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Mike's Guide to Buying Old Cameras
Old 01-15-2015   #1
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Mike's Guide to Buying Old Cameras

I thought I would share this with everyone in case you are just getting into the hobby of buying old cameras, or know someone who is.

Obviously, there is already a TON of information already out there, but finding all of the different sites and forums that contain useful information can be overwhelming.

I thought it might help someone to have all of this overwhelming information contained in one overwhelming post!

If you already collect old cameras, theres little to nothing in this post that you wouldn't already know, so this is definitely targeted at the novice, but I try to include all of the information that might be useful for them.

Theres a lot of opinion in here that not everyone may agree with, but if anyone reads this and finds something that is inaccurate, please let me know so I can correct it!

http://www.mikeeckman.com/2015/01/mi...g-old-cameras/

Hopefully someone finds this helpful!
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Old 01-15-2015   #2
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I've only had a quick glance through, but it looks very sensible to me thus far. The only comment I'd add is that someone in Japan is making 127 film under the name of Rera Pan, available online through various distributors including Freestyle and Lomography. Though I agree with your caveat!

Sadly, I think that export duties etc make it silly to try to get Bluefire 127 in the UK. Oh well.

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Old 01-15-2015   #3
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That was an enjoyable little read!

35mm film was around earlier than 1934, as it was originally a cine camera film. According to Wikipedia, the 135 format was standardized in 1909.

TLRs are not entirely obsolete. They do have very light weight and compact size for a medium format camera (OK, not as compact as a folder). They are also very quiet to use compared to a medium format SLR.
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Old 01-15-2015   #4
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It is an informative write-up. Thank you for putting it together.
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Old 01-15-2015   #5
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Thanks everyone for the comments! I have to say Im already impressed that a bunch of people havent already started finding massive amounts of technical errors!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggins View Post
I've only had a quick glance through, but it looks very sensible to me thus far. The only comment I'd add is that someone in Japan is making 127 film under the name of Rera Pan, available online through various distributors including Freestyle and Lomography. Though I agree with your caveat!
Yeah, I think theres actually more than one distributor, but Im basically sticking with my recommendation that a new collector stay away from 127 format cameras because even though it is being produced now, supplies could disappear quickly and without notice, whereas 135 and 120 films most likely will continue to be around for a very long time.

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Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
35mm film was around earlier than 1934, as it was originally a cine camera film. According to Wikipedia, the 135 format was standardized in 1909.
My understanding is that 35mm still photography prior to Kodak's version from 1934 either didn't come in a canister that would work in a modern camera, and it didn't have the same sprocket hole spacing, so it really cant be considered the same type of film.

There used to be 235, 335, and 435 variants of 135 film which were designed for old Leica, Contax, and Stereographic cameras, but none of these films would work using modern 135 cartridges.

Quote:
TLRs are not entirely obsolete. They do have very light weight and compact size for a medium format camera (OK, not as compact as a folder). They are also very quiet to use compared to a medium format SLR.
I'll make a revision to the TLR section with your suggestion for valid reasons for a photographer might still want to use a TLR over other types.
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Old 01-15-2015   #6
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Overall I like your site but I did find one thing that is wrong. You state that "eBay’s rule says that if you list something is in “As Is” condition, then the seller is not required to accept returns".. The only way the seller is not required to give a refund is if you word the description such as "this item is being sold as is for parts or repair only. It is in non-working condition"

A lot of sellers will post with "as is" and then give a description in the hopes that they will not have to refund but eBay's newest protection rules require the seller to refund..

Other than this your site is very well written..
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Old 01-15-2015   #7
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Thanks for posting this and taking the time to put together a lot of knowledge otherwise dispersed in the "interwebs."
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Old 01-15-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
Overall I like your site but I did find one thing that is wrong. You state that "eBay’s rule says that if you list something is in “As Is” condition, then the seller is not required to accept returns".. The only way the seller is not required to give a refund is if you word the description such as "this item is being sold as is for parts or repair only. It is in non-working condition"

A lot of sellers will post with "as is" and then give a description in the hopes that they will not have to refund but eBay's newest protection rules require the seller to refund..

