Last few images from my rusty Franka Solida 11. These were taken at Beacon Hill in Leicestershire while I was out on a walk with the PhotoBuddies.
The Beacon (trig point)
Really Really Old Rocks
I was very pleased with the Franka camera, admittedly the weather was nice and bright so I could stop the lens down to f11 – f16 which helped with the depth of field, and the Ilford HP5 seemed to like it as well.
Apart from being the title of one of my all time favourite singer songwriter’s albums it’s also a problem I’ve had with my old Franka Solida 11 camera. The first time I used it I got a lot of scratch marks on the film.
I bought the Franka a few years ago, quite cheaply, apart from the rangefinder not working (I have a clip on one) there were a lot of rust patches inside the camera. I gave the offending parts a good clean with metal polish before I loaded this roll, it has helped, but not quite got rid of all of them. I’ve since buffed the area where the rust was with a scouring pad, we’ll see how this worked with the next roll.
I shot these images in June on Ilford HP5+ and Dev’d the film in Ilford ID11.
Love the countryside and calmness around the old abbey.
This is the third Canon 35MC that I have bought, the first two were really cheap off that auction site, neither of them worked very well, but I managed to make one goodish one out of the two, and was impressed enough with the lens quality to buy another from a dealer for £19.00 ($25.25 – 21.65 euro) The only thing amiss the dealer informed me was that the detachable flash wasn’t working, I have a working unit from one the others, not that I’m likely to use it. The camera looks brand new, with no signs of use. It needs two AAA batteries to work, at least these are easy to get. You set the film speed manually, there is a choice of, 64 – 100 – 200 – 400 – 1000 ASA, film loading and rewinding are automatic. The lens is a 35mm f2.8, 4 elements in 4 groups and focuses from 3 ft (0.9m) to infinity. It’s a clam-shell design so you slide the front cover (a la Olympus XA’s) to switch on the camera. The viewfinder shows the autofocus frame and a zone focus indicator which only registers the distance after you have taken the shot ! The automatic shutter runs from 1/8sec to 1/500sec, there is also a slow shutter speed warning lamp. The wind on motor is a bit noisy, typical of it’s era. What I like about it is the quality of the lens and it fits easily in a jacket/trouser pocket.
Loaded it up with some Fomapan 400 and took on a PhotoBuddies walk. I developed the film in Kodak D76 1-1.
I remember catching a train from here to go to Nottingham Victoria when I was a lad in the 1960’s. The old Station building is being restored, and the area opposite is being developed (more student accommodation !!!!) and a Hotel.
I took this image on Kodak Tri-X with the Minolta X700 using the macro setting on the zoom lens.
I bought the little Agfa Paramat about 10 years ago, ran 1 roll of film through it to check it was working and then put it away. Thought it was about time for another outing. It’s a half frame camera, fully auto, if there’s enough light you see a green dot in the viewfinder, and a red dot if there isn’t. Focusing is by guesstimating although there are markings for Portrait, Group, and landscape. The fastest film speed the meter will handle is 200 asa, so I loaded it with Agfa Vista 200 and set off on a cold but very bright day to the Botanic Gardens.
I was really surprised given the age of the camera and the bright contrasty lighting how well it functioned.
My feeble attempt at a diptych !
About half way through the roll of film the wind on lever started to get tight, I guessed it must have been condensation as the film had been in the fridge and I probably hadn’t given it enough time to acclimatise, but all was OK. The local quick photo store had their film processor down so I sent the film off to FilmDev, they did a really great job, lovely clean negs and scans (their minimum size)
I bought this camera a couple of years ago but hadn’t used it because the original 50mm lens (Meyer Optik Görlitz) was well and truly gummed up, didn’t mind too much as it was from a charity and wasn’t expensive. So when my sister dropped in theZenit 19for me to look at I used the Bell & Howell 35-105mm macro zoom lens that came with it to test out the Praktica. I had some Kodacolor 200 film that came with another camera, I had no idea how old it was and judging by the results it was well past it’s best.
What A Relief
The camera weighs a ton with the zoom lens, but I enjoyed using it. The lens is very good, think it’s made by Tokina.
My sister bought the Zenit 19 from a charity shop for £10.00p hoping it would be a good starter film camera for my niece, and would I try it out to see if it works. I’d never seen this model before, it’s quite old but has some good features, shutter speed to 1/ 1000th of a second and stop down metering. The bad thing about it is that it should take two PX625 mercury batteries, I used 675 hearing aid batteries and a coil of silicon tube to hold them in place. The Zenit weighs a ton and the meter is really slow to react compared to a more modern film camera.
It came with a Bell & Howell 35-105mm zoom lens, which looks very similar if not the same as a Tokina. I decided to try it with my newer version Helios 58mm lens and a roll of Kodacolor 200, expired in 2001. The hardest part was trying to find a day with some semi reasonable weather.
Still Clinging On
Contre Jour Cafetiere & Hands
Bokeh and Barbwire
St Stephens & Winter Sky
Barbwire & Snow
Knot & Ice
Not really a camera for a beginner, although I really enjoyed using it. Managed to get a Pentax Z50p with 28- 80mm af zoom lens for my my niece for only a couple of pounds more than the Zenit, it should be a lot easier for her to use, it’s certainly a lot lighter !
Ratae Corieltauvorum is the Roman name of the city I live in, the town has a long history and this structure is the Jewry Wall a part of a Roman bath house. There is a museum on the site which is being refurbished but no date for it’s completion.
I scanned the negatives from the Coronet Rapier and was pleased with the results, especially as the developer was 20 years old. But there are things I need to improve on, like wearing disposable gloves when loading the film onto the developing spiral, there were finger marks on some of the frames (I’m guessing mine), use hardener in the fixer solution to toughen up the film emulsion, and buy some Tak clothes to get the dust off the glass on the scanner.
Considering it’s a 1 element fixed focus lens and the camera has only 1 shutter speed, I thought it did very well. In it’s day it was sold as a family snapshot camera, place the subject 6 feet away in the centre of the viewfinder with the sun behind the photographer, and you had an acceptable photo for the family album.
Shoot a film roll underexposed, send it to an enthusiast in the other corner of the world through snailmail. Let them reload and reshoot the film, again underexposing. Get the film processed and create bizarre cross country double exposures! We are on more social networks than you can imagine. Contact us at to join the fun on your preferred network.