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An Alternative Photographic Device

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  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
An Alternative Photographic Device
Posted by Hodakamax on Monday, January 23, 2017 10:01 AM

Ok, just for fun. Being a professional Photographer and watching the rise of the cell phones, lap tops and other devices that claim to record history, I put this together to hopefully cheer up my prematurely retired pro photographer friends. I also reminded them of the resurgence of Polaroid and there might be hope yet for us.

Enjoy

Max

Proctor Silex Toastercam Review

Yet another device claiming to be photographic. The new Proctor Silex Toastercam records directly to a dual drive CD burner, so to speak. A Voss 38mm f4 lens insures that pictures aren't quite "good enough" at all settings but compare favorably with the 1950s Argus C-3. Not only does it replace photographic phones and cameras, it toasts anything from waffles to bagels with adjustable exposure times from 1/40 to bulb settings. A great gift idea for those aspiring to become a professional photographer.

Available and shipping April 1, 2017. $29.95 plus shipping

I always liked the comment "What did you shoot that with, a toaster?" and you can say "Yes I did!"

Max Good/Photographer

Max's contribution to Photographic Reviews.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • From: San Antonio, Texas
Posted by Marcus McBean on Monday, January 23, 2017 11:56 AM

I miss film.  Ten years ago I was the only one who was able to get great pictures of my niece when she became a doctor.  The auditorium was very dark and we were in upper balcony in the back.  I just slapped on a 200mm lens and 1200 speed film and got the pictures as if I was sitting in the front row.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 9:41 AM

Film is still out there, though harder to find.  Some local stores in this area even still develop and print.  Several folks in my camera club are still diehards and refuse to go digital.

Max- Love the Argus C3 in the picture!  I have a C2 in my collection.

I am still keeping my old Canon AE-1 for those projects that only film will work for.  Example- I want to make a pinhole using photographic process- shoot a black circle on white sheet and cut the pinhole area out of the film, to use in pinhole camera.  Making a really good pinhole in metal isn't that easy!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:17 PM

   Hey Don and Marcus. Film may seem and actually be nostalgic, but not to me! LOL! I've served my sentence in the dreaded darkroom and I never even slightly get the urge to try film one more time. I must admit I was a film hold-out until digital finally got better or should I say much better. I always dreaded the after-the-shoot developing of the multiple Fujichrome transparency 35mm, 120 and 4x5 sheet film of the day. 

   There were no local E-6 labs for a quick turn around and everything was developed in my darkroom by hand in canisters and tanks. It was just another part of my service that provided really quick turn-around for advertising and commercial photography. Thousands of images were handled that way.

   I was slow to realize that the digital world opened up photography to almost everyone. Most of the technical part was automated and a change of viewing devices such as phones and computors didn't require hi-res photography. The down side is that most real photographers weren't required and became unemployed. Ah, good timing on my part as I had reached retirement age.

   I'm amazed at the progress of digital with incredible high ISOs and computor enhancement in-camera, most of it all automatic. Even lenses can have some of their flaws corrected automaticly by the camera's computor. It goes on and on what is done for you automaticly beyond autofocus and autoexposure and autocolor to mention a few.

   I would be silly not to use all of these new tools as they also make the professional's job easier and better. Ah, but there is no auto lighting angles or auto composition or auto art sensing or auto mood or auto moment settings. The term that best describes the claimed photographer of the day is "good enough" and it probably is but I still try to do my best. Just me, not bitter but observing a change of times. I'm right in there with the latest technology which improves all of us in the land of photography. 

   OK, just rambling, I'm done for the day, Happy Photography, Digital or Film, give it your best!  Smile

Max

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 9:31 AM

Yes, the progress in digital photography has been amazing.  My first digital camera was less than 0.7 megapixels.  Speed was slow.  Modern digicams give excellent auto exposure accuracy. Even with old film shots, I scan film and do further processing in computer.

