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Wednesday, 13 August 2014


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Really enjoy "The Morning Coffee", great way to start the day, especially when you are at work.

I vote for a continuation of same after you finish moving (it will take a year to finish)


Over the years, I've stored the boxes for each lens I bought. (Anybody need a box for a Leica 180 f2.8 that I bought in 1973?) The quirkiest thing I'll need to deal with are all the filters that I have accumulated over the years for lenses I no longer have.

"Morning Coffee" is a great addition to your site, Mike. I'm enjoying these snippets more and more. With respect to the dumpster, there is an old saying "three moves is as good as a fire" in terms of lightening the load of old stuff we all seem to hang on to. Hope you will enjoy your new home and office space.

Black & White Photography magazine huh? I bought that magazine a lot back in those days - 06 / 07 I think. That was where I first met the writing of Michael Johnson, and which led me to TOP.

These days I don't buy any print magazines. The articles generally seem to be shorter, and more aimed at the novice. And in general so many magazines now seem to be simply vehicles for selling.
I do occasionally flick through Black & White at the newsagents, although the thought usually crosses my mind that it should be renamed as 'Sepia Magazine' ...!

Good Luck with the disposal of un-needed items! I cant do it but thankfully my wife can! Here's a link to a teacher, here in Austin, who is living in a dumpster! He doesn't have a pool table though!

I've got a 10 X 10 X 10 storage space filled to the brim with stuff I'd kick myself for getting rid of, and it's 300 miles away from where I live now! 8X10 Deardorff, darkroom stuff, including a mint 4X5 Omega and Nikkor lenses, stainless steel reels, and I can go on and on. One day, one day, I'll have a space to set it all up...

What a shame to get rid of your FD lenses. Depending on which ones you had you could have got some good money for them. The Vintage glass market has been steadily rising in the last few years and the Sony line of A7 cameras has given even more rise to it. I have a Canon 58mm f1.2 that would probably get around $200 to $300.

This is an excellent way to keep things fresh and reader interest high.Thanks for the added effort.

In the process of cleaning out, if you come across an old forgotten film camera do tell us.
You might even like to shoot a roll with that!
Then, let us have a look at the pictures.
Happy hunting!

Hang on to those yellow filters, Mike. You'll find them handy when you acquire a Monochrom.

Did Black+White Photography lose their US distributor? I haven't seen a copy on the local news stands since the May issue. (Come to think of it, I didn't see any copies at my favorite newsagent in London the other week.)

Any chance of publishing a wee bit earlier? 6:30am CT is 12:30, midday in the UK. I assume it is a automatically scheduled web page update so 3:30am to fit in with our first tea break?

I bet you hated giving up the dark room you built a couple of years back? ;-)

Dear Mike: I'm interested in the developing tanks and reels--as long as they're for 120 film. Yes, really. My best friend Christine and I are getting back into medium format film photography, and eventually we'll be setting up darkrooms for printing.

What I really need are lenses for a Bessler enlarger; Paul Rice was kind enough to give me his old beast (although I think I might have been helping him get it gone from his garage!), but sans lenses.

It seems so odd going retro; I'm swimming with purpose against the tide of time and technology, opting for low, low tech in the face of rapidly improving digital photographic gear.

I see myself as trying to reach through the years in both directions; If I am ever to be a "master (sic) photographer", shouldn't I have a working knowledge of film and wet chemical printing?

I have one distinct advantage; analog photography gear is dirt cheap these days; As the Old School goes digital, they're dumping anachronistic gear like hot potatoes.

I have a rather impressive kit-- 2 Mamyiya RB67 ProS bodies, 5 backs, (3 6x7s, 1 6x4.5, 1 NRC Polaroid) 6 lenses (50, 65, 90, 127, 180, 250mm) that I bought piece-meal for a total of less than $1000.

Alan Ross, bless him, gave me one of his old Pentax Spotmeters at the end of my short apprenticeship with him last winter. He also gave me a working knowledge of proper exposure, how to use a film camera, how to develop film, how to visually inspect a print, how to mount and mat and frame a print.

I think eventually I'll go back to digital photography; After all, technology is advancing in wonderful ways, and quality will become more abundant and less expensive.

But for now, I'm finally understanding all the comments about the smell of chemicals in a darkroom, and I rather like that.

So, yeah, if you want to be rid of some of your 120 tanks and reels, I'd be interested.

I still find my old transparency loupes more valuable than ever, as the labels and instructions on food packaging, medicines, owners manuals get... ahem... 'smaller and smaller', w/ every passing year.

This is completely off topic, well, maybe not. After all this is "morning coffee" isn't it. I happened to come across an unknown way of making coffee. At least to me. And published on a photo blog. Well, sort of.
Enjoy. Here's the link (a finnish blog):

Aaah! No! Go pick those FD lenses back up and use them on mirrorless! Or send them to me and I'll use them...

I'm half-joking. But half-serious, too.

Good luck with your move.

(But still, I'd hold on to those...)

As an idea for a future Morning Coffee subject, how about "Printers: proof that the Devil lives?"

