Here I introduce you to one of my favorite rangefinders in my collection. This camera never ceases to amaze me with images it produces with little to no effort on my part 😉
The hubby and I decided to go to a classic car show a couple of weeks ago at the Hard Rock Casino here in Hollywood, FL. I thought it was a great idea because I hadn’t been out shooting film in a while and needed some eye candy for inspiration. I checked the film drawer in the fridge just to realize I had only one roll of 120 film and no 35mm though! Oh, the conundrum! Out of film; is this even possible? I do need to place an order, but things have been tight, so I have yet to do so, so I’ve been getting by on rolls that I’ve received in swaps of camera gear, film, etc. from fellow flickr-ites.
Now I figure that there must be a roll in one of the 60+ cameras I have laying around, so I proceed to check. There it is, in the quirky old beast that is the Argus C-3…but I figure it’s an appropriate camera since it’s more than likely 1950s vintage and many of the cars I will see will be around the same age…perfect! I also loaded up the 1940s Rolleiflex with the one remaining roll of 120.
We get to the Hard Rock and once we finally figure out how to get to the show from the parking lot, it is amazing! There are beautiful concours worthy automobiles from every maker and every era. Oh, the eye candy, now I was truly inspired!
I shot many makes and models and came up with quite a few images from the old C-3 that I really like. I have yet to develop the roll out of the Rollei, but should be getting to that one soon.
All of the shots are in the Transportation section on my website here: Transportation Gallery on AnalogSoulPhoto.com
Just decided it would be fun to make some videos introducing you to cameras from my collection. I started with my favorite little rangefinder since I’ve been collecting from 2009, “Tina” as I call her, or Minolta Minoltina AL-s. Enjoy!
Over the last week hearing about the devastation and seeing the chilling imagery on television has made me think about these people and their suffering. I can not even conceive of what they must be going through…I live in South Florida and certainly saw some with Hurricane Wilma, but that pales in comparison. It was nothing compared to what happened in New Orleans with Katrina and now this tragedy in Japan.
I have adored Japan for so long for wonderful traditions, food, and culture. I even purchased an English to Japanese dictionary and a tour book for the day that I do get to go. From the Harajuku girls of Tokyo to the wonder of Mt. Fuji…it is a place I can only dream of visiting one day. For these reasons, I wondered what I, a person of little means, could do for Japan.
Upon thinking about it for the last few days, I remembered a time that I went with my husband and friends to the Japanese gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. I took many images that day with my trusty old Minolta Minoltina AL-s rangefinder and plastic Holga cameras. Being at this place is a small substitution for the real thing. I got images of beautiful blue tile roofs, zen gardens, and picturesque bridges.
I finally thought of what I could do…I will sell the Japanese themed images that I shot at the gardens and send a portion of the profits to a charity organization that is directly involved with helping those in need in Japan. The images here are just a sampling of what I will be offering. Click on any of these images to see more in my gallery on the website.
Also keep in mind that any items purchased through my website are not signed as they are shipped directly from the manufacturer. If you would like hand-signed and titled versions, contact me directly and I can get those to you. Direct from me prices are for an 8×10 (approx) print in an 11×14 mat one for $29, 2 for $50, or 3 for $60. Again, with any images sold from my “Japanese Inspiration” series will have a portion of the proceeds send for relief in Japan, whether from the website or me directly.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to go on an adventure in Miami to the Gold Coast Train Museum. Little did we know what an adventure it would be…as my GPS in my Android phone took us all the way west …though I told the hubby it looked suspicious, he wanted to follow it. We just got to go through horrendous Miami traffic from west to east and finally found the correct location which was right by Miami MetroZoo (where he initially thought it was).
One of our reasons for visiting on this day was that it was free admission (as it is the first Saturday of every month) and there was a caravan of gourmet food trucks to be there. The hubby’s a foodie, so he really wanted to try the food trucks…and we really needed some inspiration for our photography which we knew the trains, our friends Robert, Michelle, and Bobby, and my step daughter Melissa and her daughter Aliza would give.
I took my post WWII Argus A2b and trusty Pentax MX with me. I needed to get the Argus out “just because” and I knew my MX wouldn’t let me down (since I’m still not well versed in the use of the A2b) so I’d get at least some decent shots.
