Yoshizen's Blog

Kodak Brownie camera and its Images

To bring the analog B/W image to show, its needs to make a paper print (unless we use the scanner and upload straight)  Unlike a color process, B/W print-making is not a kind of automatic mechanical process (even just to choose which paper and one of 5 contrast grade of paper to start, then where to burn etc etc) = lots of interpretations and intentions could bend the original concept. = (if it was only to  check  the quality of the lens or the images, it can be done by just looking close into the Neg’ —- though, just develop the Neg’ = the half century old Ilford film has jumped around and self-scratched by their strong carl, which was made by their own fate =  tightly wound on the narrow spool such a long time ) —– so, I show you the contact print here and forget the individual print at a moment. ( Despite such awkwardness, the B/W test shot showed quite consistent results — made me amazed a bit = So, don’t misjudge the Brownie from its humble looks = once they were the Darling of the era like an iPhone camera now.   😀 ) 

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(B/W contact print above = The film was 50 years old Ilford Selochrome ISO160 / Though, Exposure was given as ISO80 / developed by D-76, 1+1 / 11 min’ on 18°~23° )

Obviously, Brownie camera has no focus neither a good viewfinder (their aerial image finder needs to look-down from feet away = its mean, no eye-level shooting other than a blind-shot) so that, beyond the fun snapshot or memento pictures, it may not suite for critical “Creative” work. 

And this was the test shot by the 15 years old Fuji color film on Brownie camera — (400 ISO Fuji Provia seemed to retain only 200 ISO after 15 years) = still, looks pretty good aren’t they !

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On a casual shot of the Nuns Head Pub, I realized that the notice board was almost legible (Photo right — Did you notice heavy chromatic aberration on the man’s head ?)

Brownie(C)(2)-A09A8225(do not ask the quality of the digital copy —– it was just a DSLR copy by a flash light behind the transparency.) (—– I’ll make more properly digitized photo = when I found white perspex board which  I used before)

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I show you the comparison, The same Brownie photo and the other by Sony A7R — It is obvious, the disadvantage of the blind-shot. (In fact, the Sony’s shot was made next day)

In this situation, not only to test the lens on 35mm DSLR,

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(Those photos here were Brownie lens on the Sony A7R.   Not too bad mean, not brilliant —– on the Bokeh test, this lens showed halo together with chromatic aberration = blue fog on the edge)

I mounted the Brownie lens on a 6×7 SLR (Pentax 6×7) with the additional focus control to see how this lens could perform. (Since, only the lens was taken out ( leaving the shutter mechanism behind, which has been acting as a smaller F-aperture as well)  now the lens is effectively F8 = As the peripheral of the lens which is not the good center part, the image became lot more foggier.)

Brownie(C)(3)-5-002—– This 6×7 body was a spare-body when Pentax 6×7 and  Hasselbrad was my main camera.  I’ve sold those mid’ format cameras when I had a Court battle.  ( I fought for 3 years battle without a lawyer, and in the Court of Appeal, stand against the President Judge who tried to white-wash the case) — It was my same stance “If Canon can do, I can do it too = If the English Lawyer can do, why not a Japanese” —– But, about the camera, nobody wanted to buy this body which has no viewfinder, so that it remained in my hand = still its works as a big camera.   😀  —– On this occasion, I made a waist level view finder using juice-cartoon ( = good to be a sculptor as well)   😀   

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(So, those photos were a bit more properly digitized 6×7 images = Copied on a white perspex, with TTL flashlight behind.)

Brownie(C)Blu-5-005Those are the photos of Brownie lens on the 6×7 SLR. (for those macro shot, extension ring were added too)    (waist level finder was not easy to use = such as, to see reversed left and right in a vertical image ? — Where am I looking at ? )

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(Brownie lens on the Pentax 6×7, shot on the 15 years old Fuji Provia film which were  Digitized by the Canon 5D Mk-3, like making a Copy )

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Kodak Brownie camera and 620 Film (B)

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At last, I got 620 film from the Net and some more 120 film to play with Brownie camera.  😀

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And I perfected the knack to use 120 film on the Brownie camera (by enlarge the holes of 120 film spool, etc.    With much annoyance of the purists over there.  I guess.

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And now I’m ready to do a dark-room work since I got the chemicals, thermometer etc.   I wish I’m still maintaining the skill to wind the film on to a developing reel without leaving my finger-print on the film, in a total darkness.

