Tag Archives: Antiques

Antiques

Blog Maintenance (and another camera)

Just a short entry to let you know that I’m working behind the scenes to re-organize Categories and Tags used on the blog.  Since I started writing “Central Florida Photo Ops” in May of 2007 they’ve grown a bit too haphazardly, and now it’s time for me to get organized and efficient.

So I’m restructuring the Categories to serve as a Table of Contents.  The main ones are location-based so that a visitor can quickly see all the entries about a given place.  You can reach the Categories from the pull down widget on the right.

The tags will function like the index in a book.  For instance, when I’m done, you’ll be able to click on “Bird” in the tag cloud on the right and see a listing of all posts that mention various kinds of birds.

I’ve already started working on this, although it’ll take me a while to go through all 236 published posts and update / correct each one.  But as I work on it, it’ll gradually improve and when I’m finished it’ll be better than it was.  As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

And just so we don’t have a blog entry without a photo, here’s a couple of images of another camera acquisition.  It’s a somewhat well used, Leica IIIc 35mm camera made in the late 1940s.  I need to clean it up a bit, but I’ve already run some film through it and it works pretty well.

Leica IIIc 35mm rangefinder camera
Leica IIIc 35mm rangefinder camera: front view

Leica IIIc 35mm rangefinder camera
Leica IIIc 35mm rangefinder camera: top view

You can see other photos of collectible cameras in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Rectaflex Italian 35mm SLR Camera

NOTE: I’ve posted updated info about this at this link: http://edrosack.com/2015/12/20/rectaflex-update/

 

Italian Rectaflex 35mm film camera and lens, front view
Italian Rectaflex 35mm SLR film camera and lens, front view

You don’t see Italian cameras and especially Italian Single Lens Reflex cameras very often.  We inherited this Rectaflex 35mm SLR film camera from Lynn’s Grandfather.  Camerapedia has some information on the brand.  They were introduced in 1949, and the company went out of business by 1955.  It was one of the first SLRs to have a pentaprism.

Italian Rectaflex 35mm film camera and lens, top view
Italian Rectaflex 35mm SLR film camera and lens, top view

Judging by the serial number, this particular one was probably made in 1953 or 4.  It came to us in a leather case with accessories including extra lenses, extension tubes, and a flash unit.

Italian Rectaflex 35mm film camera lenses, extension tubes, cases
Italian Rectaflex 35mm film camera lenses, extension tubes, cases

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to run any film through it.  The shutter’s inoperative and repairing it would probably be an expensive custom rebuild job.  But it looks good sitting on the shelf!

I think it’s fascinating to look at these older cameras to see how things worked WBD (way before digital).

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

The year in review: My favorite 2011 Photos

I hope that all of you, your families, and your friends have a joyful and happy holiday season!

Photographer Jim Goldstein has an annual tradition of organizing a “best photos of the year” listing.   So it’s a good time to put together my own third annual “Favorite photos of the year” post.  You can revisit 2009 here, and 2010 here.

Again in 2011, I’ve been blessed with a huge amount of photo opportunities. The 2011 folder on my hard drive takes up about 178 GB of space. Wow – good thing storage is so cheap now days!  I’m still using the following system to rate my photos.  The numbers in parentheses are the counts for 2011 .

  • 1 star   – The photo is interesting (262)
  • 2 stars – The photo is worth showing to others (400)
  • 3 stars – The photo is the best of (or one of the best of ) any given photo shoot (81)
  • 4 stars – My favorite photo of a year (1)
  • 5 stars – My favorite photo ever (none, I’m not done making photos yet!)

Photos without stars are seconds or not so good versions of other photos. I usually keep them, but they probably won’t get any more attention. I’ve been using this system consistently, and it seems to work for me. I’ve reviewed my 2011 photos and selected what I think are my best.  Of course, this is all subjective and my opinion only. Feel free to disagree, but I hope you’ll enjoy looking at the ones I’ve picked.

You can click on each of these to go to Flickr and see a larger version.  Or you can click this link to go to the set on Flickr.

Here we go.  I have 3 mammals, 3 birds, 2 landscapes, and 3 miscellaneous subjects …

Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve
November:  Bobcat in Tree, Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve seen Bobcats in the wild before, but I’ve never been able to take a good photo of one. We saw this one resting up on a branch and it posed for a while. In this image, I think it was trying to figure out how to get through the crowd of humans at the base of the tree. More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/11/24/landscapes-and-bobcat-at-the-circle-b-bar-reserve/


Baby mountain goat
July: Baby mountain goat, Mt. Evans summit, Colorado. There were several families of mountain goats on the way up and at the summit. This little one posed for me so I could frame him against the out of focus mountains in the background. It’s amazing to watch them scramble from rock to rock and never slip. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/07/10/mount-evans-redux/


Young deer at Viera Wetlands
September: Young deer at Viera Wetlands. View large and check out the eyebrows and whiskers! More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/09/04/late-afternoon-at-viera-wetlands/


