30 Mar 2010

The long awaited Olympus Trip 35 photographs

Hotel in Krugersdorp, shot from the car while I was driving. (Not recommended!)
The cow worship centre, Irene Pretoria.
Sunset in Laezonia.
Locksmith sign in Silverton.

Difficult window shot, and the auto exposure did an admirably great job of keeping detail on the objects inside as well as exposing well for the exterior. A lot of modern cameras would mess this up and all you would see would be black silhouettes, not so this 41 year old automatic wonder.

Basins under fluorescent light.

All in all the Olympus Trip 35 has proved to be an easy to use fully automatic camera that is capable of capturing very impressive photos! The lens is as sharp as I had heard and the exposure was spot on throughout. My only gripe was the focus, which is part guess work and part luck, but I suppose one could get used to it. I'm hooked!

10 Mar 2010

Minor disaster useing the Olympus Trip 35

I think I must have had a defective roll of film, my first ever, because it simply pulled very easily out of the canister when it got to the end. Not really knowing what happened, and not having a dark room, I opened the camera and discovered the fatal problem. Oh well, now I can re-shoot the same shots and do them better! (me being positive!)

At least this means I could finally look under the pressure plate for the date of manufacture code and can now say with certainty that my Trip 35 was manufactured in March 1969. That makes it 41 years old! My hat off to Olympus for great build quality!

In my initial post I never included a pic of the original leather pouch it came with so here is the poor hapless battered wreck... but it does still work!

More to come soon...

Abstracts we pass by every day 2

6 Mar 2010

Olympus Trip 35 Cult

I just discovered that a particularly addictive cult exists in the world today that seems to be grabbing thousands of unsuspecting and innocent people and turning them into retro photographers. It is the cult of the Olympus Trip 35.
I was quite innocently lured into this seedy cult this week when I unknowingly purchased an Olympus Trip 35 at a local antique store this week for the incredible price of R30 ($3.90) and I confess that I am hooked!

I am not really sure what it is, but it just feels right in the hand, a small solidly built piece of craftsmanship that simply oozes simplicity. It has a nifty 40mm f2.8 Zuiko lens that is reported to be quite sharp and, judging by the photos I Googled, is quite capable of outperforming some of the more modern pieces of kit out there. Excuse me as I wipe the beads of sweat from my palms...

Judging by the low serial number, mine was manufactured some time in the 60's. I will be able to get the exact date when I get the film out and can look under the pressure plate. I discovered this fact here. I was so eager to get film in and start shooting that I didn't find this out until today when I looked it up on line. Holy smokes, that means this camera is almost as old as I am!

When I finish my roll of film I will scan the results and post them for your viewing pleasure.

You can buy them reconditioned here: Trip Man
Ken Rockwell has a nice little review here: Ken Rockwell Trip 35
Camerapedia lists it here: Trip 35
A blog for it exists here: Olympus Trip 35
You can find a manual here: Trip 35 Manual

The manual is a very reasonable 12 pages instead of the volumes you need to read before you turn on your new dslr.

Please be advised that this cult is extremely addictive and will probably get you too if you don't exercise some restraint and take suitable precautions... or you can just jump right in and smile insanely, yet smugly, like the rest of us!

9 Feb 2010

Featured Photographer - Danie Bester

This was a candid shot. I was walking out of a wedding reception and saw this girl standing at the fountain. She looked sad, in contrast with all the other children playing in the background. I love the shot for the emotion and the shallow depth of field.
Danie Bester

You can find Danie's blog here.

2 Feb 2010

Am I an artist now?

I heard somewhere that you are not a true photographic artist until you have photographed a toilet. These are urinals, do they count? Am I an artist now or should I keep trying until I make it? ;-)

Recommended blog: Artphotokebek

A regular supplier of comments on my blog that actually make sense is a wonderful gentleman that I hold in high regard, Roger Gauthier. He describes himself as the photographer who came from the cold, but it looks like he is very much in the cold up there in Canada! He posts in both French and English, which is no mean feat, and his blog is always interesting, sometimes humorous, and he always has great photos to admire.

His blog: Artphotokebek
My favourite photo: The Pianist
An example of one of Roger's portraits here.

Not your usual photographer and definitely worth a visit!

1 Nov 2009

Another from Pretoria Botanical Gardens waterfall

Nikon F65, Nikon 50mm F1.8, polarizing filter, Fuji Superia 200 iso cheap consumer film, 8 second exposure, on a tripod. Developed by cheap, junky local lab and scanned by me on a CanoScan 5600F :-) . Edited with the Gimp.

30 Oct 2009

Pretoria Botanical Gardens Waterfall

Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8, polarizing filter, Ilford XP2 Super 400 C41 process B&W film, 4 second exposure, on a tripod. Developed by cheap, junky local lab and scanned by me on a CanoScan 5600F :-) . Edited with the Gimp.

25 Oct 2009

Krummy Camera Review

Time for another totally useless camera review.

I went to our local Hospice charity shop a few weeks ago and came across a Kodak VR35 for the bargain price of R15 (US$2). I figured it would be fun to try it out and see if it had any life left in it, and so today I am going to review this little horror... umm, I mean gem:

It came with a cloth carry case and the handy carry strap that you can see in the picture above, and even has an external flash mount. I loaded it with a roll of Fuji Superia 400 and hit the road. (and yes, I really did leave the price tag on)

Here are a few sample images:

With some strong light from a skylight above it actually has some promise, aside from the fact that the focus is non existent. This thing is fuzzier than a Holga!

Serious light falloff, out of focus, a landscape photographers nightmare... and fringe artists dream!

This was the only shot with some focus in it, which suggests that it must have a sweet spot somewhere in it's focal range.

Just when I thought the camera was a total waste of my hard earned cash I discovered a wonderful feature that I could not have hoped or dreamed for! Check out the fabulous lens flare on these:

You simply can't do that on any dslr or slr! This camera is great at this one application and it does it in a totally outstanding way! Money can't buy a lens from Nikon or Canon that can do this very special effect, and for so cheap too!

So if you want a camera that is a bargain hunters dream, with the built in lens flare feature, and with the added benefit of extra security (who would want to steal this?), then this is the camera for you! It scores 10 out of 10 on the Krummy Camera scale!

Until my next Krummy Camera review, happy shooting!

PS: if anyone in South Africa would like to recieve this Kodak VR35 absolutly free, then you are welcome to contact me and arrange to pick it up.

Small relapses in the "new" South Africa

While post apartheid South Africa has been a miracle of forgiveness and reconciliation, there are still some elements of our society who harbour prejudice deep within their hearts and especially with the aid of a few beers it can sometimes burst through the fa├žade as seen here with this group of young drunken white louts and their obvious contempt towards the black vendor.

I took this photo while at the Aardklop Cultural Festival in Potchefstroom, a smaller town in the Northwest Province. The festival just seemed to be an excuse for wanton drunkenness and crude behaviour. I won't be back.

Thank God that overall the majority of South Africans of all races have set aside their differences and live in a state of harmony that still astounds me! And just to set the record straight, there are also a similar minority of loud black voices who harbour the same prejudices against white people. I pray they will eventually change and get with the program, or simply shut up.

Taken with a Nikon F801s, Nikon 50mm F1.8, Ilford XP2 Super 400 C41 process B&W film, developed and extremely badly scanned by my crummy local lab. Edited with the Gimp.