Though, the room temperature these days are 27, 28 degree = rather hard to keep the developer’s temperature in the tank to 20 degree constant —– on a dry-run test, start with the developer which has been kept in a fridge and 18 degree (after 9, 10 minuets process, it would end-up to 23 degree) may be acceptable. — (have a water-bath with ice-cube, is the another approach though I’m a lazy man and I don’t have ice-cube tray — as they have been used to keep elec’ components.)

So, to see the images in a developed film (color transparency needs to go to a lab) would be a fun.    😀

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Kodak Brownie Camera and 620 Film (A)

Brownie(1)-A09A8156I got THE famous Kodak Brownie camera. In fact my friend found it in a junk shop and brought it to me. I’ve been testing the lenses of many antic cameras, such as Ensign  or other camera.  In most of the case I just tested those lenses mounted on a DSLR’s body = regardless whether the camera’s original format was much larger 6×9 or even larger (such as Kodak Folding No.1A which takes post-card size picture) than DSLR’s 35mm format. Theoretically, by cutting a 4”x5”film to test Kodak Folding camera and take picture, is possible though, its gone too far. (I’m not such crazy) In fact, the film for this Kodak Brownie camera is still available (in certain extent) = In such situation, just test the lens on 35mm DSLR would be a bit of the lost opportunity.    I decided to take silver film photo with this camera.

Brownie(2)-A09A8158Kodak Brownie box camera use 620 size film and takes eight 6×9 (55mm x 85mm exact) photos. The film itself is the same as 120 film but only on much thinner metal film spool. (which mean, 120 film can be re-wound on 620 film spool in the total darkness. (if we could manage = if you google, you may find a Tutorial viz “How to re-wind 620 film”) 

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(Photo from left: 120’s Spool is a bit longer. Second : The pin to hold Spool’s base is 5.4mm so that the hole of 120 film needs to make larger = third photoLast photo showed the frame number = 1 on the back of the camera = while wind the film, the number has to be watched.)

Yet still, as the physical size of the 120 film is about the same (though 120 film’s spool is 1.5mm longer), in practice we can use the 120 film on the Brownie camera. (the hole of the 120 film spool may need to make a bit larger.— Fuji film’s spool seems to run much smoother.) In my cabinet, I found old 120 films, so I’m going to test this Brownie camera with Ilford and Fuji film. —– But before that, I need to know a lot more about this camera.

The situation is as such unclear. The brightness of the lens was not yet known. Even worse, the shutter on the camera, which says 1/80, 1/40 and B setting = we only know B will be B, but who knows how accurate 1/80 or 1/40 was ?

The focal length of the Lens was found to be about 90mm. (90mm lens to 6×9 picture would give nearly 60 degree angle of view = rather wide-angle)

Brownie(4)-5-001Then, I tested to see how bright this lens is. —– (It may seem rather scamp approach though, in such uncertainty, it may work and good enough. = To deal with antic Brownie may not need a rocket science) —– So, the Sony mirrorless A7R body was pressed against the back of Brownie of which shutter was fully opened, and with such and such ISO, see which “Shutter speed” was recommended by Sony ?    Then 90mm lens was mounted on the same A7R with the same ISO, and see which F-aperture of the 90mm lens makes the same shutter speed on A7R ? = With this test, the Brownie Lens was found to be F11. (fixed = no iris control but having so-called “filter”(ND filter ? — but it’s not grey. still makes one stop darker) was built-in)

Now the last question IS, how the Brownie’s 1/80 and 1/40 shutter could perform now ? Again, I used Sony A7R body to measure its exposure level. (Aperture is the size of the supply, say a water pipe, which allow how much amount of water you can get in each moment. And the shutter speed is, how long you open the tap = total amount is the multiply of both)

= While the shutter of A7R was set to 2 second, and its body was pressed against the Brownie’s back, then Brownie’s shutter (either 1/80 or 1/40 setting) was clicked while A7R’s shutter was open (its mean, while 2 second shutter open, 1/80 amount of exposure was given) —–Result of each exposure was compared against the photos taken by the 90mm lens at F11 with A7R’s 1/80 and 1/40 shutter = Amazingly results were quite consistent.   Its mean, on a bright day, Brownie camera could make pretty acceptable picture (I mean, in its exposure level — how pretty would depend on the subject) —– (but only in a bright place = straight under the sun — shadowy corner, cloudy days may need to use higher ISO film = like ISO 400 and even push development) Having only two shutter speed (with the additional effect of “Filter” it’s would be + 1/160 ) seems very restrictive though, think about, to have even the slower speed = 1/20, 1/10, 1/5 would only be the possibility (quick push on B setting may work as ½)  But such as the needs of 1/5 could be substituted by the use of 1/40 with ISO 800 film (one stop push development of ISO 400 film) —– Is it too barbaric approach ? —– Don’t be too serious.   It’s mere Brownie !   Lets make a joke.