Other than this your site is very well written..
Awesome, thanks for the correction. I have updated the wording:

"Some auctions qualify for eBay's Hassle Free Returns policy, but the seller does not have to allow this. Even if they don't, you may still return the camera, but only if what you received is not as described in the listing. If you buy a camera that is not in the condition the description said it was, you can attempt to recover your money from eBay by filing a complaint, but this can take a while."
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Old 01-15-2015   #9
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Just another couple of observations regarding TLR operational features. As the photographer is looking down to the camera at waist level, not towards the subject, this is likely to be less distracting, or even noticeable, to the subject or anybody else.
Conversely, if you are at the back of a crowd at some event you want to photograph, you may be able to look up to the camera held above your head .
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Old 01-15-2015   #10
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Thanks for doing this. Several comments:

You should I think mention that some cameras have built in exposure meters that are uncoupled -- you have to transfer the readings to the aperture and film speed settings. As a corollary, you refer to cameras that have uncoupled meters (like the Nikon FM), when what you mean simply is that the metering is manual. The meter is in fact coupled to the camera; aligning the match-needle or diodes in the viewfinder sets the speed and aperture.

I'd mention in the TLR section the rather important information that the image in the viewfinder is reversed. That's often a feature of TLRs and any other waist level finder that people have a hard time getting used to.

Finally, the repairs section is rather spotty, and not comprehensive. It may be sufficient, for the purpose of your piece, to simply describe the different types of problems that are encountered -- e.g. shutter, rangefinder, metering. It can be pretty hard to generalize about repairs, since camera designs are very different from each other even though they might be of the same general design (e.g. Leica and Contax). Instead, maybe you should have something describing the things a purchaser should check when purchasing an old camera (like how to check an old meter, how to test a shutter); what the symptoms indicate, and what might be an easy fix vs. "walk away"; and how to do some simple repairs -- cleaning, rangefinder adjustment, lens focus adjustment.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-15-2015   #11
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Good for you, I think you've helped a lot of people!
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Old 01-15-2015   #12
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Mike -

Very informative and well composed article. I anticipate some of us old luddites here on RFF will want to pick nits with certain details, but I understand your intention and target audience for this article. One good online resource I've found for those that are new(er) to film is the Film Photography Project at http://filmphotographyproject.com/content . They cover many of the cameras and topics you've mentioned.

For people who are unfamiliar with, or intimidated by film cameras, you have addressed many of the issues that may be of concern, without getting into unnecessary details or going off on tangents. Once a person starts shooting film and decides if it's for them, they can then do further research on the type of cameras/photography that they like.

Two notes I would make is that it might be useful to mention that developing film at home is a very easy and inexpensive alternative these days, for those who think they might like it. Darkroom equipment can be found very cheap (or free) and there are inexpensive scanners that can handle 35mm and 120 film. I see many folks who use this hybrid film/digital workflow these days. Much detail beyond that would best be left to another article, book or internet resource.

Also, large-format view cameras are still very popular among many amateurs and professionals these days. Several camera and lens manufacturers are still producing new products and used equipment can be found relatively cheaply. They are not necessarily more difficult to use (once the user is comfortable with the concepts of manual controls and film), but definitely slower. L/F film is made by about a half-dozen companies and can be easily purchased online. Many labs will also process sheet film. Benefits are the ultimate image quality and image control of focus plane, perspective and distortion. Cameras like a 1950's Crown Graphic in good condition can be found for $200-300 with a lens, and are hand-holdable with similar controls for aperture, shutter speed and focusing as many smaller cameras. Although this subject may be beyond the scope of your article, it is a viable and rewarding format for those that would like to try it out.

All in all, great article and I would suggest it to anyone starting to shoot film or collect older cameras. That would save me the 2+ hours it would take to explain all the information you've covered!

