Road to nowhere

Testing out the F4’s matrix metering in what would normally be relatively challenging conditions.  This is a road I drive tours on, though the tour got cancelled that day and I decided to drive in my own truck.

As you can see the F4 passed with flying colors.  So to speak.

Entering the modern age

Or about as modern as I’m ever likely to get.  Behold, the Nikon F4:


Ain’t she purty?

Of course perhaps you prefer the F4S?

I don’t but I do have both setups and it’s good to have the option if I ever need it.  What I did want are the features on the spec sheet:
-full matrix metering with all AI/AI-s lenses (unlike newer professional bodies)
-easily-manipulable knobs and dials, no stupid menus to wheel through
possibly weather-sealed (at least according to this) though I have my doubts reading further into it
-1/8000 second top shutter speed
-motor drive
-easy-to-find AA batteries instead of something esoteric and expensive
-a reasonable price

So far I’ve put 5 rolls of Tri-X through this camera using primarily the aperture-priority function and so far I’ve fooled it maybe a couple times. It just works and I don’t have to worry about it or overthink it.  I picked up an AI-s Nikkor 35mm f/2 lens at the same time to make sure I had the most up-to-date manual focus lens I could use for the maximum feature set.  Here are the results below:

 

A friend of mine just got a Contax G2 system and I’m sure it cost quite a lot.  I spent much less but this is the G2 of the Nikon F manual focus world, and the F4 has one thing the G2 doesn’t have: a hefty weight.  Though if I had to make a guess on which will still be working in 10-20 years…I think it will be mine.  But back to that weight: everything is contained and compact so compared to an F2 or F3 with motordrive and batteries this is much smaller and lighter I’m sure.  For everything you’re getting I don’t see the point of even owning an F3.  Another thing that frustrates me with electronic cameras is the lag time when you turn it on, getting it to wake up, whatever.  I’ve found with the F4 that I can leave it on all day and it’s always ready to go whenever I press the shutter button.  For what it is and the purpose it serves I can’t think of anything being better.

Hangouts, Summer 2022

And a little bit of Spring and Fall too.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s to not take the people you love for granted–every time could be the last you ever see them.  I’m going to try to make more time in the future.

These are just some of my friends and I’m happy to have them in my life.

Get out of my trash!

The easiest way to see a bear: just leave your trash out overnight and wait up for them.  Of course this time it was my trash which is in a bear-proof dumpster, but whoever took out the trash last didn’t actually secure the thing properly.

I should have set for f/4 instead of f/5.6 I suppose as the AE didn’t give me a fast enough shutter speed most of the time, but live and learn.  These shots were a little shaky for my preference but I was probably 6-8ft away from a mama bear and her cubs, so I wasn’t exactly taking my time to compose and focus.  I’ve always heard that if you run into a black bear, you should puff yourself up, look as big as possible, make a lot of noise, yell/throw things at them, and they should take off; I’m still here so I’m happy to say it’s true.

Behind the scenes: Scorpion Cowboy headshots

He got the part!  I’d like to think it was all my doingHorizon starts shooting today in New Mexico and my friend Duane is there at least as an extra.  No matter what I might tell him when I’m joking around, I think he has a wonderful face.

The Double-X was perfect for the look I wanted in the headshots, but there are some pretty good portraits in here as well I think, with Tri-X; it gives a good comparison seeing both films shot in the same place with the same lighting.  He put me up for a few days after I’d sold my mom’s house and it was just a great experience all-around, we hung out and tried a few things, I had my camera with me the entire time so I definitely got a few more candid things here and there.  The first pic is taken with the Minolta and a few more were included here.  Duane was also kind enough to hold a camera for me so I could see just what I look like when I’m taking pictures.  Originally published here and here but I’ll include it again:

One last time with the Minolta SRT-MCII

Back in 2012 I was hitting my local Goodwill like I was wont to do, looking for deals you used to be able to find back then, and in the display case was a new camera that I hadn’t seen yet, and evidently it had been there for a few weeks because it was already marked down too…maybe I hadn’t been in in a while.  I was familiar with my mom’s Minolta so it thrilled me that I had finally found a camera that was her brand and I might be able to use her lenses!  The best part was the price, I think tax included I spent less than $7.50 for this all-mechanical marvel.  It came with a little case, a Quantaray zoom lens, a flash, the camera body, and a 50mm f/2 Minolta MD lens.  When in the checkout line the music playing over the store speakers was some awful song by Nickelback and the stupid cunt in front of me was singing along which completely soured the whole experience.  But that’s the story of how I acquired this particular camera, as much as I can remember considering it was a decade ago.  This Minolta was my constant companion through my Intro to Photography class by virtue of being the only camera that had completely accurate shutter speeds, though after that I pretty much went to my Pentax Spotmatic and never looked back.

