View Full Version : Thoughts on my DIY Sapele camera

10-Apr-2016, 12:52
I managed to get up to the Isle of Skye for a couple of days, but sadly the weather didn't cooperate; I had packed lots of spare film but never opened the box. Either solid rain, or flat light... oh well. I took eight images. Of those eight, one was double exposed, one not exposed at all (it seems I have forgotten the difference between black and white) and one managed to hide under another in the developing tank and didn't get developed at all... On one of the remaining images, I forgot to stop down the lens before pushing the button. I've only been doing this forty or fifty years, so I suppose there's still time for me to finish learning.

What I did learn is that the camera front standard is not rigid enough: it moves when the lens is adjusted or the shutter set. The slide onto the focus rail is also capable of improvement.

Portree Harbour, from the beach:


The harbour from the other side, four stops overexposed and with an unintended differential focus: the left of the image is sharp but the right is a long way out.


From the top of the Quirang, looking south: the sun is on the right and explains the lens flare.


And to the north, almost sunset on the wrong side of the view:



10-Apr-2016, 12:59
The double exposure kind of almost works... The stripe on the left suggests that I didn't fully remove the dark slide, which I normally would, and that might imply that I didn't flip it, hence the double exposure.


And finally, a shot that nearly works: north side of a ruined church. The church itself is the film that didn't get developed.


In all cases, the film is expired Adox CHS II 50ASA, developed in RO9; the lens is a Rodenstock-Sironar 150mm f5.6


Steven Tribe
11-Apr-2016, 11:55
Sounds a lot like my outing to Skye a few years ago. I had assorted tools with me - century old mahogany cameras need servicing every couple of days. Personally, I like grey tones rather than the PS colours of the rare sunny days exhibited in the photo gallery down in the southern ferry town. It gave a terrible insight into what people actually want to buy.

11-Apr-2016, 22:45
I've been visiting Skye for thirty years. If I take a paraglider, the weather's great for ducks. If I take a camera, the weather's great for ducks. If I take a duck, I suspect the car will break.

Fortunately I've never considered putting my photography up for sale!


12-Apr-2016, 01:17
With any new (to you) camera, you have to get to know it, and it has to get to know you... An understanding, a relationship... It can do things very well, and you have to find those out, and you have expectations for it to be able to do, so it needs to be guided to those ends... So a relationship/understanding needs to be made as you both get to know each other... Like dance partners...

A good thing for both of you to get to know each other is on some afternoon in your yard, set up the camera and test focus on things there... Use different movements, on things close and far away, try some different lenses, push on it a little and see what kinks stop you from what you attempt... Spend a few hours doing this, and no film needs to be shot, just get the feel of each other... Develop routines for it... (You should be able to operate any control on it without looking the camera...) Find it's strengths/weaknesses... These might be things for the next upgrade you might do for it... Keep notes... Then you can take it out to some far away place, and let it do it's thing...

And it will be a breeze then...

(Nice camera, BTW!!!)

Steve K