CINESTILL 800T (First roll)

My Cinestill backer kit finally arrived and I immediately put a roll in a borrowed Mamiya 645. Along with two good friends, we signed up for Indego bikes and roamed the city at night. Here are my photos from my initial roll, hope you enjoy.

There would be more on the roll but due to user error and one minor camera malfunction there are only 11 shots - Not a fault of the alpha roll of Cinestill 800T itself.

 

Thank you to Cinestill for putting in the work to create this awesome film and thank you to Indie Photo for dev and scanning as always! 

Argus 75 - Modified to use 120 Film (Video).

I've been toying with the idea of making videos for a few months now and today I've completed my very first. I often come across a lot of old cameras from all over during my adventures and searches. When I find one interesting, I research it, clean it as best I can, then test with film. It brings me joy to use these often discarded pieces of history and I figured others would enjoy watching me keep them alive! 

Here's the first of hopefully many many videos. This one is about the Argus 75, a 60s toy-like camera I modified to use easily accessible modern 120 film. Don't forget to see the sample images at the end of the video.

Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoy the video. Please like/comment if you do!


Acadia National Park, Maine.

This past weekend six of us piled into a crew cab pick up truck and drove from Jersey to Maine. With copious amounts of film and granola bars we camped under the stars, needless to say it was in-tents.

I feel this post is allotted at least one pun given the fact I had to read countless "Maine" puns during our stay. Shout out to Mainely Meat for hooking us up with giant pancakes! 

Despite being in Bar Harbor / Acadia a mere weekend, I already miss it and want to return. It was a well needed change of pace from life in Philadelphia. From chopping fire wood and setting up camp, to looking up at the night sky and seeing every constellation without squinting, to hiking up a summit and peering over the island, it truly clears the mind and allows you to be in the moment. 

Here are some highlights from the trip. 

The Milky Way. This was our view above the camp in Bar Harbor. [Sony A7 / Voigt 40]

This trip to Acadia was special to me because it was the first national park I ever visited. Having been inspired by Stephen Sutter and his prolific travels, I jumped on the opportunity to join him. Having camped in Acadia and climbed a literal mountain, my life was quickly put into perspective. I have traveled more in this year than I have in any other, from NYC, Toronto, and now Maine. To some it may not seem like much but to me its humbling. I want to continue to travel and explore as much as I possibly can so that I can grow as a person and a photographer. 

Holding up my freshly stamped national parks passport book. I want to thank Alex Medvick for taking this photo of me! [Sony A7 / Voigt 40]

Here's a quick list of the photo gear I brought on this trip.

Cameras  -

  • Sony A7 / Voigt 40mm
  • Nikon F3 / 50mm
  • Lomo'Instant (I'll do a write up on this camera at a later date)

Film -

  • Kodak Elite Chrome (expired 1996) 
  • Kodak Ektar 35/120
  • Kodak Portra 400 120
  • Kodak Color Plus

Two fellow climbers watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. [Pentax 67 - Portra 400]

I was lucky enough to use Alex Medvicks' Pentax 67 during the weekend and I have to say I love it. It was my first time using medium format and I think I may be hooked! I'll be on the look out for a 67 in the near future.

Beehive Trail. [Nikon F3 / 50 / Kodak Ektar ]

The trek up this mountain was an experience I wont soon forget. From shimmying across  narrow ledges, to pulling myself up iron rungs driven into the mountain side to reach the summit. It's no Everest but this 520 ft mountain delivers a beautiful view. 

Stephen looking over Acadia. [Nikon F3 / 50 / Kodak Elite Chrome (expired)]

Below the summit and above "The Bowl". [Nikon F3 / 50 / Kodak Ektar]

From Sand Beach to Thunder Hole, the coast of Acadia was a rocky wonderland. On the coast we saw countless snails and sea life in the tide pools, not to mention some kelp! 

The Coast. [Nikon F3 / 50 / Kodak Ektar]

This is probably one of my favorite photos of the trip. Alex and I were near the waters edge and a few yards from Thunder Hole. I may have accidentally underexposed the Pentax but I quite like how gloomy it makes the shot look. 

Alex. [Pentax 67 - Kodak Ektar]

I felt the urge to climb everything here. The landscapes are expansive and you feel the need to go higher just to take it all in. I like the dynamic of this particular photo, Stephen is perched in the middle of the rocky coast itself. 

Stephen. [Nikon F3 / 50 / Kodak Ektar]

Its no surprise blue is my favorite color. The ocean and sky tones really set the mood at Sand Beach. I only wish it was slightly warmer so I could have swam! 

Kate. [Nikon F3 / 50 / Kodak Color Plus]

I could go on with the photos but I'll keep this post on the short side. Last but not least is Leeanne in the field next to camp. This is literally the first medium format photo I've ever taken and Im so glad it isnt blurry haha! 

