Adding to the collection

This past weekend I was lucky enough to score a nice looking Nikon FM10 for relatively little cost. Now for you die hard Nikon purists, I know the FM10 is actually developed by Cosina and shares a lot of it’s internals with several other brands but I wasn’t going to let that stop me adding a camera to the collection!

After a quick once over, I discovered there was an issue with the shutter, It wasn’t firing properly and was jamming. Popped the lens off and it released just fine. So at this point I’m thinking “Ok, perhaps the lens (a cheap 35-70 zoom) was the issue”, So I grabbed one my my 50mm Nikkors, same problem. 🤔

Lets try an older non-ai lens. bang the shutter works fine. Knowing that the camera is completely mechanical (batteries are only for the light meter) I start comparing the lenses to see why one would work and the other not. The culprit? the rear element mount is a touch longer on the AI-S Nikkor. Back to the camera body and the issue becomes obvious. Can you pick it?

My first thought was that the aperture stop down lever was slightly bent causing the mechanism to foul on the lens. But that wasn’t the case.

It’s not super obvious if you don’t know what to look for, but you can see the mirror has moved down and away from it’s intended position, the glue must have softened at some point allowing it to slide down and causing it to impact the back of the lens when mounted. Which is why the older non-ai lens with the shorter mount wasn’t impacted!

After carefully warming up the mirror and easing it back into it’s original position I’m happy to report that the camera is fully functional again! I’m looking forward to popping a test roll in shortly and seeing how it goes in hand, If it’s anything like the Nikon FM it will be lovely to shoot.

Keep an eye out here for a review to come afterwards, I’m also intending to write something up for the Nikon F100 and F5 both of which I’ve owned for years and used extensively but have failed to put any words down here for them.

…and if anyone is actually reading these, let me know if you have any requests for reviews of film, developers, cameras or general photography info.

Cheers!
Neal.

120 Film – Light exposure through the backing paper madness

I wanted to throw up a quick post to serve as a reminder to those shooting 120 film in bright conditions. I recently processed a roll of Kodak Portra 400 that I shot in the Mamiya RB67 ProSD. I had some light bleed through the backing paper, marking my photos.

Now we all know the recommended procedure is to load and unload 120 film in “subdued” light. I know that many of us may not strictly adhere to these instructions all the time and yet I haven’t had any issues doing this in the past. Usually I will turn my back to the light to block direct sunlight hitting my film but in this case it didn’t help.

On several frames I had a mottled pattern from the paper showing through and on 2 you could clearly see the numbering from the paper.

Let this serve as a warning, it can happen! I will endeavor to be a little more careful in future loading and unloading to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Examples below!

Mottled pattern at top right from backing paper
Backing paper numbers shown on path
Backing paper numbers shown on my daughters leg.

Update

Hi all, I thought I’d write up a short update to let any readers out there know that we are still alive and kicking. Covid19 has slowed things down for many photographers around the world, however here in Australia we have been fairly lucky to have avoided much of the infection rate that is travelling around elsewhere.

While I haven’t done too much shooting over the last month there have been some points worth mentioning, Our NQfilm group have been working to secure a space to setup a community darkroom! we are working with a local gallery “Umbrella Studio” to collaborate on how our group might use this space, including the possibility of running workshops. This will be the first community darkroom in Townsville (At least in modern history) and will be a fantastic place for film photographers to learn new skills and hone their darkroom work. There will be more updates on this soon.

I also recently bought a stack of Fuji Press 800 from a local digital photographer who no longer uses film. I was assured It’s been freezer stored since new despite being long expired. I decided to give it a shot (excuse the pun). I’m usually not a fan of high speed films because I find grain distracting, especially with colour films. However this film has turned out to be well stored as promised, as I discovered after putting a test roll through my Nikon F5 and taking some random shots around the place. The one place I tripped up here was with development, I decided to use up the last of my C41 kit which has seen over 30 rolls of film through it already. So the results were a little thin but I still managed to get some nice colours out of this film and even though the grain is more pronounced than I usually like I’m fairly happy with the results, I’m sure in fresh developer it will look even better. Now if I can only find a shop that isn’t out of stock for c41 kits!!

Heres a few examples from that roll.

While we have been self isolated up until recently, a couple weeks back the QLD Government relaxed some rules around visiting cafes so I was able to get back out and meet some of the NQfilm group at cafe’s again. Even if in limited numbers and while social distancing.

Below is a few phone snaps from recent walks and coffee meetups!

Keep your eye out for a new post soon, as I have recently acquired a Canon 7 Rangefinder (seen in the gallery above) and have a couple russian lenses on order. I have a Jupiter 8 and a Jupiter 12 coming and will writ about this camera once it arrives. I’ve already taken a few frames with it using an old Industar 26m, but it will be great to get the 35mm lens on it and do some street photography.

