Spring Cleaning

The weather is changing. Spring is just around the corner. I can feel it . . . I have to get myself ready for the explosion of color that nature offers. I need to get my cameras ready.

During the winter I usually buy a number of vintage cameras or I repair some of the cameras that I have acquired as future projects.

Here are a few of the notable items.


Pentax MV with a Chinon 50mm f/1.9

I have several different Auto Chinon lenses that I have acquired with various Chinon electronic cameras that were manufactured during the 1970’s and 80’s. I can’t get the Chinon cameras to release their shutters (they appear to have electronics that are sensitive to battery voltage levels), so I began looking for cameras that use the “K-mount” system so that the lenses would not go to waste.


Auto Chinon 135mm f/2.8
Chinon 28-50mm f/3.5-4.5
Auto Chinon Zoom 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

After some brief research I decided on one of the Pentax “M series” cameras that use the K-mount system, the mechanical Pentax MV, first released to the market in 1979.

A simple camera in its design, it is an aperture priority automatic camera with the typical TTL open aperture center weighted exposure meter. Auto shutter speed based on the exposure meter. So I point the camera, adjust the f-stop, check the meter, focus on what I see, and release the shutter. A very straight forward camera for my urban photography excursions.

However, with a very distinct mirror slap, it is a loud camera.

The few websites that I studied spoke about what features that the camera does not have that were provided in later models. No Self-timer, only black finish, no winder attachment, no sync plug, no shutter lock, etc. But, I don’t often use those features when I’m out on a safari. I’m really only interested in shooting film, during daylight hours and now I can try the three lenses I have in my collection.


Burke & James Commercial View Camera
No. 3 Acme Synchro, 5 1/2 inch, ƒ/4.5

I finally 3D printed a replacement lens board to mount my No. 3 Acme lens. Took me over 10 different design iterations before I finally settled on something I liked.


Compur, 12.5 cm, f/4.5

The camera originally came with a different lens. But, I found it difficult to use. And, After dismantling that original lens from the lens board, I found that the lens was difficult to re-position in the center of the board. Hence, the need to make a new lens board.

3x Lisco Regal II 4×5 Film Holder
3x Riteway 4×5 Graphic Fim Holder

Now that I have a set of 6 additional film holders for the 4×5 film used in the camera, I need to plan an afternoon on a hill overlooking Farsta and execute the slow process of large format photography.

So cool.


Honeywell Pentax Spotfinder SP II with a Takumar 50mm f/1.4

I keep taking this camera out to look at it and wonder. It’s still a runner, so I will shoot a couple of shots and then I put it down. It’s my Dad’s. When I was a kid it was one of those “hands off” items in the house. Shit, I feel like it still is, so I need to do some therapy and take it out for a safari.


Yashica EE f/2.8

A rangefinder.

This is a heavy camera. The selenium sensor works, even if the focusing helicoid is a bit stiff. The door seals were dust and required a complete replacement. I just ran a test roll through the camera and now I need to develop.

I have another camera with a selenium sensor that I really enjoy using when on vacation.


Olympus Trip 35

But, I am not even sure that the Yashica will ever replace the Trip. But, I am interested in the focusing found in the Yashica. So, this is also going to get some safari time.

Yashica Electro 35 FC

Another rangefinder. This was a future project purchase that I took out from the cabinet when I got the Yashica EE. My problem was with my understanding the battery voltage required for running the electronics. After a little research, I found a supplier of A640 batteries. So two these precious items were installed and I’m now in business.

I’m undecided in my perspective of rangefinders. They are simpler in their focusing and quieter in the shutter (of course, not having a moving mirror). I’ll need a safari to collect some experience.


1 Comment

  1. By all means take that Spotmatic out and shoot with it; you won’t regret it. Even if you can’t get the meter to work. They are ‘tanks’ with excellent quality lenses!


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