Brownie(5)-5On the end, I actually tested this camera with Ilford HP5 B/W film.  (Though, in order to develop this film, re-start to use dark room after 10, 15 years gap needed to workout a lot, not only to get new chemicals, but also to find many small things = where the Temperature-meter has gone ? etc.)  = Fun continues. 

But, in reality, it was found to be not a fun at all.   In order to get hold the B/W film processing things — 120 films, Chemicals, Temperature meter etc, I was asking around many shops who supposed to deal with,—– though Silver Print has gone, either Park Camera or Jessops are no longer dealing with B/W process, and the shop they recommended = Aperture also stopped.   Another possibility is, either Process Surplies in Mountpresent or Parallax of Fusion in Brixton. unless otherwise, get everything from the Net.  (I don’t like)

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Short Walk (A)

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In deed, I haven’t have done a photo-walk a while. —– without a reason = IS a problem = just getting lazy.   So, bashing myself and went out with a camera and two lenses. (still, all in one pocket = that’s a beauty of the small homemade lenses. = Helicoid (A) and (B) lenses with Sony A7R)

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You may wonder what was a point to have those two lenses.   Ha ha ha, you are right.  Both of them are equally fuzzy lenses.  The differences were, —– if the fuzzy surrounding has Coma bokeh, it was the (A) lens.  And if it was with Astigmatism bokeh, it was the (B) lens.   Both for the sake of painterly effect which I like very much.

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Deeper into the Zen

Some of you, the keen followers might be wondering what this man is  talking about ?   And what would it to do with Zen ?

—– The fundamental question is, “If the Zen is to deal with the life in the absolutely empty mind =  in Mushin, (completely dispassionate, almost like a machine) —– Hey stop joking, which part of the brain is actuary handling it ? ”  (If somewhere the brain IS handling = with the intention to handle it, IS not Mushin but just not aware what he is doing, it’s a fraud ! )

How I came to here, you may find how our condition of the Guts (and the chemicals of its bacteria, parasites) influencing our “Feeling = Heart = Mind = ultimately the way of thinking”   We are not really in control. (Since this blog IS the live description of the DIY Zen research, I need to see the mechanism what makes the Zen as Zen —– in fact what IS so-called Zen ? = if any at all ?)

Now you must be convinced, that the so-called Zen teaching in the town IS fraud. Zen couldn’t be learned or taught, while saying Zen.  As long as the notion of Zen in mind, even if it was hidden in the deepest unconsciousness.  It IS not Zen.  I’ll show you “The legend = the Archer who try to reach Zen while learning Archery in Japan” in the next post. (If you like to start ahead, find a book and read it before hand = Zen in the Art of Archery : by Eugen Herrigel —– It’s a small book = 100 pages or so in a Penguin books)

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PS : I’ll explain you, my utterly strange Lens Making Game.  Do you think is there any complicated theory or creative notion ? —– Non at all.  It was the same process of the cutting a lemon.   In other word, a kind of work of Just Do It with a material I found then —– Imagine, do you think would it be any sophisticated philosophy or scientific theory behind ? = far from it, cutting minute depth of metal barrel to match the focus = IS the ZEN.  (I don’t have a skin thick enough to have a pretense to show-off “Copy the mantra” kind)   😀

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Cherry Cherry – 2018

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Since I put the photo of the first cherry, it’s already 3 weeks past.  They are still in full bloom though, the flowers started falling. The end of Somei-yoshino season.   (Then Multi petals cherry is coming.)

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So, this year’s Cherry pictures were made by “Helicoid-B” lens.  (One of the worst reputed lens ! = therefore in these days I’ve been using the most.   😀 )

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Without me shake even a single finger, the picture became almost trembled. ( = The technique to produce the paintary effect in the most economical way !     😀 )

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(Only the problem was that the image in the finder was too fuzzy to see the focus.)