Barred Owl watches photographers
January: Barred Owl watches photographers. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/01/30/catching-up/


Eastern Meadowlark
December: Eastern Meadowlark, Blackpoint Wild Life Drive. More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/12/17/merritt-island-scouting-report-saturday-december-10/


Florida Scrub Jay watches us
June: Florida Scrub Jay watches us.  One or two birds in this Scrub Jay family were real posers. And one of those was a “dive bomber”. It flew at our heads a few times trying to discourage us. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/06/19/a-summertime-visit-to-minwr-blackpoint-and-scrub-ridge-trail/


Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve
November: Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/11/24/landscapes-and-bobcat-at-the-circle-b-bar-reserve/


It was a little cloudy this morning
December: It was a little cloudy this morning. Blackpoint Wild Life Drive. I’ve enjoyed playing with an Infrared modified Olympus EPL-1 camera.  More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/12/17/merritt-island-scouting-report-saturday-december-10/


Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery
March: Tomb of the unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery. I’d never been to Arlington before this trip. As a US Navy Veteran and a patriot, I have to admit it made a huge impression on me. More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/03/19/washington-dc/


Flavia, in color
December: Flavia, in color. American Photo Model Shoot, Orlando, 12/3/11.  My first time photographing models was a real learning experience.  More info:  http://edrosack.com/2011/12/09/orlando-american-photo-model-shoot-workshop-december-2011/


My Grandfather's Pocket Watch
June: My Grandfather’s Pocket-watch. After the Orlando Watch Company repaired it, it’s working fine.  This is a 1921 Elgin pocket-watch, marked Wadsworth Referee 20 year 5069868.  More info: http://edrosack.com/2011/06/25/grandfathers-pocket-watch/

 

I hope you’ve had a great photo 2011 too.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some more photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

My “New” Olympus Pen Camera

I acquired another “new” camera.  This one is an Olympus Pen FT, from the late 1960s.  These cameras are “half frame” meaning they use standard 35mm film, but make two exposures in the space of a single 35mm frame.  Modern Olympus micro 4/3 digital cameras are also half frame (actually the 4/3 sensor size is ~1/4 of a full frame camera).  You can buy adapters to use lenses like the 40mm f/1.4 that came with this camera on digital 4/3 system cameras.  They’ll be manual focus and there’s no electronic coupling with the body.  But f/1.4 is nice.

Olympus Pen FT camera with Olympus G.Zuiko 40mm f1:1.4 lens
Olympus Pen FT camera with Olympus G.Zuiko 40mm f1:1.4 lens

Aside from a few scratches on the body, this camera’s in pretty good shape.  The lens is clear and the focus and diaphragm work correctly.  The body is relatively clean too and the shutter and exposure counter work.  The self timer is a bit dodgy, but that’s OK.  The FT model has a built-in light meter, but it uses a mercury based battery which is supposed to be hard to get in the US.  I haven’t even tried to get a battery, so I don’t know if the meter works or not.  It’s surprisingly heavy (all metal construction) and very well made – it lasted for 45 years so far and still works.  Do you think today’s cameras will still work in 2056?

I did run some black and white film through it.  And I re-discovered that manual focus can be a bit tricky, especially if you shoot at f/1.4 with a relatively dim view finder, like this one.  Here’s a couple of sample images:

Metalwork:  Pen FT, 40mm f1:1.4 lens, Kodak BW400CN film
Metalwork: Pen FT, 40mm f1:1.4 lens, Kodak BW400CN film

 

Figure, Pen FT, 40mm f1:1.4 lens, Kodak BW400CN film
Figure, Pen FT, 40mm f1:1.4 lens, Kodak BW400CN film

My first photography teacher – Mr. Dove, had an Olympus Pen.  I don’t remember if it was an F or an FT model.  Someone stole it from him while he was teaching us and he really missed it.  I wonder if he ever recovered it or replaced it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Grandfather’s Pocket Watch

Not all of your photo ops need to be outdoors and wildlife or nature related.  In fact, there’s some wildlife that probably shouldn’t  be photographed.  And what if you can’t get out because the weather’s bad, or you stubbed or broke a toe?  Well, you can look for a photo-op closer to or even inside your home.  Here’s a set of photos I made to document a watch passed down to me from my Uncle.

This is my Granddad’s Elgin pocket watch.  The model number (marked inside the front cover) is “Wadsworth Referee 20 year 5069868”.  Based on the movement serial number, it was made in 1921. We don’t really know the history on this watch, but we do have some documents from my Grandparents’ wedding and think that my Grandmother gave this to him on their 10th wedding anniversary.

1921 Elgin ” Wadsworth Referee 20 year” 5069868, Serial number 25010969

We’re also not completely sure about the spelling used to engrave his name.  It could be that this was an accepted alternate before Rosack was standardized with the “ck” ending.  It’s more likely a mistake, in which case I bet my Grandmother wasn’t too happy about it.

