Polaroid Week – Oct. 20-25, 2019

This year was my first time participating in Polaroid Week. It was started on Flickr 13 years ago by a group of photographers who wanted to be able to celebrate instant film. It happens twice a year, spring and fall, and you can share your photos using the hashtags #polaroidWeek or #roidWeek.

This was the perfect opportunity for me to use my Polaroid Spectra that I recently inherited from my great Aunt Frances who is now 94 years young. The camera was recently deemed dead weight by Polaroid Originals when they announced the discontinuation of their Spectra film. In fact I inherited the camera on the day of this sad announcement.

I’ll admit my Spectra did jam, but it was easily remedied by removing the mylar flap from the Polaroid Originals Film, which tells me it is not my camera that is defective, but I could be wrong. This camera also has some focusing issue, probably the Sonar dying from age, but it still takes beautiful pictures, my favorite being with the black and white Spectra film.

My Spectra takes beautiful landscapes in black and white

My Aunt took this camera all around the world with her and her husband before he passed away. Below are some of the pictures she took. This is why this camera is so special to me and why I had to shoot with it. I want to make memories with it myself, so I bough up some Spectra film, and I have it stored in my fridge to hopefully use this holiday season before it goes bad.

I kept busy for Polaroid Week and shot pictures around the house and in my backyard since I am still pretty much homebound from my health issues at the moment. But I did go around the neighborhood one of the days to shoot some fun shots. See my YouTube video for more on that day.

My Video for Polaroid Week 2019

It felt really good to get out even just for a half an hour, to see the neighborhood and be creative. You’d be surprised at all the interesting things you can find to take shots of when you really look, even if you think you live in a boring town.

I also tried to fix my Moms Polaroid Time Zero One Step that she gave me. I tried shooting with it in a previous YouTube video and the shutter button kept getting stuck, ruining an expensive pack of Sx-70 film. I took the front cover off and examined the shutter. I don’t know much about these cameras so I admitidly didn’t know what I was looking at, but after some fidgeting and oil, the shutter stopped sticking, and fingers crossed, will stay unstuck. The Time Zero doesn’t take the best pictures out of the Polaroid Cameras I own, but I got a couple I liked.

My neighbors – Shot with the Time Zero One Step
Across from my house – – Shot with the Time Zero One Step

I also shot pictures with my Close Up and my SX-70. The Close Up I got from A Mail Call From Uncle B, and the SX-70 I purchased from KEH.com. I think the SX-70 is my favorite because of the fact that you can have more control over your exposures than you can with the other cameras. It also is portable with its folding design. The Close Up takes better pictures indoors because of its use of 600 film with a higher ISO than the SX-70 film. This is remedied though, as I demonstrate in the video above, by using 600 film in the SX-70 when placing a Polaroid Originals Neutral Density Filter over the film pack.

Frankie Writing This Blog – Shot with the Polaroid Close Up
Kelsey – Shot on 600 film in the SX-70
Jasmine in Low Light – 600 film with the SX-70
Succulents hanging in my bathroom – taken with the close up
My neighborhood skyline – taken with the SX-70
The Sun Setting behind my house – taken with the SX-70
Frank on Security Duty – taken with the SX-70

My favorite film out of all of them is the black and white film in both Spectra and SX-70 format. I just love how each picture has different characteristics. It also has a very vintage look to it which is just my style.

I love the shadows in the Black & White SX-70 film
Vintage typewriters with a vintage look from the SX-70 black & White film
Kelsey letting me practice portraits – SX-70 color film
My Shadow – SX-70
My Shadow – Spectra
polaroid one step time zero
My Shadow – Time Zero One Step

To see more pictures please watch my full youtube video posted above and visit my instagram.

Fujifilm Discovery 270 Zoom Date – Compact Camera Review and Shoot

My Uncle Barney from Long Island sends me boxes of cameras he finds while on flea market crawls so I can fix them up and bring them back to life to add them to my collection.

Recently in one of these boxes came the Fujifilm Discovery 270 Zoom Date. This compact 35mm camera was released in 1994 and several versions can be found such as the Zoom Cardia Super 270 Date in Japan and a couple others.

The Discover in this mail call from Uncle B. came like new with the box, a working battery, expired film and instructions all still together. It uses a CR123A battery which can still be bought today on amazon for $10 for a pack of 6. So that’s not bad. Often vintage cameras that rely on batteries these days are rendered useless because you can’t find the specific battery that runs the camera.

My Video Review of the FujiFilm Discovery 270 Zoom Date

I shot a roll of Kodak Gold 200 in it to test it out with all its functions. The film is super easy to load with the drop in film loading door and it winds it automatically before and after the film is shot. It accepts DX coded film from 50 to 1600 ISO.

The first digital camera to come out for consumers, the Nikon f-3, came out in 1991, so when the Discover was made. digital features were starting to be incorporated on to these 35mm cameras. This one has an LED Screen that shows the film count as well as what flash mode you’re currently using. It also has the digital date stamp feature that can render the date the picture was taken directly into your picture if you want it to. It does have the option to turn it off if you don’t want to stamp your pictures with this info. I remember this feature being considered high tech back when i was a kid in the 90’s. I always got a kick out of seeing the date printed write onto my picture.

This feature makes me think of the old 1930’s vest pocket Kodak Autographic cameras that you could use a stylus to write on the back of your film with to keep track of the date or exposure. I guess the digital date stamp feature was the digital answer to that.

