Tag Archives: Two Rolls In

{Two Rolls In} {Three Rolls In} Holga 135

I actually had a Holga 135 a handful of years ago, so this is not a camera that is entirely new to me. I bought one in 2011 but felt like a hipster for doing so because it came from Urban Outfitters. That inspired me to do a photo series call “Things Hipsters Like.” After running a couple of rolls through the Holga 135, a piece broke off of it, then I tried unsuccessfully to paint it a color I liked better, and that was the end of my relationship with the Holga 135. Fast forward a few years, and I started looking back at some of the photos I’d taken with that camera, and I thought “Hey, some of those were pretty cool!” Couple that with the fact that the Holga factory shut down earlier this year, and I decided that I wanted another Holga 135 while I could still get one. I found one online and bought it. It was described as “fuchsia.” ¬†My friends, it’s actually a bright neon orangey pink. It’s a LOUD color.

I was SO excited that my new Holga 135 arrived just before I left to see Mallory up in Midtown Memphis on a beautiful afternoon. I knew it would be a great day to try out the Holga!

Roll #1 was Agfa Vista Plus 200

Crosstown

I kinda went overboard photographing the cool sculpture outside Crosstown ūüôā

Around Midtown

HI!

It was February, and they still had Christmas decorations up!

Roll #2 was expired Fuji Sensia 400, cross-processed 

Now. This isn’t a¬†full roll, because when I was photographing the Impala you’ll see below, someone at work saw me doing so and insisted on taking a bunch of photos of me with the car. It wasted a good bit of that roll. AND I accidentally opened the camera because I forgot there was film in it. OOPS! I was going to wait to get this roll developed, because there had been so many missteps with it, but I decided to throw it in with the most recent batch of film I sent off for processing.

Example of the aforementioned photos of me with the car…

I didn’t really think it was fair to the camera or this blog post for me to accept Roll #2 as a proper test roll, so I put a third roll through the Holga 135 for this post!

Roll #3 was Fuji Superia 400, expired in 2007

Admittedly underexposed, but they’re of SPIKE!¬†

Como, Mississippi

Double exposure, probably in Como, Mississippi

Pro tip: don’t leave your camera in bulb mode and then take a photo in broad daylight!

HI!

Double exposure at the zoo and winner of “best of the bunch” for the photos in this blog

Another zoo double exposure

Crepe myrtles 

Underexposed double exposure. But I like it?

Conclusion?

Aside from the mishaps with Roll #2, I actually am really pleased with a lot of the photos I took with my new Holga 135! Hopefully it won’t break like its predecessor did!

Agfa Isola I {Two Rolls In. Again}

Photo borrowed from my 365 Project blog

The Agfa¬†Isola I is a camera I have had for nearly ten years now. I relayed my backstory with this camera in a post in 2009, but to give you an overview: I bought it in 2006 at a camera fair during my first trip to England. I believe I paid around ¬£10 for it. The Isola I is a medium format camera that produces 6×6 cm photos. I don’t know exactly when my¬†Isola I was produced, but the camera was manufactured from 1957-1963. It is a basic camera with zone focusing, two shutters speeds (Bulb and 1/35s) and two apertures (f/11 and f/16.) There’s also a built-in yellow filter you can use for contrast on black and white film. Through my recent usage of Lomography Diana cameras and my Holga 120N, I thought I’d try to show people what can be done with a vintage camera that’s less plasticky than its more modern counterparts and not as expensive as the toy cameras a lot of us use.

Heretofore, I had only shot two rolls in the Isola I, both of which were black and white films. I had always been reluctant to try color in it because some of these older cameras don’t handle color very well due to the fact that they were made for black and white film (it has to do with lens coatings or lack thereof.) I decided it was high time I changed that!¬†

Color Roll #1 was Kodak Ektar 100

Usually I couldn’t get by with ISO 100 film on an overcast day while using a fixed shutter speed camera, but because the Agfa’s fixed shutter speed is a 1/35s, I had some leeway there. The Holga and Diana F+ take in about half that amount of light as the Agfa, for reference.

Most of this roll was taken at the Memphis Zoo when I visited there with my family. Given the age of the Agfa, I thought “Back in the late 50s and early 60s, a visitor to the zoo might have used a camera like this.” So I tried to take “touristy” photos while I was there. So maybe not the most exciting photos I’ve ever taken?