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Old 01-15-2015   #13
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Good for you, I think you've helped a lot of people!
Yes, I agree! You have likely given some film curious folks a reason to feel more confident dipping a toe in the water

Cheers!
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Old 01-15-2015   #14
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I get an URL:MAL warning from Avast antivirus when I try to load the page on PC. You might want to look into that.
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Old 01-15-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen99 View Post
Conversely, if you are at the back of a crowd at some event you want to photograph, you may be able to look up to the camera held above your head .
You know, I would never have thought of doing that in a billion gazillion years. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2015   #16
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Thanks again to all of the people who posted kind words! Feel free to share the link to anyone whom you think could benefit from this information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by citizen99 View Post
Just another couple of observations regarding TLR operational features. As the photographer is looking down to the camera at waist level, not towards the subject, this is likely to be less distracting, or even noticeable, to the subject or anybody else.
Conversely, if you are at the back of a crowd at some event you want to photograph, you may be able to look up to the camera held above your head .
These are good points which I'll include. I love your idea of holding them above your head. I never would have thought to do that myself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Thanks for doing this. Several comments:

You should I think mention that some cameras have built in exposure meters that are uncoupled -- you have to transfer the readings to the aperture and film speed settings. As a corollary, you refer to cameras that have uncoupled meters (like the Nikon FM), when what you mean simply is that the metering is manual. The meter is in fact coupled to the camera; aligning the match-needle or diodes in the viewfinder sets the speed and aperture.

I'd mention in the TLR section the rather important information that the image in the viewfinder is reversed. That's often a feature of TLRs and any other waist level finder that people have a hard time getting used to.

Finally, the repairs section is rather spotty, and not comprehensive. It may be sufficient, for the purpose of your piece, to simply describe the different types of problems that are encountered -- e.g. shutter, rangefinder, metering. It can be pretty hard to generalize about repairs, since camera designs are very different from each other even though they might be of the same general design (e.g. Leica and Contax). Instead, maybe you should have something describing the things a purchaser should check when purchasing an old camera (like how to check an old meter, how to test a shutter); what the symptoms indicate, and what might be an easy fix vs. "walk away"; and how to do some simple repairs -- cleaning, rangefinder adjustment, lens focus adjustment.

Thanks for reading!
I see what you are saying where some meters merely display an independent reading that you must translate into a useful reading on the camera, as opposed to others which can display a setting inside of the camera that is effected by your aperture and shutter speed settings, and I agree with you, they are different, but for the purposes of a novice, I doubt they'll really see those as two different things. For a person brand new to this, cameras can either use the light meter to automatically pick an exposure, or they can't, and that was the differentiation I was going for. Maybe I could have worded it a little better, so in my next revision, I'll try to make it a little more clear.

I'll include that TLR viewfinders are reversed.

As for the repairs section, I hesitated to include the level of detail that is already there. Remember, this guide isn't meant to be the 'end all' of all camera info. I dont want to spend too much time on repairs, the intent is just to give enough info so that a novice buyer has some things to look for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_jm View Post
Very informative and well composed article. I anticipate some of us old luddites here on RFF will want to pick nits with certain details, but I understand your intention and target audience for this article.

Two notes I would make is that it might be useful to mention that developing film at home is a very easy and inexpensive alternative these days, for those who think they might like it. Darkroom equipment can be found very cheap (or free) and there are inexpensive scanners that can handle 35mm and 120 film. I see many folks who use this hybrid film/digital workflow these days. Much detail beyond that would best be left to another article, book or internet resource.

Also, large-format view cameras are still very popular among many amateurs and professionals these days. Several camera and lens manufacturers are still producing new products and used equipment can be found relatively cheaply. They are not necessarily more difficult to use (once the user is comfortable with the concepts of manual controls and film), but definitely slower. L/F film is made by about a half-dozen companies and can be easily purchased online. Many labs will also process sheet film. Benefits are the ultimate image quality and image control of focus plane, perspective and distortion. Cameras like a 1950's Crown Graphic in good condition can be found for $200-300 with a lens, and are hand-holdable with similar controls for aperture, shutter speed and focusing as many smaller cameras. Although this subject may be beyond the scope of your article, it is a viable and rewarding format for those that would like to try it out.

