What Fuji reworking Acros 100 means

Old news now, but I’ll start off with the link if you haven’t seen it already: https://emulsive.org/articles/news/brand-new-film-from-fujifilm-neopan-100-acros-ii-announced-begins-shipping-autumn-2019?fbclid=IwAR1AHH93iDb-r_nGjKXmUnBZzfNoZqA6ezcfFvBf_moKLVE-JXQOSp5LtQY

This is the kind of news I would have thought to read on April Fools’ Day but I’m incredibly happy that this is happening for real!  The best thing to take away from this announcement besides the new Acros is the intimation that Fuji has been restructuring their manufacturing, scaling down to meet current demand.

I’ve read the rumors that Fuji made one last gigantic batch of film and has been selling it off piecemeal for the last few years, and it sounds like a plausible one to me.  If true, perhaps it wasn’t because they had decided to stop production and scrap their machinery, as much as it was to streamline production, and rework their emulsions to use more easily-sourced ingredients.  I’ve been one to spread the message of doom and gloom in the past, I hope I was wrong there and so have an alternative.  If Ektachrome can be bought for $13 after Kodak had to spend a lot of time and effort with reworking the emulsion, I see no reason why Velvia and Provia should be selling for nearly $20.  The constant price hikes in the past few years could be explained as a way to manage demand while they were working on restructuring, which would mean that they should be going down.

Now that Fuji has reworked Acros, I expect to see announcements for Velvia and Provia to come soon, and probably the color negative stocks as well.  Here are a few other things to hope for:

-reworked emulsions for Neopan 400 and 1600, Reala 100, Provia 400X, more?

-better prices, around $7-10 per roll

-better communication with customers.  It’s obvious that they’ve been reading what we’ve been writing.  Kodak needs to work on this more as well, but at least they’re trying.  Fuji has been a black hole of information and it’s annoying.

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Why I love the Olympus Trip 35

RIP 1968-2018.  Unfortunately after shooting this camera for 3 years the shutter is now stuck halfway open and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet.

It will happen though, because it’s small, light, easy to use, gives me spot-on exposure, and has an absurdly sharp lens.  The Olympus Trip 35 and it’s my favorite mirrorless camera.  Reading about some of my photo friends’ experiences with the Trip and also finding this fantastic store made me want to sing again the praises of this mechanical wonder that I found at the thrift store for all of $8.00.

It needs no battery: it has a selenium meter which gives perfect exposure, something I tested by shooting slide film in it.  After reading about “night tripping” (which basically means using high-speed film in the Trip manually set to f/2.8 and its slower speed of 1/40sec), I’ve felt comfortable using the Trip in all kinds of situations indoors and outdoors.  One thing that I’ve talked about a lot (though never tried yet) is putting a few rolls of Cinestill 800T through it; or now that T-Max P3200 is back that might have to happen.  Either way I’ve yet to test the extremes of film latitude yet, but it will happen.

And the Trip 35 does indeed live up to its name: it travels so well!  I took it to Wales where it was my camera for color film, and threw it into my bag for a last-minute trip to Ohio.  Though the lens sticks out a bit it still easily fits in a jacket pocket without getting in the way.  Speaking of the lens and its zone focusing, you do have to be careful when shooting inside, but made it perfect for shooting my William Klein masters’ study.  Since then focus doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to, though most of the time I’ll get it right.

When looking through all the shots I’ve taken with this camera I couldn’t believe just how much I’ve used it in the last few years!  It’s a large gallery–in order we have: Tri-X (6), Velvia 100 (3), Double-X (4), Provia 100F (3), T-Max 400 (4), Fomapan 100 (2), Kodak Gold 200 (2), Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (2), and Ferrania P30 (2).  There will be other films shot in this camera one day, but for a while now I’ve been concentrating on the Spotmatic for my photo project that’s been going on since January (and long before).