Sounds like you're making great strides, Mike. I think some things are just too precious to part with (where "precious" is defined as "greatly loved or treasured by someone.")

Like you, I also have a number of tokens which remind me of people, places, events in my photo past. They are a permanent part of my history at this point.

One example is a pair of old 35mm aluminum film cans, painted bright Kodak yellow, complete with equally old rolls of rewound film still in them. These came to me as a gift from someone long ago, and for all I know there are latent images made by some unknown photographer on that film. I'll probably never find out, since the darkroom I would need to process that film is long gone!

Some possessions whisper of possibilities. It pains to abandon possibilities.

[Amen. --Mike]

When my son was born, I tore down the darkroom and it sat in my basement for several years. Then I found a sucker^H^H^H^H^H^H friend who thought he wanted to set up a darkroom for printing and I sold him several small accessories including a bitchin' grain focuser that I loved. I sort of wish I could still use that grain focuser... it was a fantastic piece of optics.

Anyway, he carted all the stuff home, and then had a kid of his own and never set it up. Ha ha ha.

Ditto on the Autumn-like light here in New Jersey a few days ago. I think it was a combination of passing thunderstorms and the angle of the sun that created the illusion. We've had blustery (though warm) winds on several occasions as well. Another Summer blowing to an end.

I'm not ready to throw out my carousel slide projector. Nor my 8mm (not Super 8) movie projector. I plan to video directly to my DVD recorder another, better copy of my late father's slides and home movies, dubbed with music. I'll get to it someday;-)

Did Ctein send you any interesting pics from France?

I like your "Morning Coffee" feature. Though I usually don't get to read it until just before dinner.

I went through that a year ago. Cleaned out lots of obsolete stuff gone but not forgotten. Like memories they will soon fade.
Or be replaced by a new object dog desire.

I live just north of you in Pewaukee and you're right, the weather is just outstanding right now. Getting to where the green leaves are looking a little odd. Can't wait for fall.

Good luck on your move.

Enjoying your morning coffee with my morning coffee, Mike. Letting go of inanimate objects - especially books - is hard. Why don't you carefully clip your articles and then have them bound into a hardbound book? I've collected mementos of friends' and families' writings that way over the years.

Looked autumn in August? Here in the only country on earth with four clear clearly distinct seasons (Japan, o course), we are looking at at lease another month of 90-95 degree temperatures before it cools down to a Tokyo autumn-y 85 degrees.

Oh how I miss four seasons....

Agree with Chuck A's comment about keeping BW filters - my 52mm filters have found a new life on my Sigma Merrills in monochrome mode.

Emulating filters in software is not the same thing as exposing and capturing through a filter.

"Some of us still shoot film. More and MORE films, so don't throw anything out that can be sold :-) "

Or given away.

I get given a lot of old film equipment and where possible, I try to pass it on. Yesterday I posted a coiuple of Pentax bodies to someone and last year I gave a lot of Pentax stuff to a friend's daughter who was getting into film photography and had got her father to build a darkroom in the cellar.
Much better to try to find a new owner than just dump it.

Morning Coffee? Yes please, I like it :-)

I just gave away an old Leica 35mm enlarger to Dennis Da Silva, probably the last remaining commercial B&W film & paper developer and printer left in Johannesburg. He runs a company called the 'Alternative Print Workshop'. He prints for well known's like Roger Ballen and also gives workshops in alternative print making techniques etc.

Morning Coffee: Thumbs Up!

Hope you can keep it going after the move.

So you live 5 miles east of me. My leaves are still green and look great.
if you still have any development tanks stainless steel, I have someone who wants to repurpose them. That is if you haven't already sent them to Eddie.
Mike refused my offer of an old Leitz enlarger when he was setting up his darkroom that was never used. It's free to anyone who pays shipping.

I wish I lived near your Goodwill store so that I could get some very nice FD lenses on the cheap...but they'd probably end up sitting in a closet until I took them back to Goodwill several years later! I'm also saving up for a Pentax A 50mm f2.8 Macro after reading here that faster macros make for good all around lenses. I like the idea of being able to shoot anything, even things found on the ground.

I am still swearing I will learn B&W but I just moved to a house with a septic tank so developing my own film is no longer an option. I imagine the chemicals are not good for the bacteria and the soil behind my house. Hopefully when I finally get around to learning B&W film on my Pentax MX, there will still be a lab doing development somewhere. I just like manual cameras just as I like my manual transmission in my car.

I hope the move goes smoothly. Well as smoothly as those things can go. Someone once told me moving takes 5 years off your furniture's life...and 5 years off your own life! It sure takes a toll on you.

I opened the fridge and see more films than food. That's normal for everybody right?

... may be I should buy a small freezer...

(these 4x5 stuff grow like fungi)

The blog is "Online Photographer"
You are trying hard to keep it irrelevant
and pollute internet. Nobody interested in photography, your last year or two look pathetic!

"Pollute Internet". Seriously ???
And you stuck around for the last year or two?
I'd contact the Ministry of Refunds.

Posted by: Gabe |

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