Those that know Nicole and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with…the Rollei 35 S.

 

 

A few quick facts about the Rollei 35 S…this very compact 35mm camera was made by the German company Rollei. A few different models exist, the Rollei 35 (later renamed Rollei 35T) being the original with a Tessar f/3.5 40mm lens. The S model came out around 1974 after fitting it with the higher end Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/2.8 40mm lens. Originally Rollei made all Rollei 35 cameras in their German factory but later on started making them in their Singapore factory at a lower cost. Each Rollei is stamped on the back saying either “Made by Rollei in Germany” or “Made by Rollei in Singapore”. It appears most if not all of the Rollei 35S models were made in Singapore, which is where mine was made. There is some debate amongst “die-hards” which is better.

This little camera is already very compact, but it’s collapsible lens makes it even more compact, which I really love. The light meter on this camera seemed to work well still, and I liked the fact that it has all manually controlled aperture and shutter speed settings. However, I’m not crazy about it’s zone focus system and apparently I wasn’t great at determing distance when shooting with it. Nicole and I had fun wandering around during Fan Expo at the Convention Centre and meeting some people dressed up in great costumes, but I was very disappointed with my resulting out of focus photos in many instances. No doubt a shallow depth of field was partially to blame for some of the images I shot wide open in the shade, but still disappointing nonetheless.

I enjoyed shooting with this little camera though, but it’s one main issue (with this camera in particular), was that unfortunately the rewind gear had died and did not engage when it came time to rewind. Though apparently it is a plastic part and not uncommon for this to happen. Luckily our friends at Rocket Repro saved the film for me and were able to still develop it.

 


  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: NIKON D500
  • Focal length: 500mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/1600s

I recently took out a Nikon D500 body and Nikon 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR lens to try my hand at photographing Anna’s Hummingbirds. As you may know, the Anna’s Hummingbird is the official city bird of Vancouver. They can be year round residents of the city, as many residents are nice enough to maintain feeders all year. The Anna’s Hummingbird will start their nesting season in late February, and into mid-March, when they will build their nests and rear their young.

During this time, the hummingbirds will go out looking for the materials necessary to build their nests with.  A marvel of engineering, the birds will use spider webs, animal fur, bird feathers, lichen and cattail seeds as materials to build their nests.  Cattail seeds have large tufts of fluff attached to them, which are a favourite of hummingbirds.

I went to a park in Vancouver where cattails grow and waited for the hummingbirds to arrive.  I did not have to wait long, as within a few minutes of setting up, the first female Anna’s Hummingbird showed up to gather the cattail seeds.  They are such fast fliers, and only stick around for 3 ~ 5 seconds so you have to be fast! 

I have my camera set up so that the shutter speeds are at least 1/1600 sec in order to stop the motion of the rapidly flapping wings.  I chose the Nikon D500 body due to its excellent image quality, speed (10 fps) and buffer size (up to 200 RAW).  I chose the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6E VR lens due to its light weight and relatively small size (compared to my 600mm f4).  The body & lens combo did not disappoint, as the focusing was accurate and the D500 was able keep shooting long after other cameras would stop or slow down due to a full buffer.  One disadvantage of the 200-500mm lens is the relatively slow focusing speed (again, compared to my 600mm f4) but the performance of this camera and lens combination would have been unthinkable at this price point even just a few years ago! 

Another reason I love the Nikon D500 + Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 combination is the incredible efficiency of the stabilization system.  The photo below was handheld at 1/160 sec with the lens zoomed out to 500mm. 

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: NIKON D500
  • Focal length: 500mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s

Here at Beau Photo, we sell and also rent the Nikon D500 DSLR & Nikon 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR lens.  The Nikon D500 rents for $175 per day or weekend and the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 lens rents for $40 per day or weekend.  If you decide to purchase what you rented, we will also credit you back the rental towards a purchase for up to 30 days after the rental, and up to two days rental.


To my dismay, I realized that I forgot to put the Nikon rebates (running until March 28th) in our March 2019 newsletter. A big OOPS on my part! We could update the newsletter but then we wouldn’t want to spam everyone with an update email, and most people have likely already read the newsletter so may not even notice an update.

