Film Photography Podcast – Episode 183 – April 15th, 2018
Notes by: Alex Luyckx
Topics on the table today are three awesome cameras, the Contax 167mt, Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC, and the Canon T60. Joining Michael Raso in the studio today is Mark Dalzell and John Fedele! Also, we’re reading your letters and so much more! So grab your favourite hot or cold beverage and settle in!
Mark has two awesome film cameras to talk to on today’s show (what show!) and what a variety he has on the table! They all have something interesting in their own right and some you may have never heard of!
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Contax 167mt - First up is the Contax 167mt, now this isn’t the Contax of the Zeiss Ikon era, but one made by Kyocera, but don’t knock it yet. The camera is a 35mm SLR and using the C/Y mount, so you have access to a wide range of lenses including Carl Zeiss (licensed). But you make sure you have access to all the automatic modes you need the MM type lens, if you don’t, you’re stuck on Aperture and Manual modes. It’s an electronic camera from the 1980s, the 167mt was introduced in 1986, battery powered (4x AAA Batteries), and there’s a grip option that allows you to run off AA batteries. Modern, solid that has a lot of built-in automation. You have three program modes, normal, high-speed, and low-speed, along with the usual Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual. One of the odd parts of the camera is the massive switch for the AE lock meaning you don’t have to worry about losing that lock. While finding the usual C/Y mount lenses is easy, getting your hands on the MM type lenses is a little harder and can hit you a bit on the wallet.
Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC - Switching over to an older camera and when the Contax name rested with Zeiss Ikon. The 1965 Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC is a leaf shutter SLR with the shutter in the lens itself. What sets the Super BC apart from every other model (and there is a huge selection of cameras in the Contaflex line), the Super BC replaced the selenium meter with a TTL CdS light meter and required a battery, loaded up at the front of the camera in a very Canon-like manner. The lenses (which are Carl Zeiss glass) are interchangeable but not in the traditional sense as the leaf shutter is mounted at the front of the camera and you simply replace the lens elements themselves. There are plenty of lenses out there for the system plus a stereo attachment. You can also use an interchangeable magazine; you do lose a frame each time you swap them out, but still a cool feature. The camera can be a bit clumsy to use at first as your exposure settings are all on the shutter barrel, but with some time you can get used to it.
These days if you want to share your film photography online, such as hosting your images on Flickr (where you can find the official FPP Discussion forum in our Group) you need to scan them! But depending on how you shoot, what you shoot, and the software used there is a lot going on there. The trouble comes when running the scans, Michael uses the stock Epson software with his V700 and finds that he always has to run some sort of correction to adjust levels and colours, or even compensate for Sprocket holes! Whereas Mark uses Silverfast and sets an automatic level using his first frame and then applies that to all the other frames. Then makes smaller adjustments with Photoshop after the fact. We hope to do a whole video on scanning and how everyone in the gang does it. And while you can get the lab to run your scans, it is far more satisfying to do it yourself.
Canon T60 - One of the strange cameras in the Canon T-Series, a set of boxy plastic cameras from the 1980s. But of them all one stands out is the Canon T60. The camera itself was shoehorned into the line and looks a little different from all of the rest that’s because it wasn’t built by Canon at all, but rather Cosina. Aimed at the student market, the camera shares some similarities to the Cosina C2 (which used the Pentax K-Mount). The T60 used the standard Canon FD mount manual focus lenses and was released in 1990. So what draws Michael to the camera well first off the camera is super light and secondly you have access to a huge line up of amazing lenses in the FD mount. Now what makes the T60 unique in the T-Series is that it’s Aperture Priority rather than the typical Shutter Priority found in the AE-1 Program. The one disappointing feature to the camera according to Michael is the lack of ISO options, running from 25 up to 1600. For a basic starter camera, you really can’t go wrong, and you can pick one up cheap online.
Letter shout out - Looking for a dose of nostalgia, check out RetroWDW, a site dedicated to restoring old Walt Disney promotional photos and videos. On the site, you can find their podcast, video and still images from the 1970s and 1980s. As well and details on the restoration work that goes into these images and videos.
That’s it for this show, but don’t fret, the whole gang will be online for our May 1st episode in a short two weeks! In the meantime, why not send us a letter at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular post Film Photography Podcast PO Box 264 Fair Lawn NJ 07410. You can join our community on Flickr! Need film to feed your camera or other accessories, check out our store and why not sign up for our newsletter at the same time you’re on our site! You can also like us on Facebook so that you don’t miss any FPP related news!