Episode 67: The Return of Rick Oleson

There’s the old saying “If you’re going to shoot the king, don’t miss…”

In a recent episode of a rival podcast, shots were fired at the Camerosity crew, especially Mike for a perceived slight given by us.  War was declared and many casualties were sure to ensue.  Would the world’s first and only open source photography podcast respond?  Of course we would!

In this, the 67th episode of the Camerosity Podcast, Anthony, Paul, Theo, and Mike have some good natured fun at the expense of Jeff Greenstein and Gabe Sachs of the I Dream of Cameras podcast.  Throughout the episode we make repeated jabs at them, some obvious, some very subtle, can you spot them all?

Of course, this IS the number one open source film photography podcast, so we did eventually get on track with the exciting return of Mr. Rick Oleson, which we haven’t seen since way back in Episode 2.  Rick is a master repair technician, who most recently became well known in the film community for a line of improved Bright Screens which can be adapted to a wide variety of medium format SLR and TLR cameras.

Joining Rick and the Gang are returning callers, A.J Gentile, Eric Jason, Ray Nason, and Tim Peters.  During the show we spend a great deal of time learning about Rick and his history repairing cameras and how he got into making the Bright Screens.  If you thought you knew everything there was to know about focusing screens, you really need to listen to this episode as Rick puts on his cap and gown and schools us on how focusing screens work, why the Bright Screens are better than the stock screens, why you cannot simply cut down his screens to 35mm, and why focusing screens in the auto focus era were brighter than in the past.  We talk about Fresnel patterns and the advancements made throughout the 20th century to make your viewfinders brighter, and how to install a new screen in large format cameras.

In addition to everything you didn’t know you needed to know about focusing screens, Rick raves about a strange camera called the Continental TXL which he was amazed both at how simple it is, yet how good it is.  Paul and Mike talk more about the upcoming Cincinnati camera show and how Mike is bringing over 13 boxes of cameras to sell and Paul has at least another 10 or so more.  Mike talks about a recent trade with a UK camera blogger, and Rick talks about restoring a classic Mercedes Benz 450SL.

This was definitely an odd episode, produced during the stress of an ongoing war with another podcast, yet we managed to squeeze in a huge amount of information you won’t find on any other podcast out there!  Even if learning more about focusing screens doesn’t sound like a great way to spend 90+ minutes, you’d be surprised at how interesting it all is.

Meet Paul and Mike: If you are in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday, March 23rd, come to the Ohio Camera Swap at the Hilton Garden Inn Cincinnati/West Chester and say hi to Paul and Mike.  While you’re there, maybe you can buy something from us!

As always, the topics we discuss on the Camerosity Podcast are influenced by you! Please don’t feel like you have to be an expert on a specific type of camera, or have the level of knowledge on par with other people on the show. We LOVE people who are into shooting or collecting cameras, no matter how long you’ve been doing it, so please don’t consider your knowledge level to be a prerequisite for joining!

The guys and I rarely know where each episode is going to go until it happens, so if you’d like to join us on a future episode, be sure to look out for our show announcements on our Camerosity Podcast Facebook page, the Camerosity Discord server, and right here on mikeeckman.com. We usually record every other Monday and announcements, along with the Zoom link are typically shared 2-3 days in advance.

The next episode of the Camerosity Podcast will be recorded on April 1st, aka April Fool’s Day, so if you thought episode 67 had a lot of silliness, wait until you see what we have in store for the next episode…  To be perfectly honest, we have no idea what we’re going to talk about, but hey, it’s a made up holiday dedicated to pranks, so we are sure to have some fun!

We will record Episode 68 on Monday, April 1st at 7pm Central Daylight Time (-5 UTC), 8pm Eastern Daylight Time (-4 UTC), and Tuesday at 11am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (+11 UTC). We look forward to hearing from you!

