November means my birthday, and as always my birthday means a trip to Herefordshire to spend it with my Mum. 51 this year. I never saw that coming…
Next door neighbour Barbara’s house
Bits & pieces from the last month or so….
I’ve been telling myself for quite a while that I don’t need any more cameras. And surprisingly, for most of that time I’ve been listening to myself. But I have been thinking about the Voigtländer Vito series of cameras for some time, and when I came across this one in pristine condition for £25 I was tempted. Throw in a Voigtländer shoe-mounted rangefinder and an after-market instruction guide, plus the fact the seller claim to have film-tested it, and I was sold.
The Vito BL is a 35mm viewfinder camera with a 50mm f/3.5 lens. The serial number engraved on the lens barrel dates in to about 1958 (source). This is a solid piece of German engineering, and would have cost just over £30 when new bought new. That’s around about two weeks average wages back then, so a fair chunk of money. I was particuarly surpised but delighted to find that the uncoupled selenium meter is still working, although I haven’t tested it for accuracy yet. I probably won’t use it as top plate mounted meters can be a bit of a fiddle. But let’s see how it goes.
The Empire Music Hall Theatre, Kingston Upon Thames. Opened in 1910, it’s now a Wetherspoons pub. I guess that’s what they call progress…. 🙁
Olympus 35 RC, 1970s pint-sized pocket rangefinder. I got mine from Trip Man, £100 including new seals and skin, and guranteed for 6 months. You can get them cheaper if you’re prepared to play Ebay roulette.
The RC takes the now defunct PX625 1.35V mercury batteries. There are several possibilities here. One is to use the Weincell Zinc Air replacement, which has the advantage of matching the original 1.35 voltage. The downside is they are a bit expensive and have a fairly short life. There are other PX625 replacements available, but they tend to have a voltage of around 1.55V and so require you to compensate by adjusting the ISO. In the end I decided to splash out and spend £30 on the MR-9 adaptor from The Small Battery Company. This allows you to use the cheap and readily available silver oxide cell (SR-43 or silver 386) and adjusts the output to the correct 1.35v. It’s important to remember to always use a silver oxide battery as alkaline batteries tend to give inconsistent results.
Geraldine and me at the Pitcher & Piano, Richmond
A quick Autumn day trip to Oxford with Lynn
This film’s been kicking around in the FE for a few months. I really need to use this camera more; it’s fantastic.
Always good when I manage to sneak myself in the picture
Head in the clouds
You can never have too much camera porn
A new Anouar Braham album is always something to look forward to….
And finally…always end on a positive
Two days in Nice on the French Rivera for the Airlink DCS Kick-Off meeting. Staying at the Villa Azur in Villeneuve Loubet, which is practically in the sea….
A quick stroll round the Marina nearby.
Off to Antibes for a night out with Carole.
Arriving at the Belair offices.
Great views of the Alps and the sea from the office.
Me (2nd from right) a couple of colleagues, and the Airlink Team
These photos were taken on a pro-European march a few weeks back. I should probably write a bit more about it, but since legislation was introduced in the late 1990s to make civil discussion about politics on the internet illegal, I’ve found it’s best just to keep quiet.
Nikon F90x / Kodak Tmax 400 / Developed in D76 1+1
I could give you a half dozen geeky reasons why I tend to stand develop my medium format films in Rodinal, but they’d all be lies. Ultimately it’s just because I’m lazy.
However, the last roll of FP4 I developed this way seemed to have a lot more grain than is typical, and just as I was pondering whether I’d done something differently, I came across the remains of a bottle of Kodak HC-110 under the sink. Like Rodinal, HC-110 tends to live forever in its undiluted form and would probably even survive a nuclear holocaust. Which may well prove to be useful, given current events. I’d previously given it a go with a few 35mm films and not been too keen on the results, but I thought it was worth trying on the roll of 120 FP4 I shot last weekend on my trip back to the area I grew up in.
Ely is a small market town about 80 miles north east of London. Not only is it famous for the fact that I went to school there, but it also boasts one of the most magnificent cathedrals in England, dating back to the 11th century. My school always had strong links with the Cathedral, and as such I was required to attend services three times a week. I’m sorry to say it didn’t make me a better person. Under His Eye.