Only thing I use film cameras for now is really odd stuff like the photo film pinhole, or some odd photolithography.  Digital cameras, even smaller than full frame have exceded resolution of any film I used to use.  While dynamic range is not quite as high as film, it is getting close, and far beyond photo paper dynamic range.  But then, even coated printing paper is about same dynamic range as photo paper.  Old transparency film (slides) in a really dark room were awesome, though.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Thursday, January 26, 2017 9:53 AM

Depending on what the final use of your images is going to be, such as use on the forum, film is not the way to go obviously. People are claiming that film has a special "look" which may or may not be true. Using film can be a great hobby as it is the basics of photography and a good learning process on how things really work.

There's a reason film has left us and it's because almost all viewing media such as your computer or smart phone is digital based. When shooting film today and posting on mediums such magazines or the internet, the film has to be digitized by scanning. When you shoot film and send it to a lab, the film is developed, scanned (digitized) and printed. Why not just let the camera digitize the image?

Film is nostalgic, that is if you print it on an enlarger and the final version is a print. When digital images from digital camera are printed the are almost infinite adjustments in the system whether automatic or input from a human to make it look like film if desired.

So that's my take on film, it's how it used to be done. Today the state of the art digital cameras provide superior images at extreme ISOs in a digital format almost instantly for todays mediums.

That said, as a hobby or an art form, film and mechanical (analog, we call it) printing can be very rewarding in that you have produced something as it used to be done and didn't rely on digital technology. I always like to point out that early photography didn't even require electricity. Think about that!

Max the photographer  Smile

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Virginia
Posted by Mike F6F on Friday, January 27, 2017 11:15 AM

Of course, there are scanners that can scan film to a higher res than the cameras can shoot.  While not in lots of uses, the museum archivists still use them alot.

When I was a photojournalist, I resisted digital as much as I could. Living with word-biased editiors and copy desk folks, being able to do your own frame editing and printing still left the photographer some say in what photo was published.  Digital provided ways to take the photographer out of the final published image selection entirely.  Then there was the controversial and ethical problem of the digital altering of published images to consider. I left newspapers before digital hit in full force.

Becoming a corporate staff photographer lead me to see the advantages that digital brought.  The ability to alter the brightness/contrast of parts of an image without changing the overall image became a useful tool.  Doing such things as zapping the look of clouds in the sky, leaving the main subject alone became a real advantage.

As I became older and less involved with day-to-day shooting I took the responsibility for maintaining and restoring photos from the company's archives.  Many of these images were originally shot on 8X10 film or glass negs.  The ability to restore images from cracked, broken or detoriated film negs, enhance faded images, etc., had me working digitally in a big way.

Retired now, I miss that challenge very much.  Much like you Max, I believe going back into smelly, darkrooms to process film or print would have been distasteful in my last years of employment.

Mike

 

"Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Monday, January 30, 2017 7:43 PM

Max, I would like to pre-order the Toastercam. Where can I sign up? Geeked

Don, I have two AE1 bodies that I have held onto. Why? I am not sure. Maybe for just in case. 

Anyone here ever get into stereo photography? I dabbled. Ah, the good old days.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:20 AM

Bakster

 

Anyone here ever get into stereo photography? I dabbled. Ah, the good old days.

 

Yep.  I don't have a working stereo camera (I do have an old one that I picked up cheap at a garage sale but the shutter sticks badly and camera repair places want a fortune to fix it.  I made a jig to slide my main camera over a few inches while on tripod, works but scene must be static.  Have had some success with landscapes, making enhanced stereo by taking first exposure, then stepping sideways a few spaces.  Get okay shots about half the time.  I must center image on some object in distance, and hold the camera elevation perfect.  I find any difference in tilt or rotation and I cannot fuse image.

Biggest thing getting me interested in stereo is my wife bought me a VR headset gadget that works with my five inch tablet.  I made a dummy frame saved on computer that sizes and positions a photo to appear in that headset.  I am taking images from the past, and paste left and right images into that format frame and load them into the headset.  Neat way to view stereo images! So now I will be making new stereo shots, including models.  For macro shots, the gadget I made to slide camera allows adjustment of the camera displacement.  For real close work I find I must reduce seperation to less than eye seperation.

