• Konstruktor w/ Fuji Superia Xtra 400 – 2015

    When I really started getting into Lomography, one of the first things I put on my wishlist was the Konstruktor camera. A chance to spend a weekend afternoon building a completely working camera from a kit? UH YES PLEASE.

    The kit was actually fun – it’s almost 90% plastic parts, but the mirror assembly is already put together, so you’re pretty much just building the body.

    For some reason, I elected to order the non-flash version of the kit. I can’t remember if that’s because the Konstruktor F hadn’t come out yet, or if the non-flash version was on sale, but the version I have does not allow for a flash to be connected to the camera. So I shot the test roll on a really sunny day.

    The thing I found the most fun – and the most challenging – was using the waist-level finder. It’s similar to the viewfinder in a medium-format camera, which I was TOTALLY not accustomed to! But after getting the hang of it, I really like it, and I would love to use it on other cameras. I wonder if these types of viewfinders are available on other 35 mm cameras? It kind of forces me to focus on the shot.

    I did a little editing in Lightroom, mostly to adjust the exposure – everything was just a little too washed out. I would really like to try and get some shots with this camera either right as the sun is going down, or during a slightly overcast day. (Reminder to self: use 100-speed film if it’s a really sunny day, durr.) The camera also allows for multiple exposures, which is something I really want to play with more.

    All these photos were taken at my former workplace, and Cate Square Park in Hammond, LA.

  • Minolta Maxxum 5 w/ Fuji Superia Xtra 800 – 2018

    In the long long ago, in the before time, I worked at an Eckerd Express Photo. Every year before the holidays, the company would host a day-long event where they would show off the new promotions and such.

    One of the cameras that I remember them showing off one year was the Minolta Maxxum 5, and the selling point they wanted us to make to people was that it was like a cross between an SLR and a point-and-shoot. We ended up getting one of these cameras in stock at my store, and it never sold. Mostly because when the little old ladies who came into the shop wanted a camera, they could barely deal with the absolute most basic cameras, and no one was going to Eckerd Express Photo to buy camera equipment.

    Years later, I was working at Lakeside Camera and Photo as a lab technician, and I noticed that the Minolta Maxxum 5 was still on sale. I bought the camera for Doug as a gift. The kit came with a basic 28-100 lens and the body, and I “borrowed” it to take some photos in one of the graveyards as well as take some shots of my best friend.

    We still have that Minolta camera. The Eckerd presentation wasn’t wrong, I find that it’s simple enough that I can just set auto-focus on and let the camera do its thing, or I can do things manually. Even today, it’s one of my absolute favorite film cameras to shoot with.

    Back in 2018, when I dug the camera out of the closet to see if it still worked, I shot this roll of Fuji Superia Xtra 800 around my house to see how it would work – and it was just as good as back in 2004 when I got the camera brand new. However, I didn’t realize until the film was developed that I’d had the date feature turned on. Oopsie. I thought about removing the date in Lightroom, but then I figured, what the hell…leave it in. In fact, after seeing these images, I decided not to retouch them. I love this freaking camera.

    I actually pulled the Maxxum out again this past weekend and shot a roll on the lakefront – this time with the date feature turned off. I’m excited to see how those turn out. Times like this I kind of miss one-hour photo labs. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I hate waiting.”

    Film was processed by The Darkroom in CA.