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FED Camera

FED 4

The FED 4 is a 35mm film rangefinder camera made by FED and produced between 1964-80 in present-day Ukraine. Lenses, of which there are many choices, can be changed by way of an M39 screw thread. The standard lens that was supplied was a 53mm f2.8. Shutter speeds range from 1s – 1/500s +B, with flash sync at 1/30s and a self-timer too. Although it is similar in many ways to the Zorki 4 I featured last year, the FED 4 has a a built-in selenium light-meter. This seems to be very accurate and works as well as many modern ones. There are several versions of the this camera that can be identified by small differences in looks.

My particular one is a 1979 and I have to say I love it. Prices for these are currently around £35 for a good example and they work very well indeed. If you’d like to try out rangefinder photography, you could do a lot worse. In this video I show you how to load a film, as the process is quite different to many other cameras.

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Zenit Camera

Zenit TTL

This is the 1980 Zenit TTL Olympic Edition. It is another Soviet made 35mm SLR. This one was made to commemorate the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Mine is in pretty grim condition but in this video I start the restoration process and hopefully I can improve its condition. I bought it from an antique dealer, fully expecting to sell it on for spares. But I have decided to keep it. The initial cleaning has gone well and I have ordered a lens that would have originally come with it. Hopefully I will be able to find a shutter speed dial and get it fully operational.

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CreatorHub Logo

CreatorHub

CreatorHub is the place to be…If you’re a creator anyway. One of the biggest challenges faced by anyone who creates content on the web, is getting noticed. It’s a little like Catch 22. You need to be popular to be seen, but need to be seen to become popular. When I started my YouTube channel and it’s associated social media, I was swamped with information about how best to gain subscriptions and views. Unfortunately a large proportion of that advice is not good. Sub4Sub schemes and others like them, only succeed in the ‘mysterious’ algorithm giving you a wide berth. The bottom line is YouTube and other platforms are based on people interacting with you. Watching, commenting, liking (or disliking), will all help with them pushing your content out to more people.

The Problem

In the early days I was begging my friends, both Facebook and real, to watch. In addition I was of course Tweeting and Instagramming, but these methods only took me so far. Then there was Facebook groups and Reddit subs, but although they might be focused on content like yours, they will often discourage self-promotion. What I needed was a place I could promote my content naturally so that the it didn’t go against any ToS or algorithms.

Discord Logo

The Solution

I had a vague idea what Discord was but no real experience of it. But I received an invite to join a Discord Server called CreatorHub. This server was an absolute revelation for me. I won’t deny that I had to quickly learn the basics of Discord but being a veteran of Internet Relay Chat (IRC), that didn’t prove to be too difficult. However, any minor issues were more than outweighed by the benefits. The owners, moderators and users were all super welcoming and friendly. The chosen platforms and topics are varied, but then so is the knowledge and expertise that the members are willing to share. I had the opportunity to share my content and get genuine constructive feedback in return. I also get to do the same for other creators.

Graphics, audio, streaming, hardware and all aspects of your channels are regular topics. OK so I’m no PewdiePie yet, but my analytics are rising steadily. In addition I am making friends and having some fun along the way, with some like-minded folks from around the world. So if you think your content would benefit, click the button below and join us.

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Kodak Instamatics

Kodak Instamatic

The Kodak Instamatic was a very popular range of cameras. So popular, that the word ‘instamatic’ is still often used as a generic term for any point and shoot camera. Made from 1963 by Kodak in the US, UK and elsewhere, they were a range of inexpensive easy to use small cameras. I remember my father buying me a 133 that I practically wore out, I loved it so much. Most Instamatics used 126 film or 110 film which came in easy to load cartridges. I currently own three different models, but there were many more and so I am often on the lookout. Above you can see, from left to right, the 204 made in 1966, the 133 made in 1968 and the 77X made in 1977.

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YouTube Logo

New Channel Intro

For a long time now I have been meaning to create an update for my YouTube channel intro. The previous one was a little simple but also quite dull. I was teaching myself Adobe After Effects and used the software to animate a signature that I could place over an image related to the subject of the video. Whilst it served a purpose, I wanted something a little different and that would better reflect the channel. Hopefully my new creation does that. Still short and punchy but this time it will be consistent across all my videos.

Please let me know what you think.

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Hanimex Camera

Hanimex 35se

The Hanimex 35se is probably the worst camera I own. It’s a plastic, low build quality, 35mm point & shoot that was made in Hong Kong. It is inflexible and takes average pictures. So why would I buy one. That’s a good question that I hope I answer in my latest video. The shutter speed is fixed at 1/250th and the aperture is a snail-like f5.6, f9.5 or f16. There is no metering or low light warning. But it does have a tripod mount, a cable release point and takes screw in 43mm filters. So it’s not all bad. It can also take some reasonable pictures.

But above all it’s fun and I love all cameras. If somebody wants to pay for this, I won’t condemn them as that’s exactly what I did.

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Me at The Guildhall

My Cadet Anniversary

Today marked my tenth full year as a uniformed member of staff with the Sea Cadet Corps. I was a cadet myself in my teens. I left around 1988 as life started to give me other priorities. Then, about twelve years ago, I heard that my old unit was having a reunion. I attended and had a great time. The then CO, who had been a cadet with me, asked me if I would consider returning. Sure enough, here I still am. I have had some amazing experiences. I have also (hopefully) provided some young people with some experiences of their own. I have certainly made many life-long friends. Here’s to another ten years. At least!

Me - SCC
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Toy Camera

Baby’s First Camera

My future grandson is not even born but already has his first camera. This wooden beauty was bought by his mum and is hopefully tough enough to stand the rigours of teething etc. I can’t wait until he’s older and I can introduce him to the joy of film. It will be coming full circle for me. My father got me in to photography in the first place and although he has since passed away, it’s his birthday today. I think of him every time I pick up a camera and it would be nice to give junior that same feeling. Until then, this is a lovely start.

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Long Exposure Photography

Some tips on long-exposure photography in my latest video. I spent a recent holiday in Ireland and visited the Powerscourt Waterfall. Whilst there I took some photos using a neutral density filter and shutter speeds in excess of 20 seconds. I was hoping to smooth out the moving water so that it gave me that ethereal look that you often see. I had a lot of fun experimenting with settings and I’m pleased with the results.

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Olympus Camera

Olympus Trip 35 – Part 2

As a follow-up to my previous video, in this edition I explain my attempts to restore an Olympus Trip 35. This is in terms of cosmetic appearance as well as in terms of its operation. I try to follow a superb video to get the aperture blades to work properly. Later I choose to clean, re-skin and paint my newer purchase. I highly recommend Milly’s Cameras for any of your camera repair requirements.

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