Leeanne. [Pentax 67 - Kodak Ektar]

I'm grateful to have had the chance for this trip, I had an amazing time in Maine and it was wonderful getting to know more like minded people. 

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post!

Polaroid Land Camera Battery Conversion.

Do you want to upgrade your beloved Land camera's battery source to something a bit more modern like two AAA batteries? Then this quick guide is for you!

Let's start off by going over the supply list:

  • Small rotary tool with cut off disc
  • Soldering Iron with Rosin Core wire **
  • Heat shrink rubber tubes- 1/8" (~3mm) **
  • AAA battery holder with wire leads
  • AAA battery x2
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • Lighter

** Alternatively you can simply reconnect the battery wires with electrical tape but I chose to solder and heat shrink the exposed joint for something more secure. ** 

Back side of a Polaroid Land Camera 210 with battery box door open. 

Originally, the Polaroid Land Camera used a single 3V or 4.5V battery. In my case, the Land Camera 210 used a 3V so two 1.5V AAA batteries are enough. 

3V battery vs two 1.5V AAA batteries. 

3V battery vs two 1.5V AAA batteries. 

You will start be removing your current battery and cleaning the connections and housing of any corrosion or debris. Once the battery is disconnected and removed, cut off the original battery connections.

Remember to leave enough wire to rejoin the new battery holder to the camera!

Carefully remove some of the wire insulation so you can properly join the battery tray.

Use your wire cutters (in my case, needle nose pliers) to remove some of the wire insulation so you can properly join the new battery tray to the camera's original wires. 

Removing plastic tray material to make room for new battery holder. 

Before you can begin using the rotary tool, remove the metal battery tray lock. This requires a smaller Phillips screw driver. Place it aside along with its screw for re-installation later. Then push the battery wires off to the side ensuring you don't accidentally damage them with your cutting disc. 

Begin cutting off the "C" looking battery clips. The idea is to break down the cutting into sections and remove the least amount of material as possible because once its gone, its gone! Once the original battery clips are removed, you'll want to cut further into the tray. Forming a notch, much like a "U". The new battery tray will lay partially upright in this notch and sit below the top edge of the cameras battery enclosure. It will take some trial and error. After making a few cuts, place your battery tray into the notch and see if the door can close. 

Remember that the metal battery tray lock also takes up space and must be accounted for!

Reconnecting the power supply wires. 

Reconnecting the power supply wires. 

Now that you have enough space for your battery holder, you can reattach the metal battery tray lock and start connecting the wires.

Remember to place your rubber shrink tubes on BEFORE joining the wires! 

You will connect [Black - Black], and [Red - White]. After you've connected the wires, you can test to see if the camera is getting power by pushing down the shutter lever, and with one hand cover the light sensor and with the other pressing the shutter button. You will hear one click by pressing the shutter and a second click upon releasing the shutter. If there is only one click, re-check your connections.

Once you are sure there is a proper physical connection between the joining wires and the camera is getting power, you can begin to solder them together. 

Power supply wires are soldered. 

Once the wires are soldered you will slide the rubber shrink tubes over the exposed wire and begin heating them up with a lighter. Take your time doing this, you don't need to apply much heat to the rubber for it to shrink.

Be careful not to burn yourself or the original wire insulation!

Rubber shrink tubes are secured to exposed joints.

At this point in the conversion I had to revise my cutting and improve the notch I made. The AAA battery holder needs to have enough clearance for the tray door to shut and for the metal locking clip to compress and secure itself to the door. 

This required me to cut a deeper U shaped notch. 

Creating a deeper notch for the AAA battery tray. 

This is how my battery holder fits into the tray. Its partially upright and snug. The door shuts completely, the locking clip works and the wires are not bound or pinched. 

Complete battery conversion. 

Conversion complete! 

 

Thank you for reading this Polaroid Land Camera conversion guide. If you have any questions, feel free to message me at NicholasKoenig@outlook.com. 

 

Don't get lost in tasks and duties.

We often get caught up in the daily routine of life and ultimately let opportunities pass us by. We wait for something amazing to happen instead of actively pursuing it. I'm here to tell you small victories lead to greater ones. Take the spontaneous approach and go for it. There is always a way.

With no place to stay, little gas money, and the desire to escape the city even for a few hours the three of us set off for Jersey late Friday night immediately after work.  

Where would we sleep? We choose the back of my brothers truck. I would not recommend this due to lack of space and the lack of any form of comfort but given the circumstance it did the job and I'd do it again if I had to!  

My brother's Chevy C20, AKA "The Silverado Inn". | Kodak Ektar |

We arrived around 2am and found a corner deli to grab some quick food before attempting to sleep. Roughly 3 hours later of laying in the back of a hot and crammed Chevy C20 we collectively decided to "wake up".  After a quick pit stop at Wawa and parking lot stretches, we made our way to the first beach. 

