Thursday, February 1, 2024

$50 Nikonos V Tested

As someone who really enjoys using one of Nikon's quirky, cool and bombproof Nikonos II cameras, I had to pounce on a Facebook Marketplace Nikonos V find in Santa Rosa for all of $50 right before Xmas. 

The Nikonos V was the last in the series of rangefinder dive cameras, superseded by the Nikonos RS underwater SLR. They're funky and fun to use, and use a range focusing method. So yeah, some of the shots were not as sharp as I would have liked. But I don't think anyone is here for a history lesson. Anyway, it has the aesthetics of a kid's first camera - just needs a Fisher-Price logo on it. 

This particular camera had a slight ding in the outer lens flange, but the issue was merely cosmetic and didn't affect the images. Still, I managed to find a ding-free one on eBay pretty cheap, and that is what's shown here, along with a screw-on lens hood. The battery still had plenty of juice, so I threw a roll of Kodak Ultra 400 in it and put it this beast to the test. Here are the resulting images - 39 in total, not including the not-worth-posting first-of-the-roll. Pretty impressive to squeeze that many out of a 36 exposure roll. 

Lots of overly-warm tones from Bodega Head in late afternoon sun. Maybe the fierce winds had something to do with it. Probably not. 

And Bodega Harbor.

Since I am on this Bodega kick, some from Bodega proper:

First-generation Mazda RX-7 and a Chrysler Imperial in San Rafael, snapped when I made a trip to Seawood Photo

And some frames captured while out on a Saturday spin:

Petaluma skyline:

And the last of the roll, waiting at a light on the drive home one rainy evening:

But it seems that the winder was cracked, so the handle broke off, necessitating a slightly laborious process to get the film back into the canister. Still worth it, seeing that similar condition cameras sell for 4-5x what I paid for this one. 

Already looking forward to the next roll.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Pre-Stage Part One

This morning saw the first Pre-Stage car meetup, at the Marin Civic Center (a Frank Lloyd Wright masterwork I should add). Anyway, it's an offshoot of the Breakfast Club Rally vintage car rallies, and I have completed number of events over the last four years. Unlike the BCRs, this is just a meetup, with no organized drive attached to it.

Free posters too! Beautiful Speedster at the aforementioned Marin Civic Center.

Rain and an overall damp forecast may have very well kept a number of cars away this month, but there was still an abundance of amazing vehicles to check out. Here are some of my faves, alongside some photos I liked. Oh, and speaking of photos, I had packed a couple of film cameras, but was having fun using the α7 IV and didn't bother going back to the car to switch over to analog. The SRT-Super and Nikonos II did go for a ride.

Pretty nice how the two hard cases fit in nearly perfectly in the S2000's trunk well.

First up, the favorites. Unsurprisingly they were both green as well as German. Come to think of it, they'd make for the perfect pair of vintage cars to own. At least in my brain's fantasy garage.

Of course the interior was nice, but the windows were up.

And the very close runner up, with an even nicer interior as well as no windows getting in the way. 

Oh, why exactly is the hood up?

Oh, that's why. The GM LS is probably pumping out double of what it did when it rolled out of Stuttgart some fifty or so years ago. 

So-called resto-mods are hit-or-miss in my book, but this one was a hit, with no pretenses to keeping it original, yet leaning deep into some era-appropriate fabrics on the more modern seats.

That mobile phone...

Wonder what car that rear seat frame came from.

And now some random shots that I like. 

Until next time, Pre-Stage.