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So, those two (three) photos were taken by a kind of normal lens = Tamron SP 500 mm Mirror lens. —— Somebody teased me saying “Can’t you take normal picture ?” “I leave that kind of business to the Phone camera user, otherwise no point for me to use bulky interchangeable lens camera”   😀

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Though, the Tamron gave me too pale color.  (May be I need to use Photoshop kind though, that’s what I hate most.)

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Feeling – Heart – Mind – Thinking

Because of its nature of ambiguity, what going in the depth of our Mind has no clear picture or even the defined notion or name.  Nevertheless, we are using a kind of the name for the sake of convenience.  And, we are using a kind of words to describe each Psychological phenomena.   So, from the murky deep to clear conscious, we named each of them such as to Feeling, Heart, Mind, Thinking. 

With the advancement of the technology and the medical science, the research and the understanding toward those mechanism of the psychological phenomena were becoming clear day by day.  And the development of experimental psychology is started to show quite new fact and the reality. 

One of the experiment, which was — the two group of the volunteer was given the Adrenalin hormone (so, the blood pressure rose and the heart started pounding) and one group was told by a decoy volunteer as “I heard we are going to have a  pretty funny game after this. So, I’m very excited” and the other group heard the other decoy murmuring that “I heard that the after effect of this experiment could be very bad. I’m very much worried of this”  On the after interview, the first group told that he (she) was very excited with the expectation of fun.  But the second group answered that they felt fear.

—– The same physiological effect = risen blood pressure and pounding heart was felt by the first group as a joyful excitement.   But the second group felt it was a tension of a fear. = Each were biased to the opposite direction by the dubious suggestions.  So, the feeling could be as simple as the balance of the chemical, same as too much acid in the stomach.  And to figure it out (with the biased expression) “I’m very heavy” is your heart.  Then, describe it with more objective words “I feel very heavy” is your mind.  And you might started to think “Should I take a pil ?”

Ambiguous shadow in the deep, may not have any holy truth.   Neither Carl Jung kind of romantic belief not mention Freud’s delusion.  (Now those kind of so-called “Psychology” was dead long since = simply because no such memory device which hold like Oedipus Complex etc or unconscious memory was found under MRI —– all those were our own creation inspired by the learned story in the daily life = same as a Dream.)    So, the unconscious mind = “Heart” might be just an unsorted complication of the chemical mix. —– As you know, when you feel so crazy and hot in love, the reality was that you were just filled with Oxytocin and Dopamine in your blood. = So, you feel its urge, still as it was nothing to do with any logic or hi-level thinking, you can not describe its factor or reason in word. (In fact, if you could describe it, you were not in love but just observing third party !) —– We call such invisible drive or a vector as the Heart.   😀

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修行での矛盾 — Paradox in Zen Practice

しかし禅の修行とは何か? そもそも禅とは何か? しかし禅が何であるかを答えたとしたら、それは禅ではないし、答える事自体が既に禅では無い。  

禅には問う事も無ければ答える事も無く実にそれが無くなった所に禅が在るのです。と言うより、元々禅などと言うものは存在していない。  

禅習得の足しになる方便は武道とか芸事など色々在り、それぞれの技能の習得、その進歩が目に見え体で感じられたりするので修行としたら大変都合が良い。 ---しかし、その都合良さに惑わされてしまうと、まるで禅と呼ばれるたいそうな事でもやっているような錯覚に陥る。

禅は神経生理上、シグナル(入力情報)が情動域(主に偏桃体)の関与無しに自動的に処理されるようになるので (情動域が『私の』というタグを付ける事で『我』=エゴ、欲、自己保存意識が発生する = 逆に言えば情動域が無視するような、害も無い反復シグナルを送り続けると情動域は無感覚になり入力を運動域などに直通させるようになる) 例えば武道においては恐怖のためらい無く、体が無意識に反応して神技のように動いたり、習い事で目をつぶったままでも完璧な所作が出来るようになったりする。 しかしここで生じる問題は、体や意識がその行に特定されてしまうという事です。(武道の奧義に達したからと言って禅の達人になるとは限らないーーー実在する奥義の後に禅が在ると思いがちですが、在ると思うのは禅などと言う観念に捕われた妄想に過ぎません。何故ならそのような観念すら存在しないのが禅なのですから) 

しかし刀も持たず、対峙する相手もない状態で、---例えば己自身に対してどれだけ無心になれるか? そもそも刀が無かったら己はここまで来ていたか? 