All in all, great article and I would suggest it to anyone starting to shoot film or collect older cameras. That would save me the 2+ hours it would take to explain all the information you've covered!
Yes, youre right, this article was meant for a target audience with less knowledge than most of the users here. Hopefully it can speed up the process of taking someone who is interested in film to getting them to the point where they jump in.

I would have liked to include some info about home developing, but I tried to limit this article to things I have first hand knowledge of. Theres a good chance that one day I might try developing my own film, or trying out a large format camera, but since I have no first hand knowledge myself, I left things like that out of the article.

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Originally Posted by Greyscale View Post
I get an URL:MAL warning from Avast antivirus when I try to load the page on PC. You might want to look into that.
It must be something with your internet settings being turned up too high. I assure you, there is nothing malicious on my site. Its a simple Wordpress blog running on a Windows 2008 server which I maintain in my home.

As you can see, many other people were able to get to the site without any issues. I've never used Avast, but Im sure there is a setting somewhere that allows you to exclude sites. You can put my domain, mikeeckman.com and it should allow you to view the site.
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Old 01-16-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
Overall I like your site but I did find one thing that is wrong. You state that "eBay’s rule says that if you list something is in “As Is” condition, then the seller is not required to accept returns".. The only way the seller is not required to give a refund is if you word the description such as "this item is being sold as is for parts or repair only. It is in non-working condition"

A lot of sellers will post with "as is" and then give a description in the hopes that they will not have to refund but eBay's newest protection rules require the seller to refund..

Other than this your site is very well written..
I still have choice to list it with "no returns". Doesn't matter used or for parts.


Is here any guide for how not to buy any old cameras?
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Old 01-16-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I still have choice to list it with "no returns". Doesn't matter used or for parts.

Is here any guide for how not to buy any old cameras?
I actually re-read eBay's selling policy and although it does give you the option to say "No Returns", eBay still requires sellers to accept returns if the description of the item is wrong, or inaccurate.

A buyer can file a claim with the seller saying the item wasnt as described and eBay will intervene, and if the seller doesnt comply, they can lose their selling priveledges.

And LOL....no such guide exists! G.A.S. has no cure!
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Old 01-16-2015   #19
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Great piece, wish to read this years ago to get everything in one bite!

How about mentioning relation of Rapid cartridge film to 126 as there still are plenty of Rapid varieties of cameras also made for regular 135 film?
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Old 01-16-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eckmanmj View Post
I actually re-read eBay's selling policy and although it does give you the option to say "No Returns", eBay still requires sellers to accept returns if the description of the item is wrong, or inaccurate.

A buyer can file a claim with the seller saying the item wasnt as described and eBay will intervene, and if the seller doesnt comply, they can lose their selling priveledges.
...
This is very reasonable policy in terms of old cameras. Addressing the existing problem with some sellers.
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Old 01-16-2015   #21
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I wouldn't get too comfortable with the ebay return policy. I recently bought a lens that was incorrectly (deceitfully?) described. I politely asked the seller to accept a return (or somehow make our transaction "right"). Seller was rude and offensive. Turning to ebay for assistance was a nightmare ordeal that ultimately did not resolve the problem. I actually received an email from ebay telling me my problem was resolved and they no longer need to be of help! Ummm, really? When did that happen?

I now own a lens-shaped paperweight that was described as "excellent condition". Personally, I'd be leary of ebay buying (or selling) that involves prices greater than perhaps 200USD or so. In fact, my new personal policy is no ebay transactions of any amount, ever again.
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Old 01-16-2015   #22
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I haven't finished reading everything yet, but it looks like you put a lot of work in on that site. I did notice this; "Half Frame 35mm – Half frame cameras such as the Universal Mercury II or Olympus Pen series do not use any special type of film. These cameras use regular 135 format 35mm film, but the shutter opening is about half the size of a standard 35mm exposure. This means that you can get more exposures per roll of film. The total amount of exposures is usually a little less than half the normal amount of exposures. The reason its not exactly double, is because of the space needed for frame spacing between each frame." I think you meant "... a little less that twice the normal amount of exposures."