We were starving after our driving adventure, so we headed straight for the food trucks. Luckily, they didn’t let us down. We scarfed a couple of fish tacos immediately, then the hubby and I went to separate trucks for the rest of our meal. I had a wonderful Mediterranean chicken wrap from a truck that only does wraps…super yummy!
Once we finished lunch, I realized there were a couple of old fire trucks and a Case steam powered farm tractor just outside the train building. I thought they would make excellent photographic subjects, so I proceeded to shoot away. Got some shots I really like of the tractor and especially the details of one truck (an American LaFrance). I just love rusty old historical vehicles like this. They have so much more meaning when they were used for saving lives or for producing food. As always, I thought about this history and wondered about the tales they would tell if they could.
We gathered up our crew and headed inside the train building. It was amazing, they had many different eras of passenger cars, engines, and cabooses. I loved the passenger cars most…imagining the lives of the people that rode in them. The most luxurious of these was the Ferdinand Magellan Railcar made by the Pullman Company. This railcar was used for the three presidents prior to Kennedy (Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower) to transport and do “whistlestop” campaigning. It was replaced with Air Force One for President Kennedy. The appointments in this car were amazing…it had an early version of air conditioning, two “suites” with adjoining washrooms…one of which even had what they called a “bath tub,” but it was more of a basin for the shower.
It was a great day checking out all the cool rail cars and I think we’ll go back soon. We had a good time, but with everyone in our group it was hard to shoot as much as I wanted to. I like to document the details and it takes me a while to do so…so the hubby and I will have to make a trip on our own to spend more time shooting. We highly recommend it and if you’re going to the Miami Metro Zoo any time soon, definitely add it to your agenda!
Still recovering from a long and fun weekend of food, fun, and great music at the Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale this past weekend. Our friend Vena Paylo (wonderful music portrait artist) asked me to share a booth with her to sell our wares and I thought it would be great fun and we might just make some money at the same time!
I had matted up many of my images that I thought would sell to a blues and other types of musical interests crowd. I selected some of my New Orleans ones that I had just added to the website, along with many musical instrument “portraits” I have taken over the years. I had two images relating to Joel DaSilva of the Hep Cat Boo Daddies (great hard rocking rockabilly style music) pedal board with voodoo doll and set list and one of his well-loved Fender Stratocaster guitar with a retro pinup style woman on it. I also had another favorite local musician represented; Graham Wood Drout of Iko Iko’s (great “swampadelic” style) white Fender Stratocaster along with his amp that has his design of the Iko Iko logo snake. I also had a handful of images of resonator guitars which are one of my favorites…they are just art in themselves! I also love the way they sound 😉 Lastly, I thought some of my images from Clarksdale, Mississippi last year when we went to the Blues Music Awards in May would be appropriate. I had one from Morgan Freeman’s club “Ground Zero” and a shot of “Red’s” famous juke joint.
It was a great festival and I sold WAY more work than I ever thought I would…including every music-related piece I brought. I don’t think I missed any sales by not having selection though, which is good considering I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been. Now I know more what to expect and think I’d love to do more blues related music festivals…they’re fun, the music is wonderful, and the crowd is generous and courteous…oh, and they have great taste in photography, of course 😉
I was just going through my gallery on my website and realized how many images I have from cemeteries. I don’t know what exactly draws me to them…a sense of history, a mystery of a life I never knew, or simply showing respect to those that have left this world. I have been intrigued since I was very young and my brothers and I would sneak into graveyards to peek at the headstones.
Since my foray back into film photography, I have shot Key West Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale fairly extensively. I think my favorite subjects would have to be the angels…beautiful heavenly beings watching over the souls that have passed on. Key West has some gorgeous hand carved marble angels that I adore. There’s even one there that had an eerie light flare no matter what camera or angle I took it from.
My favorite cameras for shooting in these environs have been my modern Diana F+ and vintage Diana, Ansco Pix plastic 35mm, and Minolta Minoltina AL-s 1960s rangefinder.
I am a constant “thrifter” hitting up local thrift stores, antique stores, and the like for neat old vintage cameras. I have found a near mint condition Polaroid SX-70, a Franka Solida, Jr. w/ Voigtlander shutter (I call it “FrankenKamera”), and a cheesy Time Magazine camera, amongst others.
I have decided to make a local Veteran’s thrift store my favorite for donations (my father and all of my brothers are vets) and went to drop off some stuff one day. Guess it was good karma or something cause when I looked in the display case, there was a Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII staring back at me! I asked the gentleman how much and he said $2!!! I was stunned…this camera goes for over $150 or so when in good working order and I had my eye on them for a long time, but the prices were way out of my range.