Kodak Vest Pocket Camera Autographic Model
Vest Pocket Kodak Autographic Camera from my Collection
Magazine ad 1915 – courtesy Wikipedia

With this Fujifilm camera, pictures can be taken in the traditional size or a cropped panoramic mode, which isn’t true panoramic of course, it’s just the negative being cropped by the camera to give that appearance, but you can crop it and print it out as a panoramic picture yourself after digitally scanning your negatives. I personally really liked this option because I take a lot of nature pictures and it is a cheap alternative to a real panoramic camera.

the way it appears after developing
cropped to be printed as a panoramic picture

It uses a Fujinon f/5-9.5 35 to 70mm zoom lens with a zoom mode and wide angle mode.

Picture shot using the Zoom lens from far away
Picture Shot using the Wide Angel lens in Portrait style

There are a few flash options that make it good for taking pictures indoors. There’s a red eye correction mode and a flash fill mode if you need to light up your subject.

My cat Jasmine Shot using the Flash
My dads John Lennon Drawing from the 1960’s shot using the flash

Overall I found it to be a very nice, reliable camera that can be used while on vacation or at events. My only complaint from this one time using it was just the loud noise it made when winding the film which can be embarrassing if you’re going to use it at an event such as a graduation or wedding. But you can easily just load before you go and don’t shoot the last shot while your there to prevent it from re-winding.

I was pleasantly surprised at the detail and color that resulted from this camera. Usually point and shoot cameras take average pictures without much tonality. I will definitely be keeping this camera as part of my collection of cameras I will shoot with.

If you enjoyed this review please check out the YouTube video I posted above. Please subscribe to my channel and follow this blog because I will be doing more vintage camera reviews and more point and shoot camera reviews in the near future.

My 1st Film Camera – A Review: Canon TX

My love for taking pictures started when I was a little girl, but I didn’t buy my own camera until I was 12 years old. My father had just passed away suddenly, and he always loved taking pictures with his Canon. I wish he hadn’t sold his camera because I would have loved to have it today and I can not remember what model it was. I only remember it was a chrome and black Canon and he had it since we moved to Florida in 1989.

He was constantly taking pictures and I inherited that same love for taking photos. So when I was 12 years old my first camera of course had to be a Canon. It helped me to feel closer to my dad and still does. I am always wondering to myself what kinds of shots he would be taking and what film stocks would he be buying now.

That was right before digital came out so I bought a new Canon EOS Rebel 35mm camera which I thought would be the closest thing to his camera that I could get. I didn’t use it much for lack of guidance and no computer to look anything up at the time, therefore my results were not what I wanted. So once digital cameras came out I sold the film camera and continued through the years with the digital format. I went to college and graduated, becoming a graphic artist. Everything was digital. Fast forward 20 years from the time I bought that first 35mm camera, I now have many film cameras in my collection and just one digital.

The second film camera I bought for shooting (I started out only collecting vintage cameras for display) was the Canon TX because it looked like my dad’s camera. I still didn’t know much about film or film cameras at the time so this camera was a cheap buy on eBay that came with cheap lenses I knew nothing about. Although these lenses are off brands that I’ve never heard of, they have blown me away. They are the Access macro lens 70mm f3.5 and Seikanon 75-200mm f4.5. I’m very proud of the trees I grew from avocado and mango pits, so I often take pictures of them as well as the oak trees. I love how the Access lens fits the trees in my yard in the entire picture.

Later, I purchased a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens and my Uncle sent me a Soligor 75-210mm f2.8 that I will be testing over the next week.

The camera has a built in center weight averaging light meter with a needle that represents the shutter speed, and another needle with a circle on top that represents the f-stop. You want the needle and the circle to line up for the perfect exposure. The needle will move according to the lighting in the image and you turn the aperature ring on your lens to align the circle to it. You can also change them both manually to get the type of expsure you wish to have for the particular type of picture you may be shooting for.

the Match-Needle meter in the viewfinder

For the light meter to work, you need a 1.35v Mercury battery, which is no longer legal due to its toxic material. When I first purchased the camera, as I mentioned above, I didn’t know much about it. It wasn’t until recently, when I really started getting back into film photography, that I finally found out I can purchase an equivalent battery online. I bought the Wein Cell zinc MRB625 battery and the meter has worked perfectly since.

With the zoom lens, the camera is a little bit heavier than I like and makes the camera a little bit harder to grip. Although, when I compare this to my Nikon F setup with an equivalant zoom lens it is signifigantly lighter. With the 50mm lens, I use it as my carry along camera when I am going to doctors appointments, due to it being light weight and pretty discreet. The mirror slap is noticeable, but not as loud as the Nikon F or the Pentax 67.

The camera does not have a self timer, but does have a stop down lever in the front which can easily be mistaken for the self timer. I have not used the stop down lever myself because admittedly I don’t know how.

The shutter speeds go from Bulb, then 1 second up to 1/500th of a second with a flash sync at 1/60th. My only complaint that I have had so far while using this camera is sometimes the ISO setting, which is built into the shutter speed dial, gets accidentally changed while I am shooting and I dont notice until I am done. This can be a big problem when shooting say ISO 400 only to find out you were shooting the whole time set at 50. The good thing is, that the built in meter will compensate for it, but when you send it off to your lab, to be developed those pics may be over exposed compared to the rest.

So far this camera is the favorite of my SLR’s.(Then again I have only shot with this camera and my Nikon F’s so far) I’ve gotten better results with it than my Nikon F’s (which I will be reviewing in the future). All in all this camera, I feel, is a great work horse that is overlooked and underappreciated because it’s stripped down compared to other models. For me, I like that it’s minimal because I don’t use alot of those other features.

So if you’re looking for a simple camera for uncomplicated shooting, or if you’re a beginner to film photography, I highly recommend the Canon TX.

To see more pictures that I’ve taken with the Canon TX please visit my Instagram or my online portfolio. I also have a video review with this camera on my YouTube Channel. So please head over and subscribe to be notified for upcoming reviews.