What this blog is about…..


Hi, folks!

Just to let you know what this blog is about, if you didn’t already guess by the title….

You’ll find some really great stuff here to tickle your fancy, ranging from news or tidbits about famous photographers, unknown photographers, film and digital camera news, 35mm film reviews, and lots, lots more. I usually aim to post at least once a week, but failing that, then at least once a month.

Aside of that, I will also talk about film noir, writing, my other love, street photography, and also on the odd occasion, anything that really bugs me. We’re all allowed to rant and rave about things in this world, so if you also have a rant, be my guest and rant it out here as a comment….all opinions catered for!

When I was resident in Vancouver BC, I managed to arrange regular street photography sessions there, but circumstances dictated my move to the UK, where I am now. However, there is talk (within my own head!) of moving back to BC….so…watch this space!

I also offer cameras, films and materials for sale here, which you will find in my posts….I also have an online store at eCrater.com , Twitter and a YouTube channel, all which I have temporarily paused as I just cannot find the time to maintain all my social media accounts linked to this blog! Social media is defo a blessing, but can be a headache, too…I’m sure you know that already! So, for the time being, all items for sale will only be available on this blog.

Other than that, I hope you enjoy reading this blog; if you don’t like anything in it, or feel there’s something missing, well, please let me know by your comments. I’d really appreciate that.

Just to add that we are living in extraordinary times, and most of us have been affected by the pandemic, so I would like to ask that we all try to help each other during these difficult times.

Oh, and a very, very warm welcome to the blog!         🙂

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Posted in black & white photography, cellphone art photograhy, chemicals & film, Classic film cameras, digital cameras/accessories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A rather odd message….


I must tell you about a message I received on my blog here from a new reader.

I do not know whether it is from a male or female person, which I will explain below.

The person, whom I will call Andrea in order to preserve privacy, has expressed an interest in my work in photography and has said they have read my posts with huge interest since I started the blog many many years ago.

Thank you very much for your following!

The person also asked what my stand on gender issues is, something which I have not discussed on here, mainly because nobody, until now, has asked.

We all realise that gender boundaries have changed drastically over the years.

What was considered relatively taboo, shall we say, has become accepted.

By that I mean gay, lesbian, transgender, gender fluid stances, as well as quite a few new ones that I never knew existed….that of course, I fully apologise for as it is obviously my own ignorance.

I need to post more notes on this hugely important subject at a later date, but for now, I will say that I am accepting of all genders, whether that is gay, lesbian, transgender and all others I have yet to learn about.

So, to any and all of my readers, new or old, I will say, welcome all…you have a friend here!

I have never prejudged anyone, regardless of who it may be, so consider me as a friend who will listen and offer a shoulder if you are in need.

There…I feel better now and I am sure Andrea does, too…..he/she has told me he was born a male but has always felt feminine inside, and so he dresses as a female at home but has not yet had the courage to to so openly. Good luck to you, Andrea!

Thank you for reading and I think this post will elicit a lot of comments! Fire away!

🙂

Posted in Classic film cameras | Comments Off on A rather odd message….

Hey! Hello!


Hi and a very Happy New year to all my friends here!

Let’s all hope that 2022 is better than the past few years.

For myself, things began to go downhill in January 2019, and as we know, Covid19 started rearing it’s ugly head around that time, too.

Now, as we speak, I hear that aside of Omicron, there’s now another mutation which the public may not know about as yet.

Theyre calling it #Florona , ie a mixture of flu and Corona virus melded together!

Whatever next!

Anyway, let’s see what happens…I think the public is getting fed up to the teeth with all this.

We know there is a danger fro this disease, but we are getting conflicting news from doctors, media and scientists. Some say we must be double vaxxed and boosted. Some say we need to be double vaxxed and double boosted. Some say we need to be vaxxed for this new Florona thing. And some say that the booster jabs are rendered useless after 10 weeks.

See what I mean!

Whatever happens, let’s all use common sense….wear masks in places where large numbers of people are, wash hands, keep away from crowded areas, work from home if we can, and limit the use of restaurants cafes and so on.

It looks increasingly as if our lives have changed forever. Force of circumstance.

Take care, stay safe.

I will try to post photo stuff as regularly as I can!

🙂

Posted in Classic film cameras | Comments Off on Hey! Hello!

An artist whose work leaves you astounded!


As regular readers know, I always try to post interesting material on here besides photographic stuff

So today, I want to tell you just a little about a lady whose work I noticed when I lived in Vancouver

Her name is Laura Harris….artiste extraordinaire!

