Monochrome Monday… Holy Island, September 1998

Holy Island, September 1998Holy Island, September 1998
Contax G1, Carl Zeiss T* Biogon 28mm f/2.8 – Ilford HP5 Plus

Saturday saw another madcap round trip to Scotland so that my pal Mark could go to a football match, this time in Edinburgh.

The journey gave us good views of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and that reminded me that somewhere I’d got some black & white pics taken there in 1998 (filed away so safely that it’s taken me all afternoon to find them!)

The couple of days I spent on the island were marred by awful weather and the negatives are lacking in contrast, something I could’ve improved upon had I processed the film myself…

Nikon COOLSCAN IV ED scan with minimal cropping and tweaking in Lightroom Classic CC.

Square Saturday… The Kershaw 450

It’s been mentioned before that in recent years I’ve become something of a rest home for elderly cameras and this particular example has been a resident for quite a while now…

Kershaw 450Kershaw 450
Fujifilm X-T10, Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8~4 R LM OIS at 44mm, 1/80s, f11, ISO 200

The Kershaw 450 was manufactured by GB Equipments Ltd in Leeds during the mid-1950s and is a folding camera that takes 120 film, giving 12 (square) shots on a roll.

Midland Railway 156 Class 2-4-0 No.158AMidland Railway 156 Class 2-4-0 No.158A
Kershaw 450, exposure details not recorded – Ilford XP2 Super

Fitted with an Otar Anastigmat 80mm f/4.5 three element lens the camera was supplied with either Vario or Velio shutters, mine has the latter, giving speeds of 110, 125, 150, 1100 and 1200 plus Bulb.

Cromer, September 2013Cromer, September 2013
Kershaw 450, exposure details not recorded – Ilford XP2 Super

As the camera has no focusing aid (and I’m terrible at judging distances) I tend to use mine only in the summer months, relying on the depth of field scale and a small aperture to get sharp(ish) images…

As I was given an assortment of 120 films for Christmas I really ought to shoot some of it… soon!

Scans by Peak Imaging with minimal cropping and tweaking in Lightroom CC.

Nikon F3 – A professional heavyweight.

I’ve been a Nikon user for over 20 years now, 35mm SLRs, digital SLRs and compacts and even an Advanced Photo System (APS) compact (the tiny Nuvis mini i) have all passed through my hands but I always hankered after one of the ‘single digit’ professional models…

I eventually splashed the cash a couple of years ago when a clean and tidy F3HP turned up on the secondhand shelf at Harrison Cameras in Sheffield for a very reasonable sum.

Nikon F3HPNikon F3HP + Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Introduced in March 1980 the F3 amazingly continued to be produced after it was superseded by the F4 in 1988 and the F5 in 1996 with Nikon finally announcing that production had ceased as late as 2001!

The F3 was the first of a number of Nikon models to be designed by Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro (better known for his many automotive designs including the first Volkswagen Golf and the legendary DeLorean DMC-12) and was also the first to feature the now well-known Nikon signature red stripe on the handgrip…

With interchangeable viewfinders, focusing screens and a wide range of dedicated accessories, including the high-speed MD-4 motor drive, the F3 is still a precision tool capable of handling any photographic situation… So far I’ve managed to resist the battery hungry MD-4 but have added the DW-3 waist level finder and a Type G2 focusing screen to my bag.

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate a number of manual focus Nikkor lenses ranging from the 28mm f/2.8 Series E up to the 200mm f/4 and now the Zoom-Nikkor 80~200 f/4.5 that I picked up at an auction last week. Every single Nikon lens in my collection, even those dating from the 1960s and the more recent autofocus AF-D models can be used with the F3, it really is an incredibly versatile piece of kit!

It’s not all beer and skittles with the F3 though… The viewfinder display is poor, just a tiny LCD to indicate shutter speed and exposure information. In good light the aperture in use is visible in the equally tiny ADR (Aperture Direct Readout) window, in poor light it can be difficult to see any information at all.

Nikon F3HP Viewfinder‘Poor’ viewfinder display

(I fitted the DW-3 waist-level finder in place of the DE-3 high-eyepoint finder to take the above shot with my iPhone… The display is actually much easier to see like this, the DW-3 doesn’t cast a shadow over the aperture ring like the DE-3 does…)

Nikon F3HP Accessory Shoe‘Less than ideal’ accessory shoe

In aperture priority mode, dialing in exposure compensation is a job for two hands and the accessory shoe surrounding the film rewind crank is certainly less than ideal… Overall though, using the F3 is an enjoyable experience and it’s a camera that I can’t ever see me parting company with…

Olympus OM-1N – A blast from the past!

I first became acquainted with the OM series of cameras over 30 years ago when I inherited and OM-1N from my then girlfriend’s late father, it replaced an increasingly unreliable Zenit TTL and I absolutely loved using it!

In my late teens I fell out of love with photography (and the girlfriend) and parted company with the Olympus but always had a soft spot for its simple, rugged yet beautiful design.

Recently a friend tipped me off to an ‘old Olympus camera’ in a local charity shop and I was thrilled to discover this…

Olympus OM-1N + F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 Auto-SOlympus OM-1N + F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 Auto-S

What an absolute beauty! I immediately loaded up an out of date roll of Fujicolor C200 and happily snapped the afternoon away.

I’d almost forgotten how nicely the OM cameras handle… aperture, focus and shutter speed can all be adjusted without taking the camera from the eye and without sacrificing a comfortable grip on the camera/lens combination. The positioning of the shutter speed ring may be unconventional but it works fantastically well!

Olympus OM-1N  - top view showing placement of controlsOlympus OM-1N – top view showing placement of controls

As you might expect there’s nothing stellar on that first test roll but this shot (un-cropped, un-tweaked and straight from the scanner) is the first, taken within seconds of me parting with my money… hopefully I’ll get a lot more use out of this blast from the past during what remains of the English summer!

Bath StreetBath Street – Olympus OM-1N, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 Auto-S – 1/125s, f11 – O.O.D. Fujicolor C200

Postscript: I’ve since managed to pick up (for an absolute song!) another Zuiko lens, the Auto-zoom 35~70mm f/4 and I can’t wait to try it out!