domingo, 15 de fevereiro de 2015

my Praktica


if you have a Praktica in your life you know it's a practical camera... i know, easy easy joke, but not that far from the truth... made by Pentacon, in Germany (Dresden), my Praktica model BMS was manufactured between late 80's, beginning of the 90's. i bought it not that long ago and immediately fell in love with her. i take her with me everywhere i go. everywhere. it's a reflex camera, fully manual and, for me at least, very intuitive in the way she works. yes, you have to know a thing or two about taking photos without the help of the automatic programs, but when in doubt if you're choosing the right speed, you can always look through the viewfinder for some help as it advises you on that, and only on that. anything else you have to relay on your photographic skills to make it work.

the first thing you have to do if you have one is to get yourself some 35mm film. here in Lisbon the sun is up and shining 80% of the times so i usually use 200 ASA films, unless i want to shoot indoors, then i need a higher speed and sometimes a flash, although i rarely use it (it's very easy to find a respectable flash for these cameras, so if you don't have one just check ebay or some flea markets around you and for a couple of euros you'll find one you like and working just fine).
back to the film... 
insert the film by pushing the rewind button all the way up until you hear a crack.  load the film in like in any other analog 35mm camera. now you have to set the film speed on the camera. right under that same button you have the film speed. you have to select it by lifting it up and rewind it according to the speed in question. you can choose whatever speed you want if you want to experiment things. but usually if you are using 200 ASA you choose 200 speed. and so it goes.

on the other side of the camera you have the release button, the film count, and the shutter speed dial. on the lens you have all the other options: right next to the Praktica logo, on the body camera, you have the depth of field selection, on my Pentacon lens opens f1.8. you also have the focusing ring right after. 
so, with the right film, on the right day, either if it's outside or inside, you can easily manage this (made in german democratic republic) camera. it's a light camera for one of it's kind, it's also gorgeous (i love when they look all black and rough) and will do the job you want.

this photos that i'm sharing were the first to come out of my Praktica camera, i think i had an over exposure problem on the first ones, mainly because it's always too sunny in Lisbon, and because i was still trying to get to know her. anyway, apart from that, i kind of liked the effects that it gave to the pictures.
i used Kodak Color Plus 200 ASA.

you can find more useful instructions >here< and >here<.

sábado, 24 de janeiro de 2015

my Agfa


there are a couple of 110mm cameras in my (small) camera collection. as the mechanics of those cameras is not that complicated, most of them still work without me having to repair them. so you can get them at small prices like 5 or 10 euros - if you're not looking for any very special model of course - and 90% of the times they work just fine. it's amazing!
among them all i have a favourite - as we all have, right? - i have two to be fair. today i bring you my first favourite and the one that ends up in my bag most of the time to take those point and shoot pictures of everything and nothing at all - just for fun - the german Agfamatic Pocket 508. again, small, light, and the most easy to work camera. both the viewfinder and the lens are protected by the camera body as you have to push it both to open as to advance the film. so the trick is, look into the viewfinder, adjust what you want and then click that gorgeous red button and it's done. can't have it any easier than this. for inside photos you need to get yourself a flash as the camera itself doesn't have one. so even if it's daytime and you think the light inside is enough: it is not. if you don't have a flash just shoot outside.

regarding the 110 film... nowadays it's not that easy to find. and unlike the 35mm film that you can easily use even if it has passed it's expiration date, the old 110 film that you see on flea markets and ebay with 20 years old is all burned so you won't get anything good with that. just chocolate brown pictures. so the 110 film that i'm using right now is bought on the Lomo shops. the film is new and for that in great conditions and the prices are acceptable. there is one thing that you have to consider: these cameras are old, the mechanisms they all work properly, yes, but the pictures get a bit grainy. so i used them just for fun, for those experiences, or those silly pictures as i know that i'm not looking for the best quality photos with them.

here two exemples of the last developed film on the Agfamatic Pocket 508 taken with Lomo film Tiger 200 ASA, at the beach on a very sunny winter day.

as you can see the colours are great, the grain is there as well, but it's still good. for me at least.

quinta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2015

my first camera


it was 1999. my 15th birthday was just around the corner and all i wanted for birthday was a camera of my own... i was tired of having to borrow the one from my parents, as they usually didn't like to share that much. so... the B day came and when i opened i found a tiny little camera, really small, almost fit my hand. i remember to have opened it still in bed. i took a SELFIE in 1999 with this canon and the only reason i won't share it's because of the huge pimple i had in my nose just remembering how having 15 years old is so so great.
i took it to school everyday tough. i took photographs of all my colleagues, of the school itself, of the toilets, dogs, walking to the bus station, also at home and in family vacations. she was always with me. the camera was amazing! the film was different than the regular 35mm because this camera brought something new: the Advanced Photo System. so i had to buy the Advantix 200 kodak film, that unfortunately i cannot find anywhere nowadays as it was taken out of market in 2004.  also you had fun options when taking photos. you could choose panoramic, the regular size, or a smaller one. i had so much fun with that. you could also print the photos with all the info in it. although at fifteen i couldn't care less about it...

small, light, pretty as a picture. i had lots of fun with her. and for that i will share some of her finest moments...

the sky. clear blue sky. maybe at Serra da Estrela. amazing definition... one of the greatest things about the APS film is that the image quality was much higher than the regular 35mm. if only at fifteen i knew more about photography i would really have taken the advantage of the great settings of this camera.

a panoramic photo of Manteigas village.

and finally a family portrait of sort...
my father sleeping.

unfortunately the camera broke a couple of years later and i haven't used it since. i'm thinking about getting it fixed but there is no film available, at least as far as i know.... so if anyone out there knows where i could find more of this APS films please advise. i would love to take the Canon out again. :)