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Classic cameras

Gorgonzola

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:D

I dunno what to tell you: For me, film accounts for a small percentage of my total output, but sometimes I just get the itch for it. The grain, the nonlinearities, the whole thing. Developing and scanning can be a pain, but seeing the results emerge still gives me a rush of excitement.

View attachment 187109
Well it certainly sounds like you're a lot further into photography and associated equipment and activities than I have ever been. Repairing cameras certainly exceeds my talents and the idea is frankly scary to me.

For my part, photography as been pretty much an occasional activity, though one I've stuck with for many decades. I haven't attempted film developing since high school -- a very long time ago. I have done a fair bit of film and print scanning, though. If I were ever to dally again with film, I'd leave the development to the photo shop, but scan the film myself. (I don't know if color positive (slide) film is even available today, but of course my scanner hard- and software can handle color and b&w negative).
 

rdenney

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Well it certainly sounds like you're a lot further into photography and associated equipment and activities than I have ever been. Repairing cameras certainly exceeds my talents and the idea is frankly scary to me.

For my part, photography as been pretty much an occasional activity, though one I've stuck with for many decades. I haven't attempted film developing since high school -- a very long time ago. I have done a fair bit of film and print scanning, though. If I were ever to dally again with film, I'd leave the development to the photo shop, but scan the film myself. (I don't know if color positive (slide) film is even available today, but of course my scanner hard- and software can handle color and b&w negative).
That's what I do--I'm no longer interested in processing color the way I used to. I will probably re-establish a black-and-white capability soon for processing 4x5 sheet film, primarily. I've been using color in the big camera but that is not sustainable and I still have to send it out to distant labs.

My scanner for rollfilm is a Nikon 9000ED, which I bought to replace the 8000ED that had become unreliable. Maintaining a quality scanning capability these days is no mean feat, and the Nikon is about the entry point for scanning film at a pro level. I scan 4x5 in an Epson flatbed scanner, and it works acceptably only because the film is big.

Serious scanning, of course, is done on a PMT drum scanner, and I know folks who manage to sustain that capability, despite that doing so requires maintaining a computer museum.

Several have attempted to create a scanning capability using a digital camera mounted on an X-Y robot frame. There are serious challenges with that, the main one being maintaining perfect brightness across the frame. With the 100-MP Fuji, however, one-shot scanning of rollfilm should sustain its resolution, at least, but it's still marginal for 4x5. The lens for doing it? Bring your checkbook. Pentax's 90mm macro lens designed for the 645z can probably do it, but it costs well into the mid four figures.

Rick "still hoping to see in his lifetime a workable and affordable true large-format digital capture system" Denney
 

JeffS7444

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Well it certainly sounds like you're a lot further into photography and associated equipment and activities than I have ever been. Repairing cameras certainly exceeds my talents and the idea is frankly scary to me.

For my part, photography as been pretty much an occasional activity, though one I've stuck with for many decades. I haven't attempted film developing since high school -- a very long time ago. I have done a fair bit of film and print scanning, though. If I were ever to dally again with film, I'd leave the development to the photo shop, but scan the film myself. (I don't know if color positive (slide) film is even available today, but of course my scanner hard- and software can handle color and b&w negative).
My darkroom goals circa 2022 are much more modest than they were in the 1990s! I held onto my dad's old stainless steel Nikor developing tank, and thought I'd get one of the modified sous vide cookers sold by the Cinestill people, which hopefully will make temperature control much easier. Once you've got precise temperature control, color negatives are no more difficult to process than traditional black and white.

Last year I developed b&w film in Cinestill DF96 monobath. Old purist me would have been very suspicious of such a thing, but what good had purism done for me - the film had been sitting unprocessed since 2005. I think some good came out of my shortcut:
200510 Japan Hokkaido Leica M6-276.jpg
 

JeffS7444

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That's what I do--I'm no longer interested in processing color the way I used to. I will probably re-establish a black-and-white capability soon for processing 4x5 sheet film, primarily. I've been using color in the big camera but that is not sustainable and I still have to send it out to distant labs.

My scanner for rollfilm is a Nikon 9000ED, which I bought to replace the 8000ED that had become unreliable. Maintaining a quality scanning capability these days is no mean feat, and the Nikon is about the entry point for scanning film at a pro level. I scan 4x5 in an Epson flatbed scanner, and it works acceptably only because the film is big.

Serious scanning, of course, is done on a PMT drum scanner, and I know folks who manage to sustain that capability, despite that doing so requires maintaining a computer museum.

