Thursday, 27 February 2014

Minolta Maxxum 3xi

I really liked this camera. It took great pictures. It loaded easily. It had a super flash system. It had a power zoom lens. The only reason I'm not still using it is because photography went digital. Mind you it took a while for the digital single lens reflex cameras to appear and since then they have certainly surpassed my Minolta.

The lens cap is not the original that came with the camera. That lens cap was lost very quickly and the one on the camera is a replacement. The device with the string on it is another after market device. It had an elastic bit that went around the lens and that was great until it broke because it chafed on the metallic piece that held it to the elastic part. Since it's held onto the lens cap with forever adhesive the end of the string stays there and dangles. So much for high technology.

Here's the camera with the lens cap off. There is an ultra violet filter on the lens, mainly to protect the outer element on the lens. The lens is removable from the body. There is a button near the red dot that releases it. To put the lens on the body there is a red dot on the lens. Matching the dots positions the lens correctly for attaching it and it snaps in place easily with a gentle twist.

The rubber ring on the lens is the control for activating the motor for the lenses zoom. The rectangular window on the left is a liquid crystal display that gives information about the camera. It also tells how many pictures have been taken on a roll of film.




There are two metal strips at the very front of the camera's hand grip. The camera's circuitry cannot work unless the fingers of the operator touch both those strips.


This shows the bottom of the camera, where you can see the serial numbers for the camera body and the lens. You can see the tripod mounting hole and a lid for the battery that powers the camera.

The battery box is open here. The camera takes a special battery. They may not be made any more. The battery was only available as a non rechargeable alkaline battery and they cost about $20 where batteries were cheap.

This shows the camera with the back door open.

The film cartridge went in on the left. Loading the camera was extremely easy. The film was extended from the cartridge to the red mark making sure the sprockets engaged on the small post just to the left of the take up spool. Then the door was closed and the film was automatically wound into position to take the first picture.

You may notice the camera does not have a film winding lever. That's because the camera automatically advanced the film every time a picture was taken. When the film roll reached the end the camera sensed it and automatically rewound the film back into the cartridge. With a 32 picture film roll I often got 33 and occasionally 34 pictures.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Signs of Spring Coming

I took these pictures from inside. I really didn't want to get my camera wet. When you look at the pictures in a large size you may see the fuzzy nature of the tree branches. I didn't really concentrate on showing that as I was more interested in showing the snow and ice cover on the pavement melting from the rain.

Yesterday the temperature rose to 1ºC (34ºF). Today it rose to 4ºC (39ºF). For much of the day it rained. This wasn't freezing rain or sleet or anything like that. It was rain and it started taking the ice and snow away a bit. We will get freezing days ahead but that's OK. The thaw has started. I also noticed that the branches of the deciduous trees have gone fuzzy. They are growing buds. I took some pictures of the way this looks. The sky is overcast and the wet pavement looks uninviting. The images look depressing but they're not if you know how to read the signs.

You can just make out a spray of water behind the vehicle, as the road it's on is quite wet.

You can see the lowest step covered with about half an inch of water. As the ground warms up the snow banks will recede and the water will go into the ground.

You can just make out a slight depression in the snow at the base of the two evergreen trees. Even though it's overcast the light hitting the trees tends to make the area just near them warmer so the snow opens up faster.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Canon Power Shot A530

This has proved to be a very rugged camera and excellent value for money. I have taken thousands of pictures with this camera. Although I have since acquired a more sophisticated camera I can still see an ongoing need for this one or one like it.

The advantages to a small camera like this are that it is small, light and easy to use. Eventually the rubber prongs wore out. They hold the rubber panel closed. Other than that this camera has served very well and it still goes strong. Since it came out there have been improvements in the capacity of SD cards that this camera cannot take advantage of, so it is limited to taking a card with a maximum of 2 gigabytes. But since the average picture taken by it is a little over a megabyte that means it can take over a thousand pictures with one memory card.

This is the camera with carrying strap.

A closer image of the camera.

Here the camera is turned on with the lens deployed.




This is the back with the viewfinder, view screen, controls and speaker.

This shows the access door open with batteries and SD card installed.

There is a panel just to the left of the batteries. It holds another smaller battery for the date and time.

The bottom shows a thread for mounting to a tripod and a slide switch for opening the battery access door.

On the top there is an on/off button, shutter release button, zoom ring and dial for selecting various shooting modes.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Kodak Junior Six-20 Series III Camera

The Kodak Junior Six-20 Series III Camera was on the market in 1938 and 1939. I definitely know that my grandfather on my father's side owned this camera because his name is imprinted on its case. He was overseas during World War II so I'm sure this camera was well used during that time.

This camera is quite nice and in remarkably good condition. It was made in Canada.

Here is the camera all folded up for storage and travel. The metal plate that says, KODAK, hinges open to provide a support. The serial number is engraved on its back. The front opens to become the base. Though I didn't try it our, I think the hole is the right size and thread to be mounted on a tripod.

This shows the two piece viewfinder folded down. One button can activate the shutter release. The other one opens up the camera. The large knob is for advancing the film.

This is the camera back. The circular metal plate hinges to the side where a red window tells the number of the picture on the film roll.

There is a screw that can be undone with a small coin. I have no idea what it's for and I'm not about to open it to find out.


The button underneath the carrying strap slides to the side allowing the back of the camera to hinge open for loading and unloading film.

This shows the hinge.

This is what happens with the camera when the button is pressed opening it.

The bellows is fully extended here and the hinged foot has been deployed.

You can see the button and sprung catch that holds the camera shut.

Depressing the metal plate just under the front of the lens releases the bellows so the camera can be folded up.

The metal plate under the lens is just readable with the lens slightly folded away. It says, KODAK JR. SIX-20 SERIES III MADE IN CANADA BY CANADIAN KODAK CO. LIMITED TORONTO, ONT.



This shows the two piece viewfinder folded up.

This shows the two piece viewfinder deployed.





This shows the controls for focusing the lens and setting its F-stops.

This shows the camera back opened up.

Here is the red glass for viewing the back of the film. The label tells what film can be used. The sprung metal plate holds the film on the proper focal plane for taking pictures.

The metal spool on the right would be moved to the right and the new film roll would go there. The knob on the left engages the spool for advancing the film. There are rollers on either side slightly proud of the film spools serving to maintain the position of the film at the proper focal plane.

This shows the back of the bellows with the camera open. The interior of the bellows is non reflective, ensuring no unwanted light gets to the surface of the film when a picture is taken.