That’s all I will tell you…the rest, I want you to see when you see her work, which you can do here >>

https://www.lauraharrisartist.com/biography

“Her work rocks people’s souls a little…. it reaches out and pulls them in.”  Michelle Kirkegaard

Enjoy!

🙂

#lauraharris #lauraharrisartist #painting #victoriaBC #canada

Posted in Classic film cameras | Comments Off on An artist whose work leaves you astounded!

Old-school Voigtlander Vito. Solid engineering!


Hi guys!

Just thought i’d chat about one of the best cameras I ever bought, and which allowed me to learn all about that magical and mysterious thing photographers call DOF….or Depth of Field.

Most photographers who have all-singing, all-dancing cameras with electronic focusing etc, do not need to know much about DOF…their cameras do it automatically.

But the REAL way to enjoy your photography and become more creative, is to use a manual camera like the Vito B.

I know some of the Voigtlander cameras have rangefinders fitted, which makes focus very easy but sometimes, I prefer a fully manual camera.

So, how do you focus this camera?

Easy! We use the DOF scale on the lens barrel…..come with me, I’ll show you how below:

First thing you do, is make sure your film is correctly installed in your camera..obvious really!

Then you need to decide the speed of the shutter….to make life easy, I recommend using either 1/50s or 1/100s…..if you opt for 1/50s, you will need to make sure you hold the camera as still as possible, because at any speed from about 50 down to 25 or 10 etc, you really should use a tripod to hold the camera still.

The higher the speed, the better it will handle any slight camera movement.

Ok, so once the speed has been set, then forget all those confusing numbers on the lens barrel!

You will only get yourself confused and end up putting the camera away forever!

Those numbers define DOF which the camera is capable of.

Again, easy-peasy is the name of my game….you see that RED triangle mark on the lens? All you need to do is align that mark with the smaller clear triangle next to the “12” mark as shown…..the 12 mark and the other numbers either side of it are the number of feet from you to the subject.

Once those 2 marks are aligned, then all you need to do is set the aperture on the lens…I’ll show you how.

See the pic below….this is the extreme front of the lens barrel and here you can see all the aperture settings for the camera.

This camera goes from f3.5, 4, 5.6 to f16…..see that? Ok, fine….let’s move on.

Now depending upon how close or far you are to your subject, choose one of the aperture settings…this one is set to f8….which is by far the commonest one to use by the way.

If you’re not sure what distance your subject needs to be, to remain in focus at this etting, just look at the markings in the top pic above….the red number 8 shows that all subjects from 7 feet to 20 feet, will be in focus in your photo.

Say you want to set your camera to f16 instead, then what?

Easy! Just look at the red numbers again…on the left side of the barrel, the red number 16 is near the 5 foot mark and the right side of the barrel shows the f16 mark adjacent to the infinity mark, so this means that at f16, all subjects from 5.5 feet to infinity, will all be in focus, ok?

Let me do one more example, then you can truly say you understand DOF!

Ok, so say you want to choose f3.5 ….let’s look at the lens barrel once again.

This time, the red f3.5 number is adjacent to the 9 foot mark on the left of the barrel and the right side of the barrel, the red f3.5 number is adjacent to the 12 foot mark. So what does that mean?

It means that all subjects from 9 feet to 12 feet from your camera will all be in focus.

Done? Good.

Now you can confidently say you understand DOF!

By the way, these markings are similar on other film cameras, too, not just this particular model.

So there you go. This camera allowed me to understand DOF and made my enjoyment and creativity using film cameras on manual settings that much more enjoyable!

Feel free to ask me any questions on here should you have any!

🙂

Posted in Classic film cameras | Comments Off on Old-school Voigtlander Vito. Solid engineering!

Legendary Olympus Trip 35 available-fully refurbished


Image 1 - Legendary Olympus Trip 35 classic Film Camera New red leather covers+light seals

Why are people all over the photographic world fussing about theOlympus Trip 35?

One of the reasons is the quality of results it produces and the ease of use.
And funnily enough, you don’t need to spend $$$$$ to own one either!

Hardened professional photographers who use state-of-the-art digital
cameras in their working lives, can still be seen with one of these in their kit bags. Let’s talk a little more about this little gem.

The Olympus Trip 35 was first marketed in the hippy-whippy days of the 1960s…..1968 to be precise. This was the time when the top class SLR icons were being released, such as the Nikon, Pentax, Minolta, Canon and others.

So, yes, it is a simple camera, but what sets it apart from the crowd is the fact that it is so deceptively simple to use.

