About Me

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I take pictures of things. Mostly with film. Mostly with cameras. I am an engineer by trade. What really makes me happy, though, is to find an old camera at a swap meet or antique store and bring it back into working order with a few hours at the workbench. I then like to take them out and shoot some film. This blog is in large part the result of that activity.

Monday, January 9, 2012

family


Pentax LX 50mm f1.4 Tri-x

My Dad.  Taken in October of 2011 (it takes me a while to develop film sometimes).   I'm pretty sure this was a quick shot and I'm pretty happy with the focus, given that the depth of field wide open is about 1/4 inch.  I really like his expression and the tones in this shot.  Tri-x is one of my favorite films, although just tonight I developed a couple of rolls of Fuji Neopan 400 (rebranded as Arista EDU) and the negs look REALLY nice.  We'll see how they scan tomorrow after they dry.  

Nikon D7000 50mm f3.5 micro Nikkor













My Pentax LX.  An incredible find.  I was at the Pasadena Camera Show with my friend Joel and we were about to leave after a morning of extreme camera geeky-ness.  Walking toward the exit, I noticed in front of me in the main room a table with only one camera on it.  Eight feet of table, one camera.  I recognized the profile of the LX from across the room.  I was drawn to it.  I walked up to the table and asked the gentleman behind it if he had just bought the LX.  He answered yes and I asked what he'd paid for it.  "Forty bucks", he said.    I asked "What do you want for it?".  He answered "A hundred".  It had a really hideous no-name lens mounted which I didn't want so I asked "How about without the lens?".  He answered "eighty.".  I nearly broke my arm getting out my wallet, because this camera just doesn't sell for eighty bucks.  "It has the sticky mirror..." he said in a warning tone.  "No problem." I said and handed over four twenties.

Now, you need to understand that I have a pretty strict budget for my camera purchases and eighty dollars is well north of my acceptable price, but I made an exception in this case.  The LX was the top of the line Pentax film camera, released in 1980 and made until 2001.  This one had a strap and the accessory grip already mounted.  I've seen the grip sell alone for more than I paid for this camera.

The "sticky mirror" is a syndrome unique to the LX.  In the early 80's Pentax was experimenting with new materials and they made some of the buffers in the mechanism out of a new kind of rubber which sadly, didn't age well.  After about twenty years it turns to tar.  This camera was so afflicted so, unusually for me, I sent it to be CLAd. (Clean Lube and Adjust).  It took it's trip to Tennessee where Eric Hendrickson worked on it and it came back to me essentially a new camera.  I couldn't be happier.  This camera just feels nice in the hand, and of course, the 50mm f1.4 is one of my favorite lenses because of how it renders the out of focus areas.

All in all a good deal, I think.

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