29 October 2009

Radcliffe Camera | Oxford | B&W

Radcliffe Camera

Working with negative scans: this time a picture taken about 18 months ago with a Minolta SR-T 100x on Kodak Gold 400 and converted to black and white.


13 October 2009

Joshua North | Swallowfield

Joshua North

A headstone in a somewhat overgrown churchyard in Swallowfield, Berkshire

5 October 2009

Minolta AL-F

A few weeks ago I managed to win a Minolta AL-F on eBay, and it seems to be in working order – a clean body, a working rangefinder and an exposure meter that seems to be on target.

The camera, a compact rangefinder model, was launched in 1967. I love its sleek metal finish and the simple controls. Only the AL-F name on the top panel seems out of scale.

The lens is a four element 38mm f/2.7  Rokkor. The camera uses a shutter-priority automatic exposure system, with shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/500 s and a separate flash setting. The viewfinder shows the aperture determined by the CdS CLC ‘Electric Eye’ exposure meter (the window is in the top of the lens barrel), and an exposure lock is available if the shutter is half-depressed when taking pictures. The meter can be set for film speeds from 25 to 500 ASA, 15 to 28 DIN.

Here’s the view through the viewfinder:

The yellow diamond is the rangefinder spot and the yellow line is for parallax correction in close-up shots, though I’m not sure from what distance you’re better off using it.

I’ve put just one film through the camera so far, a cheap roll of Fujicolor C200.

  • The last of the summer sunflowers in St Mary’s churchyard, Shinfield, Berkshire
  • All Saints churchyard, Swallowfield, Berkshire
  • Timbers, bricks and holes in the wall of the adjoining property at Shinfield
  • The River Loddon at Shinfield


Perhaps best of all, this monument in the churchyard at All Saints, Swallowfield shows off the sharpness of the Rokkor lens.


I enjoyed using the camera. The rangefinder took a little getting used to as the ghost alignment image wasn’t always easy to pick out. The camera is missing a depth of focus scale on the lens barrel (the markings that are there seem to be more about using the flash, I think). Next, I think I’ll run a black and white film through it one day, especially when I have restored my own developing set up to working order again, a good winter project.


Workflow for these pictures was to scan negatives using an Epson V500 to TIF file; open this in Adobe Camera Raw, adjust, and make further minor adjustments in Photoshop Elements 7 before outputting to JPG.

3 September 2009

Using Adobe Camera Raw to process film scans

Scan > TIF > ACR > JPG

I hadn’t really appreciated that Adobe Camera raw can be used to process film scans. I’m still familiarising myself with the capabilities of the V500 scanner, and then the other day found a reference to using ACR to process TIFs and JPGs in a book on Photoshop Elements 7. The Epson scanning software is a bit opaque to use, and I wonder if ACR can be used in its place to get the best out of scans.

This is from a 35mm colour negative, and I used ACR’s Clarify and Vibrance settings to dial up the colour a little in this picture, using File > Open as > Adobe Camera Raw to select a previously scanned TIF file. I need to look at this more systematically, and will return to this at a later date.

18 July 2009

Lullington church, Sussex

Lullington church

The Church of the Good Shepherd – the surviving part of a church hit by fire and now claimed to be one of the smallest churches in England.

Two-frame panorama, merged in PSE7.

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