Another thing I am sure somebody will raise up on their hind legs and complain about is under rangefinder types of cameras: "Despite their reputation as being a “lesser” style of camera compared to SLRs, they still offer several advantages. Since a rangefinder neither needs a mirror or a prism inside of the body, rangefinders are often smaller and easier to handle than SLRs of the same era. In addition, the lack of a moving mirror means they are often quieter. Inside an SLR, there are sounds from several moving parts each time the shutter is released, whereas a rangefinder only has the sound of the shutter moving. Furthermore, since most rangefinders have “leaf” shutters, they are often very quiet when firing, which is helpful when the photographer is trying to be discreet."

Lesser, on RFF? sacrilege I tell you!

Also there was also a 129 roll film format. Some others around those numbers as well if I recall correctly.

Still, that is a great effort. I am enjoying reading it. Thanks for the work and the link. I think it is a great idea for people who don't know much about film cameras but are thinking of taking the plunge, whether for collecting or just to try something they think of as retro.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-16-2015   #23
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Great resource. Maybe 'inferior' is better than 'lesser'. Outdated might be more accurate for the notion you were alluding to. Given all the work you've put in, I'd fix the cant and wont: can't and won't. (Don't say can't and won't!)
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Old 01-16-2015   #24
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Thanks again for the suggestions! Keep 'em coming!

I clarified the difference between an uncoupled and coupled light meter.

I added more info to the description of TLRs including the inverted image, theyre good for discreet photography, and you can hold them over your head.

I added a comment that one way to test an old light meter is to use a modern digital camera and compare the settings.

I correctly changed the word "half" to "double" in my explanation of half frame 35mm film.

I did a find/replace on all contractions, either adding an apostrophe, or removing the contraction altogether.

I left the word "lesser" in the rangefinder section, but altered the wording to say that its some people's opinion, rather than say they have a reputation of being lesser (which of course I completely disagree with!)

I'm not going to add 129 roll film since its pretty rare. As I mention at the top, wikipedia has a very extensive article covering all extinct formats, and in the interest of brevity, I tried to limit it to the ones that you're most likely to find on eBay.
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Old 01-16-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eckmanmj View Post
I'm not going to add 129 roll film since its pretty rare. As I mention at the top, wikipedia has a very extensive article covering all extinct formats, and in the interest of brevity, I tried to limit it to the ones that you're most likely to find on eBay.
I have a late 1920s Kodak catalogue and it has something like 35 different film formats in it - admittedly that's including film packs and the like, but nevertheless there's a ridiculous number of the things. I think you are making the right call!

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Old 01-16-2015   #26
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Great effort, Mike.

This would be a good resource especially for young people who started to get the vintage photography bug.

I can't wait until you added the Darkroom Printing section... you are going to add that, right?
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Old 01-16-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eckmanmj
It must be something with your internet settings being turned up too high. I assure you, there is nothing malicious on my site. Its a simple Wordpress blog running on a Windows 2008 server which I maintain in my home.

As you can see, many other people were able to get to the site without any issues. I've never used Avast, but Im sure there is a setting somewhere that allows you to exclude sites. You can put my domain, mikeeckman.com and it should allow you to view the site.
It is probably something simple, maybe as simple as the way that you spelled out the web address in the title, that is tripping a filter. No biggie, it loads fine on the iPad and looks like a well-researched and thoughtful resource.
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Old 01-16-2015   #28
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You've done a good job!

Another thing you might want to mention is that "TLRs enable you to see the subject at the moment of exposure. This made them popular with portrait photographers who wanted the big, detailed medium-format negatives of 120 film. Other popular SLR medium format camera designs like Hasselblad and Bronica (and also Mamiya) don't allow you to see the subject the moment the picture is taken. With SLR designs, the viewfinder is momentarily blacked out at the exact moment of exposure while the mirror flips up to enable light to reach the film."
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Old 01-16-2015   #29
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do you think Freestyle should be added to the list? They are a good option for non-US residents as their shipping costs are often lower than the others mentioned.

