Pentax 67II Brochure

When I got into photography, back in the '90s, you could call or email a manufacturer and get a beautiful, four color brochure of the product you were interested in sent directly to your mailbox. They usually contained a complete illustrated list of all lenses and accessories in the system. This one even included spot meters, loupes and a copy stand. It was a great service for people that don't live in major metropolitan areas, and don't have easy access to a camera store.

A few of the manufacturers still make these available. There's a page in Nikon's FAQ about it. But I couldn't find anything at the Pentax or Ricoh websites. I didn't check anywhere else, that's what I'm interested in right now.

Anyway, I unearthed a small cache of these in my attic, and I'll be posting them as I have time to scan them. I'll even post a few unusual product manuals I found as well.

I really wanted to get into medium format in the 90s, and the Pentax 67 is one of those cameras that I've always had an interest in. I've never actually laid hands on one in person, but I've always liked their 35mm manual focus SLRs, and I think their lenses are second to none.

P67II_brochure.pdf - Sixteen pages, full color (14MB)


Cameras Ranked by Flickr Popularity

scan001, originally uploaded by infrar3d.

I was looking at my Flickr stream and thought it was interesting how my relatively few film shots seemed to filter to the top of the popularity ranking. I think that says more about the culture of Flickr, and the increasing scarcity of film photography, than it does about my pictures. But regardless, here are my top ten cameras ranked by Flickr popularity.

  1. Canon S230 (Hurricane Katrina pic)
  2. Polaroid SX-70 Sonar
  3. Koni-Omega Rapid 100
  4. Polaroid Super Shooter
  5. Nikon D1x
  6. Polaroid 180
  7. Pentax ME Super
  8. Ricoh GR Digital II
  9. Nikon D1
  10. Fuji G690BL

If I had disqualified the Katrina pics number 10 would have been the Canon SD600.


Polaroid Grey Finally Revealed

004_1172591, originally uploaded by infrar3d.

CES came and went, Polaroid "Grey" was revealed, and there was no new film camera.

They had a long, strange press conference, and what we got was a new Zink printer, sunglasses with a built-in camera and a digicam/printer. Pretty disappointing. As I was reminded by a BJP article, they sold off the Polaroid Collection a few months ago to pay for this. I don't blame Lady Gaga, she's a twenty-something pop singer, I blame PLR IP Holdings. And Tom Petters.

Mic Wright has written an excellent article titled 'Look away while Lady Gaga molests the corpse of Polaroid' that pretty well sums up how I feel about all this. As he states in the article...

Polaroid and the last vestiges of its original form died on June 14, 2008.

If you love Polaroid, let it die. The things happening there now are just embarrassing footnotes on the bottom of Edwin Land's Wikipedia page. Go order some film from The Impossible Project, and let's hope they bring out the Type 55 Integral they've hinted at. They're also working on 8x10. Fuji still makes great instant film, both for their own Instax integral cameras, and Polaroid-compatible peel-apart film in 3x4 and 4x5. They're about to release their 3000 speed 4x5 black and white film in the U.S.

Or, go pick yourself up a copy of the recent reprint of The Polaroid Book. It's fantastic and it's also the best photo book bargain going right now, only ten bucks at Amazon.


Impossible Project "Type 55" Film

A very cryptic, but potentially very interesting, message from The Impossible Project.

we're going to make integral-size "type 55" film

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what a Type 55 integral film might look like. Type 55, and 665, were peel apart black and white pack films with a positive on one side and a reusable negative on the other side.

Notice that it reads 'type 55" in quotes. Here's a quote from the Impossible Knowledge Base.

We won't be able to produce 4x5, Type 100, or Type 80 films, as we don't have the machines. These were disassembled along with the factories that used to produce the film when Polaroid filed for Chapter 11.

So it will be SX-70 shaped I suppose. But what could it look like? Peel apart SX-70? Or maybe clear sheets on both sides of the pack? All we know is they hope to release it sometime this summer.

Seen at New55Project.


Personal Camera History

Blake Andrews posted this clever chart today which lays out the cameras he's used since 1993, along with their fates. It's a quick and fun read. Especially interesting to me are the cameras that get replaced despite failures; Diana, Hexar...

And it reminded me that I keep a similar list of my own, although I don't record their fates, and it's not a color chart, just a list. I like lists. Here goes.

Cameras I've owned, in order of how much I liked/was comfortable with/used them.

Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME (current)
Polaroid SX-70 Sonar OneStep (current)
Ricoh GR Digital II (current)
Graflex Speed Graphic 3x4 (with homemade Polaroid pack film back)
Polaroid Super Shooter/Colorpack/Super Colorpack/etc. (many copies, still have several)
Polaroid Automatic 100/250/360 (many copies, 250 current)
Polaroid 180 (current)
Nikon D1x (current)
Nikon D1 (current)
Canon SD600
Canon S230
Yashica D
Polaroid Big Shot (several copies, current)
Fujifilm GA645 Professional (current)
Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 (current)
Nikon L35AF (current)
Pentax PC35AF (current)
Ricoh FF-3AF (current)
Polaroid SX-70 (non-AF)
Fujica G690bl
Kalimar Six Sixty (current)
Agfa Isolette

Never really used these much.

Yashica Electro 35 GT (current)
Minolta SR-T 101
Contax III

Honorable mentions.

Koni-Omega Rapid 100 (It wasn't mine, but I liked it a lot.)
Camerz ZIIe (I took a thousand portraits with it.)

A few others I've crossed paths with.

Nikon D70
Nikon D80
Nikon D700 (loved it)
Hasselblad 500C (on loan)

And a few I always wanted, but never got.

Pentax 645
Polaroid 600SE
Polaroid SLR 680/690
Konica Instant Press
Fuji Fotorama FP-1 Professional
Plaubel Makina
Graflex Super Graphic
Ricoh GR1/s/v
Konica Hexar
Contax G1/2


'The Village Across The Sea'

Photo: Brian Miller

I'd like to get a copy of this new book by Brian Miller, The Village Across The Sea, but it's not obvious how to acquire one. It seems interesting though. Apparently the local city government sponsored the project to promote tourism. I think it's a great idea, and I'd love to see more collaborations like this between local artists and local governments.

There's a writeup at The Korea Times and another at Jeju Weekly. There's also a short video at Arirang TV. Here's the link to Brian Miller's Zenfolio page.