These photographs were taken using a Pentax Espio 120mi, which I obtained from a charity shop for £1.50 and is an appropriate junkshop camera to take images of a low market, seaside, caravan site infested, blot on the landscape.
I have done my best to make this place look as attractive as I can…
Westward Ho! is a ridiculous, bizarre and unusual name for a seaside shithole
The village name comes from the title of Charles Kingsley’s novel Westward Ho! (1855) which was set in nearby Bideford. The book was a bestseller, and entrepreneurs saw the opportunity to develop tourism in the area. Which explains why a perfectly beautiful piece of coast looks like an inner city crap hole.
More and more people are turning to Charity Shops to buy goods. Other people’s castaways are somebody else’s ‘can use’. Not only can you purchase usable quality clothing, you can get (slightly) out of date technology – there is nothing wrong with something manufactured in the 1970s, 80s, or 90s. Like antiques and fine art, quality is quality.
Design initiatives make this a small and flexible camera – notably the physical size and overall quality of finish make this camera a stylish baby. It houses a good quality zoom lens (38-120mm) with plenty of features that enable a variety of picture taking settings.
The Espio is an autofocus unit with automatic exposure settings and a built in flash unit.
The focus and exposure system on this easy to use camera is an improvement on earlier Pentax compacts, giving sharp results and a decent contrast of tones. One of the most useful applications available on this model is ‘backlight compensation’ setting, which enables you to take a photograph using natural light in the background and flash in the foreground, giving an even tone across the image. Panorama mode is included in this little package which gives a different aspect ratio from most other cameras.
Fine art photography is suppose to be created with the vision of an artist. Fine art photography is the opposite of photojournalism or holiday snapping – which provides a visual account for either news or family events. Commercial photography is used to advertise products or services.
I don’t think photography can ever be a ‘Fine Art’
These images were taken using a Pentax SP1000 35mm camera. This camera was my father’s, who bought it from new in the 1970s. All Pentax Spotmatics (SP) use the M42 screw-thread lens mount. The lenses are focused at maximum aperture to give a bright viewfinder image for focusing, then a switch at the side stops the lens down and switches on the metering to enable the exposure to be set prior to shutter release.
I love the slightly over cooked vintage feel of these images, scratches, dust, and fibre strands -35mm film is far more fun than digital.
I have always loved the drawings of Degas. The way he portrayed women, sensually and simply is to be admired.
In the late 1880s, Degas also developed a passion for photography and this new skill influenced the composition of his paintings. He photographed many of his friends, often by lamplight, as in his double portrait of Renoir and Mallarmê. Other photographs, depicting dancers and nudes, which were used as source material for some of Degas’s drawings and paintings.
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It is fashionable to use vintage feel photographs in posts, on Facebook and on the web.
The rise of Instagram, a free photo sharing program that was launched in October 2010 is the best example of this ‘look back’ at analogue photography from the 20th century. This service allows users to take a photo and apply a digital retro filter to it and then share it on most social networking services. The distinctive retro feature of this app is that it converts photos, which in contemporary formats are rectangle, to a square shape, like Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images of the 70’s. The most common aspect ratios used in still camera photography, are 4:3, 3:2 (more recently in consumer cameras 16:9 is being used). Other used aspect ratios include 5:3, 5:4, and 1:1 which produces the square format. Most mobile devices have a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Here are some photographs taken with a vintage Pentax camera that was purchased of ebay on the 15th July 2012. The Pentax Spotmatic takes M42 screw-thread lenses and was introduced by Asahi in 1964 – it was the first SLR camera to sell well with a through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering system. The light meter is activated by pushing a small switch (which is on the left side of the lens housing) upwards. To see more visit this gallery which contains 4 photographs
This was a really good find being considerably clean and worked straight away with a new battery. All the shutter speeds work correctly, the self timer works and the viewfinder is clear. The photographs above were taken using an out of date (March 2000) Agfacolor HDC 200 35mm film.
This image was taken with another vintage Pentax camera that I purchased of ebay on the 15th July 2012. The Pentax Spotmatic takes M42 screw-thread lenses and was introduced by Asahi in 1964, it was the first SLR camera to sell well with a through-the-lens (TTL) exposure metering system. The light meter is activated by pushing a small switch (which is on the left side of the lens housing) upwards.
I have only recently acquired this Pentax P30 camera but I have had a great time using it. This is the camera I took to Lanzarote – I even managed to drop it onto a tiled floor without damaging it – I … Continue reading →
Taken using a Pentax P30 35mm camera using ‘old stock’ (March 2000) Agfacolor HDC 200. July 2012.
