Category Archives: Camera Equipment

{Getting to Know You} Yashica T2

Well, I started this post in 2018. The photos from the first roll of film shared in it were taken in 2017. The second roll was from 2018. I felt like the post was a little incomplete, so I planned on shooting another roll with the Yashica T2 to add to the photos I already had, but apparently that didn’t happen. I mean, I don’t really have an excuse for not shooting a third roll with this camera in 2019, but I think we can al agree that I have several excuses for bit getting it done in 2020 😂

But onward and upward.


Originally drafted in 2018:

My 2017 thrift shop camera finds were EPIC. Imagine my shock when, a few weeks after finding a Yashica T4 at the lowly Goodwill Outlet, I found a Yashica T2 at the same store! While the T4 was $2, the T2 set me back a whopping $5 😀

Yashica T2 specs:

  • 35mm f/3.5 Carl Zeiss Tessar T* lens
  • Automatic exposure
  • Shutter speeds: 1/8s-1/500s
  • Accepts DX-coded film, speeds 50-1600 ISO
  • Built-in flash
  • Shooting distance: 1m – infinity (3.3ft – infinity)

I wasn’t expecting to care much about this camera. It is pretty much the older sibling of the T4. They have the same lens, but the T2 is bigger, more bulky, louder, and with fewer features. However – don’t ask me how or why – but somehow I like the way the photos from the T2 look better. Even though the lens is probably identical in both of them? There’s more warmth to them.

(some of this first roll were featured in my 2017 daily photo project, but it’s been long enough since that project occurred that I don’t mind posting some of them here too.)

Roll #1, December 2017

 

Roll #2, July-ish 2018

Okay, this roll was mostly an impromptu paparazzi style photo shoot after my niece got a haircut, but I managed to fit in some shots of other things too 😀

 

(Both rolls were Fujicolor 200 film)

There are some things to not like about this camera, mainly its boxy design (of its era though) and the fact that, to ensure the flash doesn’t fire, you have to hold down a tiny button on top of the camera whilst pushing the shutter button.

Flash off and fill flash buttons

It’s also loud. As are most auto advance cameras from this period of time. But I like the Yashica T2 despite these little quibbles. Especially for a $5 thrift outlet store find during 2017, the year of the thrift shop camera!

Side note:

There is (what I would describe as) a “smoky filter” over the lens in lieu of a traditional lens cover that would open up when the camera is powered on. I thought I had a defective camera on my hands because the filter only slides away when a photo is actually being taken. Turns out that’s how it’s SUPPOSED to operate. Just thought I would share that in case you get a Yashica T2 and think it’s broken because the lens cover doesn’t move away when you turn the camera on!

{Getting to Know You} Minolta Maxxum STsi

Here’s a camera and lens I got for SEVENTEEN BUCKS!

I bought (what I refer to as) “a $10 camera in a bag” from Goodwill in late 2018. It was literally an SLR in a big plastic zipper bag, and I figured I should buy it. The camera was a Minolta QTsi, and it came with a 35-70mm kit lens, as well as a longer zoom lens. I didn’t research the camera before buying it, but when I got it home, I realized it was literally a point and shoot SLR. There is no way to change any setting on it, except flash mode. I got to thinking maybe I’d like to have a 50mm lens for the QTsi. When I began looking at those, some of the eBay listings for Minolta 50mm lenses also included a camera for not much more than the lens would cost on its own. That’s how I ended up with the STsi. The startling bid for the camera and lens was $17, so I put in that bid, thinking it couldn’t POSSIBLY go for that cheap, but it did! I couldn’t believe it. The lens alone was worth more than that. It came with a close up filter as well, which is what I used for the macro shots included in this blog post.

Notable features of the STsi are that it has a shutter speed range of 30 sec. – 1/2000 sec., plus bulb. The exposure modes are: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter priority, Manual, and several automatic program modes. It has a switch for panoramic photos and is capable of multiple exposures (the instruction manual says you can do however many you want, but so far, I can’t figure out how to do more than two exposures. Not that I ever do more than two exposures in any multi exposure shot anyway.)  The STsi does have a built in flash, but it is unlikely I will ever use it!

Enough of the backstory, on to the photos!

Roll #1 was Agfa Vista 200

One of mom’s tattoos 

“The Twins” – my brothers are fraternal twins. The one on the left was able to visit us last July, which was the first time since 2012! Our mom was happy!

(Her eyes may be closed in this one, but her smile is way too cute NOT to post the photo!)

(Panoramic switched on)

(It’s ya girl)

Roll #2 was Kodak Max 400

The pink gerbera daisies were brought back from the funeral service for my mom’s younger sister who passed away unexpectedly. I wanted to document the flowers for mom. 

 

So I really like this camera. Its autofocus can be kind of clunky and sometimes has trouble achieving the correct focus. I had a few shots that didn’t turn out as a result. But, considering the bargain for which I got it and how much I enjoyed the results from the 50mm f/1.7 lens, it’ll be in my regular rotation. I like cameras with panorama switches (some folks don’t) so I’d like to get a wider angle lens to shoot more panoramic shots with. I’m really pleased that buying that “$10 camera in a bag” led me to the STsi and the 50mm lens!

 

If you look around recent posts to this blog, you can tell most of my outings in 2019 (and up until the pandemic in 2020) were to coffee shops with my coffee lovin’ niece 🙂 Oh, and I still haven’t shot the Minolta QTsi that led me to the STsi !!!

{Perfect Combo?}

This post is deviating from my usual format. It’s not my “Two Rolls In” or “Getting to Know You” film equipment reviews. Really, this is about testing an idea I had about a nice little camera/lens combo.