In This Episode

  • Rick Introduces Himself / The Bright Screens Originated From a Pentacon Six Screen
  • Rick Handed Over Production of the Screens Two Years Ago / New Improvements to the Hasselblad Screens
  • How Do Focus Screens Work? / Why Do Fresnel Patterns Make Focusing Screens Brighter?
  • Bright Screens Will Not Work on 35mm Cameras / Installing Screens on Large Format Cameras is Difficult
  • Why Are SLRs from the 80s and 90s So Much Brighter Than Older SLRs?
  • Focus Screens Were Changed in the Auto Focus Era / Bright Screens are Based off the Manual Focus Era
  • Newer Focus Screens Maximize Brightness for Slower Lenses like Kit Zooms
  • Manually Focusing a Fast Lens on an Auto Focus Camera is Best Done with the Lens Stopped Down
  • Struggling to Manual Focus Fast Lenses on the Leica M10R / Fast Chinese Lenses Often Need Calibration
  • When Will Rick’s Screen Molds Need to be Replaced? /  Marking Up a Leica M8’s Screen with a Wax Pencil
  • Rick Is Currently Attempting to Restore a 50 Year old Mercedes 450SL and Learn Watch Repair / Rotary Aircraft Engines
  • Rick’s Website is Old But Still Has a Lot of Great Info / Old Camera Websites are Disappearing Online
  • Is There a Bright Screen for the Kiev 88 with a 45 Degree Split Focus Aide?
  • Mike and Paul are Bringing Nearly 20 Boxes of Cameras to the Cincinnati Show
  • Premier Instrument Civilian Kardon / Konica Koniflex TLR / Many Voigtländer Brillants
  • Mike Doubles Down on Vivian Maier Again / Mike and Paul Want to Give Rick Their Broken Cameras
  • Kalimar Reflex / Fujita 66 Medium Format SLR / Adapting Miranda M44 Lenses to the Kalimar
  • Theo Wants to Do a King Regula Episode
  • Rick is Mystified by the Hong Kong Continental TXL / Fujica ST-F
  • More Camera Shows in Montreal and Sydney Are Coming in April
  • Mike Traded Some Cool Cameras with Cees-Jan de Hoog from CJ’s Classic Cameras / Agilux Agimatic / Photavit 36
  • Would It Be Feasible to Make a Ground Glass with a Built In Rollei Style Bubble Level
  • What Was the Hardest Camera Rick Ever Worked On?


The Camerosity Podcast is now on Discord! Join Anthony, Paul, Theo, and Mike on our very own Discord Server. Share your GAS and photography with other listeners in the Lounge or in our dedicated forums. If you have questions for myself or the other guys, we have an “Ask the Hosts” section as well where you can get your question answered on a future show! Check it out! https://discord.gg/PZVN2VBJvm.

If you would like to offer feedback or contact us with questions or ideas for future episodes, please contact us in the Comments Section below, our Camerosity Facebook Group, Instagram page, or Discord server.

The Official Camerosity Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/camerositypodcast

Camerosity Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/camerosity_podcast/

Rick Oleson’s Bright Screens – https://bright-screen.com/

How a Fresnel Lens Makes a Screen Brighter – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rick_oleson/51876542662/in/album-72157706989069321/

Focusing Screen with Microlenses for AF – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rick_oleson/49279918017/in/album-72157706989069321/

Eric Jason – Aperture Preview – https://www.aperturepreview.com/

CJ’s Classic Cameras – http://www.cjs-classic-cameras.co.uk/

I Dream of Cameras Podcast – https://www.idreamofcameras.com/

Theo Panagopoulos – https://www.photothinking.com/

Paul Rybolt – https://www.ebay.com/usr/paulkris and https://www.etsy.com/shop/Camerasandpictures

Anthony Rue – https://www.instagram.com/kino_pravda/ and https://www.facebook.com/VoltaGNV/

Camerosity can also be heard on the following services:

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@camerositypodcast

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Apple – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/camerosity/id1583252688

Amazon Music – https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/9d316c9e-5461-4fa5-9e04-24fd27fffc3f/camerosity

Podchaser – https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/camerosity-1985806

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