In any case, before I get to the missed rebates, I wanted to give a little plug for our monthly newsletter too. If you click on the NEWSLETTER link on our main menu, you can view our current newsletter, or download a PDF of it, and you can access an archive of our previous newsletters for the last few years. Each month we offer product reviews, technical tips and articles, lists of sales and rebates (save a few lapses now and then!), notices of upcoming events, seminars, exhibitions and much more. If you want to stay up to date, there is a subscription option on our newsletter page as well. Well worth subscribing to in our opinion!

So, here is the list of current Nikon rebates that would likely interest our customers the most, and here’s hoping that lots of them, like you, read our blog too!

Nikon D850 Body $3,999  (SAVE $300)
Nikon D850 Body + AF-S 24-105mm f/4F VR Bundle $5,149  (SAVE $500)
Nikon D750 Body $1,699  (SAVE $750)
Nikon D750 Kit w/AF-S 24-105mm f/4F VR $2,399  (SAVE $700)
Nikon D500 Body $2,399  (SAVE $300)

Nikkor AF-S 20mm f/1.8G $899  (SAVE $100)
Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G $799  (SAVE $70)
Nikkor AF-S 35mm f/1.8G $599  (SAVE $70)
Nikkor AF-S 60mm f/2.8G Micro $649  (SAVE $80)
Nikkor AF-S 105mm f/2.8G VR Micro $999  (SAVE $130)
Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G $2,099  (SAVE $270)
Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E VR II $2,699  (SAVE $300)
Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/4G VR $1,549  (SAVE $250)
Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR $3,199  (SAVE $400)
Nikkor AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E VR $1,599  (SAVE $150)


Those that know Nicole and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with…the Revue 35 CC.

 

A few quick facts about the Revue 35 CC…this camera was sold by Foto-Quelle out of Nuremberg, Germany, who were one of the largest photographic retailers of the 1960’s. They sold cameras made by other manufacturers, such as Chinon and Consina, which is what this little Revue 35 CC camera is. It is a Foto-Quelle version of the Chinon Bellami, circa 1980, featuring a Chinonex 35mm f/2.8 lens, zone focus system, and most notably a barn door style lens cover that opens when the film advance lever is cocked halfway. I love the look of this little 35mm camera and it’s pop out lens and barn door style cover gives it a very slim profile when closed. It’s great to carry around everyday and there’s something incredibly satisfying about flipping open those doors when you want to take a photo!

That being said, I wasn’t as impressed with the photos from this little camera as I had hoped to be. When it exposed properly and the shutter speed seemed fast enough, then it did a great job. But it’s ability to judge shutter speed seemed to be a bit off, as a quite a few shots on what was not a sunny day but still a bright day with 400 speed film loaded, experienced camera shake from what I assume was a slow shutter speed. This camera also does not have an iso setting but only a DIN setting, which I’d not had to figure out with any other camera I’ve owned before. So perhaps I didn’t correctly set it, but from the various charts I read online, I’m pretty sure my DIN setting of 27 for a 400 iso film was correct. I enjoyed carrying this camera around and shooting with it so much that I’m shotting another roll with it right away just to see if I (it) can do any better. Though this time with a 200 iso film….so we’ll see if perhaps it’s just a fair weather camera only. Here are a couple of shots from it that turned out and one that ended up blurry…

 

 


Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is the most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with…Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 532/16.

 

A few quick facts about the Super Ikonta 532/16. The Super Ikonta 532/16 is a folding camera that takes 11 – 6×6 photos on 120 sized film. The Super Ikonta has an easy to use coupled rangefinder, controlled by a small focus wheel (with really rough grip treads!). It has a fast shutter speed of 1/400, which is pretty good for a camera of its age. The most open aperture is 2.8.

