Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tower 51 Cleans up its Act

Cleaning the Tower 51 Viewfinder

Yesterday evening I disassembled the top plate of the Tower 51. As I referenced in an earlier post, the viewfinder of this camera was pretty dirty ... well, filthy is a better word ... so I finally got around to it. Cleaning all the glass surfaces took some time, plus when I removed the accessory shoe (which wasn't really necessary) the assembly that held the RF and VF window glass fell out. The glass elements had to be thoroughly cleaned and re-glued to the bracket (I used epoxy), and reassembling the whole lot caused some frustration until I figured out the order.

I had taken macro shots of the process with my digicam, so getting all the top pieces back together this morning was pretty easy, but the advance assembly caused me some problems, and I had to put everything together twice. It's functional, but not Leica buttery-smooth. Hell, it's not even as smooth as the Olympus 35 SPs.

BUT, the view of the world is so much better now. While the viewfinder is not nearly as bright as the best RFs, it is surprisingly easy to focus. It gives a 1:1 view, I think, and aligning the rangefinder patch is positive.

Since this is a meterless camera, I figured it's perfect for shooting in really dim light, with Kodak Tri-X pushed to E.I. 12,800, as per merciful's post over on RFF. Yikes, that looks yummy! Don't expect results from my foray into that world soon ... I don't process often, and right now stripping wallpaper in the kitchen is my main occupation.

EDIT: I worked on the film advance some more, and it's better. Still rough, and it takes two strokes to full advance and cock the shutter. Not sure what's wrong, but it's functional.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday morning coffee

The morning was sunny and bright, so I headed to Tim's with the Saturday Toronto Star for coffee, muffin and a leisurely read before diving into painting and stripping of wallpaper.

Finally some weather fit for slow film, so I had loaded up the SP with Ilford Pan F+, which will be processed in Rodinal at 1:100. I want to establish a workflow for a slow film (ASA 50) such as Pan F+ to take advantage of its ability to render a long tonal scale, but maintain contrast. I am rating the film at ASA 40 to ensure shadow detail is retained.
Yeah, I realize it's now "ISO", not ASA. but I'm old enough to cling to the past and be curmudgeonly as well.

Alas, work at home called, so no shooting today.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Muslim cartoon flap

Over on Decrepit Old Fool, I commented on DOF's "Eat My Shorts" entry regarding the fallout from the publishing and republishing of the cartoon in a Danish and other papers. Some good points are made by DOF, who is a friend of mine. In fact, he's such a good friend that I can tell him to "eat my shorts" when I disagree with him, and we laugh together. DOF is a gun-totin', meat eatin' libertarian (well, I guess he owns a gun, I know he certainly isn't very enamored of gun control,) but he is a smart dude. He's sometimes wrong about stuff that that I'm always right about :) but then, I could be wrong about that.

Anyway, GUYK posted a reply which I think is a reply to my comments, so I've asked for some clarification from him. We'll see if he answers, but from just glancing at his blog, I don't think we'll see eye-to-eye on a lot.