The Atlantic | Kodak Ektar |

The sun was low in the sky and mellow. It's rays making a wake of light in the ocean much like the moon would at night. The beach was empty and quite except for the tide and occasional birds.  At this very moment it was clear that everything was worth it. Not just what we went through during the night, but the days and weeks leading up to it. This was the type of release I was after. 

In the Atlantic with my Nikon F3 and my best friend John. | Kodak Ektar | 

We walked the beach, swam in the Atlantic and took a nap in the sun all the while soaking all the moments and replenishing what our daily lives had taken out. The ocean had redeemed us. 

"The S.S. Atlantus" - sunk 1926 | Kodak Ektar |

A few hours later we hopped back in the truck and headed to another beach. This one Sunset Beach. I went here often as a kid and it's just as good as I remember. Directly off the cost is an old naval wreck known has the S.S. Atlantus. The many decades of tides have shrunken the ship but its still clearly visible and awe inspiring. It was an experimental ship built in 1918, using concrete as the hull material!

This beach also has an amazing eatery called The Grille. Seeing as we arrived at this beach around 9am and I was adjusting to the time of day from staying awake / sleeping shortly. I was thrown off by the breakfast only menu. We had done so much and it wasn't even noon. I pondered this thought while eating my sausage, egg and cheese with a hash brown side. I truly felt like I was "living the life". 

One of the coolest gift shops I've been to | Kodak Ektar |

Their geologic gift shop is one of my favorite attractions of this beach. There are dozens of rocks and items from around the globe. Even if you don't buy anything, it's like you are in a mini rock museum.

By the time we finished wondering around the beach, eating and joking amongst ourselves , it was probably noon. We had thoroughly enjoyed our day, getting all we could out of our time and money spent. Our trip was complete, our goal accomplished. We were ready to head back to Philadelphia. 

Home bound | Kodak Ektar | 

Even though this trip was short by most standards and on a shoe string budget, the moments it generated are what I'll remember for years to come, not what I did at work that Friday. 

I hope this inspires in some small way. Thank you for reading! 

Flea Market finds #001

I've been frequenting flea markets for almost a year now and with a bit effort, persistence and luck, I've found some amazing and usable camera gear.  Although I casually mentioned some of my previous finds before I thought it would be a great idea to properly blog my loot from now on. 

During this Sunday's hunt for gear I was able to find another Land Camera, this one a 210! It came with a Polaroid flash as well as the leather(?) Polaroid carrying case. I'm quite happy with this because my previous flea market Land Camera is seemingly on its last leg and I'll be glad to put the 210 to use. I tested it with a working battery and the shutter and electronics work. I ordered some film and a AAA battery holder so I can convert its power source to something more modern and accessible. I'll create a write up on the conversion once it comes in the mail. 

Polaroid Land Camera Automatic 210 with flash

I also spotted a Kodak Baby Brownie Special, these pop up fairly common for me but it was in great shape and I couldn't pass it up. I opened up the case and surprisingly enough, it still contained a roll of 127 film! Who knows what, if anything could still be on that roll of film.

Last but not least, I found another roll of expired FujiColor SuperHQ. I have an affinity for expired film and there was no way I could pass it up! 

Expired FujiColor SuperHQ / Kodak Baby Brownie Super 

Total cost:
Polaroid Land Camera 210 (w/ case and flash) - $2
Kodak Baby Brownie Special - $1
Expired FujiColor SuperHQ - $1

This week's find was definitely small compared to some of my other weeks but nonetheless still a good haul for a $4.  

First DIY picture frame completed!

I completed my first hand made picture frame today. I plan on doing a how-to but I decided to try the entire process before laying out the steps. 

Overall I'm pleased with the frame but there are kinks I need to iron out and techniques I need to put more thought into. Such as bonding the layers properly (the paper based glue is some what unpredictable), overlapping the outer frame edge in a more aesthetically pleasing manner as well as taking more time to score the lexan sheet as it takes precision and a careful yet firm touch. I'm sure there are a few more things I wanted to work on but those are the major problem areas in my mind currently. 

Again, it is the first of many frames yet to be made and I will refine my process and product with more trail and error. I hope this inspires at least one of you to go out and create something yourself, the reward is worth the effort many times over.

Minimal, light weight and self made; all the qualities I wanted in a frame to showcase my art. 

Product dimensions: 9 x 13 x 1/4

 

Joining LENS APE.

Jake Spruce (creator of LENS APE) and I have been conversing since he first invited me to partake in an interview this past April. Our interests in analog lenses and photography in general instantly clicked. Now that I'm part of the team, I look forward to contributing to the LENS APE community and growing more into my own photography than I could have alone. 

In case you missed the interview, you can check it out here- In Conversation with Nicholas Koenig

 

You can check out my full introduction to LENS APE here!