Thursday, February 23, 2006


The first picture here was taken with The Vulture. It is the 8x10 camera I made. I reworked the camera a bit and this picture was the first I took since the remodel of the beast. I used 8x10 photo paper and exposed for one hour and fifteen minutes.

These next two pictures were taken with a Merlin pinhole camera. This is a camera that is made form a paint can. I bought the quart size camera. This was taken on 4x5 photo paper and was exposed for one hour and 30 minutes as this paper is much slower than the 8x10. It could have used another 30 minutes.

This is the "negative" of the previous pic. I scanned this in then inverted in photoshop. I kind of like the look of this as much as the image.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Canon Elan 7--My most modern camera

Please click on links to see larger image.

Crop of the above pic. Very sharp even enlarged.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yashica images2

Please click on these to see the larger images. I left them a bit larger so that you can see the detail in them. The first one has snowdrops that just came up through the snow, and you can see the white flowers against the white snow. In the original scan, you can see amazing details. The medium format negative size is quite wonderful.

Canon Pics

Yashicamat EM

These were taken from a camera that I bought from the same lady who was selling the Fujica Half-Frame. This is a TLR medium format Yashicamat EM that is truly a fun and nice camera to use. It has a nice bright screen, is solidly built, has a selenium meter that works because the thing was stored in a nice leather case, has double exposure prevention, and fits nicley in my oversized hands. The camera came ready to use, which is nice, because I have had a tough time buying from e-bay recently because I tend to get cameras that are very dirty. None of the cameras I bought from this estate were in any condition but fabulous. These were taken in our local cemetary and as you might notice, it is very peaceful. So peaceful in fact, that deer tend to spend quite a bit of time here. Can you see the one in the background here. I tried to get shot of them as the main subject, but this camera does not lend itself to fast handling, at least in my hands, and I didn't want to disturb them. I used outdated Kodak PXP shot at 400 and processed in Diafine.

I ended up taking more shots, and will post those later. This was at my sons eighth birthday party. As you can see, it had a pirate theme, with a treasure hunt, eye patches, and a birthday cake with pirates stranded on a deserted island (or is that desserted island) and a ship that had a canon that shot Whoppers as canon balls. Here he is trying to make his meanest pirate face while saying, "Arghh."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Fuji Half-Frame

I just picked up a Fuji Half-Frame camera from a very nice lady who is selling her father's photography gear. I ended up buying way too many cameras, but am quite excited about using all of them. This little gem uses 35mm film, but shoots two pictures on one frame, thus the name--Half Frame. Pretty cool stuff actually. There are whole groups dedicated to using half-frame cameras. Some even have a sort of cult following. Think about the economy of the thing, 72 images on a roll of 36 exposure film, and you don't even have to deal with obsolete film such as 110. I didn't even need to put a battery in the thing because it uses a selenium meter and was stored in a nice case so the meter is still good. I rolled some ultrafine B&W into an empty Fuji cartridge (it said use Fuji film so I decided to trick the thing), and went out and shot about 15 shots. The camera is small, quiet, and quite like a point and shoot. I liked it so much that I have a roll of Kodak Max color film in it right now.

This can be a tough shot for many cameras sensors because of the bright sunlight directly on the white bark. This turned out pretty well. I just like Birch Bark.

Self portrait taken to test the self timer. I can see that I need to loose about 200 lbs. so no more self portraits, the camera exposed pretty well in indoor light.

Hip shot in a very hip restaurant. I need to watch my framing. Actually, the camera is pretty well suited for street photography because it is quite small and quiet. I just need to figure out how wide the lens is--meaning, 28mm lens on a 35mm camera is quite wide and can take in much of a room or scene, but because this is taking half of that, then 28mm is more like a normal 50mm lens on a 35mm camera.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Last of the last--FED2

I told the boys to be serious for this picture. Apparently some can't help but smile.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

FED 2 Last Pics

I just sold a FED 2 to a friend over on nelsonfoto and it needed new curtains as light is leaking through them. I just shipped the beast out yesterday, but this weekend I had a chance to use it one more time. We live in a small town of around 1500 people where everyone knows all about everyone else. In this case it is a good thing. There is an older couple in town who had a limb off of one of the large pines in their front yard fall during a storm and go completely through their roof and partway through their bedroom ceiling. They decided to take out the two tall trees so that they wouldn't have to worry anymore about a repeat. I got a call late Friday night to come and help the next day. I showed up and watched the action begin. I had the FED 2 with me knowing that the pics might not be great, but wanted to send it on its way going out with its boots on. The pics have very bright lights right in the middle because of the curtains, but I did get the pics.

First tree falling!

Second tree falling! The amazing thing is that there were power lines all around us and the logger didn't even get close to hitting one. It looked exactly like the trees were tall enough to hit the lines, but just dropped them right where he wanted.

We counted 117 rings which means this tree was around way before I was. I think it is a bit of a tragedy to cut something this old down.

The kids showing me their muscles.

Homemade tractor/snowplow. The one in the back is a 4-wheeler included so you can get an idea of the size.