My friend and I had planned a visit to the Polygon Gallery in North Van. We got lucky and it was sunny out so I decided to take the Super Ikonta out with us. I found it a tad complicated to load, syncing up the exposure counter proved a bit confusing but it also doesn’t really matter as the film lead on 120 is long. Once I got the Super Ikonta loaded I really enjoyed using it. I can’t wait to try it out on a hike or camping trip in some summer weather, the fact it folds up is great, still a tad heavy but very slim! I also noted just like with my friends 645 Zeiss Ikon Ikonta B2 the film pressure plate in this Zeiss Ikon B2’s was also misleading…it reads ‘Zeiss Ikon Film 6x9cm B2 2 1/4 x  3 1/4’.

When we mentioned this on our previous blog installment a kind reader explained why this was…. “B2 film, at the time when the Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta was made, was 120 film numbered for 6 X 9. I believe that B1 film was a smaller size. So every camera of the day was marked for B2… 6 X 9 film, regardless of exposure size. Model A was 6 X 4.5.” Thanks again for the insight!

 


 

Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is the most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with….the Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B2.

 

 

 

This was a very quick date indeed as I was borrowing it off a friend, she had it gifted to her some time back.  At first glance I found the film pressure plate misleading…it reads ‘Zeiss Ikon Film 6x9cm B2 2 1/4 x  3 1/4’ . I was VERY confused as to what size negative this camera actually shot. The camera’s image plane looked to actually be 645 and indeed so did my negatives after I got them back. So no clue why it says that on it’s back door. I also own a B2 and found that its backdoor says the same thing. If anyone knows why they seem to indicate they are the wrong size, please enlighten me! However, I really enjoyed using this particular Zeiss Ikon, unlike some, I found this one very straightforward to use. Despite the lens looking in good condition though the photos I got from it were lower contrast than I would have liked.

 


Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is the most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with…..Soho Pilot 120.

 

A few quick facts about the Soho Pilot…it was manufactured in 1933 and I read it is made of bakelite, however personally I think it is too light for bakelite. It really is the most beautiful point & shoot I’ve ever seen. It has a fixed focal length and only has one shutter speed, aperture and T mode.

From the moment I laid eyes on this camera I knew I must have it! It was disheartening to find it was broken though. Someone had extended its bellows then not collapsed them all the way into the camera body and tried to fold the camera closed, severely bending the rails. I didn’t hold much hope for it being fixed however Frank came through again! He was able to correct the damage done. I still don’t know how he managed it, but he did. I took it out for a walk on a sunny winter day…..I took photos but collapsed it in between shots. When I scanned my photos I noticed there is definitely no obvious point of focus OR that it is, everything 10-15 feet away is pretty blurry in a non-charming way. However this camera is SO deco I really don’t care and it will happily sit on my shelf. I’ll most likely try it again though just to be sure it wasn’t user error.

 

 


Those that know Nicole and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with…the Anscoflex (pseudo) TLR camera.

 

 

A bit about the Ansco Anscoflex camera….or as I like to refer to it, The Refrigerator. To me this camera looks and is built like those rounded looking fridges from the 50’s, coupled with a roll top desk or perhaps an airplane hanger door. Built by the American company, Ansco, between 1953-56 and designed by renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy, this camera is essentially the “point and shoot” of TLR cameras. Though truly it is not a TLR, as it lacks an actual viewfinder lens, making it a fancy box camera essentially. Its unique design isn’t surprising when you see it was the created by the same designer who imagined the Greyhound Scenicruiser Bus. Featured in the 1956 Sears catalog for $27.95, this camera was touted as being easy to use and inexpensive.

It’s front lens cover slides up to create the viewfinder hood and reveal it’s fixed f/11 lens. Shutter speed is also fixed at 1/60th. This cameras unique film advance features a racheted side winder knob, that only sometimes allows the frame number to line up properly in the red viewing window. As the roll goes on, the numbers slowly slip out of view and no longer line up in the window. This doesn’t seem to really affect the photos though, aside from slowly spacing the frames further and further apart. Mine came in it’s original box, with a flash and matching refrigerator coloured case. It is in excellent condition and it certainly doesn’t look like any other camera in my collection, so it’s a really fun shelf piece. That being said, it’s also pretty fun to shoot with too! It has a incredibly large and bright, though not particularly accurate, view finder and it’s so streamlined it really is point and shoot. It’s red shutter button is quite satisfying to use, and once you wind the knob on the side to advance the film, the shutter button pops back out indicating you are ready to take another photo. I don’t get to shoot it very frequently, as it takes 620 film, but now that we have re-spooled Kodak TMAX 100 film 620 film in store I decided to give it another shot. Here are a few shots from what is my second roll through this camera and as it turns out, it is not a particularly sharp camera. There are points of focus in most of the images, but it seems to be very selective. It’s slow shutter speed does not really lend itself well to street photography unfortunately.

