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Batteries Not Included

A blog focused on cameras with no batteries - and the photos they take

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A gay ol' weekend

It was a very gay weekend here in San Francisco with both 'Dykes on Bikes' and 'Gay Pride, 2006' going on.
As I headed out the door the one camera I reached for was my Leica M3 (and a Summicron 50/2 and Elmarit 90/2.8 lens) - I guess that tells me that that is still the 'favoured one'. It's easy to understand - the Leica M3 is a wonderful street camera even 40+ years after mine was originally made.

Camera: Leica M3
Lens: Summicron 50/2 and Elmarit 90/2.8
Film: Tri-X 400 and Neopan 400
Filter: Leitz Yellow-Green (1 stop)

Some photos from the event(s):

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Franken-Leica

After the rangefinder patch in my Canon VT deluxe faded into oblivion and I realized I had a couple of Canon lenses that were not getting any use (50/1.4 and 50/1.8) I thought it would be a good idea to find them a new, temporary, body...queue Leica III (F) and what ended up looking like a Franken-Leica...

The Canon VT deluxe uses LTM-lenses natively so there was no need for an adapter in order to fit this lens on my III (F) (If I had wanted to use it on my Leica M3 I would have had to use a LTM-Bayonet adapter ring).

Now, it's not the best looking contraption I've ever seen - quite honestly it looks pretty horrible and really emphasizes how small the Leica barnack bodies are - but the Canon 50/1.4 is a great performer and I'm curious to see how well the lens will work with the body.

Some down-sides that quickly became apparent;
1) The lens and hood obstructs about 50% of the viewfinder. Ouch. An external 50mm viewfinder will definetively be needed. Luckily I have quite a few 50-finders lying around (Contax, Canon, etc), and

2) After getting an ORAKO for this body I've really learnt to like it (it really does make focusing easier) - but the size of the Canon lens requires you to remove the ORAKO from the rangefinder window.

Going to put a roll through it this week and see if it's a workable setup. As ugly as it is :)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Contax IIIa - photo samples

Finally got the first two rolls that I put through my new-old Contax IIIa w/ a Sonnar 50/1.5 lens developed.
Initial impressions is that the lens is quite sharp and that it renders the out of focus areas in a rather pleasing way. The negatives could have used a tad more contrast but I was shooting without both hood and filter on and will try to remedy that for future shoots. I used the camera again for a few days ago (I also happened to use a recently acquired Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 (review/write-up coming soon!) and my Leica M3 on the same day) - and sigh..I have to say that I sometimes question why I'm bothering with any rangefinder camera apart from my M3. The viewfinder and handling on the M3 is simply incredible and outperforms most any camera I've ever tried.

Having said that - change is good and if nothing else it's fun to mix it up with various cameras.

Below are some samples from the very first rolls through the Contax IIIa (w/ Sonnar 50/1.5 lens). Enjoy.