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.  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.

Folding Pocket Kodak No. 3A Review

The folding pocket Kodak (FPK) No. 3A produces large 3¼" x 5½" (80x140mm) 'postcard' size negatives on either glass plates, cut film, or '122' rolls.  The area of the negative from the 3A is almost identical to 4x5 film, they just have different aspect ratios.  Believe it or not Kodak makes an even larger 'folding pocket' camera, the 4A model, which has almost twice the negative size as this one; I have one and am currently taking some test pictures for a future review!

Click through for a look at period accoutrements, like the combination back for using plate and sheet film, film holders with sheet film inserts, lens adapters, filters, and of course film, developing paper, mounting tissue, negative albums and carrying cases; all shown in the review...

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Tenney Cottage, Williamstown MA, 1884

This glass plate negative showing a picturesque second empire summer cottage in the Hamptons was taken on August 27th 1884 at 10:40am, with a 5"x 7" camera, and Ross #6 P.S. lens.  If that isn't enough information, I can include the glass plate brand; a Cramer (57), with the iris set at F/22, and a 'quick cap exposure.'  How do I know this? Because I'm really smart and knowledgeable in this area---No! It's because the photographer recorded the information on the plate envelope!  This house still exists, see it here...

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Ricoh XF-30 Review

The Ricoh XF-30 is yet another 'fixed' focus snapshot camera (more than half a dozen reviewed so far) that I seem to be drawn too for some reason; maybe for the speed and simplicity, or maybe because it was the only type of camera I could afford in my younger days, and it's simply nostalgia run amok.  Either way, it's a neat camera, and much like the Ricoh YF-20, you can change the focus of the camera by moving a switch by the lens, so it's not really a 'fixed' focus camera.  Additionally, and to completely ruin the simplicity part; this camera is not actually all that simple...

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1903 Cadillac Tonneau, Rear Entrance

Today's blast from the past features a glass plate negative of a 1903 Cadillac Tonneau, with three happy passengers in what looks like a pleasant Sunday drive.  The location is unknown, but possibly Florida or California.  I'm also going to guess the image was taken sometime within a couple years of 1903 as the cars back then didn't last very long.

The glass plates in this time period were Ortho type, which were not sensitive to red, so the images typically showed blown out skies, and reds looked black.  Judging by the very dark color of the car and makers emblem, it might actually be red, like the one below, but it could be black too.

Interesting observations...

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Minolta Weathermatic 35DL Review

Today we review the Minolta Weathermatic 35DL, an all weather camera that's sealed for diving to depths of 16' (5m).  However, with the o-rings being over three decades old, I think we'll skip the underwater part of our review, and head for the high (and dry) country for our test photos.

Although Minolta markets the Weathermatic 35DL as having a 'dual lens,' it really has only one lens, but uses a 'dual' focus design, which varies the amount of space between lens groups to achieve two different focal lengths, 35mm and 50mm.  Other features include DX coding, AF above water...

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Film, and Smartphone two-shot stitch comparison

I took some photos of this home last year, it's kind of a dream home of mine, and I drive by every couple of years and take a snap, but I can't afford to live there, or even buy the place, it was for sale recently at $2.75m, do a google drive-by if you like.  A few years ago I posted the first 'Kodak Moment' picture, and it was of this Earl Young 'Storybook' style home; I also updated the feature image.

Anyhow, when I was there I took a couple of shots with my Nikon 35Ti, and then a Samsung Note 8.  Both are two-shot stitches from almost the same perspective.  Of course...

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Kodak Disc Film, better than you think, or worse?

Today I have a few Kodak Disc negatives to share.  This small format film (about 1/10 the size of 135 format) has been widely ridiculed since it came out in the early 1980s, and it continues to this day, but is Disc film really that bad, and will it even make a decent small print?

Each Disc negative is 11x8mm, and 110 is 13x17mm, so the 110 format has over 2.5x the area of Disc negatives, that's about like going from 135 format to 6x4.5 medium format.  There are some differences other than size though.  For instance...

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Chinon 358RZ Reflex Zoom (Genesis GS-7) Review

The Chinon 358RZ Reflex Zoom, (or Genesis GS-7) is another 'bridge' type camera from the late 1980s, and is styled after the one-handed video cameras from the day, just like the Ricoh Murai, reviewed not long ago.  This 'bridge' camera is actually an SLR, so you get 'TTL' through the lens metering, as well as being able to visibly confirm sharp focusing on the matte glass viewfinder screen, and it takes common 62mm filters with a plastic adapter.  There are a few features that are missing on the Chinon that you'd get on a real SLR, like...

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