 


Those that know Nicole and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with….the Yashica Electro 35 MC.

 

 

A few quick facts about the Yashica Electro 35 MC…one of many small pocket sized cameras manufactured in the early 1970s, this little camera was aimed at those looking for something with mostly automatic features and that would fit in their purse or pocket. I borrowed this little camera from a friend to try out as I had never seen it before. We have had a few of its bigger brother the Yashica Electro 35 come through the store and I was never particularly taken by it though I’ve heard it’s a good camera. If I’m going to have a 35mm “point and shoot” or rangefinder camera, I like it to be as small as possible and the larger Electro 35 is too big for me. This little guy fits the bill though. However, it is not a rangefinder but a zone focus camera, which I’m generally not as interested in but there was something about this tiny camera that I was drawn to. It has a nice Yashinon-DX 40mm f/2.8 lens and runs only on aperture priority mode. The finish on this camera is eye catching too, I find. It is a sort of brushed metal look.

The zone focus is one thing to get used to and trust that you have any clue what distance your subject matter is at. I do alot of street or scenery photography mainly though, especially with point and shoots or rangefinders, so generally infinity settings usual serve me fairly well. When testing this camera out I tried to put my distance guessing to the test however and for the most part I did alright! Missed it on prob 3 closer shots on the roll. The more difficult thing to get used to with this camera though I found was the complete lack of settings information. Most cameras that are aperture priority at least let you know what shutter speed the camera is choosing for you to help you better decide which aperture to use. This one tells you nothing. The aperture ring does give you a slight hint with a sun or cloud icon and obviously most anyone that shoots manual regularly can figure out what your aperture setting might be on a cloudy or sunny day, but it still is a bit to get used to! So I clicked away and trusted that this little camera knew what it was doing….and it turns out it did! In general I was very impressed with the results and I would definitely shoot it again. It is a handy size and good to know I can get great results with it on the fly. I was also very impressed with its lower light capablities as well, no doubt partly due to it’s fast 2.8 lens. I used AGFA Vista 200 for this test roll.

 


Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!

Here is the most recent camera I had the pleasure of a date with….the Purma Special 127.

 

A few quick facts about the Purma Special, made in England from 1937 to early 50’s. Its made of Bakelite and has a rather unique design. Its actually pretty clever if you ask me, it sports a curved focal plane shutter which has three speeds, its neat how one changes speeds, by positioning the camera differently when framing your photo, you achieve a slow 1/25, medium 1/150 or fast 1/450 shutter speed by keeping the camera horizontal or vertically framing to the left or right. It is referred to as gravity controlled.

I spied this camera at the fall Vancouver Camera show, the one held at the Croatian Cultural center twice a year. The gentleman had two of these, one was perfect and out of my price range and the other was not so perfect and STILL pricey, however it was Bakelite and had a unique shape — only after did I realize just how unique it was. It took me a while to finish my roll, I admit to being nervous about carrying it around with me because of its slippery exterior and odd shape, I am clumsy and it begged to escape my grasp and tumble down. Like with all my other “box” style point & shoot-esque Bakelite cameras I assumed 4 feet was the close the focus only to find that I either misjudged 4 feet OR the close focus is actually 6 feet or more! One thing I noticed is it must have a better Anastigmat lens in it than most because my photos seemed uncharacteristically sharp. Also because of its different shutter speeds I was able to get good photos in all types of light. This is definitely one of the keepers, makes me wish now that I’d sprung for the pristine one.

 


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