The Kodak Retinette 1A. A first roll.

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The Kodak Retinette 1A. The site Kodak Classics gives in excellent detail the history of the delightfully well-built Kodak Retina range and its budget sibling the Retinette.  Mine is the type 042 Retinette 1A from around 1962 and the first thing you’ll notice is that this is one solid wee camera.  There’s a lot of metal and it’s not the lightest, there are no lugs for a strap (you’ve to use the case) and it’s fully manual – no meter and viewfinder/guess focussing (there are sort-of zone dots).  And it’s a delight to use.

r2

All the business is done on the lens/shutter housing. A Pronto shutter unit with a Reomar 45mm f2.8 lens. With no internal meter, it’s Sunny 16, a handheld meter or the phone app. There is a generous range of four shutter speeds 1/30th to 1/250th and B. Who needs milky water anyway.  Aperture is F22 to F2.8.

Focussing is a reasonable guess or using the sophisticated 1-to-3 dots going from close to further away, Father Dougal style. R1

You could attach a rangefinder to the cold shoe, but since you can pick these cameras up for a tenner, it hardly seems worth the bother.  And why not go fully manual – it’s part of the fun of using something of this vintage.

There’s a wee button to open the back and film goes in easily, and the viewfinder ? – nice and clear with zero information apart from the subject.

R3Rvf

There is a self timer, they’re the weak link in a lot of vintage cameras and since I’m never going to use it, I’ll assume it’ll work.

The first roll out was Agfa APX100 developed in Ilford Ilfosol with some shots taken in Lloret de Mar, Spain and east Belfast.  For the contrast..

CS Lewis statue, Belfast

CS Lewis and Wardrobe.  Belfast.
CS Lewis and his wardrobe.  Belfast
cslewis2
James McEvoy tribute.  Belfast
cslewis5
Aslan.  Belfast
sp3
Window shopping, Lloret de Mar
sp6
Graffiti. Lloret de Mar
sp9
Ice Cream, Lloret de Mar
sp8
Catalonia says Si.  Lloret de Mar
sp4
Sant Romà, Lloret de Mar.
sp2
A bit softer at open aperture… it may have also been rubbish focus by me..
sp1
Tables and chairs.  Lloret de Mar.

The main thing I noticed about the Retinette is that in good light, f8 and smaller, the lens is tack sharp and nicely contrasty.  In fact all the over/underexposed and blurred shots were purely down to me and rushing a bit.  When you slow down, check the exposure and take a bit of care focussing, this is a terrific camera. If the Irish summer holds up, it’ll see a few more rolls.

Spotmatic for the People

Actually the SP500, a budget Spotmatic from the early 1970’s whose shutter speed only went as fast as 1/500th.  But actually it did 1/1000th but it wasn’t shown on the dial – you just move it round.

sp1

I got this for a tenner on the eBay with a Tessar 50mm/2.8 lens, all working except for the meter.  So Sunny 16 for using what is an aesthetically pleasing, delightful to handle and well build classic.

The SP500 is a no-frills M42 SLR but it’s useful to compare with the Eastern European counterparts.  The Pentax looks and feels smoother and lighter, it handles really well and there’s no recoil from the shutter like the Praktica MTL3.

sp3

One of the factors contributing to it’s overall sleekness is the absence of a hotshoe, but there’s sockets for normal flash sync (X, 1/60th) and FP (focal plane) for higher speed fill in flash, not that I’ll be using this much with flash.

On top there’s the basics including the unmarked 1/1000th shutter speed setting. I’m sure Pentax had a good reason for that… Shutter release (threaded for a cable) and a pointless film identifier ring around the rewind crank finishes off the lo-fi feature list of the SP500.

sp4

Using it though, with Sunny 16, is a delight.  It’s got a bright viewfinder (complete with non-functioning exposure needle),  Olympus-OM-levels of ergonomic niceness and is a suitably admirable film camera for the inevitable Instagram post.  I took it on a photowalk with a roll of expired Kentmere 100 which was developed in Ilford ID11.

 

dee street
Donaghadee, County Down
talkative gent
A bearded oul’ lad
greyabbey1
Greyabbey, County Down
Donaghadee lighthouse, Co Down
 The Lighthouse, Donaghadee
Harbour nets, Co Down
A pair of fishnets


stadium 2
Windsor Park, Belfast

The SP500 – a basic budget M42 Pentax – has no unique selling point other than it’s a delight to handle, looks great and you can pick them up for a song on the eBay.  It’s a sleeker alternative to the DDR and Soviet M42 SLR’s and there’s a ton of lenses out there.