"120 roll film is a little less common, but it is still readily available from Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Freestyle, and pretty much any online site that caters to photographers."
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Old 01-17-2015   #30
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Dear Mike,

Lots of good stuff, but honestly, "35mm film" and "35mm standard cartridges" are not the same thing. The Kodak cassette was designed to fit both the Leica and the Contax -- even the earliest Leicas can be used with modern cassettes as long as you trim the film leader for a long tongue (or indulge in work-arounds, or are lucky) -- and perforations have been standardized for so long that it is all but impossible to find a 35mm camera designed for double-perf film that won't work with anything available today, even going back to the first 35mm still cameras over 100 years ago; though of course you may have problems with the cassettes.

On which topic (cassettes) ou might care to link to http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...ad%20bulk.html (bulk loading 35mm) and http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...0cassetes.html (choosing cassettes -- though as I point out in it, With cameras where you do not have suitable cassettes, it is often possible to improvise some form of feed cassette (usually based on the centre spool of a standard modern cassette) and load and unload the camera in the darkroom. This is hardly convenient but if you want to try some ancient camera it is worth remembering.)

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-18-2015   #31
David Hughes
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Hi,

FWIW, I've tried several computers with different anti-virus software in them and 3 or 4 of them set off the alarm bells - or whatever you call them.

OTOH, I've also seen the site on one of the computers and then couldn't get back to it because of the anti-virus software.

Just my 2d worth.

Regards, David

PS About corroded battery compartments. I'd say that's the first place to look because it ruins a lot of things and is/can be a mojor problem to deal with.
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Old 01-19-2015   #32
eckmanmj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Mike,

Lots of good stuff, but honestly, "35mm film" and "35mm standard cartridges" are not the same thing. The Kodak cassette was designed to fit both the Leica and the Contax -- even the earliest Leicas can be used with modern cassettes as long as you trim the film leader for a long tongue (or indulge in work-arounds, or are lucky) -- and perforations have been standardized for so long that it is all but impossible to find a 35mm camera designed for double-perf film that won't work with anything available today, even going back to the first 35mm still cameras over 100 years ago; though of course you may have problems with the cassettes.

On which topic (cassettes) ou might care to link to http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...ad%20bulk.html (bulk loading 35mm) and http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...0cassetes.html (choosing cassettes -- though as I point out in it, With cameras where you do not have suitable cassettes, it is often possible to improvise some form of feed cassette (usually based on the centre spool of a standard modern cassette) and load and unload the camera in the darkroom. This is hardly convenient but if you want to try some ancient camera it is worth remembering.)

Cheers,

R.
Thanks for the links! Keep the info coming!

I read the link about bulk roll and could definitely see the cost savings for someone who shoots a lot of film.

I still want to stick to just things I personally have done or at least know a little about. While bulk loading is definitely something that some people might be interested, I think that level of photography is beyond the scope of my article.

As for the 35mm vs 35mm cassette discussion, I did inlcude that the film could be used in earlier Leica and Contaxes, but from my research, those required different cassettes, sold then as 235 and 445 film, which is not available anymore.
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Old 01-19-2015   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eckmanmj View Post
Thanks for the links! Keep the info coming!

I read the link about bulk roll and could definitely see the cost savings for someone who shoots a lot of film.

I still want to stick to just things I personally have done or at least know a little about. While bulk loading is definitely something that some people might be interested, I think that level of photography is beyond the scope of my article.