I would like to get stuck into some new film reviews so if you have any suggestions you’d like to see on the site or any articles, shoot us a comment and we’ll do our best to get it written up!

Otherwise, enjoy the light and keep on shooting!

Gas Attack

I thought I was in remission

So after several years without any effects of gear acquisition syndrome, I recently suffered a gas attack. You see for many years I’ve pined after a Pentacon SixTL. You know the one, the east german medium format SLR that is known for it’s unreliability and was famously copied by the Russians when they released the more modern Kiev 60 series.

A very nice Praktisix IIa popped as if by magic into my Ebay watch list several weeks back, it had a few issues but the condition was lovely. I was taken by it and made the purchase. Upon further inspection and a failed attempt at correcting shutter speeds by myself, I decided to ship it off to Mainline Photographics in Sydney. I’ve used them several times in the past for CLA’s (Clean/Lube/Adjust) on my Rolleiflexes. Scott is always helpful and Hans (the technician) is Leica trained and always does a top notch job. While it was away I promptly ordered a replacement reflex mirror and a new waist level finder for it. The finder I had suffered from a busted spring so it wouldn’t stay open and the mirror had some crazing near the bottom edge. Then.. I waited.

The Praktisix is the earlier model pre-dating the Pentacon six but made in the same factory in easy germany. The model I have is of 1960’s vintage. It’s every bit the same camera; with a cloth horizontally travelling focal plane shutter with speeds from B to 1/1000th sec. It features a breach lock lens mount (shared with the Kiev60 series) and Carl Zeiss Jena made a slew of very nice lenses for this mount. My particular copy came with the venerable Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Biometar. I’d like to add a Zeiss Flektogon wide angle very soon.

While I waited patiently for my P6 to come back to me I received an interesting phone call. A lady I met 3 years prior at the local library. I had a camera display there at the time and I had spoken to her about photography and art. She mentioned at the time that she had some old cameras in storage and would be happy to part with them. I gave her my number and we parted ways. Out of the blue she called me saying she’d love to donate her cameras to me. Her charge? a simple thank you. despite my offering to pay. Needless to say I was impressed to find a box full of dusty old gear with a few gleaming gems inside.

I’m sure you notice as I did, the Minolta Autocord and Mamiya 645. There are some other interesting bits in here: a folding polaroid 4×5, bulk loader full of mystery film, folding 6×6 camera, a pentax K1000 with some lenses and some random accessories too. Most of this stuff is in poor condition due to the caked on dust and years of storage, but I was very appreciative nonetheless.

I cleaned up what I could of the Mamiya 645 and the Minolta Autocord and found 2 cameras in really quite good condition, which is great considering they are the most sought after in the box. The Mamiya even came with a very wide 35mm Sekor lens. althought the standard 80mm has some coating damage on the front element. The Minolta Autocord has some chipped paint but is in otherwise great condition. I look forward to shooting with both of them.

Back to the Praktisix, It arrived only today and I already had the replacement finder and reflex mirror sitting here at home ready to go. I promptly got stuck into installing the new reflex mirror which was a little bit of a pain as the screws that hold the mirror tabs in place had become quite stuck over the years, I fired the shutter to pop the mirror in the “up” position, this allowed me to get a better angle at the top tab. I removed it and was able to shimmy the old mirror out and slide the new one in. Getting the tiny screw back in the tab hole took most of the time.

With the mirror installed it was simply a matter of popping on the waist level finder. It’s now ready for a roll of film and some inspiration. It doesn’t help that I’m woefully low on 120 film at the moment, I really need to stock up, but now the question remains. Colour or black and white?

Film Ferrania NEW B&W film

I’f you haven’t been keeping up on the new coming out of Ferrania, they have just announced a new film; or rather resurrected a classic film Ferrania P30. This is really exciting news, I encourage you support this new up and coming film manufacturer.

https://www.filmferrania.it/

Here’s the anouncement:

Cairo Montenotte (SV), Italy – FILM Ferrania is proud to announce its first product, FERRANIA P30®, in a limited ALPHA edition.

FERRANIA P30® ALPHA reproduces, with modern techniques developed by FILM Ferrania scientists, the exact film that made Ferrania world-famous more than 50 years ago.

With its cinema pedigree, ultra fine grain, and very high silver content, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA has no peers in the modern analog film market.

FILM Ferrania CEO Nicola Baldini said, “Each frame is like a piece of jewellery.” Pasolini, Rossellini, Visconti and many other Italian directors powered their masterpieces with P30 film.

In 1961, Sophia Loren won the Academy Award for “La Cio ciara” ( Two Women) by Vittorio De Sica and the entire world started to appreciate the beauty of FERRANIA P30® . In 1963, the legendary film 8 ½ by Federico Fellini was shot on FERRANIA P30® stock, cementing its place in cinema history.

 

Message To Backers from FILM Ferrania on Vimeo.