I asked to see it and the shutter seemed good and it wound normally. It had a dent on a bottom corner, but not enough to interfere with the film door. When I opened it, the pressure plate was loose inside, but I had recently done a repair on my QL17, so knew it wasn’t a big deal to get back into place. I purchased the camera and saw a donation jar on the counter, so I put a few bucks into that since I got an amazing deal.
I decided to put this camera against my Canon Canonet QL17 in a “shootout,” as they are very similar cameras and routinely compared to one another. They are certainly very similar in many ways.
I have the two compared in my set of photos on flickr here:
“Shootout! Canon Canonet QL17 vs. Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/framerkat/sets/72157623805455642/
Since I have multiple Analog Soul Photography sites, I will list them all here:
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My Facebook page:
My flickr page:
Feel free to check them out and “Like” my facebook page!
Finally getting around to scanning and uploading film images I shot in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Had a good bit of film that I shot with my Pentax ZX-5 and Canon Canonet QL17 GIII. We had a photo walk with our friends while we were there and found the cemetery and many urban decay spots. It’s an amazing town, but has a kind of “ghost town” feel to it with many empty buildings. There is an place right downtown where our friend Stan Street has his Hambone Gallery that is a nice little area. Would love to see this section of town come round and be a home to local musicians and artists alike.
I have uploaded many of these new images to my website here:
Some of my favorites:
In May we took a great trip through Birmingham, AL, Clarksdale, MS, and Memphis, TN and I took an assortment of film cameras with me. I chose my new favorite, Canon Canonet QL17 GIII,
the “old lady” original Diana,
and old favorite Olympus XA.
The odd thing was that when we got to Clarksdale, I pulled out each camera and every one had an “issue.”
Don’t know if there were anti-film spirits in the “shack” we were staying in or what. I first grabbed the Diana and the shutter button seemed to be sticking once triggered…I shot two frames before I realized this. It’s tough with 120 film in square format too because you only get 12 exposures, so each one is precious. I kept trying the shutter button on the second frame (luckily, the Diana “allows” for multiple exposures and at this point I knew I blew the first two anyway) and couldn’t get her to cooperate. So then, I’m a bit bummed cause I really thought that the place we were staying (Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale) would lend itself to Diana’s style…oh well. I placed that camera back into the bag.
The second one I pulled out was the XA…after the Diana problem, I decided I should check it before putting film in it. I opened it up and looked through the viewfinder to check that the meter was reading properly. I got nothing, nada…super bummed now. It seemed that the battery was dead in this one. Back in the bag.
So, the third and final film camera I brought was the Canonet…I had just used it (as I have continuously since I got it), so felt assured all was well. I loaded what I didn’t realize was a roll of 12 exp color film. Usually I use 24 or 36 exposure, but sometimes I purchase lots of expired film, so must have gotten the 12 exp in one of those lots. Once I loaded it, it didn’t seem to be resetting when I shot an image. The winder would not budge after each exposure. I had never had an issue with the winder on this camera, so was quite baffled. I figured it was the mechanism that resets the winder each time the shutter fires, so thought I could bypass it by hitting the rewind button to release it each time I took a shot. I did this for many frames on this roll, then wondered if the film was actually being transported when I was able to wind. Luckily, the Canonet has nice features like an indicator for film in the camera and also for film transport. I checked it as I wound the next time and it looked fine. I don’t know how many frames I ran off this way, but the method I was using would not really indicate when I was at the end of the roll…so I think I may have ended up with about 12 exp on the last frame 8-\ because when I decided to rewind and try another roll, I found that the roll was only a 12 exp. Oops! I did load another roll into the Canonet and the winder worked flawlessly, so I don’t quite know what happened there. Think I did get some good shots with it through our trip.
I have checked all the cameras and the Canonet hasn’t done the same thing again, the Diana is still being quirky, but I’m not sure how to work on a plastic camera :-\ (edit: with some tips from the web, I have lubed the shutter on the Diana and it seems to be working fine now), and when I checked the XA here at home the battery was fine…very strange indeed!
After the Hi-Matic 7s and Minoltina AL-s, I was certainly hooked on Minolta rangefinders, but wanted my next Minolta to be the 7sII…but it was out of my price range. I set my sights on another vintage beauty, the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII (a long name for a legendary camera).
