Category Archives: Photography


Over the weekend, I got together with a few other photo enthusiast from work to play around with our cameras and take some photographs. We tried a few different types of shoots but ended up taking some portraits of one of the neighbors, a woman named Margaret, sitting in her car.

These aren’t the type of shots I would normally take but it was good to try something new and move outside of my comfort zone.


And here is a bonus behind the scenes shot.

Is Arista Premium 400 Really Kodak Tri-X?

The general thought on the Internet is that Freestyle’s Arista Premium 400 is really Kodak Tri-X that has been rebadged.

Today I developed a section from a 100 foot bulk roll of Arista Premium 400 and as you can see it has the words “K’ODAK 400TX” written on it.

So, mystery solved.

Gallery Page Added

New Gallery Added

I have added a new gallery to the web site. This gallery will showcase some favorites from my toy camera and low fidelity collection. You can access the gallery by clicking on the link in the Pages section at the bottom of the page.

New Photo Blog

This week I stated a new photoblog over at . I will still maintain Blur Dot Blog but I will use it for my low fidelity and toy camera photography. The new blog will be used for everything else.

If you wish you can subscribe to the new blog via RSS at Click on the photo below to be taken to the inaugural post.

Leica M2 First Impressions

Leica M2

Over the weekend I picked up a Leica M2 35mm rangefinder camera at the San Jose Photo Fair. I had been watching these cameras on eBay to see what the usual prices were and I was planning of buying one around Christmas time. But on Saturday, when I held this M2 in my hand I just had to have it right then and there.

Leica M2

When I was researching what M model to get I settled on the M2 over the M3 because of the 35mm frame lines in the M2. The widest M3 frame lines are for 50mm lens and my main lens these days is a 35mm. The camera didn’t come with a lens so it is shown here with my Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4.

It looks like this camera may be from around 1960 or 1961.

Leica M2

The camera is in fairly decent condition. Cosmetically there is some vulcanite missing from the body below the lens and there are a few minor dings on the back but mechanically and optically everything seems to be in order. Based on some limited testing, the rangefinder appears to be spot on and the shutter speeds seem to be correct. The film transport is very smooth and the viewfinder is nice and bright with a very clear rangefinder patch.

The shutter sound of Leica cameras is famous for being quite and unobtrusive. It is definitely quieter than my Voigtländer Bessa R4A which has a loud clack sound but the Leica isn’t as quite as the compact Olympus XA rangefinder.

Leica M2

The M2 differs from later more modern models (like the M7) in a few ways. First, the Leica M2 is a fully mechanical camera with no batteries so there is no light meter. I will be using an external light meter or the sunny 16 rule to expose correctly. The rewind knob has no lever so it takes a little longer to rewind the film but I found it easier to use than rewinding with the lever on my Bessa.

Loading the film is not as straight forward compared to regular 35mm cameras. Instead of flipping open the back, loading is done by removing a plate on the bottom of the camera. There is a take up spool that you have to remove and thread the film into before inserting the film and spool back into the camera.  It’s easy enough to do when there is something to place the camera on while you hold the film in one hand and the spool in the other but I am not sure how I will load film on the go without finding somewhere upon which I can set down the camera. I will write a more detailed post on loading film sometime in the future.

Yesterday I ran a roll of Arista Premium 400 quickly through the camera to make sure it was working correctly. Everything looked pretty good. No leaks and I managed to expose everything fairly well. I have included a couple of the the photos from the test roll here.

Leica M2 Test Shot

Leica M2 Test Shot

If you have any tips on the M2, please leave them in the comments.

Sekonic L-VI

Sekonic L-VI Manual

Sekonic L-VI

Inspired by the post The History of Camera Manuals – Part One on the Film Wasters forum, I decided to post some of the old manuals I have in my very small collection. There is something really cool about the design and style of old packaging and manuals and leafing through them from time to time can be quite entertaining.

First up is the user manual for a Sekonic L-VI Exposure Meter.

If you want to download the manual as a zip file check out my manuals page.

Sekonic L-VI

Diana-F 162B camera

World Toy Camera Day Is This Weekend

Diana-F 162B camera

If you follow the world of Toy Camera or Low Fidelity photography, you probably know that this weekend is World Toy Camera Day. In fact, this year WTCD is actually two days and spans October 9th and 10th. In anticipation of that, I dug out my old Diana-F 162B camera and got it ready for use.

It’s been a long time since I used this camera. One of the reasons for this camera’s temporary retirement is that there was a large triangular light leak on all the photos. This was interesting at first but after a while I got bored with it since the leak was on every photo. You can see the leak in this old photograph taken in 2005.


I never did get around to troubleshooting the leak but my theory is that it is coming from one of the two holes at the top of the camera where the flash would normally go.

Diana-F with flash holes on the right.

Well, that is the theory so today I taped up the holes and I guess we’ll see if my theory is correct when I get my film back in a few weeks.

Taping up light leak on Diana-F camera

This year I have decided to load the camera with color film and have a few rolls of Kodak Portra 160NC available that got thrown in with my Mamiya 645 eBay purchase a while back. The film expired in 2004 but I don’t think that will cause any problems.

Here is the camera with the film wound on ready to go.

I also plan to bring my trusty Harrow camera (which is a Diana clone) and that one is currently loaded with some Foma black and white film.  And I may bring a Holga : forty year old cameras are not all that reliable so bringing a backup or two is always a good idea.

Stay tuned for some WTCD 2010 photos in a few weeks and if you have taken some, post a link a comments.