Several have attempted to create a scanning capability using a digital camera mounted on an X-Y robot frame. There are serious challenges with that, the main one being maintaining perfect brightness across the frame. With the 100-MP Fuji, however, one-shot scanning of rollfilm should sustain its resolution, at least, but it's still marginal for 4x5. The lens for doing it? Bring your checkbook. Pentax's 90mm macro lens designed for the 645z can probably do it, but it costs well into the mid four figures.

Rick "still hoping to see in his lifetime a workable and affordable true large-format digital capture system" Denney
My own non-perfectionist system is built around an Epson V700 flatbed scanner @ 3200 dpi. With 35 mm images, I've compared the results I've gotten from scanner + Silverfast AI Studio software versus 80 megapixel camera scan using macro lens + Negative Lab Pro software and did not experience a startling revelation: Beyond a fairly easy to achieve level, I didn't seem to extract any more meaningful detail from the image on film, but instead, simply seemed to be capturing the grain structure of the film itself.

In any event, I had a job to do - thousands of images to scan!
 

Gorgonzola

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My darkroom goals circa 2022 are much more modest than they were in the 1990s! I held onto my dad's old stainless steel Nikor developing tank, and thought I'd get one of the modified sous vide cookers sold by the Cinestill people, which hopefully will make temperature control much easier. Once you've got precise temperature control, color negatives are no more difficult to process than traditional black and white.

Last year I developed b&w film in Cinestill DF96 monobath. Old purist me would have been very suspicious of such a thing, but what good had purism done for me - the film had been sitting unprocessed since 2005. I think some good came out of my shortcut:
View attachment 187370
Looks like development tools have come a fair way since the early '60s when though to developing. I was hinders a lot by the fact that in our apartment there was no where to set up a half-way adequate darkroom. I bought a tool that allowed a 35mm cassette to be opened an fed to a development reel without darkness; it worked so-so

Speaking of "monobath", circa 1962 a product combined developing and fixing into one step; this worked quite will though there were some limitations.

As for making prints, gvien I had no place for a darkroom, so I never tried it. I gave up on the developing given that the money saving and creative control was more in the printing than developing. Of course printing is no real problem today since prints are no longer made on photo-sensitive paper but are literally printed.
 

Gorgonzola

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My own non-perfectionist system is built around an Epson V700 flatbed scanner @ 3200 dpi. With 35 mm images, I've compared the results I've gotten from scanner + Silverfast AI Studio software versus 80 megapixel camera scan using macro lens + Negative Lab Pro software and did not experience a startling revelation: Beyond a fairly easy to achieve level, I didn't seem to extract any more meaningful detail from the image on film, but instead, simply seemed to be capturing the grain structure of the film itself.

In any event, I had a job to do - thousands of images to scan!
I mentioned that I did film scanning including b&w, color negatives, and slides. Most of that I did 7-9 years ago. My scanner was (as is) a Plustek Opticfilm 7300 with Silverfast software. It worked pretty well.

A big revelation for me came more recently when I tried Photoshop Elements to do some modest enhancements. Many pics could be tremendously improved by simple things like leveling, (seascapes mostly look weird at an angle), lightening/darkening, contrast reduction, and color & saturation enhancement. I was very pleased to find that this enhancements work for film scans as well as original digital pics.
 

JeffS7444

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Probably not the easiest way to pick up some lunch money, but I succeeded in getting a couple of the Pentax cameras ready for market. Pentax P3/P30 cameras are known for winding on and skipping frames of film, all caused by a little rubber damper (tip of screwdriver shows the location on the mirror box assembly) which has deteriorated and becomes sticky. While I had the cameras disassembled, I spotted rotted foam originally used as sound dampeners and light traps, and replaced those too.

_DSC2098.jpg

_DSC2103.jpg
 

JeffS7444

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I may be stretching the definition of "classic", but I just repaired another camera. Normally don't expect shutter problems in a circa 2002 SLR, but there must have been something sharp and abrasive inside this Zenit 412 which caused one of the rubberized silk shutter curtains to fail. Installed new shutter curtain.
_2220392.jpg
 
OP
J

JJB70

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It reminds me of the last of the Leica 35mm SLRs, the R8 & R9, I'm not sure Leica fans would appreciate the comparison though :facepalm::):)
 

cfarley137

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I wanted to love Contax SLRs. But I've found them to be unreliable. And even if they were reliable, they're strangely un-ergonomic. My Contax RTS2 has a shutter button that fires if you look at it wrong. And it's hard to grip. This is a shame because I love the C/Y Zeiss glass. The most reliable C/Y body I has been a Yashica FX-3 Super 2000. The feels so cheap in a tactile sense, but it's 100% mechanical and it's been rock solid.

For reliability and good ergonomics, you really can't beat Nikon. My "new" favorite SLR body is a Nikon FE2. I'm not sold on the old Nikon glass, but I've picked up some fantastic Voigtlander lenses that have an amazing build quality and very satisfying optics.
 