Iconic animal statues outside the zoo entrance 

Two above photos from the China-themed area where the pandas live

My family, looking at the polar bears

Part of the Northwest Passage area of the zoo

King and Queen of the Jungle in Cat Country

<3 this one of my mom lovingly looking at the lions

The zoo has Egypt-inspired decor due to the connection with Memphis, Egypt

NOT the zoo, but a photo of fleabane daisies (with an Instax mini photo of the daisies in the middle)

I struggled as to whether or not to include this one, because I think it’s not very good

Color Roll #2 was Kodak Ektachrome 64T that expired in 1997, cross-processed

 

Frames overlapped because I tried to work around the double exposure prevention. Oops!

Viewfinder issues. See below for more about that problem.

1961 Impala that has previously been seen in my 365 Project

Motorcycle in the rain

Colorful Memorial day

Also previously seen on my 365 Project

Conclusion?

This is actually my first proper attempt at reviewing the Isola I, though I have had it for nearly ten years. It’s got retro style (because it’s acutally vintage ūüėČ ), plus it’s¬†inexpensive, lightweight, and capable of producing relatively sharp photos. But here’s what I don’t like about the Agfa:

  • The shutter speed of 1/35s is great, since¬†it allows you get a good amount of light onto the film if you’re shooting a slower film. BUT I have found it somewhat tough to handhold this shutter speed. Depressing the shutter button often jars the camera just enough to cause motion blur because the shutter speed isn’t fast enough to prevent that from happening. I included some “bad” shots that I wouldn’t normally post, just so you can see what I’m talking about.
  • The viewfinder is not accurate, especially at the camera’s closest focusing distance, which is 5 feet. The photo from the zoo of the red door is a good example of this issue. Clearly I wouldn’t look through the viewfinder and compose that shot without including the entire door knocker in the composition! In the future, I’d probably compose my photo in the viewfinder, then physically take a step back to ensure the composition I want is closer to what I actually get.
  • The Isola I has double exposure prevention. A lot of people would like this, but I don’t. I will put aside the issue of actually¬†wanting to take the occasional multiple exposure photo (because I do) and shed a light on the real issue with this: sometimes the shutter button gets pressed when the camera is in my bag, and once that happens, I have to waste a frame by advancing the film because once that shutter button is pressed, you can’t fire the shutter again until the film is advanced. I don’t even know HOW the shutter is fired when the camera’s in my bag, because the shutter button isn’t supposed to work while the lens is collapsed, but it somehow keeps happening!

Yes, I listed some cons that make it sound as if I didn’t have¬†a positive experience with the Agfa, but the toy cameras I mentioned during the intro of this post have their own flaws as well (if you only knew how much gaffers tape I have to use on my Lomography Diana cameras to prevent light leaks…)¬†The way I see it, the Isola I is just a basic camera from¬†nearly sixty years ago. It is in no way a camera with modern amenities. But if you’re someone who enjoys toy cameras like the Holga or Diana and you see an Agfa Isola I for $10 or $15, I say pick it up!

Pentax Espio Mini {Two Rolls In}

My point-and-shoot 35mm camera collection has grown again.

Back story:

I have actually wanted a Pentax Espio Mini for awhile now. Always searching for the best compact 35mm camera, ya know. I nearly bought an Espio Mini from Hamish some time ago, but that didn’t work out. As fate would have it, my dear friend David was slimming down his camera collection and remembered the fact that I wanted an Espio Mini. He very kindly sent me his! I’ve seen a lot of photos he’s taken with the camera, and it’s cool knowing he’s used it to capture images of his life and I’m using it to capture images of¬†my life now.

About the Pentax Espio Mini UC-1:

  • The Pentax Espio Mini UC-1¬†is an auto-focus, auto-exposure 35mm camera
  • It has a 32mm/3.5 lens
  • It features¬†a clamshell design, where you slide the cover open to turn the camera on and close it to turn the camera off. It also protects the lens.
  • User selectable modes, via mode buttons on top of the camera:¬†auto, flash on, flash off, slow-sync flash, bulb mode, bulb mode with flash (plus red-eye reduction mode selectable any time the flash is used)
  • Panoramic mode, via sliding switch on back of the camera
  • Automatic aperture range of f/3.5 ‚Äď f/22
  • Film speed set automatically with DX-coded film cartridges, ranging from 24-3200 ISO
  • Automatic shutter speed range¬†of 2s ‚Äď 1/400s, bulb mode usable from 1/2s – 5 minutes (wow!)
  • Focusing distance of¬†1 ft.¬†(.3m) – infinity
  • Real-time parallax correction shown in viewfinder when focusing at close distance¬†(more on that later)
  • Self timer is 10 seconds long, with a blinking indication lamp¬†on the front of the camera (the camera’s instruction manual says “the lamp starts blinking 3 seconds before the shutter is released, letting you know when to smile.” That makes¬†me smile ūüôā )

