plus $11 to get it developed if it comes back empty or blurry or otherwise unusable? Or do I go through with the test roll, on the off chance that it’s actually working as expected?

It’s going to be a beautiful day tomorrow. I’m going on a photo walk, whether it’s with this camera or another one. I’d just rather enjoy it and not feel like I’m potentially wasting not so much my time as my creative energy.

Yeah, I think I’m going to find another camera to load up for tomorrow. One that has a higher probability of turning out a successful roll of film. I’ll still finish the roll in the OneTouch Zoom, just not tomorrow. Maybe around the house or something.

* goes to camera collection shelf *

You know what? I haven’t used my Voigtlander Vitrona since I first tested it nearly eleven years ago. Now that I have a working light meter that can go onto the accessory shoe (and an iPhone app that can serve as backup if needed), I should be good to go.

* goes to deep freeze and check box o’ film *

Hmm. All I’m left with is some 800-speed, looooong-expired 64 and 25 speed Kodachrome slide film, and some black-and-white. The Kodachrome is a no-go, since my lab can’t process it, and I don’t want to waste a roll of 800 on a beautiful partly cloudy day (I save that for indoor events like weddings), so expired Tri-X 400-speed black-and-white it is!

Yes, I’ve already hit up Amazon to refresh my film supply.

Fun New Glasses!

Took Friday afternoon off work for appointments: dentist, chiropractor, glasses, and picking up my son’s kindergarten registration packet. Fit in a solo lunch at my favorite Chinese-Korean joint (a special treat, since they’re closed on weekends and are nowhere near my work) and a brief camera walk at the Metropark near my house (until the camera battery balked at the cold temps).

I love it when the planets align and I can have a productive and enjoyable afternoon like that.

BTW, in case you can’t see in this pic, the new glasses are sort of a brown and aqua tortoiseshell with a couple bits of straight-up rainbow thrown in. Subtly fun, without being committed to a bright crazy pair of glasses for two years.

Light Meters FTW!

Fujica Half

The weekend started pretty awesome (from a photography standpoint), as my battery adapter from CRIS arrived on Friday. I have at least one camera (the Rollei 35 I just got done testing) and one light meter that both require discontinued mercury batteries, and the WeinCell replacements weren’t working for either. I was way stoked to find that the battery plus adapter worked in both!

So, I attached the accessory-shoe-mount light meter that was now functional to my new-to-me Fujica Half that I got this past week off of eBay. I had tried the selenium (old-school solar cell) light meter right when I first unpacked the Fujica, to no avail. No worries, now that I had a light meter that wasn’t my iPhone, so I took the camera plus light meter to dinner on Saturday. Miraculously (read: yay, science!), the on-board selenium meter woke up after being out and about, and the on-board reading matched the mounted Kalimar meter. Now my Fujica Half is just as awesome as I hoped it would be, since it’s fully automatic with the meter functional.

I am TOTALLY STOKED that I now have two fully working cameras and a mounted light meter, thanks to a new battery adapter and SCIENCE!

Jefferson Center

Jefferson Center
[Taken 8 June 2016]

From Wikipedia:

Created in 1970, the Jefferson Center moved into the old U.S. Post Office building at 1300 Jefferson Avenue in 1972. The school hoped to be a trendsetter nationally and aimed at TPS students that had issues with their home schools. Instead of having principals, teachers, students, and a separate set of rules for adults and children, the school was set up with the titles of director, supervisors, evaluators, and trainees. After much renovation to equip the building for instruction, the school was able to provide programs in building maintenance, child care, fabric service, food service, health care, manufacturing and construction, merchandising, office services, and warehousing.

Despite its intentions to serve troubled teens, the Jefferson Center still had problems with attendance and graduation rates throughout its history. After a short debate on whether it was living up to its original expectations, the school was spared from closure in 1989 along with Macomber-Whitney High School.

The Jefferson Center remained open until June 2000 when TPS decided to save $15.2 million by cutting the alternative school, along with Old Orchard Junior High and 67 teaching jobs. The Head Start program moved into the building the following year.

In April 2011, TPS considered demolishing the building unless an alternative use for it could be found. A majority of the school board has voiced opinion in favor of keeping the historic 1911 building standing.