Inside back case, with engraving

Here’s what the movement looks like.  When thinking about how to show this, I wanted to do something more than a straight on standard macro photo.  So I positioned the watch movement at an angle to catch its reflection in the back case and made the final image using Helicon Focus software and the techniques I described here.

My Grandfather's Pocket WatchMovement macro-photograph (click on this image to get to a larger version on Flickr)

We wanted a nice case to display the watch and found this one.  One issue with making this photograph was dealing with reflections in the glass.  I was able to reduce them by using a polarizing filter, making multiple exposures and moving the lighting between some of them.  Then I combined the results in Photoshop to get this final image.  I like the way the lighting places the emphasis on the watch, but lets you see what the case is like.

You can buy pocket watch glass display cases

We did take the watch into a local watch repair place (not this one, the place we took it didn’t have such a nice sign).  They cleaned and repaired it and it now works fine.  The only problem seems to be a weak spring – it keeps great time, but not for a whole day.  The repair cost was about equal to the watch’s resale value, but to us of course the watch is worth much more.

Elgin watch jeweler sign – it’s fun to watch for related photos while you’re out and about

It was fun learning about this watch, getting it working and making these images.  Do you have something similar you could document?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Rochester 8×10 View Camera

I was out with Lynn last weekend and she saw an antique store that she wanted to browse through.  I went in with her, and we noticed this wooden 8×10 view camera from around 1910.  Well … I’ve always wanted one and couldn’t resist.

Having some fun with my new toy – a Rochester View Camera, circa 1910.

Although it doesn’t have a name plate, because of markings on the film holders I think this one was made by the Rochester Camera Company.  I’m not entirely sure what model it is although it strongly resembles this one.  It did come with a tripod, case, and several backs including the ground glass and film holders.  The Goerz Dacor f/6.8 Series III No. 4 lens appears in Rochester catalogs from the time and so is probably original with this camera.  The lens is clear and the shutter seems to work fine too, although the rubber pneumatic shutter release has hardened over the years.  All in all, the whole kit looks to be in very good shape given its age, and I might experiment a bit more with it.

Looking it over, it’s hard to imagine carting something like this all over and even climbing mountains to make photographs with it.  It’s huge, heavy and very primitive compared to what we’re used to today.  And once you exposed the image you still had to deal with developing and printing it.  Given all this, it’s amazing how good the results are from back then.  Or is it maybe that only the best photographs survived all this time?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog – now go make some photos!

© 2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Evansville, Indiana photo ops

Sorry about not updating my Blog last weekend.  We were on vacation and didn’t get back home until late on Sunday.  Having to be at work all week, starting on Monday morning has really interfered with my photographic activities.

For our vacation this year, Lynn and I attended the Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America (PITCA) 2010 Convention in Evansville, Indiana.  You can read quite a bit about the convention activities on Lynn’s Trivetology Blog at these links:

The convention was held and we stayed at the Aztar Casino Hotel in downtown Evansville – right on the Ohio River.  I enjoyed the parts of the convention that I attended – it’s amazing how knowledgeable people are.  But I also used some time while Lynn was busy with trivet things to explore the area looking for photo ops.  Here’s a couple of views from the Casino area:

Sunset at the Aztar Casino_IMG_1139-40_panoSunset at the Aztar Casino, looking southwest over the Ohio River

The night time Ohio River at Evansville
Night time Ohio River at Evansville

Evansville has a very nice river walk and they’ve done quite a bit of flower gardening along the way.  Here are some examples of what it looks like:

The Evansville, Indiana visitor's centerThe Evansville, Indiana visitor’s center

Evansville flowers

Evansville also has a museum with a transportation center showcasing several rail cars and railroad equipment.

Evansville rail cars

The USS LST-325 Ship Memorial in Evansville is the home of the only remaining operational Landing Ship Tank (LST) in the world.  The LST-325 has quite a history and is a very lucky ship.  She made 44 trips between England and France during the WW II invasion of Normandy.  Here is an interesting account of how the ship was acquired, repaired and sailed across the Atlantic by a crew of US Navy Veterans in 2000.

By the way, all of the photos I made of the ship were with a Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lens, combined with auto ISO on my D-700 DSLR.  The lens VR combined with setting the minimum shutter speed to 1/15 sec and the ISO range of 200 – 1600 allowed me to shoot without flash in the dim interior of the ship.  I also was able to make sharp hand held photos down to a shutter speed of 1/8 sec, when the light was even dimmer.

LST-325 Deck Gun Barrel

On the second day of the convention auction, I left the hotel early to visit the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, which is a little over 3 hours away from Evansville.  It was worth the time, although I didn’t stay very long due to the heat.

The Gateway ArchThe Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

I’m sure there are many other photo ops in the area that I didn’t have time to explore.  For instance there is a zoo and botanical gardens in the city, and several caves within driving distance.   The PITCA convention will probably return to Evansville next year, so I may get a chance to continue my search.

I’ve posted more of my photos (and larger versions) from this trip in a gallery here:  http://edrosack.com/Evansville/

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.