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 8:13 PM

Hey Don--

I was smiling when I read all that. I can relate to much of it. Like you, I made a contraption that I could mount to my tripod that allowed me to slide my AE-1 body from side to side. It was a crude mechanism, but it worked. Getting the perfect alignment was a bit of a guessing game for me, mainly when I tried to get in really close. I had a lot of fun with it though. I even developed my own slide film using the E-6 kits. I was pretty into it.  

Maybe I will dig out some images and post them. The funny thing about this is that I was doing this around the time of my first go of scale modeling. This was in the early 1980s. I even have some side by side slides that I had taken of my workbench and such. My passion for photography grew to where I purchased a used 3D camera, and I even joined a club. I took the camera on a trip to the Grand Canyon. I have some nice stereo images of it.

Below:  I dug out some gear.  You can see the AE-1s, the stereo camera, and lower left you might recognize the lens. It is a pinhole lens.  You mentioned pinhole earlier on in the thread. I think I used it two to three times only. These things, lenses, Cokin filters, and assorted gear, are probably why I still hang on to this stuff. It is cool stuff and I hate to part with it. Maybe one day I will have a project that requires using some of it. Or maybe, it will just sit in the drawer until I pass. It will probably be the latter. 

BTW. Notice the dark lenses on the 3D camera? This is another Bakster contraption. I added polarizers to the lenses. What I did was to cut up some polarizer sunglasses to fit over the lens housings. I then used model mask (the liquid rubber stuff) to set them in place. I did not want to glue them in there potentially ruining the camera. If I ever want to remove them I just need pull up on the rubber. They should come right out. It is crude, but the filters worked out really well.  

Here is a link to 3D supplies.  They have some cool stuff.

http://www.3dstereo.com/

 

Lastly, I'd like to hear more about your tablet/VR gadget.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 9:40 AM

Thanks, Baxter.  Bookmarked that site.

 

To make my frame format I measured the display area of my Samsung Galaxy when it was displaying a regular mono picture.  Then I made an image of a white rectangle with that dimension, and a black vertical line in the middle of the rectangle.  I measured one of the resulting (two) rectangles.  That is the size and aspect ratio I need to crop and size each image of the stereo pair.  I then paste the two images of the stereo pair into the appropriate area on that format image and save the result as a new file.  I then download the image into my tablet (that tablet is just a Samsung Galaxy phone without the phone circuitry- a phone will work too).  My VR display does not have an actual display- just two lenses and a frame to hold the tablet.  You slide your phone or tablet into that frame and look through the lenses at your tablet/phone.  Cheap VR and it works fine to display a 3D image with a lot more brightness and contrast than a stereoscope.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 4:03 PM

Say Don, thanks for the excellent explanation. I may look into that because I have an ipod that I could use. It is the same size as a standard iPhone.

Thank for sharing that.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, February 02, 2017 8:59 AM

Don't know about iPhone- it fits Samsung phones fine.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Thursday, February 02, 2017 2:47 PM

 Hey Don and Baxter, I do have another Voss 50mm f4 lens that I could add to the Toastercam for Stereo capability. With 110V power, options are almost unlimited. LOL

On a serious note, your 3D discussion is quite interesting and I've even looked up some info on it. I never fiddled much with 3D but as a kid I had a 3D viewing device I think was called a Viewmaster that had circular discs on different subjects that always fascinated me. Each disc had about 6-8 subjects in stereo that appeared to be Kodachrome transparency film and the quality of viewing was great as I remember. I suppose there was also a compatible camera for it. Long time ago!  Huh?

Max

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, February 03, 2017 9:24 AM

Yup, I have a viewmaster around here somewhere.  Stereo photography was really big in the Nineteen Century, lots of sets of stereo travel photography sets sold. At photo shows and fleamarkets one can still find fair numbers of those stereo cards for sale that fit the old stereoscopes.  Before I got that VR thing, I had set up a format image for the stereoscope cards- I bought an old steroscope at one of those shows. It was not an actual old 19th century one, but a more recent antique-looking one.