Hol18: Munich – Daytime Drinking

Munich is all about the beer – there are countless places to drink – indoor and outdoor, particularly outdoor and even on a Sunday, when shops are all closed the drink continues to flow.
Viktualienmarkt round the corner from Marienplatz is a great palce to start.

munich beergarden 2
Viktu-alien-markt.  Very ‘day-earth-stood-still’..
munich beergarden 4
Drunk and orderly queue
munich beergarden 5
daytime drinking
bier hier
waiting for drinkers
munich beergarden 1
Munich’s smallest
munich beergarden 6
Beer Garden and… pole

corner

munich beergarden 3
bring the baby for a pint

Away from the main beer garden,you can always find somewhere for a beer when you see that exquisite signage or well turned out staff.

they call her ivy
Ivy
traditional eating
Waitress
bierhalle
Waiters
paulaner
Paulaner sold here
munich street scene
more food n drink

or if you don’t fancy a beer, there’s aways the traditional Bavarian Coffee Haus..

starbucks munich style
die Starbucks

All shot on the Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX100  – €4 a roll from Drogerie Markt

Hol18: auf wiedersehen goodbye

I enjoyed Salzburg – plenty to see and a great city for walking about.  I probably didn’t get the best of it not being a classical music lover or enjoying fine (= expensive) dining.  However there are a few city views that would warrant a return.

 

salzburg along the river
View along the River Salz
innenhof
Inner city Cafe – Salzburg style

bernhard

cafe altstadt
Hotel Altstadt – fixer a bit spent in developing…
salzburg viewpoint
Salzburg Spire
salzburg SoM path
Cycling from the Sound of Music tour

Kit – Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100

 

Hol18: Salzburg – My Favourite Things

As well as Mozart, the other big tourist theme in Salzburg is The Sound of Music.  You can get all sorts of bus tours and walking tours, but I went by bike – Fraulein Maria’s Cycle Tour.

dig

Of course the disadvantage of cycle tours is that it’s hard to take photos without stopping every 2 minutes, still there were a few highlights that were worthy of a photo.

First off, the guide isn’t a ‘Maria’.  We had a guy with a beard.  Good guide – and played the flute.

salzburg tour guide
non-nun guide

One of the main stopping points is the Nonnberg Conventnonnberg2

nonnberg ground pax
Nonnberg inner courtyard
nonnberg3 shadow tower
Nonnberg gardens
salzburg SoM hoaus
A von Trapp exterior
salzburg gazebo
The Gazebo (16 going on 17 …etc..)
mozart platz
Residence Fountain, Maria splashed here
gardens salzburg
The Mirabelle Gardens

 

Salzburg view 6
 Felsenreitschule – stone stage

 

and of course, a selfie…
bty

Ricoh KR5 and the Fomapan 100

Huawei P9

Hol18: Salzburg – Amadeusville

When you arrive in Salzburg, you know you are in Mozart’s town.  He’s everywhere in the form of 2 Mozart Houses, numerous statues, music venues and every item of tourist tat you could think of.  I have to confess to actually not liking classical music (I’ve watched the Amadeus movie a few times..) and I’ve no real academic interest but he has definitely become a bit of a tourist magnet for the city.

mozart statue
One of the better Mozart statues
mozart platz
Mozartplatz
Salzburg Mozartplatz
Mozartplatz

Of the 2 Mozart houses, we visited the Mozartheim – where he grew up before going to Vienna. His birth house in the main shopping area is above a Spar and had much longer queues. There’s no photography permitted inside the Mozartheim – and it is rigorously enforced.

Salzburg Kasse Mozart
Mozartheim

One slightly dodgy statue of Wolzgang is artist Markus Lüpertz’s ‘Hommage to Mozart’ outside St Mark’s church.  The half male/female ‘lumpy’ piece isn’t overly prominent in the city tour guides and not too revered by its citizens.  It puts the Ronaldo one in a bit of perspective.

salzburg mozart statue
Hommage to Mozart. It reflects his inner turmoil, apparently

Finally despite all the keyrings, stickers, phone covers and countless other pieces of tat, my favourite item of shopping is the Mozart Chocolate Balls. (genuine Salzburg)

salzburg mozart balls
Chocolate classical balls

Kit – Ricoh KR-5 and Fomapan 100.

