2008 Meetings

May 10, 2008

Curtis brought a very interesting series of Univex still cameras, some in odd colors; all using special roll film, similar to 828. He also showed a variety of similar cameras by Craftex of Hollywood and Hollywood of Detroit (go figure...). By the time he had ended emptying his box, the table was full of little cameras! He then showed a couple of Stewart-Warner movie cameras, Hollywood and Deluxe Hollywood models, and finally, another Hollywood, this one from Encore. It is a one-time use 35mm camera, from 1949!

Charlie showed a modified Hasselblad 1000F, with a 60 x 1mm to 39mm adapter for using Leitz lenses in macrophotography. This included a Novoflex bellows with 60 x 1mm rear and front threads. To further the discussion on fogging of older lenses, originally begun as a series of emails, he showed us a 12.5cm f/2 Xenon, heavily fogged and etched. The discussion centered around possible repairs: too expensive?, too hard to do?, what effect would the usual regrinding/repolishing of the elements have on the usefulness of the lens? There have been Leica lenses that have been "fixed" this way, and the users seem happy with the result.

To close the meeting, we had a discussion of digital "quality" versus film. The general consensus was that the choice of system depends on use of the image, the photographer's budget, and equipment on hand. I'm sure this argument will continue for many years, and never be fully resolved. At the current time, there are photographers using a "hybrid" mix of technologies: shoot film, scan the negative, and finish by printing on an inkjet.

October 18, 2008

The meeting began with a short discussion of a new 3D camera announced by FujiFilm for 2009 delivery: 2 lenses, 2 sensors (digital of course), and an image viewer on the back - that displays in 3D without glasses! No mention of printing, but I imagine the pix can be viewed on the Actius 3D laptop.
(Update 1/1/11: The actual camera is currently available on the Fujifilm website, as the FinePix REAL 3D W3, for $500. It has 2 10 megapixel sensors that can be used for 3D photos, for display on HDMI-1.4 compliant 3D televisions. Of interest is the use of the two sensors for 2D "normal" photos for separate images, of different settings: ISO, color, etc.)

Curtis showed us a pair of Bolsey 35mm TLR cameras, that included split-image ragefinders. They differed in the back closures and the lens surround - one has a cast, or machined, corrugated area in the upper aluminum.

Josef brought out a pristine Contax I, in black leather with the original 5cm f/2 Sonnar, also in black enamel, uncoated. It was purchased in Mexico about 20 years ago! His version includes a sliding mask for the view/rangefinder, converting the field of view for an 8.5cm lens.

Dave showed off some beautiful 11x17 prints from a recent trip to Greece, made on an Epson 2200 using pigment inks. They were printed on Ilford "pearl" finish instant-dry paper. Really sharp and colorful; shot using a Nikon D300, with the 18-200mm lens.

Also mentioned was the recent activity of various members perusing the listings on eBay. Some good buys can be made, if care is used. If not much is known about the item being sold, research is definitely required; some vendors seem to have extremely over-inflated prices on old equipment.

November 8, 2008

Today, the program was put on by Charlie. He began with a definition of "collectible" as "an item that is useless, but that a collector wants". He brought along a number of "collectible" photographic items, all very unique, although some might argue a few of these cameras are especially usable!

1. A Sony Mavica 5000, with std lens (35-123mm), a very large 'digital' camera, with removable lens, recording (via analog PFM) to a small diskette.
2. Another 5000 came by way of eBay, but with an Optek (UK) lens adapter - mounting a Tokina 400/3.5 tele on the Sony! It was sold as a "lens with old camera attached".
3. a couple of tabletop tripods with unusual attributes - and very usable!
4. A bellows with Leica screw mount. From the construction, it is obviously made by Kilfitt, but has no nameplate - and is sized for use with medium format lenses (and cameras?).
5. Robot spring-wound camera in case with 40/1.9 in 24x24mm format. Bought on eBay at a very low price, since it didn't take standard 35mm film!
6. Zoomar 600/5.6 (originally Kilfitt), in carrying case - with adapters for a Robot camera! - and the lens is convertible to 400mm by removing the front part.
7. A Canon 7s with a f/0.95 50mm lens; again a very usable outfit, many 35mm rangefinder afaciandos would die for - a "collectible" due to rarity.
8. A "cannon" camera - a 35mm Robot BE with Zeiss 320mm, all electronic-actuated, installed in a very heavy aluminum casting, as a special for the Swedish Army - to be mounted on a cannon! Model F1002 Malkamera. The issue date for the preliminary Instruction Book is May, 1974.
9. Another Robot BE with the same lens, minus the housing, possibly used for traffic use on the Autobahn.
==> Note: These 2 cameras were all sold on eBay, described only as "Robot" ...
        The moral of the story is, keep your eyes open - and your pocketbook handy - you never know what you may find.
10. A 150/1.5 Russian "UKBK" (space agency) lens or ? lens, type "OKC3-150-01". Further research seems to indicate the Cyrillic lettering may refer to an "Optical Research Center", used to produce one-of-a-kind, very special lenses for the Russian military - and/or space program. A similar acronym is used for a very well-respected Russian lens manufacturer for cinematic use that are highly sought after by cinemaphotographers.

Charlie agreed that in a couple of months he will discuss "space cameras". Bring your "out-of-this-world" gear to show and discuss.

December 13, 2008

1. Charlie: a "Russar" wide angle lens of 20mm-f/5.6 "MP-2". Considered to be a landmark in that it is the first ultrawide lens for film. It was designed by an optician named Russinar. Rumor is, there was/is a medium format version from the WWII era; seen only in a photo, never seen in real life. This lens precedes the Biogon/Grandagon design and consists of front and rear meniscus lenses of very high curvature.  Charlie brought a 4x5 Speed Graphic and quoted WeeGee on how to get good press photos: "f8 and be there". He also discussed early Pulitzer Prize photos and the cameras used. For extra credit: question - what camera was used for the front page photo of the Hindenberg explosion - by a news photographer, probably running for his life?

2. Tony showed a "Kodak" 180/2.5, called 7inch,  of questionable origin, that has been converted to the Hasselblad 1000/1600 mount. Those present ended up with lots of comments on its possible maker, vintage and markings (the word "Kodak" is engraved on the black barrel, but no mention is made of Eastman or Rochester).

3. Finley showed a "project" view camera of unknown origin. He needs help finding the maker. Mahogany wood, chrome plated brass, steel screws, seems to be for 4x5 film holders, inch scale on extension rails (marks every 1/2 inch), folds extremely flat. Overall, it is very similar to the "Aiwasi" plate camera from Korea made during the 1950's. Some members speculated it might be from India; it shows signs of "hand-machining" on some metal parts, possibly from filing. Also, it's not likely that small screws would be steel, instead of brass, if the outfit was made in Europe.

4. Laszlo presented an 8x10 Deardorf outfit, complete in what looks to be the original military case - very large and heavy; hardly suitable for field use, but good for aerial shipment, for which it was designed. It appears to be a "middle production" camera, made for the US Air Force. The bellows looks to be the original black leatherette; all adjustment knobs are there. The comment was made about the knobs: they are placed and sized to allow adjustment from inside the focus cloth, by "feel" without having to step outside to see what you were doing. Mike was able to supply some old wooden film holders that fit correctly in the case. Included is a Graflex No. 3 collapsible tripod in perfect condition, as well as a later (non-military) reducing back for 4x5. Laszlo also showed some examples of large exhibition prints (not made with the Deardorf) that he scanned and printed on an Epson inkjet printer - very impressive.

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