As for the 35mm vs 35mm cassette discussion, I did inlcude that the film could be used in earlier Leica and Contaxes, but from my research, those required different cassettes, sold then as 235 and 445 film, which is not available anymore.
Dear Mike,

No, really, I've used modern cassettes in pre-1930 Leicas and as far as I remember in pre-1934 Contaxes. I think -- I'm too lazy to check -- that 235 was 35mm film for loading pre-cut lengths with a paper leader and possibly trailer but I don't think I've ever heard of 445. Can you give me a reference? If I ever get around to a digital edition of A History of the 35mm Still Camera (Focal Press, 1984) I'll include it!

I fully understand and admire your desire to stick to things you have tried yourself, or of which you have first-hand knowledge. There'd be an awful lot less nonsense on the internet if others held themselves to your commendable standards!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-19-2015   #34
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Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
It is actually 435 -- for those who don't know, a daylight loading spool, has a paper leader. Although to me it's just an unknown, since I have never handled any.
OK: that must be the one there's a start arrow for on early Contaxes (? and some Kievs), which I thought I remembered as 235. Damn: now I need to go and check. I have the information somewhere...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-19-2015   #35
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
It is actually 435 -- for those who don't know, a daylight loading spool, has a paper leader. Although to me it's just an unknown, since I have never handled any.
Hi,

You can see a paper leader and the start of the film sticking out of the cassette in front of the winder. The AGRIF is holding the paper flat as 80 years of being rolled up caused problems...



Regards, David
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Old 01-19-2015   #36
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A great read. I've saved it for coming back to again!
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Old 01-20-2015   #37
David Hughes
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Hi,

What you got for a daylight loader was the spool, the film and a length of black paper. the first few inches of the film overlapped the length of black paper. The paper was long enough to go round the film and cover it completely when rolled up. Then a paper band was put on it. The paper wasn't stuck to the film, btw.

The Zeiss ones I have were wrapped in waxed green paper, other were plain refills (just a length of film) and were in black paper packs.



The spool in the middle is to give a scale. The Zeiss one has a film on a spool and the other is just film in a roll.



The daylight ones were put into the cassette outers with the paper tongue sticking out of the slot. Pull the paper and the spool unwound and delivered the film leader and then the black paper was discarded.



This is what you get but it should be in a cassette because the light might get at it.

I'll try and find the digital P&S and do a couple of pictures... EDIT:- Done!

Regards, David
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Old 01-20-2015   #38
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Dear David,

Thanks very much indeed for those pics. If I may impose, here are a couple mpre questions.

First, was there -- to the best of your considerable knowledge -- a sort of "220" version of 35mm for spool-to-spool cameras such as the Contax and Exakta? Sort of like cassette-to-cassette but without the cassettes? Or could you load a spool of the type you show, without a cassette, and wind it exposure by exposure onto a take-up cassette in camera? I think I half-remember this but it's all a very long time ago.

Second, might 235-(?)335-435 have referred to paper-ended different loadings for specific cassettes (especially Leica and Zeiss)?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-20-2015   #39
David Hughes
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Hi,

I don't know about knowledge, more stumbling over things and worrying until all the loose ends are tied...

From memory, alas, I think Exakta could be worked cassette to cassette but I recall that from post war articles. My pre-war Exakta doesn't mention it in the instructions (and is being repaired at present so I can't look) but it does have what looks like a cutter in it. Luckily it's mentioned in the instructions. It looks like a roller for the film in front of the cassette.

As for the film versions, this is the sort of detail I go mad trying to sort out. Most of my 30's books, magazines and brochures talk about 35mm and roll film without going into detail. And few of them mention 35mm film or cameras except in passing. I guess they were written for the more general public / box cameras.

Even the more specialised books on the Leica, Contax etc are vague; mentioning the Agfa variation and not saying what it is and then there's that weird Perutz cassette...

Sorry I can't help more.

Regards, David

PS And they even use the expression "Daylight Loader" to refer to the cassette in some books and that adds to the confusion.
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Old 01-20-2015   #40
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Hi,

I've no objections to people copying them provided they ask and, if republishing for free, adding a note to maintain my copyright. I've had people scan my books and sell them for US $ 35 a copy so get a bit uptight about this...

Anyway, please go ahead.

Regards, David
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