But not only this – one look at the quality of the photographs it can produce, will convince you for life that this is one camera that you should never, ever be without. In normal use, all you do is set it to the ‘A’ position and the built-in selenium cell metering does the rest. Just wind the film on and press the shutter, and you’re done. By the way, the meter doesn’t need batteries! Amazing! 

There are no speeds to fuss about, as it has only two of those, 1/40s and 1/120s, and all are decided upon by the metering….you don’t have to set anything. It even has a low-light cut-off system,
which shows a red flag in the viewfinder and locks the shutter, should you try and take a shot when the light is too low – this, incidentally is a foolproof way of ensuring you do not try and take a photograph with the lens cap on! 

The list of features doesn’t end here…it also has parallax error marks inside the viewfinder which will prevent people’s heads being chopped off if you take portrait shots!

Another unique feature…the camera has a tiny window visible through the viewfinder that lets you see what setting your lens is set to: it’s called a Judas window for some reason!  You can also use electronic flash by mounting your flashgun to the top or by connecting it to the front using the lead from your flash.

I have fully refurbished the camera myself so you can be assured of a top quality product that will probably out live you! Brand new red crocodile effect coverings fitted, and new light seals also.

The shutter, metering film wind and rewind has all been checked using a test film.

Presented in a non-standard camera pouch.

A beautiful present! 

Finally….FREE postage to your door!

Price: £159.95 free postage to the UK only.

USA/Canada price: US$260.00 including postage Contact: pls message me here on this blog

Image 2 - Legendary Olympus Trip 35 classic Film Camera New red leather covers+light seals
Image 3 - Legendary Olympus Trip 35 classic Film Camera New red leather covers+light seals
Image 5 - Legendary Olympus Trip 35 classic Film Camera New red leather covers+light seals
Posted in Classic film cameras | 4 Comments

Good day, hola, kalimera, ni hao, friends!


A very warm hello to all my long-standing friends and followers!

I do apologise profusely for not posting as often as I used to in the, what I call, the Good Old Days!

The world is a roller coaster as we all know, and never stops for anyone.

Even when we are not here, it will still carry on without us. All governed by our eternal enemy, Time.

But, just think what the world would be like, or what we would be like, if we all lived forever.

I think both the world and us as well, would be far worse than we are now.

Our frailty in life, as governed by our lifetime, is a necessity. It is part of universal change.

Nothing stays the same. Everything we see, and probably everything we can’t see, is subject to change.

So let’s value every day in our lives, for it is a blessing, and priceless.

As we come to the end of this year, we can definitely say the last few years, especially from about November 2018 till today, have been the worst of our lifetimes so far.

We have all been touched by the Covid virus, either directly or have had friends or relatives suffer.

I may have said last time I posted, I lost friends and close relatives to Covid, the lastest friend to go only about 3 weeks ago, and as I sit here typing this post to you all, I hear Covid has mutated yet again, into a possibly deadlier version they are calling Omicron.

I was in the process of planning overseas trips in the New Year, but already, I hear some countries are reimposing restrictions on flights.

Where this will end, nobody knows.

Let us hope for the best.

Getting back to photography, I have rekindled my interest and will try to post at least a couple times a month on here, if not more.

I will also be spring-cleaning this blog as well; some parts are out-dated now and need to be removed.

As always, please do drop in whenever you can for new content of interest. Regular readers will know me by now, and the fact that aside of photography, I do chat about life in general, too, most times!

I’m sure you all are happy with that? It adds zest to surfing the net, I think.

How is my life going at present? Well, long story, but two of my kids have gotten married, one last year and one this year, one left to go!

That was one reason why I just couldn’t find the time to get on the internet.

I haven’t bought any more motorbikes, not yet anyway….I did have 3 last year but I sold two off, finally acknowledging to myself that I can only ride one! However, come Springtime, which in the UK is only a little more than 8 weeks away from today, I may jump into purchasing at least one more bike….but shhh…let’s keep it quiet!

Nice to come onto here once again to greet you all good people! Chat again soon!

🙂

black & white photographycellphone art photograhychemicals & filmClassic film camerasdigital cameras/accessories  camerafilmgr1sgrdgrd 1grd 4medium formatnikon f photomicolympus 35sppentax auto 110ricoh digitalricoh grdricoh grd IVrolleiflextwin lens reflexyashica 635yashicamat olympus trip35 covid omicron

Posted in Classic film cameras | 4 Comments

To shoot before you think….!


So says Dado Moriyama, that doyen amongst street photographers.

His photographs are mostly very high contrast, blurry, shadowy, grainy but spontaneous.

