Anchors Aweigh

Polaroid 320, Fujifilm FP-3000B

We made a trip up to the East Bay today, first dropping my Dear Sweet Wife off to teach a class at Verb and then the boys and I spent a few hours playing at Fairyland.

I wanted to take my Petri 7S along for some simple fun shooting, but unfortunately its shutter was stuck again.  Even worse than that, when I opened it up I discovered that it had a loose aperture diaphragm blade that appeared to be jamming the shutter.

I might poke around in its innards some more, but given that these cameras go for around $20 in decent shape it probably isn’t worth my time to try fixing it again.

Instead I brought my Polaroid 320 along and finished of a pack of Fujifilm FP-3000B black & white film that had been loaded for a while.

The impressions I shared about this camera last time hold true, but the high-speed film produced very contrasty results in direct sunlight like you see above.  In lower light levels such as in shade or indoors it was more even.

I also popped off a few flash bulbs just for fun using its original flash accessory.  The smell of the burnt bulbs brought about a nostalgic reaction in me, although my boys both said they smelled horrible!

Put Your Hands In The Air


Petri 7S, Kodak Gold 400

The above shot is from that test roll of film I put through my recently repaired Petri 7S rangefinder.

Our boys were amazed when we removed the hard top from our Jeep Wrangler this summer.  We got them sunglasses and don’t take them out when it is too chilly or sunny, but they demand to ride in it every time we leave the house no matter the weather.

I received that roll of zoo shots back from the dr5 lab which processes traditional black & white negative film into black & white positive slides.  I have to say at first glance via loupe they look amazing with great detail and contrast.  This has moved up the queue to be the next roll I scan.

Rest assured I will use my trusty Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 rather than a gimmick like this one.

Matching Monsters

Petri 7S, Kodak Gold 400

Welcome to my first blog give away, in partnership with Quilt Otaku!  To enter the contest merely comment on this post by August 3rd 2011 midnight PST, and for more details see here.

By the way, the above are examples of the Daphne and Delilah Momma and Baby Monster knitting pattern.  The yellow/green one was made by our friend So Sue for our younger son and the blue/red by my dear sweet wife for our older.

(Don’t tell them that our sons call the larger dolls “Daddy”!)

And now back to our regularly scheduled photography material…  I’m happy to report that the Petri 7S rangefinder camera is working well!

I ran one of my random junk rolls through it for test purposes, this one happened to be Kodak Gold 400.  I got it back from my nearby pharmacy hours later and all the shots came out OK.  (“Is this camera working?” shots are about all I trust to Kodak Gold and Walgreens…)

For the most part I exposed based on the Petri’s around-the-lens selenium cell ring which seemed to be metering accurately.  The above shot was an exception which I metered using my trusty Gossen Digisix.

It was taken inside with filtered light from a partially drawn curtain which was just below the sensitivity of the camera’s meter.  I wanted to test the camera’s capabilities, and this lighting called for a fully open aperture of f/1.8 at 1/60 second shutter speed.  Daylight shots at f/16 and 1/500 second came out just as well.

The shutter release and film advance worked just fine, no hint of the issue I resolved in the last post.

The only problems were that the film counter only caught about every fifth frame (by the time I was done with the 24-exposure roll it only read “5”) and the film rewind crank kept popping out as I moved the camera around.  Neither issue was a showstopper, although the “click clack” of the crank didn’t make for a silent experience.

I still have to test the Canon IV-S with the patched shutter, not to mention get even more familiar with my Nikon FA and Petri 7S.

Rangefinder Repair


Nikon D300, Micro Nikkor AF-D 105mm F.2.8

I had two fixer-upper projects sitting on the back-burner for a while that I’m happy to say I made progress on this weekend.

My Dad gave me a 1952 Canon IV-S rangefinder a while back which was in decent operating state except for having a hole burned into its shutter curtain.  This is a common affliction in Leicas and other classic rangefinders with cloth shutters, as the lens can easily act as a magnifying glass when sunlight shines directly into it.

Feeling a bit intimidated by the very old-school IV-S, I had purchased a 1963 Petri 7S off eBay at a bargain price (under $20) in order to ease my way into rangefinder shooting.  But despite the description reading “camera operates fine” I discovered the film advance lever was stuck.

rr-bI tackled the Petri first, having found a clue online to check the springs underneath the bottom plate.  However, the screws holding the plate on were stuck and wouldn’t budge at all.

I purchased a can of Kano Kroil “The Oil That Creeps” which is supposed to be better than the average penetrating oil, and it did the trick nicely.  After leaving a drop sitting on the upside-down screws for a minute I wiped them off and the screws came right out.

rr-cWhen I first received the 7S the shutter fired for me once, but then when I tried the lever it barely moved. It was somehow obstructed and I couldn’t advance or cock the shutter again.

With the bottom plate removed the problem was obvious:  the gear on the bottom of the advance “axle” had a peg which was hitting a small plate in the corner preventing it from rotating clockwise.

rr-dFor a minute or so I puzzled through why the plate was stuck in the wrong place.  But then I literally hit on the right solution when I pushed the long arm located to its right towards the plate.

It was a temporary “stuckness” and the arm and plate moved a few millimeters to the left, freeing the advance gear and lever to… well, advance!  Perhaps I will need to grease some parts later, but I have cycled the shutter and advance many times since.

rr-eEmboldened by this feat of skill (er… ok, good luck) I proceeded to the Canon.  Looking in through the lens mount into its shutter crate it seemed pretty obvious to me where the light leak was coming from.

The left shutter (in place after an exposure) looked practically brand new.  But the right shutter (in place when cocked) had an obvious hole in addition to a previous patch attempt with black fabric paint by my Dad.

rr-fHe had encouraged me to try patching it again when he gave me the camera, but I read on the above referenced Leica forum that Star Brite Liquid Electrical Tape was the way to go.

I gave the can a good shaking, opened it up, and then applied some over the hole and a few other places for good measure using a fine artist paint brush.  The shutter sat exposed on my desk overnight to ensure it was fully dried, and when I tried it just now it seemed to be working smoothly.

Well, I guess I have two more rangefinders to play with and test out.  I will report back on that later.