Blog Archives - Photo Jottings


Watkins Glen State Park Rainbow Falls 1920s, No.2

Our second post from the Watkins Glen State Park series shows Rainbow Falls, and is located about a mile from the entrance and parking area, which incidentally, was the subject of our first post here.  The image is from a 6.5 x 8.5" glass plate negative taken sometime in the 1920s.  To get an idea about how the scene looks today, go to google images.  If you look at the recent pictures, notice how the staircase has been enclosed with rock, as well as the railings along the left side.  A similar shot to the one above is located at...

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Going up in the air, in 1920!

Engineer, and amateur Photographer Arthur Plame recounts his first airplane flight in an October 1920 'The Camera' magazine.  Palme watched with interest as a local automobile dealer bought a Government surplus Curtiss Bi-plane and established daily passenger flights for a dollar a minute over the town, (probably Pittsfield MA).  After a few months of watching the airplane fly over his home several times per day, and 'landing safely,' Palme became envious and started thinking about taking a camera along for his first flight.

Palme explains the process of figuring out what camera to use, what height and angle would be best for showing off the town below, how the pictures turned out, and even the sales he made with the 12 images captured during the 18 minute flight.

It's an interesting article, and if you're at work, it'll only take a couple of minutes to read...

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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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