Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Unmounting the Moskva-5

Finally I have had time to work on the Moskva-5.
I was trying to figure out how the camera works, as I was unable to release the shutter, thus I thought that I was missing some point and was even going to write emails to all the Moskva-5 sites in my bookmarks.

But during the thorough cleaning of the camera (which included cleaning the bellows with the vacuum cleaner) I found out, that a lever, that I thought was ment as a lock for the lens, was indeed an auxiliary lever that was thought to push the actual shutter release lever on the lens body. The lever was out of it's place, and it did cost me around 15 minutes to figure out how to put it back again in place... until I found out that you can simply crease the bellows, work and revert it to it's original state with just a slight kick with the fingers from the inside.

I strongly suggest doing the same as me if you have got one of these cams from the former Soviet Union, as they can have lots of dirt, even dead bugs (I found a dead moth trapped in the bellows).

A good idea is to unmount the upper case that holds the viewfinder and the rangefinder mechanism. Opening it is very easy; there is only one screw that needs a screwdriver, that's the screw on the film advance wheel. Then simply unscrew the rangefinder windows and pull the release button. That's all. Pretty simple. Now you can clean the rangefinder and the viewfinder lens, remove the old grease and the dust.

Unmounting the lens is also pretty simple, but you will need an ultra-fine precision screwdriver. There are 4 micro-screws on the outer border of the focusing ring. Once removed, you can take the outer part of the lens out. I found out that there is plenty of dirty grease in this screw, I haven't removed all yet, tough.

Moskva-5 series 2-4-3

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Gear: Kiev 88

Kiev-88 -1
Originally uploaded by runlevel0
As I already commented, I am planning to jump to medium format. I have already the soviet cameras I bought: A Moskva-5 bellow camera for 6x9 format, a Lomo and the Kiev-88 a kind of Soviet copy of the Hasselblads.

I have read that the builds of this camera are not reliable and that the sometimes leaks light. I have anyway bought a seal repair kit from eBay with a good bunch different sealing foam stripes, some of them are meant to replace the mirror cushion. This would maybe be also a good idea, as It’s said, that the impact of the mirror is so strong that it moves the image., perhaps a bit of cushioning could help...

Anyway, it looks great and I have already seen nice shots in Flickr taken with this cam. It will surely require a bit of work to set it up properly, but the possibilities are huge.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, June 11, 2007

On Style and setting targets

I have definitely to decide for a style.

U have already been touching most of the fields of photography, except portrait, which is something I still have to learn but for what I lack subjects.

I have a good hand with nature photography and I manage to get more or less appealing results with macro... But although nice, they seem to me to be all too mainstream, not in the sense that I don't like them or find the style "vulgar", but in the sense that they actually could have been shot by anybody

The fact is that I indeed have a style, the style shown in my earlier shot with low-tech cheap gear such as my Kodak C300 and my cam phone. I have recently been able to jump back and rescue this style that is the one I feel more natural with. I am talking about stuff like that I have in my
set in Flickr.

My most recent work within this style has been using the Minolta XG-1(m) and the Pentax SR7. Now my target is to translate the subject of dense, dark and somehow futuristic urban and industrial scenery to the medium format. I am really looking forward to see what I can do with the Moskva-5 and intrigued about the possibilities of the Lubitel 166, which seems less promising. I still haven't received the Kiev 88, but I think that in case I get it this will be the ideal gear for the kind of style I want to cultivate.

Another target I have set to myself is to jump from Flickr to Photo.net. I know I still lack professionalism, not that all the fellows at Photo.net are super-pros or that there are no place for a semi-ignorant dilettante like me, but I want to begin my portfolio with pictures made with a good technique and in a similar style that defines what I want to express, at least until I get tired of it.

Iron Man_ Study on Hydraulic Machine -2

SR7 - A-Dam 05-2007 roll 3_-3

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New RMC Tokina 28-55mm 1:4 zoom and a wonderful day in A'Dam

It's 13:35, 1h to the end of my working day, temperature is 16C (or so) and I'm looking forward for a special day shooting in A'Dam

First of all: I have gotten myself a version of Lightroom 1.0 at Amazon.com, until the package arrives I will be using the 30 day trial version for Mac. I already explained why I decided to use this particular program instead of UFraw or it's closed source Apple counterparts.

Second, is that my eBay "plunders" are arriving. Being the first of them an RMC Tokina 28-85mm 1:4 zoom with Pentax D mounting. I already took some shots yesterday, finding out that this (very heavy) objective has really amazing capabilities such as a incredible DOF, just watch this picture at full scale:

20070411-Tokina-28-85_test-12.jpgTijger in my backyard

I have to be indeed very careful as I can ruin a whole picture if I don't pay attention and some interesting/important part gets out of focus.

To use this manual lens on my Pentax *ist DL2 I set the option "permit aperture ring" in the C menu and set the AF off.

I will be posting some of the results in the *ist DL group in Flickr.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

OMW to A'Dam

I learned, that there are Flickr clubs all around the world. Would be fine to have an expat-flickr club here in the Netherlands. OK, I will improve my Dutch and find a local one, but would be nice in the meantime.

There are only 1 1/2 hours for the end of the day at work (damn shifts). A beautiful sunny day in Amsterdam. I have packed my Pentax and my Minolta and are looking forward for a productive photo-safari in the city.

WTC_Hilversum 027Amsterdam WTC, ABN Amro tower
WTC_Hilversum 044Interior Patio on another building in A´Dam WTC
Amsterdam_weekend 013Damrak, on a holiday weekend
Don´t take it wrong: In Amsterdam nobody feels hostile against tourists as in other touristic towns. A-Dam´s centrum is kinda giant shopping mall also for us locals, even for the inhabitants of the other parts of Amsterdam. Plus, 2/3 of the population of the city are expats, predominantly German and British... there are more expats than immigrants from outside of the EU (!).

Friday, March 30, 2007

First Entry on the revamped blog

I finally decided to revamp my old blog, erase it´s (little) content and use ti for something real useful: Instead of ranting about something I will use it as a way to fix my ideas and rething the stuf I a am currently engaged in. And that´s photography.

Both, digital and film.

Thus I will begin with a list of my gear:

  • Digital:
    • Pentax *ist DL2 (with only a 18-55mm Pentax DA zoom)
    • Kodak C300 Easyshare (3,2 Megapixels, but very handy)
    • HTC-Wizard´s 1 Mpix phonecam
  • Analog:
    • Minolta SG 1(m) (Minolta SX 28-70mm and Tokina 80-200mm)
    • Holga 35 AFX (that´s a Lomo type with plastic lens)

I use film mostly in BW and shoot almost only color with my *ist DL2, as it lacks a way of directly shoot in BW. Well, you can apply a filter ¡, but this isn´t quite handy when you want to make a dozen shots in a row of a building while you walk through a crowded Amsterdam a Saturday evening. But it shoots astonishing color, it would be pity to alter them.

Thats where I use film: BW. The only problem I have with flm right now is that the developement is darn expensive: 19.50€, plus 10€ each Ilford HP5+ film, plus 50 eurocents each scan from the negatives. They make  a real professional work at my photostore, but I am not this rich that I can afford to get all the stuff developed that I am able to shoot in a normal session. But thanks to the modern technologies I have my nice Pentax.

The solution is obviously a scanner and learning to develop myself. I already have a comby Epson Stylus DX6000 capable of 9600 bpp resolution, witch is ideal as a size but needs some extra work setting it propperly up.

My next film adventure will be using a cheap 400  ASA BW film from HEMA (9,5€ a pack of 3) and let it be developed as if it where normal film at a 24h service. Stay tuned ;)

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