Home - Photo Jottings

Welcome to Photo Jottings! Feel free to browse the site; there’s a lot of stuff here, so starting with the site guide may be a good idea.  Film lovers can start with my film camera reviews and scanned negatives here and here.  For all my Minolta and Sony lens reviews, go here.

Film buying pages; one for color, and one for B&W.  This covers all film (110, 35mm, 120 roll, and sheet), currently available fresh dated by the manufacturer.

Argus Super Seventy-Five update

Here are a few new pictures I took recently with the Argus Super Seventy-Five with 65mm F/8 lens, (I've also updated the review with the new pictures).  These simple focusing box cameras go for a song on ebay, but give you a nice smooth and detailed negative to enlarge in case you get a winning snap among the 12 exposures.  And as a bonus, it'll take common 120 film with a little cutting of the spool discs.

I was trying to decide what camera I'd like to take with me on a midsummer mountain hike, so with a quick glance at my stable, I saw the dusty little Argus Super Seventy-Five in the corner of the cabinet all by herself, and instantly knew she was the one; I'd been almost a year since our last outing together.  So I plopped in a roll of Portra 400, taped up the gaps, and read my own review before heading out.  I actually like using this inexpensive box camera, you'll get a lot of resolution for large prints, much more than even a good...

 

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Canon Sure Shot Zoom XL Review

Our latest camera for review is the 1989 Canon Sure Shot Zoom XL, a very expensive point and shoot zoom that Canon claimed had the optical quality comparable to Canon FD interchangeable lenses; well, we shall see about that; (if you're impatient, scroll down to the test pictures for instant gratification, or displeasure).  Other high end, and almost 'SLR' like features include a powerful flash that zooms with the lens; almost two frames per second continuous shooting; and a very useful docked remote control, (a nice feature that unfortunately has not found its way to the cameras of today---some thirty years later).

I bought this camera as new old stock, it still had the sealed wrappers on it; and believe it or not, the batteries in the docked remote control are still good!  As a side note; this is the only camera so far I've reviewed that originally came with factory installed batteries, in both the camera (2CR5), and a couple of CR1220 for the remote, however, the main camera battery still had some power, but not enough to operate it properly.

I have to laugh; Canon tells us in the owner's manual...

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Ricoh Mirai 105 Zoom Review

The 1980s brought us some goofy cameras, and the Ricoh Mirai (the future) 105 Zoom is one of them; it's boxy and almost camcorder like in it's appearance since the flash and AF sensors are on the side of the lens instead of along the top as it would be on a traditionally designed 35mm type camera, so it's actually a regular camera, but it looks odd as it has a big upturned grip for your right hand.  The Ricoh Mirai 105 is not the only unusual looking camera from the crazy 80s, (remember the Samurai?), did you know Olympus...

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Expo Watch Camera Review

This week we check out a unique device for taking stealthy images; the Expo Watch Camera.  An October 1917 ad in a Popular Mechanics Magazine suggests you'll get lots of fun taking pictures of your friends in an act of a 'funny stunt.'  You'll also have even more fun when you see the look of bewilderment on their faces when you show them the pictures you took.  I bet the 'funny stunts' back then were a little different than the 'funny stunts' that get pulled today.

The camera actually works properly, so be sure and check out my test samples at the bottom of the review and see what the Expo is capable of today...

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Konica Pearl III Review

This diminutive, but stylish Japanese coupled rangefinder camera is a Konica Pearl III, and it's from the late 1950s, a time when medium format folding cameras were on their way out, (as were folding cameras in general), and small format 35mm cameras were all the rage.

Our late model Pearl III has a nice feature set including a four element 75mm F/3.5 'Tessar' type lens, a nine speed shutter with the dreaded light value scale embedded on the shutter speed ring, and an 'automatic film advance' mechanism which BTW, doesn't wind your film automatically, you wind it yourself just like a regular folder, but it's supposed to be safer, and more precise than watching for the shot number in the red window of your average folder.  Other nice features include a coupled rangefinder, cable release, accessory shoe, and the ability to use 30.5mm screw-in filters.  Oddly, this high spec camera has no...

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Kodak Moment #14 1958 Plymouth Savoy

My Dad bought this '58 Savoy around 1962-3 as a pile of rust, and spent a few months after work fixing the dents, and rotting fenders and doors, then finally painting it and getting it back on the road as a daily driver for my Mom.  Years later Mom would load my brother and me in the car to run errands and get groceries, and by that time, the car was starting to fall apart again.

My only memories I have of riding in it was that every time Mom drove through a puddle, I'd get soaked.  I always...

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Ricoh YF-20 Super Review

The Ricoh YF-20 Super is, at least outwardly, an uninspiring fixed focus compact 35mm camera, with a three element lens, flash, and motorized drive.  However, upon close inspection, it has a really nice feature that makes this model stand out; there's a sliding switch under the lens that allows you to focus the camera to longer distances.  The switch is spring loaded, so you have to keep it pressed while taking the picture, that way when you go back to taking snaps of family and friends, your focus is back to where is should be for sharp shots.  The real beauty of the infinity focus feature is that you can use wider apertures and still get crisp images, so...

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