Thrift Store Find: Yashica T4 Zoom

In the modern world of point and shoot film cameras, the Yashica T4 models are coveted among thrift store hunters as people are paying over $300 to own one.

I visited my favorite thrift store where I often find cameras including my Olympus Infinity Stylus. I dug through the usual camera bin and didn’t find anything. Before leaving I scanned the shelves, moved a few items around and noticed the underside of a camera. I almost got sick with excitement when I turned the camera over and realized it was a Yashica T4 Zoom for just $3.99.

For further in depth information on the camera, be sure to read the excellent reviews by Casual Photophile and Film Advance.

I loaded the camera with film and took her for a test drive. I was unaware I had the date printing option selected at the beginning of the roll which you will see on several photos below.

My favorite photo is the building with the mirrored windows as well as the set of photos of our family in front of the red brick wall.

I’ve only shot one roll with this camera but look forward to using it more.

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A Month In Film Photos: Olympus Infinity Stylus

I forgot I was shooting with this camera.

I loaded my Olympus Infinity Stylus with a roll of Ilford HP5 and took it on our spring break trip to Cleveland in order to document our adventures in black and white. I remembered to use the camera in Cincinnati, at the beginning of our trip, but then I placed it in my backpack where it got lost in the debris and I didn’t use at all in Cleveland.

In fact, I kept forgetting to use the camera consistently for about a month. When my photos were developed, it represented a perfect snapshot (pun intended) of my family during that time. With digital photography and iPhone photos, there isn’t a beginning or an end, we just keep taking more photos. A single roll of film puts interesting parameters on time. For instance, in one roll of 36 photos, we visited Cincinnati and celebrated both Easter and my 40th birthday. There were even enough photos left to capture some miscellaneous shots in our neighborhood.

Below are those photos and a little about each set.

CINCINNATI:

We visited Cleveland for Spring Break this year and stopped in Cincinnati to see family on the way. We strolled around and took photos in both the Over The Rhine and Northside neighborhoods.

My favorite photo is of my boys standing in the alley. When I was preparing to take the photo, a random dog came out of nowhere and perfectly posed in between them.

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EASTER:

This year we decided to capture our Easter family photos on film.

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I TURNED 40:

Yes, I turned 40 in April and we celebrated with a family lunch in Columbia, TN. The third photo below is taken by my nephew (the cool dude in the 76er’s jersey). It was his first time taking a film photo and he simply whispered, “Coooooool” after pressing the shutter button.

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MISCELLANEOUS PHOTOS:

I thought it would be fun to finish up the roll around our house on a beautiful day outside. We have access to a river within walking distance and I wanted to see how well I could capture the trees’ reflection in the water with this point and shoot. I think it did a great job.

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That’s the last of the photos…see you later.

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My First Photo Shoot With The Canon AE-1

I’ve never used a 35mm SLR camera before.

The past few months I’ve only shot with Polaroid and point and shoot cameras. I’ve  avoided using an SLR camera with all of the different settings. How do I learn to use the proper aperture, setting the ISO/ASA, lighting, etc? Even just loading the film is intimidating.

I decided to stop avoiding the inevitable and learn how to shoot the Canon AE-1 camera below. I found the manual online, watched a few YouTube videos, loaded a roll of Kodak T-Max 100 film and just started shooting.

My first few photos were not shot according to the manual and yet somehow turned out to be my favorites. The user manual suggests setting the aperture ring to the “A” mark for automatic exposure. I incorrectly set the aperture to another setting which provided the great shots below with the bokeh (blurry) backgrounds.

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I adjusted the aperture back to auto and the following photos are acceptable, but they may have been a little more interesting if I wasn’t using the automatic exposure mode.

That’s not all I screwed up. When rewinding the film for the first time, I stopped with the film counter at “S” and should have kept rewinding, as the “S” does not always mean it’s the end of the film roll. I opened the back of the camera and immediately closed it when I saw the film had not been fully rewound.

Therefore, when scrolling through the photos, you will see some have a bright line or two going through the middle. I believe this occurred by not rewinding the film the entire way. Oh well, lesson learned.

I also need to practice focusing and steadying my shot. A few photos turned out focused, but others are a little blurry and that could be either from not focusing properly or from a shaky trigger finger causing the camera to move when taking the photo. Taking a photo with this camera is a lot different than using a point and shoot and obviously different than an iPhone so it’s easy to accidentally move the camera when shooting.

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Please note, the two photos below are the same shots, just focused differently. The first photo I intentionally focused on the leaves, hoping the background would be blurry. The next photo is the same shot but focused on the path instead of the leaves.

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It is encouraging to see how these shots turned out using the Canon AE-1. I already shot another roll of black and white film and am excited to see how those photos also turn out.

One thing I will do differently going forward is turn the aperture ring off the “A” mark setting and experiment more with the aperture settings and depth of field.

I look forward to shooting with this camera again this weekend.