The Pentax P30 is an SLR and uses manual focus lenses with the K-mount bayonet fitting. I shot a roll of film on an old Pentax P30. The results were not as satisfying as those taken with the Pentax SP500. … Continue reading
Agfacolor was the name of a series of color film products made by Agfa of Germany. The first Agfacolor, introduced in 1932, was a film-based version of their Agfa-Farbenplatte (Agfa color plate) a “screen plate” product similar to the French Autochrome.
After World War II, the Agfacolor brand was applied to several varieties of color negative film for still photography.
HDC plus 200 was a fine general-purpose film, with decent colour saturation, fine grain and sharp.
The image above was taken with a Pentax SP1000 (June 2012) using 35mm black and white Ilford HP5 Plus film.
HP film is a cubic-grain black-and-white film from Ilford Photo. It originated as Hypersensitive Panchromatic plates in 1931. Since then it has developed (pun?) with a number of versions appearing over the years, with HP5 plus (HP5+ for short) being the latest. The main competitor of Ilford HP5 Plus was Kodak Tri-X 400.
The beauty of this film is its grainy quality and because of this it is my film of choice. HP5 was slighty more coarse in comparision to the defuncted Kodak film.
In 1960 the 200 ASA emulsion was relabelled to 400 ASA with no change to the product. The 200 ASA speed included an exposure safety margin, but with improvements in light meters this was deemed unnecessary. The speed was revised up to 400 ASA.
As I have previously mentioned, I haven’t used a 35mm camera for years. I took my old, trusty Pentax K1000 with me to Venice on the Orient Express and took some black and white shots of the train…. The images … Continue reading →
These images taken of Woolacombe were done using a Pentax SP1000 35mm camera. This camera was my father’s, who bought it from new in the 1970s. All Pentax Spotmatics (SP) use the M42 screw-thread lens mount. The lenses are focused at maximum aperture to give a bright viewfinder image for focusing, then a switch at the side stops the lens down and switches on the metering to enable the exposure to be set prior to shutter release.
I’m really getting into lens flare which is usually caused by a very bright light source, either affecting the image or shining into the lens, which produces a haze. I also like the slightly over cooked vintage feel of these images, scratches, dust, and fibre strands -35mm film is far more fun than digital.
The image above was taken in Ilfracombe – June 2012
Taking photographs with a film camera again reminded me of the simple pleasures I had messing about with making images in a darkroom – it is a shame I have become so uninspired.
There is something a bit odd now about not wanting my photographs instantly. The anticipation of developing them or collecting hard copies from a processing store is now exciting. The instant gratification of a digital image is somehow disappointing. Which is bizarre because 30 years ago I dreamed of instant quality.
I loaded the Pentax SP500 camera I got off eBay yesterday with a colour film (200 asa) and took a few shots in and around my home, experimenting with different lenses. The clearest shots were achieved with the original Takumar 1:2/55mm … Continue reading →
When the first Pentax Spotmatic was introduced to the public at the 1960 PHOTOKINA, photographic fair, in Cologne, Germany, it attracted the instant and close attention of photographers and photographic engineers alike.
The model range included the original Spotmatic, Spotmatic II and IIa, Spotmatic F, plus the SP500 and SP1000. There was also the Pentax SL, which was identical to the Spotmatic except that it did not have the built-in light meter
I have just bought and received via eBay a Pentax SP500 camera. I put a new battery into it and the internal light meter worked straight away. Unlike the Pentax K1000 you need to switch the light meter on using a sliding switch on the front of the body.
The film is loaded and I have begun clicking away…
Pentax cameras of this era came with fantastic standard multi coated lenses. The one I purchased came with an original Takumar 1:2/55mm lens, a great lens that is flexible and precise.
Photograph self portrait 1974 This was taken with a 35mm Pentax SLR in 1974 and manipulated in the darkroom in Stourbridge College of Art and Design. This reminds me of the simple pleasures I had messing about with making images – it is a … Continue reading →
I haven’t used a 35mm camera for years. I recently decided to take my old Pentax K1000 with me to Venice. I took some great black and white shots from our hotel window, looking out over the Grand Canal towards … Continue reading →
The Pentax K1000 (originally marked the Asahi Pentax K1000) is an interchangeable lens, 35 mm film, single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, manufactured by Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. from 1976 to 1997, originally in Japan. It uses a horizontal travel, rubberized silk cloth focal plane shutter with a speed range of 1/1000 second to 1 second, along with Bulb and a flash X-sync of 1/60 second. It is 91.4 millimetres tall, 143 mm wide, and 48 mm deep, and weighs 620 grams. The body was finished in black leather with chrome trim only, although early production Pentax K1000 SE bodies had brown leather with chrome trim.