SAM_0187

clamshell design

Top and back views of the Espio Mini

A couple of things:

  1. I am very happy about the fact that the Espio Mini has a panoramic mode. I know a lot of people don’t like cameras that just mask out part of the film area to create a panoramic effect, but I don’t mind it. I liked having that option on the Pentax ZX-7 I used to have, so I was excited for it on the Espio Mini too.
  2. This camera has BULB mode. That’s crazy! Only high-end point-and-shoot cameras have bulb mode, usually. This means you can take long exposures with the Espio Mini, and while I haven’t tried it out yet, I’m very excited that the option is there.
  3. I have never experienced a point-and-shoot camera with this type of viewfinder before. Shooting with a non-SLR camera means you don’t see in the viewfinder¬†exactly what is being recorded on the film. This is a problem when you’re photographing something close up. Some cameras have indication lines printed in the viewfinder to give you some idea of what will be included in the photo when focusing at close distances. The Espio Mini’s viewfinder greys out portions of the viewfinder to give you a clearer indication of what the final photo will be like. I can’t explain it that well, so here’s an excerpt of the camera’s manual (which can be found here)

Enough technical stuff. On to the photos!
(note: on the panoramic photos, I included a link to their full size images, because they look better bigger than blog post will allowed them to be displayed. You can click the panoramic photos to see the full-sized versions.) 

Roll #1 was Ilford HP5 Plus

I can’t resist photographing lace curtains

Nor can I resit photographing a Vespa. This one was at the auto auction where I work a couple of days a week. 

My family enjoyed having ice cream at Area 51 ice cream in Hernando, MS this summer. Here are a few photos take outside the shop.

Barber shop next to Area 51

We took Dilly with us to Area 51 one time

Dilly, on a car ride with us

Pei Wei in Midtown Memphis before I had a photo gig with Muddy’s

Area 51, again!

AM, having some mint chocolate chip ice cream at Area 51

Owl mural in Cooper-Young, Midtown Memphis

Aldo’s Pizza Pies in Cooper-Young, Midtown Memphis

My sister, visiting Otherlands Coffee for the first time (Midtown Memphis)

Me, in a mirror at Otherlands

On the rooftop¬†patio at Aldo’s (we ate there twice in one week, actually. This was taken on a different day than that earlier photo from Aldo’s…)

My Kiev 4AM, at Aldo’s with us

Corner of Cooper and York, Midtown Memphis

Parking lot behind Aldo’s

Some onions in the kitchen at home. Not my onions, obviously. Onions are my arch nemeses!

A few panoramic shots outside the auto auction (Memphis)

Roll #2 was Agfa Vista 200

This roll has all the signature “Amanda” things: cars, red shoes, my niece, mirror self-portraits.

I photographed this car two different days at the auto auction. The first time was in the lobby of the auction’s building, because I didn’t know I’d later have the chance to shoot it in the auction bay, with better lighting and fewer distracting things in the background…

Dodge Challenger Hellcat, take two…

Another Harley at work

Malco theatre in Oxford, MS, where I took my niece to see the new Dragon Ball Z movie

You know me, taking my photo in bathroom mirrors since way back in the day

THIS WAS THE BEST! We went to Bottletree Bakery in Oxford, found out they were about to close for the afternoon, ordered some coffee to go, and were handed a box of free, delicious pastries as a consolation prize. 

Me, in a mirror outside Bottletree Bakery

What your to-go cup of coffee looks like when you wear red lipstick

Me and some models in a clothing shop window in Oxford’s town square

I love red shoes and I love tiles

AM, having some iced tea outside Square Books in Oxford

Mom, browsing the sale table outside of Square Books

Mirror in a boutique’s sidewalk sale in Oxford

My shoes and some books, Oxford

Statue on the town square in Oxford

Conclusion?