Olympus Infinity Stylus + Kodak UltraMax 400

About a month ago I stopped at my favorite local thrift store on the hunt for cameras. I am an active thrift store shopper, usually hunting for old electronics to fix and flip. I always passed up cameras because they seemed too intimidating to purchase, test and resell. They felt like a headache.

The past few months I have been keeping an eye out for cameras in thrift stores, especially with the growing interest in point and shoots. My first few attempts greeted me with just the inventory I needed to continue searching every weekend. One of those early finds was this original Olympus Infinity Stylus.

Research informs me this is the “older brother” model to the insanely popular Mju II model. The camera was priced $3.99 and it was the day of the monthly 50% off sale so with tax and rounding up for charity I paid a whopping $3.

I finally got around to shooting an entire roll of Kodak UltraMax 400 film with the camera. I have a couple of other Olympus Stylus models, including a Zoom 80 version and just like those cameras, this model fits easily into my pocket and is easy to pull out, slide open and take a quick photo. Compare that to a Yashica T4 Zoom I recently found (and will post about soon) which I find to be a bit less efficient in use. With the Yashica I have to manually turn the power on and off and it’s a bit clunky. These Olympus cameras fit anywhere and are so easy to power on and off by opening the slide on the front of the camera. I love it.

Overall I thought the images turned out as expected for this point and shoot. I am just getting back into film photography so the auto settings and ease of use with a point and shoot is key for me. There are a few shots below that didn’t turn out that well but mostly because of my lack of understanding regarding how to use the camera in the best possible way.  Also, at some point during shooting, I triggered the date to be printed on the camera which obviously hasn’t been updated since 1989, ha.

I’ll definitely be shooting more with this little camera!

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Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 + Ilford HP5

If you have read this site before, it’s no secret that I love my Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 point and shoot camera. I haven’t shot a film camera since I was young (and those were probably disposable cameras only) so these point and shoot cameras have been an easy way for me to get back into shooting film.

Recently I had the idea to run a roll of black and white film through the camera and see how it turned out. I decided to use Ilford HP5 Plus 400 as the film and was very pleased with the results.

A few things to note:

A lot of the outdoor industrial shots were taken midday on my lunch break and the sun was out in full force. I knew this going in but I was restless that day in my office and needed to go out for a walk and take photos.

I tried to take a photo of the giant moon that was visible one night, knowing it would be a risky shot. I didn’t have a tripod so I pulled into a neighborhood store’s parking lot and set the camera on the roof of my car and took two shots. As you’ll see below, neither turned out that great but I was obviously moving too much on the second shot and it resulted in what reminds me of a stick figure made of light.

What I really love the most is how the photos of my sons and their friend turned out. In the first set I had great lighting outside and those turned out the best. The photos near the end of the roll were shot inside at night and the flash did the hard work. I would easily take another roll of this film and just line people up outside and shoot away if ever given the chance.

As I have noted in my other posts on this camera, it suffers from light leaks common with this model. It’s most noticeable when I shoot on a sunny day as you will see in the photos. Sometimes the leaks add a certain character to the photo that I enjoy while other times it’s a little distracting. But on overcast days, like in the first two shots below, the leaks aren’t noticeable at all.

I can’t wait to shoot another black and white roll with this camera.

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Minolta F35 Big Finder

I was recently inspired from this post by Awesome Cameras to keep my eyes out for a Minolta F35 Big Finder camera. I found this camera and loaded with Fuji Superia X-tra 400 film to shoot around town and document more of the Nashville snow that kept us stuck at home for a few days.

As you can expect, the camera is very easy to use and it cannot be overstated just how large the viewfinder is. It’s something Awesome Cameras points out in their video but you really can’t understand the size until you use the camera. It’s huge.

I shot around Nashville, including the dilapidated baseball stadium that has yet to be torn down. On the way walking to the stadium I have to cross an overpass and I snapped a few photos there. I really like the way the overpass photos turned out.

I had this roll developed at the same time I shot my Olympus Zoom 80  and it’s not fair to compare the two cameras, but I still enjoyed shooting the Minolta and I think some of the photos turned out well. I believe if I shot on a sunnier day, I would have more dynamic photos, but given I was simply pointing and shooting quickly (especially on the cold snow days), I like how these turned out.

If you’re ever looking for a fun camera and run across this Minolta, pick it up!

Photos below and I’ll include the great video Awesome Cameras produced at the end of the post!

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Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 Snow Daze

This is my third blog post on my Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom camera but as you can see with my other two posts, I love the simplicity of the camera and how the photos turn out each time I have the film developed. These photos were shot on Fuji Superia X-tra 400.

January brought Nashville freezing temperatures and I had a few opportunities to shoot the frozen days, the snow days and even the final thaw.

My favorite photo of the roll is the one below of the trees. I love the way the center tree is highlighted.

My next test on the Olympus will be with black and white film but in the meantime, enjoy these shots below!

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