There is also a national stereo photography club.  I had let my membership lapse, but with new-found interest I will probably renew.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Saturday, February 04, 2017 1:53 PM

Hodakamax
Hey Don and Baxter, I do have another Voss 50mm f4 lens that I could add to the Toastercam for Stereo capability. With 110V power, options are almost unlimited. LOL

Max--add that feature to my order please. Yes

Hodakamax
On a serious note, your 3D discussion is quite interesting and I've even looked up some info on it. I never fiddled much with 3D but as a kid I had a 3D viewing device I think was called a Viewmaster that had circular discs on different subjects that always fascinated me. Each disc had about 6-8 subjects in stereo that appeared to be Kodachrome transparency film and the quality of viewing was great as I remember. I suppose there was also a compatible camera for it. Long time ago!

Oh yes. I had the Viewmaster viewer as well. In fact, I still have them. Like you, I was fascinated with the system. I had discs on Nasa, the great pyramids, travel, and even some Disney, to name a few.

Speaking of Disney, they knew how to do it well. Their discs were really good, but I also had the privilege to view a 3D movie while at Epcot. This was before they came out with all the CG/3D rides like Back to the Future, and those that followed. The movie that I had seen was made, I think, without CG. Truly, it was stunning. There was one scene with a swimming fish, and I kid you not, it was so close that you could reach out and touch it. It literally floated around the persons head in the next row. That movie opened my mind to the possibilities, and this is what got me hooked.

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Saturday, February 04, 2017 3:01 PM

Don Stauffer
Stereo photography was really big in the Nineteen Century, lots of sets of stereo travel photography sets sold. At photo shows and fleamarkets one can still find fair numbers of those stereo cards for sale that fit the old stereoscopes.

Don--I had a friend that used that system and the stereo cards looked really--really good.

I went through my 3D slides last night and scanned a few to show. You won't be able to see them in 3D without the correct viewer, but they help illustrate what I tried to do. 

Below: I made this stereo pair using the technique that Don was talking about. That is when you capture an image, move the camera over a bit, and capture another.

This was done during my first serious go of scale modeling. The F16 was my first model and I did a so-so job. All the car bodies are my attempts to get high gloss finishes. This was at a time when you could buy SnapTite models for 3 to 4 bucks. It was a real sticker shock when I came back to the hobby a few years back. In this image, 3D was acheived from the image window looking back.

Below: In this image I attempted to have something project towards you. In this case, that being the air can extension wand. When I viewed the stereo pair in my viewer the wand projects deep into the foreground. So, it works. There is still one problem to solve. You can see that the wand is out of focus. That extension wand was about an inch from the lens when I captured the images. That is far too close for my lens to focus on. So, there is the dilemma. How can I get that extreme focus rage and maintain a deep depth of field? Of course, I could move the extension wand farther from the lens, but that directly affects how deep the 3D projects.

This is when I purchased the pinhole lens. I hoped to solve the problem with that. Sadly, I never answered the question because my first attempt was a bust. The film came back black. I had apparently not figured out the correct exposure time using that lens. Just about then, I got sidetracked with having to move. The rest is history.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts about this. 

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, February 05, 2017 11:44 AM

I use the kit lens that came with my Nikon cameras as a great macro lens for model photography.  On my newer camera I keep a wide zoom range Tamron lens on it, and keep my old kit lens (18-55mm) on my old camera, just for model work.  That old lens, a rather cheap one at that, has good macro characteristics, and in manual mode or aperture preferred mode will stop down to about f/30, which is the way to give enough depth of field to do those kind of shots.  A pinhole would give even more dof, but I find I can do most of my model photograph at around f/24 to f/30.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Monday, February 06, 2017 10:29 AM

Thanks for that tip, Don. I will keep that in mind. I might start up this project again. Only this time, use a VR system. Film would be too much trouble.

 

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