I recently stumbled upon a Canon 7 with a 50mm f1.8 in a good conditioned. Obviously I went home with it. I have already read a lot of best rangefinders to know that the Canon 7 is a decent camera. Some people compare this to a Leica M3 being all mechanical and robust. They aren’t wrong this feels great in the hands although it’s a bit hefty. This is my first fully mechanical camera and is a liberation knowing that I don’t need a battery to take a picture and everything will work without one even the meter. I quickly loaded it with a Tri-X and went out to shoot around the neighborhood.
I have always been depended on a lightmeter for my exposures but decided to use sunny 16 for this roll. I really love the feel of the Canon 7 on my hands it’s one of those camera that would call to you to use them. The viewfinder is a pleasant surprise it’s bigger than I expected and bright making focusing a breeze.
Saw this baby by the side walk and thought to test the 50mm 1.8. Which is a performer. I know people go wild for the “Dream lens” which was made for the Canon 7 but the weight, performance and compactness of the f1.8 is great as a daily carry.
My small rant with this setup was that the focus scale on the lens was in feet. My brain is just more attuned to guesstimate a 1meter – 10meters than in feets.
The Canon 7 is a great performer and a joy to use. For me that’s all you need in a camera and the only problem is the weight when you’re lugging it around the whole day and the sharp edge poking you when used with a camera strap. Sadly I have to let this Canon 7 go as I made a decision to focus on improving my photography this year and use only the CLE, all to my extra funds will be going to film and developing expenses. Maybe next year a Canon 7 might stumble on my hands again.
I think I’m gonna regret selling this…
This is easier than expected, you just need a decent developing tank. I have tried developing my own black and white film last year which failed and it lead me to give it up entirely and have my local lab do all the work. The main problem with it was the the developing tank was the classic reel, I guess I just sucked in mounting the film properly which cause the film to stick together resulting in undeveloped film. This time round I got a AP developing tank (Generic patterson tank) which work like wonder.
The Darkroom Cookbook is a must read. I haven’t read it cover to cover but it does help a lot to understand the process. My main take away was you need at least 250ml of developer for 1 roll of 135 film. Fixing time is twice the time you need to make the film clear.
- Put film on the developing tank on lightless room.
- Pour the developer. Agitate the full first minute then every last 10 sec afterwards. I used a stock Ilford ID-11 on a trix @ 400. My computed developing time was 7:30minutes
- Stop Bath: 30sec agitation with fresh water atleast repeat this for 3 times
- Fixing: Same with the developing but for 7mins (this was my computed time using my old fixer)
- Washing (Planning to buy a photoflo as I have visible watermarks on the film)
Let it dry. Then scanned with a Dlsr.
Walking around the block I saw this kid devouring rice with fried fish. Heart-wrenching.
In contrast. Almost the same age but on a totally different path. Heartwarming. Make you wonder where would they both be 10 years from now or 20. Life isn’t fair. We’re dealt with good hand and sometimes bad hand it’s up to us how we play it. I am ever thankful I have been a dealt a good hand as I haven’t starved.
Zone focused at around 5m, composed (what’s in and around the frame), wait for someone to look at me (I was hoping for the one in helmet), press the shutter then walk away. It’s always dynamic in the street and you can’t 100% predict the outcome which makes it more rewarding when you get a good photo.
I was taking a sneaky photo of the boy when the father saw what I was doing, got his daughter and told me to give him a print of the picture. Aye aye captain. Sadly I haven’t seen him again. I hope they’re okay.
Boy cooling down in the fountain. He wanted me to take a picture of him so I obliged. Afterward he wanted to see the photo. I showed the back of my camera with nothing but the film description and I told him that it was a film camera. He looked at me with confusion. How do I explain to him the concept of film celluloid? Heck he won’t get it as I can’t explain it in simpler terms. So I just smiled, gave him 10 pesos and waved goodbye.
Thank you for reading!
I have always been having my films developed and scanned at a local lab. The service they provide have always been impeccable but it takes awhile before I get my films and scans usually about 2weeks. Cost wise it’s also a bit expensive and more so if you like pushing your film. My cost for a Kodak tri-x @ 1600 with scans is around 16usd! These pushed me to develop and scan my own films. I’ll talk about the developing part on the next post. Scanning first as I have scanned this roll of portra before I started developing my black and white.
Ever since I read the article above from Japancamerahunter I have been toying with the idea of scanning my own negatives at home but never really have the impulse to push thru with it, until now. I just followed the template and work flow of Adrien Saint-Pierre (author of the article)
- Nikon D7000 (my old dslr before starting film photography)
- Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f/3.5 ai (20usd)
- Generic extension tube (12usd)
- Tripod (hand me down from my brother)
- Film holder? cut out from an archival sleeves.
- Asahi light panel 15watts (10usd) A decent light source is a must. I have tried using Ipad for it but the pixels shows.
The light panel with the archival sleeves tightly bound by gaffer tape to the negative will lay flat (cheapo way) but is prone to dust. I did all the same with the article.
Minotla cle with 40mm M-rokkor, Developed at the local lab. Scanned with a DSLR.
You can already tell I am having problem with colors. First they aren’t consistent even with me using the same setting and post on them and second they don’t have the Portra 160 feel. If you have a solution for me don’t be shy to comment I would appreciate it deeply.
Pros of scanning wtih a Dslr
- You control the output ( can sometimes be a con like the color problem of mine)
- Faster scanning than from the labs
- Cheaper long term
- High resolution? Most of the image are around 20mbp
- More work on your side
- Dusts if you don’t have the proper environment like me. Had to spot heal most of the photos alot.
It’s cheap if you already have a DSLR and a tripod you won’t lose anything by trying to scan at home using a Dslr. If you end up hating it at least you got a macro lens to play with! win-win.
I have been playing with the Minolta CLE for almost a month now. I love how it looks with the “Minolta” and “CLE” taped over, giving a generic compact camera look. The learning curve is a little rocky for me being a slow learner. Coming from a Nikon F3 there’s a lot in common with the CLE. Not mechanical, used mostly as aperture priority and my only gripe is the exposure lock. Most of the learning curve is from being a Slr shooter to a rangefinder. I had difficulty focusing at first and the smaller “viewfinder” due to not using the whole field of the “viewfinder” if that even makes sense.
After the first roll I became more comfortable with a rangefinder and the weight makes me carry it everywhere. Feed it another roll where I thought I nailed a few decent shoots, so I send it to be developed and was excited for it to finish.
Then shit hits the fan. The negatives return almost paper white I know something went wrong. Checked the scans and most of it is underexposed. I don’t know if it was a developing mistakes as I pushed both the Tri-x to 1600. Cold sweat run down my face fearing the worst, the CLE’s meter was busted. I checked the meter of the CLE against the F3 and my android app but all 3 shows the same meter reading. I was really bummed with the results. Decided to run a Fuji C200 on it to really test it out hoping it was a processing mistake.
Thankfully the negatives was correctly exposed, the meter is not busted.
The F3 is sleeping on the shelf now that the CLE is my daily companion. It’s perfect for me as it’s light, stealthy and a great 40mm lens. Still learning a lot on how to shoot a rangefinder (zone focus, hyperfocal.. etc.etc.)
Well that’s it for now.
Loving this site (and learning a lot from it)