I would definitely recommend this camera for people who don’t want the bulkiness of an SLR, don’t like relying on batteries, but still want an AE camera.  My camera’s shutter still had accurate speeds after nearly half a century.  Zone focusing can take practice but is doable, so don’t let that dissuade you!

Fuel injector modifications

We have 6 CJ-8 Scramblers from the early 1980s which are my favorite to drive, though I’ve killed one of them already.  These are the first vehicles I’ve dealt with that had carbureted engines which I actually enjoy quite a lot and have learned a bit about.  I will say: they do tend to break down easier sometimes but are generally easy to fix if you know what you’re doing.  Evidently a lot of the other drivers are lazy or stupid, either way there have been enough complaints that the company put fuel injectors in three of the CJs and it breaks my heart a bit.  The engine doesn’t look quite like it used to, nor does it sound as mean.


pictured: Ruby’s engine

Of course, putting a fuel injector in doesn’t mean that the thing will never break down:

In fact, maybe that makes just one more thing to go wrong…

Blue Frame in Garden of the Gods

For all the idiots that needed to be told where the view was, the City of Colorado Springs installed a big blue frame in Garden of the Gods, and thank God it didn’t last long.  This happened December 2017, here are a few news stories from back then:

https://gazette.com/garden-of-the-gods-framed-sparking-controversy/article_be1a55a7-11d7-596f-b009-a3a43b3ed1af.html

https://www.fox21news.com/news/local/people-respond-to-garden-of-the-gods-picture-frame-with-online-petition-mock-sign/882508118

https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/all-you-need-to-frame-our-city-is-a-camera/Content?oid=9377689

This happened at High Point where I take people for pictures if there is time and space.  I remember for weeks before there being some construction going on, they had cones and the area roped off.  This particular rock and parking lot are popular for wedding ceremonies, though I saw a few that were forced to go other places because of the construction.  Then the hideous monstrosity appeared one day much to my and everyone else’s horror.  Tourists of course, don’t care about such things because they don’t have to live with it, but to the people of Colorado Springs it was a slap in the face and collectively they had one reaction:

I’m happy to say that it was only there for a week or two and I just had to deal with it a few times.  I always made sure to step as close to the frame as I could when taking pictures so the damn thing wasn’t in it.

Gabriel portrait session

I don’t do it too often but when my friends want pictures I’m there for them.  I can’t say that I’m too used to portrait sessions in general and with infants in particular; Anne Geddes I’m not.  But it turned out alright and I think my friend is happy with the results.  Perhaps if I get enough practice I’d consider opening up a photography business.  We narrowed it down to 20 pictures to print, these are the ones I personally like best.

Black & White is T-Max 400, and I pulled out a lens I don’t use too often, the Chinon 55mm f/1.7 Macro, to make sure I could get in as close as needed: the Chinon, while not a true 1:1 Macro lens, does focus to less than a foot, better than the 1.5 feet with my normal Takumars, and shooting indoors I wanted something faster than the f/4 S-M-C Macro Takumar.  I knew there was a reason I bought it!  Also it was a pretty screaming deal at my local shop, evidently they’re quite rare and go for several hundred dollars when they turn up on ebay, so it was too hard to pass up.

I pulled out the old Pentax ES as my secondary camera, and it went back to its old tricks (actually it did a long time ago and I just hadn’t remembered).  So my original fix didn’t work, but then I haven’t gotten around to opening it back up again recently.  The ESII I own was sent off to Eric Hendrickson for a CLA but he couldn’t get the speeds right so he sent it back…evidently it’s a common problem and I guess he doesn’t like working on the AE Spotmatics.  But what that means now is that I have an ESII with accurate fast speeds and slow speeds that are much too fast.  So much for having an M42 system: I have 5 bodies and only 1 that works 100%.  I’ve been on the fence anyway about switching to Nikon and getting an F2 and F3, which it seems are much more serviceable…it’s gonna cost me though…