I picked up a Canon Rebel Ti a few years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) I didn’t have a lens for it for months, until I was given a Canon Rebel 2000 with a kit lens attached. I didn’t really need to test the camera for much more than whether or not it was functioning correctly, since it’s very similar to the Rebel 2000 (an earlier model in the Rebel series.) I had briefly owned a Rebel Ti in 2008, but I wasn’t able to use it more than perhaps once because the back latch was broken. That’s actually how I ended up with my original Rebel 2000. I bought it from my friend, who said it didn’t work, because it had a lens. The Rebel 2000 just needed a battery replaced, and the Ti I had bought had a broken film door latch. The rest is history.

But back to the current subject. I bought this Rebel Ti for a small sum, hoping to get a nice lens for it somewhere down the road. It took me probably about a year and a half to get the lens I wanted (it cost about five times the amount I paid for the camera itself!) The lens? A 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens. It’s TINY. The Rebel Ti is smallish and fits nicely in the hand thanks to its grip.

Tiny lens

Ergonomic grip

I thought it might make an ideal combo for a smallish 35mm autofocus SLR kit.

I was right 🙂

Roll #1 was Fuji Superia X-tra 400

I am so used to using manual focus SLRs that I forgot how quickly I can burn through a roll of film in an auto focus camera! I shot roll one basically in one weekend. This was around the end of September 2018.

Vegan snickerdoodle blondies

My niece obliged me with a quick photo shoot right before we went to Memphis so she could get braces.

Her last pre-braces meal was sushi (also sort of a pre-birthday treat, since this was right before her birthday.)

Quick shot in the parking lot of the orthodontist that same day

We also attended the Memphis Japan Festival at the Memphis Botanic Gardens that weekend, and it was a great chance to try out my new camera/lens combo!

There was an origami sculpture exhibit at the Botanic Gardens too, and it was amazing!

❤️

One of her purchases from the Japan Festival

Roll #2 was expired Kodak 64T slide film (expired in 2001,) which I had cross processed. Due to life circumstances (mom recuperating from a broken hip) and the fact that this film was not suited to gloomy weather, it actually took me about six months to finish this roll. These were taken from late 2018 to summer 2019.

Christmas season 2018

Shot a few frames in Como, Mississippi 

 

School bus shop we saw somewhere in the Mississippi Delta

S. Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee

This was the day AM got the big chop! She cut off all her hair! Then we went to get coffee at her favorite place in Memphis!

Playing with some double exposures 

Conclusion?

I am LOVING this as a camera body/lens combo! It’s fast, easy, and the lens is sharp to my eyes! I have to admit that I am a bit of a snob because I usually shoot film cameras that LOOK like film cameras, you know? But this is such a great little set up that I don’t mind if someone sees it and thinks I am shooting digital (doesn’t help that the control panel is a big lcd on the back, that might be mistaken for a viewing screen on a digital camera!)

 

 

(I actually have a couple of more rolls I was tempted to add on to this post, but I was afraid it would be TOO many images for one post!)

{Getting to Know You} Sears 35rf

I really like it when I find a camera at a thrift shop that I’d never heard of before.

(this photo was taken with another 2017 thrift shop find: my Yashica T4)

I’ll set the scene for you:

I was making my weekly thrift shop run and about to call it quits when I saw saw this camera on a shelf in the paltry electronics section of a particular store that usually doesn’t yield many “finds.” It was so tiny that I couldn’t believe it was actually a rangefinder, even if “rf” was part of its name!

But it was $6.59. I decided that I really didn’t need to buy the camera since I’d spent $3 here and there on random point and shoot cameras throughout the course of 2017 and was feeling pretty guilty about that. Like, had I not bought those silly cameras, I could have this one. So, I left it.

I left the store, drove down the road to go home, regret set in, and I turned back around to get the camera.

Success!!

It even came with its original case, with the stylized “SR” ( Sears and Roebuck) butterfly logo. I accidentally shot case upside down though, so I inverted the logo separately so you could see it  😀

Some of Sears 35rf’s specs:

  • Rangefinder focusing (.9m/3ft – infinity)
  • 40mm f/2.8 lens
  • Shutter-priority auto exposure and manual exposure 
  • Shutter speed range from 1/500s-1/8s, plus Bulb
  • Aperture range of f/2.8-f/16

In a move thoroughly unlike me, I immediately set about replacing the foam light seals. They were such a gunky mess that I figured I might as well get it over with.

In the meantime, I found out a little about the camera. It’s a rebranded Ricoh rangefinder (500 series.)

I shot a very quick test roll to see if I had done an okay job with the seals and if everything was functioning well mechanically too. I got it developed right away (also unusual for me as of late.)

I shared these on Flickr and Instagram (because I wasn’t sure when I’d put together a blog post for it here!) But hey, everything looked fine for the light seals and the camera seemed to be functioning fine!

(Shot on Fuji Superia 400)

I fell in love with this camera as soon as I saw the results from my test roll. I even took it on family vacation with me a few weeks after I got it. Here are some of the photos from that trip that I originally shared on my blog post about our vacation.

(Shot on Fuji Superia 400)

When I got home from vacation, I finished up the roll of Kodak Ektachrome 320T that I’d started shooting on vacay. Here are some of those photos (and these haven’t been shown anywhere before now!)

(Shot on expired Kodak Ektachrome 320T, cross-processed)

Then, I loaded the camera with the roll of JCH Streetpan I’d been holding onto for awhile. The results made me turn into the heart eyes emoji!
(I also haven’t shared any of these photos online previously 😉 )

(Shot on JCH Streetpan 400)

I LOVE the Sears 35rf. I cannot believe I was blessed to find it that day in a thrift shop that rarely yields any scores. The camera’s lens is nice and sharp, it’s little (though not so lightweight since it’s mostly made of metal,) and it’s now a prized member of my camera collection <3

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