Friday, July 31, 2009

Pentax Auto 110 SLR Film Camera

The number of new and used vintage film cameras on e-bay fascinates me.

My latest rediscovery is the 110 film format. Unknown to most, Pentax made an unbelievably small SLR camera system for the 110 format called the Pentax Auto 110. A miniature single lens reflex camera that was introduced late in the 110 film format market.

The 110 film cartridge has garnered little respect over the years and by now is almost forgotten (although my Aunt Linda still shows up at family functions with her trusty Kodak pocket 110 camera!). When I mention the format to friends they give me a blank look followed by “ohhhh, yeaa…110.”

Many of these camera systems are still available (both new and used) on e-bay. I just started shooting with it and here are a few images. More soon.

Disgruntled Cat - Pentax Auto 110 Camera Test

1987 Chrysler 5th Avenue

Images shot with:
1978 Pentax Auto 110 SLR Camera.
Kodak Ultra 110 Color Print Film (400asa)
Processing by Dwayne’s Photo

More on the Auto 110 here:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Super Zoom is Ka-Boom!

My first and (to date) only photograph of fireworks is a summary of the lens that shot it – unspectacular. The lens is a Kiron 28 – 210mm manual focus f 4.5 – f32 with an FD mount for Canon SLR cameras. Can a lens manufactured in the 1980s with such a dreamy choice of focal lengths be as fantastic as you want it to be?

Ka-Boom! July 18, 2009

I tend to be a bit romantic about older camera gear – only to find that the “too good to be true” lens really is. Commonly referred to as the Kiron “super zoom,” information on this third party lens for Canon has become scarce. Various postings on and elsewhere speculate which company manufactured this lens and user reviews range from good to poor.

Kiron 28 - 210mm Super Zoom FD Lens

Kiron 28 - 210mm Lens Test

I really wanted this lens to be good, so I took it for a spin to shoot “Dirty Blondes” playing a music gig in Wayne, New Jersey this past Saturday. I used my 1973 Canon FTb body with the Canon 177a flash. Film of choice was Fujicolor Superia X-Tra 400 print film. The fireworks were unexpected, the band was great but in the end, The Kiron 28 – 210mm lens was just no fun.

Now a paperweight on my shelf, I’m sure that I will re-visit it in a year or two saying to myself – “It couldn’t have been that bad!”

Fireworks at Packanack Lake, Wayne, NJ - July 18, 2009

The Canon FTb wearing the Kiron Super Zoom

The fabulous Lisa Keane of the "Dirty Blondes"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ultra Wide & Slim

The “hipster” lomo photography crowd has an ongoing love affair with the discontinued Vivitar “point and shoot” ULTRA WIDE & SLIM camera. The all mechanical / all plastic camera uses 35mm film and has no electronics or need for a battery to function. With a fixed f11 aperture and a w-i-d-e 22mm lens, the camera delivers gorgeous lo-fi pictures. Current price tag on e-bay: $50. (if your lucky to find one). Demand is great enough that a company called SuperHeadz has manufactured a “knock-off” - available new for $30 here:

Vivitar ULTRA WIDE & SLIM Camera

I deny being a “hipster” even though I recently purchased an ULTRA SLIM & WIDE at an over inflated price. Love the camera! Currently shooting…hope to post pix soon.

Suggested links:

I shot the above image in tungsten lighting using my Canon FTb
/ 50mm ssc lens and Fujicolor Supera 200 color print film. Processing and scan by Clark Color Labs.