He always says the first thing new photographers need to do when they have their first camera…is to get out! Only by getting outside into the environment and walking, can you hope to capture interesting shots.

Secondly, he says forget everything you have read or been taught about photography and just shoot, take photos of anything and everything that even minutely catches your eye, don’t pause to think.

What a refreshingly new way to use your camera!

We have covered his work before on this blog, but I thought it interesting to visit his work again, especially now during the pandemic.

It is indeed heartening to hear that he has not stopped shooting!

photographs courtesy of http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3826130

Posted in Classic film cameras | Comments Off on To shoot before you think….!

Yes! I’m now a biker. But I don’t belong to a gang!


Hi! Good to be back!

Hope you guys and gals are all ok, too?

As I mentioned yesterday, I finally overcame one of my long-held fears or neuroses…that of owning and riding a motorbike!

Can you believe I now have 3 bikes? Seriously. Yes, three, the third one acquired today!

The first one is a Honda Shadow…

Second one is a Yamaha XVS Virago 250…

And last but not least, a Kawasaki 550LTD…

The Honda and the Yamaha are the ones I use the most, the Kawasaki is undergoing a little tender loving care, after having been imported from the USA!

Oh…almost forgot…here is my ugly visage for you, astride one of my bikes…

Photography posts to follow very soon….just like the good old days!

Posted in Classic film cameras | Comments Off on Yes! I’m now a biker. But I don’t belong to a gang!

A very warm hello to all my friends and followers!


One word….Hello!

I don’t know what to say, or where to start really!

What a time we have all been through, and in some cases, are still going through as we speak.

Our lives have been turned almost upside down. And loved ones have been lost.

So let me start off by sending condolences to those of you who have lost loved ones through the pandemic. Any death, no matter who, is a tragedy, but it’s even more so if it happens to be someone from your immediate or close family.

I am not immune…..I lost both parents and my favourite uncle within this pandemic. I think of them every day, not a moment goes by when I do not look at their photos in my living room, and try to comprehend that I will never see them again, never hear their voices again.

Our work routines have also been turned around; many of us have been, and still are, working from home.

When I was told last March that I must work from home, for the first few weeks I found it very strange, I felt detached from the normal world, but gradually over the year, I have gotten used to it, so much so that I have decided I will not be going back to the office now that lockdown is over, at least in the UK. My employers are happy with this arrangement.

New words have been added to our language, too……furlough, lockdown, pandemic, social distancing, touch-free payments and of course, Covid19.

When will be get back to normal?

IMHO……never, or at least, not in the very near future. I would say this IS the new “normal” we are in now. Best we get used to it!

Not all is doom and gloom though.

At long last, we are slowly beginning to venture out of our homes, albeit very carefully and being constantly alert to follow guidelines set by our governments.

I haven’t touched a single of my film cameras for more than a year now….I just did not have the inclination or enthusiasm that I once did since you guys have been following this blog. For that, I do apologise, if you have been disappointed at the lack of new film camera material. I will promise to get myself back into gear soon though.

Talking of gears, during the gloom of the pandemic, I have been able to realise one of my long-held dreams, which is to have my own motorbike! I decided I had procrastinated far too long and now was as good a time as any to do it.

So I am the happy owner of 2 bikes at the moment, a Honda Shadow and Kawasaki 550 LTD. The feeling of riding a bike is out of this world…as somebody has said, when you drive a car through incredible scenery, it’s like watching a movie, but when you’re riding a motorcycle through the same environment, then you’re IN the movie! I will post a few shoots of my bikes in due course for you!

I won’t say I havent taken any photos though. I took this shot with my humble iPhone…hope you like it…..for me, it expresses my peace of mind that I have lost over the past year or so….

🙂

l

Posted in Classic film cameras | 3 Comments

Happy Anniversary to……Us!


Hello and hope everyone is ok in these trying times?

Not to put a miserable tone on things for you, but I lost 4 people amongst close relatives, some due to Covid19, some possibly had it but were undiagnosed until it was too late.

So sad. What can we do. Totally and utterly powerless. We just have to grit our teeth, take all precautions we can, get on with life, and hope for the best.

That’s the sad part over. Now for some happier news!

I received this message from WordPress just now….

9 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 9 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
9 whole years since I created this blog? I cant believe it! Time has flown past.
So, as a thank you to all of you whom I have had the pleasure of knowing since then, I am sending you a little lovely tune that stirs my memories every time I hear it, decades after it was written and sung….I watched the film this week….then re-watched it again…it’s such a great story, so emotional!
Enjoy….it here
🙂
Posted in Classic film cameras | 4 Comments