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JJB70

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I wanted to love Contax SLRs. But I've found them to be unreliable. And even if they were reliable, they're strangely un-ergonomic. My Contax RTS2 has a shutter button that fires if you look at it wrong. And it's hard to grip. This is a shame because I love the C/Y Zeiss glass. The most reliable C/Y body I has been a Yashica FX-3 Super 2000. The feels so cheap in a tactile sense, but it's 100% mechanical and it's been rock solid.

For reliability and good ergonomics, you really can't beat Nikon. My "new" favorite SLR body is a Nikon FE2. I'm not sold on the old Nikon glass, but I've picked up some fantastic Voigtlander lenses that have an amazing build quality and very satisfying optics.

The Yashica was made by Cosina, one of the many models they have manufactured for better known and probably more highly regarded names.
 
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JJB70

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Zenit depreciates less :D

Leica R cameras remind me of the classic/prestige car trap. I know so many people who get sucked in by the idea of buying a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche etc for the price of a Ford Focus without doing their homework on how expensive it will be to keep on the road. I keep looking at the R8 & R9 as you can pick up mint examples with all the paperwork etc for not much at all....that is until you look at the price of lenses. And it is the glass that really makes the Leica cameras worth considering. The R8 & R9 were different but the older R's were heavily based on Minolta designs. You can pick up really nice pre-8/9 R series bodies for peanuts, but again it is the price of glass.
 

JeffS7444

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Leica R cameras remind me of the classic/prestige car trap. I know so many people who get sucked in by the idea of buying a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche etc for the price of a Ford Focus without doing their homework on how expensive it will be to keep on the road. I keep looking at the R8 & R9 as you can pick up mint examples with all the paperwork etc for not much at all....that is until you look at the price of lenses. And it is the glass that really makes the Leica cameras worth considering. The R8 & R9 were different but the older R's were heavily based on Minolta designs. You can pick up really nice pre-8/9 R series bodies for peanuts, but again it is the price of glass.
Oh yes, me in my 20s, test-driving a prematurely aged Maserati Biturbo! Had the cabin not filled with the smell of something burning, I might have bought it too. Somehow I managed to not buy a Mercedes 190 2.3L 16V (later heard it was to be avoided) or a bargain-basement Porsche 928 which, as far as I can tell, is practically the definition of a money-pit. Ironically, had I purchased a sensible and reliable 1986 Toyota Corolla GTS AE86 and kept it stock and well-maintained, it'd probably be the most valuable car of the bunch today.

Somehow I also avoided costly wristwatches and fountain pens, but I certainly did catch the high-end audio and Leica bugs.

To date, the most impressively cost-no-object 35 mm SLR innards that I've worked on are probably what you'd expect: The flagship Canons and Nikons. I've never taken apart a Leica R8/9, but there I'd expect most of the impressive bits to be on the outside.
 

solderdude

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A classic camera from my collection.

As of Feb 24 it deserves some more attention.
KIEV 4M 1980.JPG

This 1979 KIEV-4M type 3b Olympic is made in USSR (commemorative for the Moscow 1980 Olympics).
The whole German Zeiss Contax III assembly line was taken to USSR as war 'loot'.
Very wide rangefinder base... actually takes decent pictures.
The curtain is very slow (flash sync at 1/25th)
Exchangeable lenses but only have the standard Jupiter-8M lens.
Still working...

A fitting camera for this particular time.... alas
 
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mhardy6647

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Sort of on topic -- I have mixed feelings about the resurgence of interest in fine vintage glass and the concomitant availability of adaptors to enable the use of same on pretty much whatever (modern) platform one desires.

I guess, all in all, it's a very good thing, and there was certainly art and science (and spirit and soul!) in the classic optics of yore -- but, on the other hand, all it does* is drive up the costs of same to even more stratospheric levels. :(



;)

_____________
* OK, maybe that's not all it does... but you know what I mean! :)
 

JeffS7444

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Ukrainian camera currently on my workbench (FED-1, circa 1940, not that I'm celebrating the life and times of Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky!). Building a new set of rubberized silk shutter curtains.
_DSC1489_PSMS.jpg
 

Burning Sounds

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IMG_20220218_1000.jpg

This lot, together with a few specialist lenses that I hired from time to time bought my first house, put food on the table and enabled me to travel to several countries documenting the work of charitable organisations. I kept meaning to upgrade to an F2 and then an F3, but it just kept working so the upgrade never happened. Only once in 16 years did I have a failure when the meter suddenly quit. It was fixed in less than 24 hours by a camera repair outfit owned by two brothers in LA. Everything still works today and the lenses are still used regularly in a Nikon DSLR. There's a lot of memories in that gear.
 
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