I like it. I really, really like it. I’ve said before that I wish the features of Konica Big Mini and Canon Sure Shot Sleek were combined in one camera, and I feel that the Pentax Espio Mini does just that.¬†Not to mention it has features that none of my other compact 35mm cameras do. Sure, it’d be cool if it had an f/2.8 lens like an Olympus Stylus Epic, but I am really not complaining since I’ve gotten use to the f/3.5 due to using the Big Mini and Sure Shot Sleek. Plus, the Pentax’s lens is wonderful. All in all, I think I’ve found my go-to compact 35mm camera. Thanks so much, David!

Fujica ST605N {Two Rolls In}

This could be subtitled “I got my mirror self-portrait mojo back”

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I am trying to get back into shooting m42 cameras/lenses. In the aforementioned blog about my Praktica MTL 5, I told of a “jumpy” meter needle that didn’t make me feel very secure about its readings and said I’d actually bought another m42 body after shooting that roll with the MTL 5. The second m42 body I bought was a Fujica ST605N.

Just as with the MTL 5, there isn’t much to say about the features on the ST605N. They’re both pretty basic cameras. The film speed selector goes from to 25-3200 ASA. Shutter speeds are 1/700s – 1/2s, plus bulb. However on¬†my Fujica, the slowest two speeds, 1/4s and 1/2s are inaccurate. This is no big deal, as I very rarely use those shutter speeds anyway. One of the Fujica’s selling points for me was the fact that it takes batteries that are much easier to find than what the Praktica takes. Battery availability is one of the main reasons I bought this camera.

Shutter speed dial on top, with shutter speeds from 1/700s – 1/2s, plus B. Film speed selection is within the shutter speed dial.

It’s not lightweight, but I do like how much more compact the Fujica is compared to the Praktica.

This is kind of a strange thing to like, but I really like the little button that activates the meter/stops the lens down! Most other cameras of this ilk have a lever (as the MTL 5 does) that you press to turn the meter on. I like both the way the round button on the Fujica looks and the way it feels. It’s pleasant, I guess.

Little round meter activation button

Another thing I like is that the Fujica has a shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder. I don’t believe I’ve ever had an m42 body that’s had that feature, but it’s pretty handy and reminds me a bit of my beloved Nikon FE’s viewfinder.

Now, to the photos. As I always say, camera bodies are just vehicles for lenses and lenses are the thing that determine image quality. But inaccurate shutter speeds or a faulty meter can ruin photos taken with even the best lens. So when I am testing a “new” camera body, I’m really testing the shutter speeds and the meter (where applicable.) The Fujica’s meter seems just fine! I was shooting some of my expired Kodak High Definition 400, so I dialed in a film speed that was a little slower than 400 to help compensate for potential stop loss of the expired film.

Roll #1 was Kodak High Definition 400, expired in 2011

Chevy Camaro,¬†Hennessy edition in the auction bay at work. I heard a really interesting story while I was taking these photos that maybe I’ll tell you one of these days.¬†

Me in the beauty shop the day Rachel gave me “fancy hair”

“The new Sunday dinner” – we stop and get Popeye’s, and I get a biscuit and an ear of corn. I use agave nectar instead of the “honey sauce” (it’s not honey) that Popeye’s gives you for the biscuits.¬†

Hope you aren’t tired of Wyatt’s photos yet!

Sunday dress

Ewwwww

There were already way too many photos of my new favorite book on my Instagram feed, but here’s another one!

Afternoon coffee and readin’ The Scarlet Letter

Roll #2 was Ilford HP5 Plus (and outshines the color roll IMHO)

Chevelle at work

Coffee out on my aunt’s deck in Texas

Some shots using a macro extension tube on the Fujinon lens

Some sweet little champagne coupes I got at Goodwill recently

Sundress days

Memorial Day at Huddle House

Boop

“The day my Vans arrived”

Vans mirror self-portrait

Hey

Eureka theatre, Batesville, MS (color images taken that same day in Batesville, coming soon)

Photos taken with Fujica ST605N, mostly with a Fujinon 55mm/1.8 lens, though a few were with a Sears 28mm/2.8 lens

Conclusion:

I really like this Fujica! I have had so many different m42 cameras over the years, and this is definitely one of my favorites. And I’m still likin’ my Fujinon 55mm/1.8. I wish I’d not gone through the frustration and cost of having a Praktica with a weird meter before getting the ST605N, but “God bless the broken road that led me straight to you” ūüėČ

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