Cameras, games, Japan stuff.

Thursday 13 November 2014

The Hasselblad Project - Part 4.

I only needed to purchase a view finder to complete my Hasselblad, but I ended up buying yet another camera body and A-12 film back because the price was so good.

The 500 C pictured was the precursor model to the 500 CM, however the only difference I can see is that the glass viewing screen is not easily removed on the 500 C.  The camera also included a film advance crank and a waist level finder - the only piece I really needed!

The body is in excellent cosmetic condition with no issues with the auxiliary shutter closing fully when the shutter is fired.  The serial numbers on A-12 housing and insert are not matching, but it is not a big deal as I will probably just keep this one as a back up.

Well, that's it for the Hasselblad Project.  Now all I need to do is find some time to go out and test the camera.

- harajuku32

Thursday 6 November 2014

The Hasselblad Project - Part 3.

There was no question that I was going to buy an 80 mm lens for the Hasselblad, as this focal length is considered to be a standard for medium format.  I managed to get hold of the Carl Zeiss Planar 80 mm f2.8 T*.  The lens is in absolutely mint condition, and doesn't look like it has ever been used.  It also came with both the front and rear lens cap.

All I need now to complete the camera is view finder.

- harajuku32

Monday 3 November 2014

The Hasselblad Project - Part 2.

After purchasing a Hasselblad 500 C/M body and A-12 film back, I have been looking around for the rest of the parts I need to build a complete camera.  During my search I happened upon another 500 C/M body, and I decided to buy it because it was being offered at such a great price.

The body is just that, with no film advance crank and no glass viewing screen.  Like the first 500 C/M body I purchased, the owner advised me that the rear curtain shutter did not fully close after the shutter button had been pressed.  In this case the owner appears to be correct, and I have fired the shutter many times and every time the curtain shutter remains open approximately 5 mm.

Although this is obviously a problem, the curtain shutter does snap shut immediately when you begin to turn the film advance mechanism (which can still be wound without a proper crank fitted).  I'm sure it can be repaired, so it will make a good back up for the first 500 C/M body I purchased. This one was also in great cosmetic condition, with the included dust easily removed.

- harajuku32

Thursday 30 October 2014

The Hasselblad Project - Part 1.

Recently I have been thinking about getting more in medium format photography, so I decided I would invest in a Hasselblad.  As the Hasselblad was one of the first system cameras available, rather than purchasing an entire camera, I thought I would purchase the individual components and then put then together myself.  I also thought that this might turn out to be a cheaper option.  I decided to go for the Hasselblad 500 C/M as they are relatively cheap these days and there are plenty available on the second hand market.  The first parts I acquired were the 500 C/M body, along with a A-12 film back that takes 120 film rolls.

The body included a winder and the ground glass viewing screen, and the A-12 back had matching serial numbers for the housing and insert, and also had the dark slide present.  The parts were purchased online, and the owner noted that the auxiliary shutter did not fully close after the shutter had been fired.  I have tested the shutter many times and I have not noticed this problem, so it might only be an intermittent issue.

Cosmetically, both parts are in excellent condition, with some slight surface rust on the locking mechanism on the film back being the only thing that stands out.  Hopefully I can find the rest of the parts to complete the camera soon.

- harajuku32

Monday 22 September 2014

P-Sharan STD-35e Pinhole Camera

Recently I wanted a pinhole camera to use at school demonstration about light, and after a quick internet search I decided upon the P-Sharan STD-35e kit.  Made in Japan, the STD-35e is constructed of heavy gauge, black cardboard, and the kit comes in a convenient flat-pack format. Assembling the camera takes about one hour and requires no cutting or gluing - simply press the pieces out of their frames, fold in the appropriate places and use the included double sided tape to stick down the folds as as outlined in the instructions.  After assembling the camera, you simply load a 35 mm film and you are ready to shoot.

The above image was taken on Kodak Utramax 400, at an exposure time of approximately one second in the full midday sun.  Not the sharpest image, with a lot of shadow in the foreground. This image was taken while hand holding the STD-35e, but the cameras base plate comes with a standard thread for mounting the camera on a tripod.  This would help in a achieving a sharper image, and essential for taking long exposures at night.  The pinhole is 0.16 mm in diameter, with a 20 mm focal length at F/130.  Being so simple to use, and requiring no batteries for operation, I plan to take the STD-35e out again for a more in depth evaluation.  If you are curious about pinhole photography and don't mid a bit of paper folding, this could be the camera for you.  The P-Sharan STD-35e can be had for around $35.00 and you can visit the Sharan website for more information.

- harajuku32

Monday 1 September 2014

Yashica-A tlr Camera - First Outing

I recently acquired a Yashica-A twin lens reflex (tlr) camera after deciding to get back into shooting film.  I think I shot my last roll of film in 1999 on a Minolta slr, and since then it has been all digital.  I was intrigued by the medium format film size and also by the twin lens system - one for focus and the other for image capture.  The Yashica-A is fully manual with basic mechanical controls for aperture, shutter speed and focusing.  The shutter release mechanism must be cocked before taking a picture and the manual film advance lacks an automatic stop, requiring one to look for the advancing number through the red window on the rear of the camera.
I took the camera out for a test run, loading it with a roll of Ilford XP2 Super 400 film.  The Yashica-A has no light light meter, and because I do not own one, I had to guess the exposure based on the ambient light conditions.

I was pleased with the results from the Yashica-A. WIth a maximum shutter speed of 1/300, I expected the images to be quite over exposed with the ISO 400 Ilford film, however careful aperture selection can help to minimise this. The sample images are straight out of the camera with no editing.  

 With only twelve frames available on the film, it was refreshing to think about a shot before committing, unlike digital where it is all too easy to fire off successive frames without thinking too much subject matter and composition.  I also like the Yashica-A's top down viewfinder, which provides a big, bright viewing area for composing your shot.

 Throughout the day the Yashica-A attracted several curious stares, and even a couple of comments from people on the street who saw the camera hanging off my shoulder.

I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with the Yashica-A and I'm looking forward to taking it out with me again.  I would highly recommend the Yashica-A, or any other tlr camera to anyone who is interested in medium format photography, and looking at getting into shooting film.  There are many other brands of tlr cameras around, they are often available for a low price, and the fact that they are (mostly) all mechanical and require no battery, means that all you need pack for your day are the camera and a few rolls of film, and perhaps a light meter if you own one. Furthermore, when you are not using your tlr camera it will make an attractive ornament in your home

- harajuku32