Archive Photography

Camera Tales: Voigtländer Brillant (1930s)

Recently, I finally got around to take all the old cameras from our family and took proper photos of them for a little series of posts. This is where it all began: my grandfather’s Voigtländer Brillant, the 6×6 camera that he got sometime in the mid-1930s. There is a bit of confusion about the actual manufacturing date because some lists say the shutter and lens serial numbers date the camera between 1947 and 1951 and others between 1934 and 1935, but the camera itself is clearly a metal body Brillant from the mid-1930s. It might well be the actual camera my grandfather was using to take all those photos before and during WWII – he used to tell a story that he had to take the lens off his camera after the end of the war so it would not be confiscated, which might explain the presumably newer serial number on the shutter and lens. This camera is, however, still the one he used at least well into the 1970s for 6×6 negatives and transparencies and as far as I can tell, it’s still in good working condition.

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Camera News – Hello Sony Alpha 65

I think it’s time to let the cat out of the bag – I’ve got a new camera! But this time, it’s not a replacement of my current one, but a completely unexpected addition because a good friend gave me his old camera kit as a very generous gift. It’s a six-year old Sony SLT-A65 and while I really could not see me using anything bigger than a bridge camera anytime soon, I’m certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth – so this will be my first digital camera with interchangeable lenses! The camera is pretty amazing and I even received four great lenses with it, but it won’t completely replace my trusty Canon Powershot SX30 which I still like because of its longer zoom and its lesser weight. That means I’ll be dividing my camera time between Canon and Sony from now on – I’ve been using the A65 for one and a half weeks now and I’ve already snuck a couple of images into the posted photos from it.

Originally I wanted to write a longer article about the camera, but I thought I’d post this short introduction first. There may be more soon about my experiences with my first ‘big’ camera, but fortunately I don’t have to learn everything from scratch since I had been using analogue SLRs before in the 1980s and 1990s! And now back to the regular photo stream :-).

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Camera Upgrade – Hello Canon Powershot SX30

This may come a bit out of the blue – I’ve got a new camera! I’ve been using the Powershot SX1 since November 2014 and I’ve been really happy with it, but in the last couple of weeks it has developed some problems with the lens motor, producing occasional errors which could get more serious over time. So I decided to upgrade and found a perfect replacement on eBay: a practically new Powershot SX30 with lots of accessories for slightly less than €100. Although the SX1 still works, I wanted to upgrade anyway and while I’m still getting acquainted with the SX30a, it really feels like a substantial upgrade over its already great predecessor. While it’s not the newest model and already a couple of years old, it’s still a very powerful camera and as long as it works, I expect to use it over the next couple of years. 

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The Old-Fashioned Way

Something different for the last photo of the day – I found this scan again while looking for something to post. It’s actually a contact print of a negative strip I made in our few attempts to enlarge photos ourselves sometime in 1988. The photos on the film were taken in Berlin’s Technic Museum in 1988 of their collection of history locomotives – and yes, we still have the original negative and it’s already scanned and properly archived! I will post the photos sometime.

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Camera Upgrade – Hello Canon Powershot SX1

I have been occasionally mentioning that I was not entirely happy with the Canon Powershot S5 I’ve been using since April 2013 because of some strange sharpness issues with the lens, so I decided to hunt for a new camera as soon as I had saved a bit up for it. After several unsuccessful attempts to get a somewhat newer model on eBay I was finally lucky last weekend and got a very nice, almost as good as new Powershot SX1 for a very decent price of a little over €80.

It may not be the newest and most powerful camera, but it’s still a big step up from the S5 – a slightly larger 16:9 display, 10 instead of 8 Megapixels, 20x zoom instead of 12 with an 35mm equivalent of 560mm, HD video capability and a fast CMOS sensor with the DigicIV image processor are certainly good enough for me! I have only been able to test the camera a little bit but so far I’m really happy with it and it does everything the S5 is able to do –  including running the CHDK firmware addon. The different lens and controls will take a bit getting used to, but nothing has been so radically changed that it would be a huge problem for me – quite the contrary, I already like the new buttons and the lens is certainly going to be a lot of fun!

Photo posting will go on as usual with the summer stash, but I will try to take some more daylight shots with the new camera tomorrow and maybe post a short series of SX1 photos!

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Just call me Ruffles

One of our resident wood pigeons doing a little feather maintenance in the maple tree.

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Springflowers #19

A field of snowdrops – okay, a front yard full of them, but still… :-).

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Springflowers #11

Okay, it’s not a flower, but it’s still strange to see leaves growing in February!

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Spring Maple

Yesterday, I decided to try if the two-megapixel camera on my tablet can at least be used to do something with Instagram, but this one is definitively NOT the photo I shot with it. The decidedly crappy Instagram shot can be found here and serves as an example why I won’t be using that camera and website for anything much. The tablet camera shot looks like one of these cheap 1980 pocket camera photos!

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Still Life – The Way we used to Click

I’m participating in a Google+ Black and White photography project this year and the first assignment for January was Still Life. I almost dropped out of the project because I was feeling really sick until the middle of January, when I suddenly had this idea. This photo is actually not the original I posted in the group, but a slightly re-staged and improved version because I was not really satisfied with the first attempt.

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