Russian Pinhole 2

I modified the Broken Kiev 88 pinhole to have a pinhole mounted in the body of the camera. I came up with this idea. I cut the bottom out of a can of diet Coke and siliconed it into the body of the camera. The good thing is that I can simply cut the silicone if I want to remove it and rub off the extra caulk with my finger. The difficult part was to get a pinhole in the can as the bottom is a bit thick. The filters that came with the Kiev 88 fit into the inside of the can after I wrap two turns of masking tape around them.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Kodak Pony

Wigwam asked about the Kodak Pony I have sitting on the shelf in my office and wanted to know if I had used it. A friend of mine bought this at a yard sale because he knew that I liked cameras. This came with an old time flash and a box of assorted Blue-Dot bulbs. I loaded the thing up with some fuji color film and shot some pics. The only problem is that I am not the best guesser on distances. This is a zone focus camera that does not have a coupled rangefinder. That means you look at someone/something you want to photograph and guess the distance to them, set the distance, then snap the photo and hope that you were close.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of pictures coming out of the camera. The lens is pretty good. While it will not be my go-to camera for everyday use, it is pretty fun to play around with. Click on photos to see larger images.

ps. I have a few rolls of film scanned in and some updates ready to post later tonight. I have been swamped, but will get these up tonight.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Minolta Himatic 7s and Rokkor lens

These rangefinder cameras are quite good and the lenses are fabulous. I have yet to meet a Rokkor that I didn't like. I rolled some B&W and went out to test the beast. When I first got it, it was the most dirty disgusting camera I have ever had. It looked like it had been dipped in frying oil, then dropped in the mud. Thanks e-bay. Anyway, I cleaned it up as best as I could and went to shooting. I still need to figure out how to set all the controls but I am happy with the results. Did I mention that this lens rocks? I could have a dozen more of these cameras and nothing else and I would be happy. Click on images to see larger size.

Self portrait

The ugliest sculpture I have ever seen but decent for testing the light. Freud would have a heyday with this sculpture.

Another light test.

First indoor shot of my office to test some indoor lighting.

I was in stealth mode here trying to do a little street photography. I shot this from the hip so that no one would know. Nice test of a highly backlit scene.

Crop of a baseball practice.

My favorite so far.

I was putting in a furnace two nights ago and thinking about photography. I probably should concentrate more on the furnace as there are gas lines and electricity involved, but I was thinking photography. Anyway, as I was cutting some wood for a base for the furnace, I got this bright idea that I should make a camera. So I just kept cutting and came up with this in about an hour.

The one box sits inside the other and holds the paper or negative down. I lined the edge with 1/4" foam so that light is sealed out and painted it flat black. I drilled a hole with a 5/8" bit and mounted a piece of tin with a hole in it for the "lens" After a test shot, the hole needs to be a bit larger. The camera is six inches deep which, according to my not so scientific calculations, should yield a slightly wide angle view. I loaded up a piece of paper around midnight last night and exposed it for 5 minutes. Nothing came of it. Apparently, paper requires loooooong exposures. I then put a 4x6 piece of paper in and a long strip 35 mm negative and exposed for 6 minutes just to try and determine exposure times. The paper fell over part of the negative, and did not get nearly enough exposure, but the negative turned out pretty good. I will tape anything under 8x10 in for the next go around as everything got a bit out of kilter.

Shot at midnight last night as a test shot. The flowers are about six feet away. I am headed out with "The Vulture" ( so named because it is made entirely of scavanged materials and The Turkey Buzzard didn't sound quite as goog to my ears) this afternoon. It is loaded with paper not negative materials.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Large Format Pics

These are some large format pics taken by a friend of mine named Brian (r-brian) over on and are used with his permission. He says, "This is one of my favorite places to photograph. It's a little stone cabin, built in the 1930's by the CCC, right on the edge of the crest of the Sandia Mountains. Off the back side of the cabin is a vertical drop of 500 feet or so, then a steep incline for another 5000 feet till you hit Albuquerque. These photos were taken on last Columbus Day early in the morning. The cloud was on top of the mountain and it was windy, like always, and snowing. Taken with a 4x5 Tachihara, 65mm f8 Ilex Acugon on Tri-x developed in HC-100 Dil B. Just quick scans on a Epson 2450 with some curves adjustments. Bought the scanner just for situations like this, proofing 4x5 negs."

Thank you Brian for letting me post these here.

These first three photos were taken with a 4 x5 Tachihara wooden field camera.

This last pics was taken using a 4x5 Busch Pressman metal field camera.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Update--Viking Progress

I just wanted to update the Viking, named Hagar, around the world progress. We have compiled a list of participants over at and have sent the camera off to Mike K up in the north country (Canada) who has volunteered to look the camera over before it starts on its world tour. If any would like to join, please go to Nelsonfoto and get on the list. If you have linked from here, please let them know that you heard about them from here. Thank you. There is a list of rules to go with the camera, such as you must send chocolate to me and have fun with the beast. Each person will have the camera for seven days and then send it on with a photo of themselves with the camera and possibly a postcard of the area they are from. This will then be compiled here and at and I will blog the progress of the camera plus scans of all the postcards sent and comments on the notes entered into the accompanying book. Sounds like fun but it is a bit of work getting started.

I will post some tonight or tomorrow. I shot and developed two rolls of film but still need to scan them in. I have been over the-top busy lately but recently picked up an old 4x5 press camera and a couple of other cameras that I am looking forward to using.

Thanks all and keep checking back.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


I was driving home from work with my new Pentax Spotmatic and a 55mm on the front. I saw this herd of elk and stopped, ran along a railroad track until I got in line with the elk, snuck up the ten foot embankment and got these pics.

Elk waiting against a fence line.

Elk can read--sign says, "Closed to Entry Except by Permit."

Wait, here comes the rest. I thought, to myself, I have a 135mm and a 2x coupler that I wish I had. I bet that you can hardly see the elk in th pic. There are three big bulls in that herd. I go home, load up the camera with new lense and go out to shoot pics. I got some nice pics of horses, cows, deer jumping a fence, some shots of family, and even a shot of crows bothering a bald eagle after he killed something and was eating it in a field. I got home and started rewinding and thought that there wasn't much tension on the roll film. Oh yeah, I had that stupid camera in my car for three days, going out of my way to take nice pics, and there wasn't any film in the dang camera. I know now I need to slow down. I might have too many projects going.