Hol18: Slovenia – Ljubljana 2

Away from the crowds and walking tours there are many quieter streets and walks in the centre of Ljubljana to indulge in a bit of street photography and to try and capture the look and feel of the city, even around the Triple Bridge when it isn’t so crowded..

 

Ljublijana  river
The river – Ljubljanica

 

Franciscan Church Ljublijana
The old Franciscan church 

 

 

 

Ljublijana church
Ljubljana cathedral spires

 

Ljublijana kiosk
European cities excel in their wee kiosks

 

 

 

Ljublijana Library
The stand out stone work of the city library

 

ljubljana bridge
One of the Triple Bridge (s)

 

 

 

Ljublijana market
government offices..  and the main market
Ljublijana morris column
Morris Column and scooter – staples of all smart European cities

 

Ljublijana  statue
Valentin Vodnik –  poet, journalist and priest
Ljublijana street scene
a quiet street in the cathedral area

 

 

Ljublijana street scene
an overcast street in the cathedral area
Ljublijana street scene
residential arches

 

 

Ljublijana  slovenians on a bridge
more Slovenians on another bridge
Ljublijana  sign
Union Beer – Slovenia’s finest

All shot using the Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100

 

Hol18: Slovenia – Ljubljana 1

I had no real expectations regarding Ljubljana having little knowledge of the city or indeed of Slovenia beyond the usual photos of Lake Bled.  It was however one of the friendliest, relaxed, photogenic and enjoyable cities I’ve been to in Europe,  and there seemed to something going on at every junction along the river.

The area around the Triple Bridge can attract the artists and the crowds.

Ljublijana sax band
Shredding sax and drums
Ljublijana busker
Dylan / Neil young tribute act
Ljublijana busker
maker of … sounds
Ljublijana protest
Animal rights protesters

There is a statue of France Prešeren, Slovenia’s greatest literary figure near the bridge which is a general meeting point – and the starting point for the excellent Free Walking Tour.

Ljublijana  preseren
France Prešeren – national poet and Julija obsessive

 

And in direct line of sight from Prešeren is a little wall statue of his unrequited love and subject of many a poem, Julija Primic.

Juliija
Julija Primic – object of Prešeren’s desire

 

And of course if you’re hungry there’s many food vendors.

Ljublijana food stand

All shot on the Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100.

Hol18: Slovenia – Lake Bled 2

It’s not all about the lake.  Bled has some good walks and viewpoints around the lake, although it is prone to changes to the weather.  I never made it up to the castle – it was wet and the light was going, but there it was nice to see the area away from the crowds at the lake.

bled parish house
The Old Parish house, Bled
bled pub
A pub.  since 1903.  Bled
bled rustic pizza
translated – rustic Pizza (is that movie?)
bled shrine
Shirne at the Parish house
bled island shop
old shop front
bled church2
St Martin’s church
bled church1
St Martin’s church
bled church
St Martin’s church


bled skyline
View from the hill – away from the lake

Photos shot on the Ricoh KR5 and Rollei RPX25

Hol18: Rovinj, Croatia (Hrvatska)

My first moments in Croatia (I find Hrvatska a bit difficult to pronounce) were getting off the ferry in Rovinj,  and Rovinj is very, very easy on the eye.
It’s got a very nice town square.

Rovinj town square
Rovinj town square

It’s got very pleasant bars – all decked out with the very recognisable flag.

Rovinj Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo bar
Rovinj steps
with seating down to the sea

In its old town centre, there is a baroque church overlooking the bay – the Church of St. Euphemia (she was from Byzantium, apparently)

Rovinj church 2
Church of St. Euphemia
Rovinj church
Church of St. Euphemia

Around the town, there’s no shortages of places to have a drink or to photograph.

Rovinj taverna
 Taverna, Rovinj
Rovinj ruins and house
House among some ruins

 

Rovinj old town
Old town
Rovinj at the Copa Pizza
At the Copa..  View from the bay

While I was here, I tried for the first time some Rollei RPX25 film, it was pretty bright after all.  And the RPX25 is the most grain-free film I’ve shot. 

roving coastline
Rovinj in the evening
window man rovinj
Man in window of pizzeria.  It’s like a basic advent calendar
window rovinj
decorative house, Rovinj

Rovinj was nice introduction to Croatia and a base for a relaxing few days.  It’s not the most dynamic of places, but a good entry point travelling by ferry from Italy.

Camera:  Ricoh KR5 with Fomapan 100 (the grainier shots) and Rollei RPX25 (no grain)