禅の修行はしばしば川を渡る事に例えられ 『川を渡りなば舟を投げ捨つるべし』と教えられる。 これが難しい。(笑)

方便とは言え刀を振回し五年十年と修行して来た揚句、それを投捨て意識の中から抹消するなどと言うのは書込む事よりよ程難しい。 果して刀も方便も無く出発し、どこかに到着する事が有るのか? 無から出発し無に到達し得るものか? (で、皮肉なことに実はどこにも到達しない、それこそが禅,と言うのが禅らしい。

古来より行なわれている修行はぐるぐるとひたすら歩く事ですが、人は元々無意識でも歩ける。それをわざわざ修行と名付け意図的にやらせ、しかもやっている将にその事を意識の中から抹消させようとする矛盾。 逆に言えばそれを教えた人自身、実は無私無心という境地に達してはいなかったのではと疑わせます。(禅の観念にこだわっている師匠が考えそうな事ですよ)

ーーーもちろんそうした徹底した無意識化、無私化が無い訳ではありません=彫刻家のノミがあたかもそれ自身で動き出し、ノミと石だけの対峙になると言うのも在るし、形は元々石の中に在った(つまり『アタシが彫ったのではない』)と言うのはしばしば聞く。 (しかしここまで行くのは大変です。ーーーまァ精々やることで、それが平常心と言うモノ。 だからこそ犬のクソと言われるのです)

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禅などと大上段に振かぶったものではなく単なる日常を平常のものとして丁寧に生活していく=そのうちに何故かその日常の手順がえらく軽やかでなめらかなものになっていくーーーそれで充分なのです。 (別に禅を極めたからといって閻魔大王に褒めてもらえる訳でも無いしそもそもあの世なんてものも無い。 生きているうちに充実した日常を送る事が肝心)  

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What ? — OMG, it’s Cherry flower

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On the street, I found a dropped Cherry flower.   —– ?    What ?   —– I looked up, OMG it was a cherry tree started to open the flowers.   Only few days ago, there was nothing.  It’s suddenly happened.  I picked up a dropped flower and a bud to bring back.

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I put the flowers on the water in a lens cap.  And took pictures.  (After a while, a bud opened as well) —– It was a kind of my habit in these days, which was to make the photos for comparison = the photo left above was taken by Sony 30 mm F3.5 Macro and the right was by Helicoid-B lens.

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So, this year’s first Somei-yoshino flowers were put next to the kitchen tap = In fact, this IS my photo studio.  (All the “Studio shot” in my Blog were taken in this “Studio” !    Another funny fact was — that all those homemade lenses were made in this kitchen work shop, and almost all of my sculptures were also produced in here.)  

It’s very simple, if we need to make, make it, or just do it.   There may not need to have any good-cause or theory or facility kind.  So, if you have a knife, you can cut.  With the same knife, you can cook as well.  If you can’t, you were just clinging an excuse of not to do or even worse you might be waiting somebody to push your back.   😀     (By the way, this is in deed the way of Zen = Zen need no cause or reason to do.  In fact Zen is to eliminate anything that kind.  Therefore Mushin (Mind of No mind) still, even a mind to think No-mind shouldn’t be there, = hence “Everyday’s Mind” (Heijo-shin 平常心). That’s why to able to be in the Everyday’s mind which is nothing special / peculiar  (is so ubiquitous as a dog shit) IS the Enlightenment. 

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Screen Copy by Fuzzy Lens

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The outside is still cold and not much flower, and, I’m not keen to take picture of cut flower = so, just took photo of a flower in my old post screen using very fuzzy Helicoid-B lens.

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When I try, I realized that the old screen of XP laptop makes moire pattern, so I changed it to iPad screen. (though, iPad screen makes the color a bit artificial)

Following 4 set of those photos, Left side were the original and the right photos were the screen shot. (All those photos came from Somewhere Net website —– I hope they don’t fuss about the copyright)  (If you Google, you may find the same very easily)

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Ideally, I should take the original photo myself though, I’m no longer such keen —– (and neither the model herself keen to see dirty old man.  Ha ha ha.  😀 )

I think you may agree, we don’t need to see too much details of the girls.  We are not seeing the woman like an ological specimen.   In certain extent, the beauty of the flower is the same = We only need to feel its atmosphere. (If we go into the details of the flower, often they are rather grotesque. —– after all,  flower is the sexual organ of the plant. —– or, am I a sexcist ?)

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