It and a lot of other cameras I never used much ended up being stored in a box in my mom’s garage, she made me put them out there because she wanted more storage space for her own stuff; I suppose I was a bit upset at the time but figured those boxes were going to be things I’d never end up using, and I was almost right.  I’d brought those boxes down to sell at the local used camera store, and then one day I had a massive brain fart and forgot to bring my camera with me, something I almost never do, but thankfully they were willing to let me grab a camera for a few days just to have on hand…I’d feel naked without one!  Not that I actually ended up needing it but it did give me the opportunity to use the old girl one last time before passing it on.

In fact I shot two partial rolls of film through this camera, partial because I got frustrated with it not being the Nikon F2 and eventually rewound the film and loaded it into one of my F2s.  It’s not the Minolta’s fault, I mean what camera comes close to the Nikon F2?  The SRT’s shutter advance has a quite longer throw and the lens focuses the other direction, those were my biggest gripes, but they’re the only bad things I have to say about the camera.  And even if I was about to let it go, the camera was there for me when I needed it, and I’m in the point experience-wise where I can pick up just about any manual camera with a roll of ASA400 film and just shoot it without ever having to worry about not having batteries, getting proper exposure, etc, even if the ergonomics aren’t quite familiar to me anymore.

I don’t know the state of thrift stores these days and don’t know if the deals still exist that did 10 years back, but for a time Minolta cameras were the bargain if you could find one, nearly always cheaper than other brands, and with no real sense behind it besides not being as well known.  An all-manual (battery only for light meter) camera like this is exactly the kind that is recommended to photography students across the country (the world?) and it’s telling that even though it’s 50 years old it just works, and probably will long after all the fancy battery-dependent electronic cameras have bit the dust.  I can’t turn my nose up at this camera; it’s just that in the end I knew it needed to belong to someone else.

Waving all the flags

I have a flag picture that I took years ago, this is a bit of an updated one.  I’d seen this truck driving around Colorado Springs back in 2019 and every once in a while parked at the old honky tonk by our office.  My photo instructor wanted to see better up-close pictures which I got around to taking after the class concluded.

The flag you can’t see is the Revolutionary War yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

Happy Independence Day.

Selected portraits from the 2022 pre-season meeting

About as current as it gets here at The Resurrected Camera, these date to the middle of May 2022, barely a month ago.  My job hired me to capture portraits of the new drivers at the annual pre-season meeting, to be used on the website; these photos amount to the first professional work I’ve seen out in the wild in quite some time, perhaps ever.  The meeting was held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and I used Cheyenne Mountain as a backdrop, shooting out on the patio in the shade of a building as the sun was setting.  I got a few of the not-so-new drivers as well: all in all I made portraits of 15 drivers and include my favorites below:

Besides the cowboys (and cowgirl) themselves, the star of the show was the AI’d Nikkor-PC 105mm f/2.5 portrait lens which was used for all but one of the exposures above.  There’s been so much written over the last 70+ years about the 105mm Nikkor so I don’t know what I can add except to say that I picked it up because it was cheap, I wanted to have at least one portrait lens, and it had a good reputation.  I’ve used it for a few portrait sessions so far and have been extremely happy with the results, as well as that from my AI Nikkor 85mm f/2 lens (which also makes an appearance here).  I would call either of these lenses a must-have for a Nikon manual-focus system, whichever you happen to run across first.  If you can, get both.

I suppose this means that I can call myself a professional photographer, right?  I’m hoping that this can be springboard me to bigger and better things but we’ll see.

Slipped through the cracks

These are culled from four rolls of Tri-X that I shot during the final week or two of taking Advanced Photography, from which this post was taken.  All that semester I had had my instructor Stacy to go through and edit the shots, help me pick out which were the best shots.  But she never got to look at these last four rolls, so even though I had them developed before the Summer break started I never looked too closely at them, I think I just wasn’t feeling too confident with my own editing skills back then.  I feel more confident now, but still I’m sure some day someone might go back through all my shots and say, “Well why didn’t you include these?”  So it goes…

I started my Instagram going in mostly chronological order and have gotten through all of my VA4110 images plus these.

I had just purchased my 2/35 Super-Takumar lens so was trying it out quite a lot back then, and found that I really liked that particular focal length so I didn’t take it off the body for weeks.  Even though I started shooting Nikon in early 2020 I didn’t buy my 35mm f/1.4 AI’d Nikkor until nearly a year and a half later.  Since I have though, that and the 50mm f/1.4 are nearly the only two lenses I use.