This camera had been on-deck and forgotten for probably a year when the photography bug bit me again. I just needed some new batteries for it, which I ordered from Amazon (not because they were hard-to-find, but for the sake of convenience). The day the batteries arrived, I loaded it up and started shooting.
[Taken 20 March 2015]
This photo of the PNC Building in downtown Toledo was one of my favorite images off of this first roll through the new-to-me Agfa Pioneer (manufactured in the early 1940’s).
The short-short version: I messed up when I scraped out the goopy old light seals and attempted to seal the back with gaffer’s tape, instead. I need to properly replace the seals.
I took some test photos with my new-to-me Praktica Super TL1000 during the beginning of July. Thanks to a massive (read: not artistic in the slightest) light leak that rendered many of the photos unusable, this was one of the best images that came out of the 24 exposures. I suspect that it had something to do with the failing sealant foam; I may try some camera surgery in the future to see if I can manage the light leak without resorting to mummifying the camera in gaffer’s tape, a la my Holgamod.
Apart from the light leak, I really do like the look of the photos that come from this camera. I seem to have cleaned the camera well enough, despite feeling super sketchy (almost naughty, even) about actually touching its interior. After scanning the images, I couldn’t tell what dust was from the camera and what was from my scanner, which tells me I must have done OK. (Hope I didn’t cause the light leak during cleaning…!)
My Praktica will definitely stay in the collection for a while — someday I’ll come back to it and fix its light leak(s) and take it for another spin.
Update: I found a topic in the Praktica group on Flickr that details where the light leak is coming from. I was right: I did inadvertently cause it (or make it worse) during cleaning, when I scraped some old foam off of the back hinge. Once I replace that foam, my East German axe should be right as rain.
A.K.A. The “High-Level Bridge,” downtown Toledo. Another shot from my Pentax Auto 110.
While researching this camera online, I’ve learned something important: since the manufacture of 110 film cartridges was never standardized, film manufacturers could choose whether or not to remove a notch on the cartridge that some cameras (including this one) used to identify film speed. Since the camera misreads the 400 speed that I use, and exposes it like 100 speed, all my photos are slightly overexposed.
When I test my wide-angle lens, I plan to manually remove the notch on the film cartridge and see if that makes a difference in the exposure.
This was the first outing for the Ricoh 35FM, and I enjoyed photographing with it. I ended up with some good photos, but no really amazing ones. That was partially on purpose; I tend to avoid taking unique shots on a test roll, just because I’m not sure if anything will even come out. I should probably rethink my philosophy there…
Overall thoughts: This camera is very automatic, except for the focus and film speed. I might take it places where I’d be hesitant to take my Lomo LC-A (since it’s getting older and slightly fragile), but not if it involved very low-light situations. Indoors by a window = OK. Indoors by lamplight = not OK.
The last roll of film I took with this camera was back in 2005, and that test roll wasn’t terribly successful. This one was much more so, and I’ve decided that I do, in fact, like my Brownie Bullet.
Read on for more commentary and photos…
The last time I used this camera was 2007 — this roll came out a lot better than that one did. I’m not sure what’s up with the tobacco tint, but perhaps the negative sleeves I got at Goodwill didn’t come from a non-smoking home.
More photos and camera observations below…
In November and December 2010, I finally tried out a test roll in my new-to-me Kodak Brownie Starmatic. Overall, I think it creates unique (and very mid-century) photos, but it’s not necessarily my favorite.
Read on for more details (and more test photos)…