Friday, October 13, 2006



Blogger micki said...

Camera - 1958 Minolta Autocord
Film - Kodak Portra VC120 ISO 400 (expired)
Shutter Speed - a hair past 1/25
Aperture Setting - f-22
Lens - the lens on this camera is an f-3.5/75mm lens
Scanning Method - My scan from my cheap little hp officejet 5510v all-in-one copy/scanner/faxer/printer (I think I’m coming to the point of getting a real scanner)

Thanks to g
for verifying that yesterday’s critter was a cicada. I wasn’t sure. It was asked how large he was. This one was one of the bigger ones I’ve seen this year. He was three inches from head to wing-tips. That’s why he made such a noise when he took off.

So for some reason I don’t even remember, I wandered over to e-bay one day and discovered that Minolta had made a long line of twin lens cameras, starting in 1956. As usual, they made some innovative firsts when it came to the cameras, but I won’t bore you with all of that. You can always look that info up if you really care. One thing, though, I did read that the Minolta Autocords were considered by many the second best twin lens cameras made.

So, I found one that looked like it might work and at a price I was willing to pay. I had to watch it for almost five days. Finally the last day of the auction came. It would end at 12:30, but I had to leave the house at 10:30. I made my “most-I’m-willing-to-pay-bid” and saw that I was at the minimum dollar amount to lead the bidding. I could be outbid with a small amount of cash, but I wasn’t willing to pay any more. So I left. When I returned home six hours later, I learned that I had won the bid. I was now the proud, and ignorant, owner of a Minolta Autocord twin lens camera. I didn’t even know how to use the thing. It arrived in two days. I had to put it aside for a couple of weeks, because I didn’t have time to study it. When I did, I discovered that it didn’t have a light meter. So, it was another two weeks or so before I went on the hunt for a light meter on e-bay. They were all too expensive, and I wasn’t even sure if my new camera would work. Finally, after a week and a half of searching, I found a very, very old GE meter. This meter doesn’t even use batteries. I won that for $15. A week after I got the meter, I started shooting. (I had to figure out how to use the meter.) Well, the meter works, the camera works; and today you get an image from my new, old twin lens camera. My camera was Minolta’s fifth design in the first two years and the first model to feature a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. It was the last model right before their first with a built in meter. It’s a charming little camera and was well taken care of. Eventually I will have it cleaned, though.

I shot a roll of expired 120 film through this first time. There’s a blue cast to the images, but other than that, every image came out well. Most of them perfectly exposed. The two that are slightly overexposed are due to the time of day I shot the image at, and I should’ve stopped down a bit—my fault. But I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. Shoot, most of the time I forgot the meter and had to run back to the van to get it after I’d gotten the shot all framed up correctly in the viewfinder.

Oh, this is the ranger station at the State Park in my county. This is about a half hour before sunset. The sun was behind me.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Micki! Micki! Micki! You are moving backwards in time! Now, a selinium light meter and a twin reflex film camera! What next? Flash powder? :-)

Here's a link that you might enjoy:

Vintage Light Meters.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

My first camera was a 1939 Rolleiflex TLR. (I was 7 or 8, it was my grandpa's) It was really fun and a fine piece of equipment that took gorgeous photos.

Our High School used Yashika D TLR's as one of the cameras for the photography courses.

Have fun using it.

10:23 AM  
Blogger micki said...

I found my meter on page two of the article Paul linked me to. It's the old General Electric DW-68 Exposure Meter they show. Thanks Paul!!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Don said...

The boats, the all is very appealing. A fine image from your new Autocord.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Ron: said...

Aren't TLRs fun!? I can't wait to see what you cook up with this camera.. Those minoltas are wicked cameras!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I have that same model light meter! My Dad used it as far back as I can remember! Seems to work well for me, though I seldom break out the old camera.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Doris said...

I really like the POV on this one! :-)

I love your enthusiasm for camera's!

Today is the day we fall our trees ;-) To bad your hubby was not around to help mine :-)

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Otto K. said...

Wonderful image. I like the composition and colors a lot.

1:15 PM  
Blogger PhotoSam said...

there's sometihng abput this pic...i know it wudnt look half as beautiful on a digital camera...

1:50 PM  
Anonymous michael said...

Congratualions on your new purchase. I have to say that my TLR is my favourite camera. You manged to get the exposure just about spot on in this shot, well done. I'm looking forward to seeing more pics.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Still said...

A fine composition and a nice variation on blue!

4:45 PM  
Anonymous AG said...

This is an exciting move and opens up a whole string of possibilities not to mention another curve of learning. Composing in 6x6 after living with 35mm can be tough, I find. The meter sure looks the biz on the page Paul gave.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Congrats on the new camera! I'm loving my tlr too! I going so far back in time I'm going to take a darkroom course:). Looking forward to seeing some more images with this camera.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous G said...

Always happy to help (bug ID).

I like this photo quite a bit, though I think I would have framed it a bit different to include more of the boats and less (none?) of the white truck.

It brings back memories of my family's lakeside camp...

7:07 PM  
Blogger Dave MacIntyre said...

Nice one! I like these types of boats for fishing in...they're juggernauts.

7:37 PM  
Blogger H.O said...

Hi Micki
Congraturation !! :)
Really nice image.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous Christian said...

As we say at home
"C'est dans les vieux pots que l'on fait de la bonne soupe"

I'm sure that old Minolta will take very good shots
Have a nice week Micki

2:03 AM  
Blogger bkphotography said...

Hm... my first camera was a Minolta X-300, all manual and such. I lovingly call it 'Theo' because the shop assistant who sold it to me was called Theo...

Either way, it's really hard to believe this photograph was taken around sunset, I would have guessed it to be an early morning. I really should try your 'a hair past 1/25' shutter speed.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous chris said...

I admire your exploits and experiments with these aging camera's micki, think I'd struggle to get a picture out of my T90's now :(

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Ashish Sidapara said...

Lovely composition, great shot!

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Gabriel Loeb said...

I love this shot, Micki. The composition is great, and it has a sort of antique feel to it. Great capture!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

Congrats on the new camera. TLRs are indeed a new way of looking at things. Really like the composition in this one. Can't wait to see more!

9:15 AM  
Blogger frame of mind said...

Glad to hear that all the new-old gear craziness worked out in the end!

7:27 AM  

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