I have certain tactics I use on eBay in order to get the best deal I can. The QL17s I had been watching there were going for about $50 and up and even more for CLA (Cleaned, Lubed, and Adjusted) models. This time, my tactic was to get on eBay during the Super Bowl (best times I’ve found are Super Bowl and World Series), as most people in the US are watching TV instead of prowling eBay. I found a QL17 that was ending during the game that was described as “not in very good shape” and “not sure about functioning.” It looked dirty in the pics, but I could see no damage, so figured it was worth the risk and won it for about $35 with shipping.
I dubbed it “The Ugly Duckling” because it was so grungy. I began cleaning it up and realized all the more what great shape it was in. I even managed to get the residue from masking tape off the top 😉 I popped a battery in it and it came to life…here is “The Swan!”
I thoroughly enjoy using this camera…it has very intuitive controls (which is my pet peeve…I’ve had some that make no sense to use!), shutter priority auto mode, and fully manual mode. One quirky thing is that the meter only works in the “A” mode, not in manual. It’s handy when using this mode since you can change the shutter speed to get the desired aperture. For manual, I meter in A, then decide how I want to change shutter speed and aperture accordingly. Once nice thing about the meter being off in manual is that it’s essentially “off” then…thus if one doesn’t have a lens cap or it falls of, you won’t drain your battery.
Here are a couple of shots I’ve taken with this little beauty:
These were shot handheld in “A” mode on Kodak T-Max 400 developed in Rodinal 1:50.
More shots of/taken with this camera here: Canonet QL17 GIII set on flickr
My foray back into film camera collecting began with the plastic Diana F+, but I got off onto a tangent with vintage rangefinders shortly thereafter. First, with the Argus C-3, Kodak 35 RF, and Minolta Minoltina AL-s. Once I started using that sweet little “Tina”…I was hooked once again.
The Minolta family grows…”Tina” is joined by the big & beautiful Hi-Matic 7s
My web searches on other desireable rangefinder models came up with the Minolta Hi-Matic line. The 7sII looked very appealing, but the prices were out of my range (I normally don’t spend more than $30-$40 on my new acquisitions), so I set my sights on the previous model, the 7s. It had appealing features with fully automatic, aperture priority, and fully manual modes. It’s amazing with a camera of this age to just have to point at your subject, focus, and shoot. I used it at an air show one day and had it on the “Auto” setting the entire time…here are some results from it:
“Patriot Wing” shot with Minolta Hi-Matic 7s 35mm rangefinder w/ Kodak bw400cn film
So, it was official, I am an addict. I began researching which one to purchase next 😉 See my full set of images of/taken with this camera here: Minolta Hi-Matic 7s set on flickr
I seem to be the obsessive compulsive type. I got hooked on rangefinder 35mm cameras back in the 80s using an Olympus XA and in the 90s when I borrowed my Dad’s Olympus 35 (DC?) in New Orleans, LA. Since my foray back into all things film, I have amassed quite the camera collection (in addition to what I already had). Rangefinders seem to be my weakness.
Argus C-3 aka “The Brick” 35mm rangefinder camera
Kodak 35 RF 35mm rangefinder camera
Minolta Minoltina AL-s 35mm rangefinder camera
It all started with a lot of three cameras on eBay. There was the obligatory “Brick” (Argus C-3), a freak of nature called the Kodak 35 RF (rather than redesigning a new model, they just put all the rangefinder gears and gizmos on the OUTSIDE of the body!), and a sweet little Minolta Minoltina AL-s. The Minolta was the one I was after…the other two were “fluff.” She had a fast 40mm f1.8 lens and looked to be very clean. I received the lot and every camera came in it’s “ever ready” case (or “never ready” as they are sometimes known 😉 and was in pristine condition. Yet another testament to purchasing from a seller who knows nothing about cameras and just sells them “as-is.” Think I paid $35 including shipping for the entire lot.
The brick and the 35 rf were kindof painful to use…strange dials to set, uncomfortable to hold and shoot, accidentally hitting the wrong thing instead of the shutter release, etc. But the Minoltina was another story…it just felt at home in my hands, very compact, selenium light meter works very well, and that fast lens sure does soak up some light! I dubbed her “Tina” after falling head over heels for her 😉 Here are some shots from her:
Stay tuned for more “Rangefinder Mania!”