Recommended Reading 6/14/19

This week’s featured post covers something I do so often, it’s almost automatic, cleaning, storing and repairing classic cameras!

Of course, how someone repairs a classic camera is up to much debate as the methods that I often employ on my $10 estate sale finds are not what a life long professionally trained repairman might do, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some merit in knowing how to do some basic maintenance yourself.

What I like about this article is that it doesn’t attempt to tell you too much and it talks about easy things that anyone can do.  Not to mention, it also features my all time favorite tool that I use on nearly ever camera that comes across my des…errr, kitchen table, which is the toothbrush!  Toothbrushes are the perfect tool for getting grime, dirt, and other debris from the various nooks and crevices on a camera!

Check out this excellent post at Casual Photophile, and then when you’re done, read my own “Breathing New Life Into Old Cameras” article!

Here are more great posts from some of my favorite sites:

How ironic is it when I just develop a roll of film last week that I shot in my Yaschia T AF and then I see Peggy Marsh from Camera Go Camera has a full write up of the same exact model.  Mine even has the same problem with the flash that will not retract!  Everyone knows that Yashica T-series cameras are good shooters and their value, however over inflated, helps maintain a level of desirability, but how was the very first T?  Is it as good as the later models?  Check out Peggy’s review to find out!

If people in this crazy world of classic camera and film collecting and shooting had a stock value, one guy whose stock value has been on the rise lately is Hong Kong based photographer, Perry Ge.  The first time I heard of him was his original appearance on the Classic Lenses Podcast, and now hes a regular co-host of the show.  If that’s not enough, 35mmc has a neat article focusing on Perry’s shots during the recent protests in Hong Kong.  This isn’t just some “hey look at these great photos I just shot”, rather it’s a deep dive into what actually makes a photograph appealing.  I can’t honestly say I understand it all, but I loved the images and found the article quite interesting!

I *heart* Alex Luyck.  I should clarify, I *heart* looking at Alex Luyck’s photos.  This week Alex gives us a film review of Kodak’s (re)new Ektachrome E100, but damn…look at those images.  I feel like a teenage boy jumping straight to the centerfold, rather than reading the articles in his dad’s newest issue of Playboy.  Oh yeah, the article is great too.  Check it out!

On a more serious note, Johnny Martyr’s writes about something that I’ll fully admit that in the earliest days of this very site, I didn’t respect as much as I do now, which is online photo theft, or more specifically, using images from other photographers without getting their permission.  This is something I’ve aimed to correct in recent years, getting permission, or at the very least stating my intentions to use a photo that I didn’t make myself, but this is a very serious topic for those out there like Johnny where photography is their livelihood.

Back to stuff I love.  I love Kodak Portra.  It’s one of my favorite color films.  I love the natural and realistic colors it gives and the incredible amount of latitude for a color film, but I must confess, that like Jim Grey, I have never shot Portra 400 before.  I’ve shot 800, and of course 160, but not 400, but after looking at Jim’s sample images this week, I’m pleased to see that everything I like about Portra 160 still applies to it’s faster sibling.  Dammit Jim, now I am going to have to place another order from Adorama!

Anyone want to hear my thoughts about Alex Luyckx?  Well this week I have two featured articles from my favorite Canadian.  This time, its a “two-fer” blog post and podcast called “Don’t Drink the Rodinal (part 1)” where Alex starts off with some classroom level material in how black and white developers work, but then he talks about making your own D23 developer, and then moves onto D76 and Xtol.  Boy, do I really hope that Parts 2 or 3 cover HC-110!

Finally, last but certainly not least, I want to highlight EMULSIVE’s post from earlier in the week called “Color Drama: Negative Lab Pro V2” which is a Photoshop plugin that aims to simplify the tedious act of correcting scanned (or digitized) color film negatives.  Anyone can lay a piece of medium format film on a flatbed scanner and get a decent image, and even black and white 35mm isn’t that hard either, but getting color accurate images out of 35mm film is what separates the men from the boys.  I’ve never tried Negative Lab Pro, but you betcha I’m going to be playing with it soon!

This week I watched HBO’s 5 part miniseries about the Chernobyl disaster.  I was 9 years old when this tragedy occurred and throughout the course of my life I heard bits and pieces to the story, but after watching this series, I have a greater appreciation for the sacrifices that the men and women had to endure to clean up this mess.

This isn’t just a dramatization of a story “Based On” true facts, it’s a pretty accurate retelling of the story that is done remarkably well.  The pacing of the story, the direction, the acting, and even the casting are spot on.  Stellan Skarsgård and Jared Harris both give Academy Award/Emmy worthy performances as their two characters in the story, but all of the supporting cast is great as well.  I saw an article online this week showing side by side images of the cast of the show along with the real people they portrayed and their physical similarities are very good.

Chernobyl is a great story, and one that’s absolutely worthy of it’s 5 hour run time, but what really makes this great is how well the information is portrayed, without getting political, or forcing opinions on the merits of nuclear energy, communism, or the people of the Soviet Union.  This is the best thing I’ve seen on television in a long time.

On a side note, I did have one complaint…I had hoped to see some vintage Soviet era Kievs, Zorkis, or Zenits in it, but there were none.  Shucks!


    1. Glad you liked the recommendations, Clare! Alex has some of the best B&W reviews out there. In many of his articles, he doesn’t simply develop film in one developer, he does it in several, showing the differences each one makes.

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