Jul 29, 2013

Kodak Ektralite 10 = One Happy Girl

In my early teens, I was one happy girl when I received my very own camera and three rolls of film as a Christmas present.  My mother always had us kids write out Christmas lists and our presents came off those lists so I'm assuming I had "camera" on the list that year.  This is what I received:

(Not this one specifically because I don't have it anymore)
• Manufactured by Kodak from 1978-1994
• Film Type: 110mm Cartridges
• Original selling price was $38.00
Focusing distance: from 1,50m to infinity
• Shutter speed: The manual says the camera can figure out what type is loaded and changes the speed accordingly... 1/210 sec for ISO 200 and more, 1/125 sec for ISO lower than 125
• Flash requires two AA batteries and has a range of 4.5meters 1/1000sec. Recovery time takes 7seconds.

The 110 film was discontinued for a while. However, it's made a slight resurgeance. Believe it or not, film is now available again and it can be processed!

I was so thrilled to receive a camera for Christmas that year.  I remember going through a roll of film in no time.  My parents cautioned me about using it all up and then I wouldn't have any left.  Gotta remember they were still using the Polaroid 210 with only 10 photo ops. 

I still didn't know much about photography back then, but I sure did enjoy snapping photographs.  I still have the photographs I took during those years.

My First Car - '73 Grand Prix
My Sister - 1983
(Don't ask me what she was doing!)

My Dad - 1984
(He could sleep through anything.
Even his kids adding props to the photo... Hee Hee)

Grandpa and Grandkids - 1982
This is one of my favorite photos.
Obviously, someone else took it with my 110
because I am in the pic.

Sadly, most of the photos taken with my 110 are darkening and seem to be in various stages of deterioration despite being kept in archival quality photo pages.

Jul 26, 2013

It ALL Started Here

Let me tell you about a story about a little girl’s fascination.  “What fascination?” you ask.  My fascination with cameras and photography. 

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been intrigued and interested in photography.  When my Dad was in the military, he bought a Polaroid 210 Land Camera.  When I was around seven or eight years old, it was that very camera I’d “steal” when my parents were out of the house.  I’d take a couple of photographs and then put the camera back.  (Oh how I wish I still had some of those photographs)  Since my parents didn’t use the camera very often, they never noticed one or two missing.  At least, they never let on if they did.

Here’s my first camera:

Technically, it wasn’t “mine” but it was my first experience with one.  It was manufactured by Polaroid between 1967 and 1969.  Retailing at that time for $49.99, it was the first color-capable Polaroid Land Camera to sell for under $50.  Over 1.5 million of these were sold.  Polaroid flooded the market with land cameras starting with Model 100 and ending with the 450.  Doing so gave Polaroid a strong footing in the photography market at the time.  Not so today.

The Polaroid 210 uses series 100/660-series pack film which is still available through Fujifilm, and The Impossible Project.  The film is approximately 4.25 x 3.5” and comes 10 to a pack.  The battery is still available also.

In order to take a photograph, there’s series of steps to go through. Luckily, the buttons and knobs are marked 1-4 as an aid.  First, the cover has to be opened.  Then a metal latch is pulled so that the bellows can be unfolded in order to put the lens in its proper position.  Then the white shutter lever is pressed down to cock the shutter.  Once the shutter is released, one might expect the film come popping out.  Not exactly.  After the photo is taken, there’s a strip of white paper sticking out on the side of the camera.  It has to be pulled and in doing so, the tab of the film pops out.  That tab needs to be pulled slowly out so the film goes through a set of rollers that squeezes developer over the frame and out the side of the camera.  After waiting a minute or so, it’s peeled apart.  It was/is truly the original Instagram.

I think it was this process that amazed me:  the little gray box, pulling the paper and film out and all of us standing around waiting expectantly for a picture to appear.

More details about this camera:

  The plastic gray front cover is detachable and the camera comes with a black nylon strap.

  Aperture:  f/8, f/42

  Shutterspeed:  1/1200 to 10 seconds

  Built with an imagesizer viewfinder that presents a parallax corrected viewfinder along with an arrow that points to the number of feet the lens is focused to.  The photographer needs to estimate the distance from the subject and focus the camera until the arrow in the viewfinder points to the number of feet.

  Battery:  No. 532 3.0v (PX24)

  Exposure can be controlled somewhat by manually turning the lens between the lighten and darken settings.

  It has a plastic two-element 114mm focal length lens which doesn’t offer crystal clear images but is capable of decent results with a steady hand.

My "Baby" Bro - Circa 1976
Me - 1972
My 9th Birthday - 1977

Me playing Atari - 1985

  It has two speed positions:  75ASA for color film, 3000 for black and white film.

  With the optional flash accessory, it uses M3 flash bulbs.  They can only be used once and need to be changed after each bulb is expended.  There’s an ejection button that pops the flash out.  One has to be very careful, though, because the bulbs are hot right after use.  The flash unit requires one AA battery.  Flash bulbs are no longer manufacturered, but vintage boxes of them can be found online and sometimes at yard sales or swap meets.  I haven't tried, but perhaps camera stores may still have them, but you’d probably have ask for them specifically.

  No tripod socket or timer.

There you have it…. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Polaroid 210 Land Camera.

Several years ago, my Dad gave me that camera he bought before I was even born… The very same camera that whet my passion toward photography.  Writing about it makes me want to buy pack film!


Jul 22, 2013

Marvelous Monday Update 7/22/13

For the past few weeks, we've had horrendously HOT and HUMID weather here in the upper Illinois flatlands.  Why do people call us flatlanders, anyway?  The area I live in is far from being flat.  Besides acres and acres of crop fields, there's rolling hills, proliferous woodlands, and curving waterways.  But I digress...  After dealing with temps in the mid to upper 90's and heat indexes of over 100, we've finally received a much wanted and anticipated reprieve from the humidity.  (I for one say, "Thank Goodness!  It's about time!!)  It's still not cool enough for me to go on walks during my lunch hour, but at least it's cool enough that I can mow the "hayfield" of a yard at The Homestead without fear of falling over.

This is how I spent my evenings and weekends:

I'm sure Celeste felt like this:

There were several days that after doing my hair, I swear it looked like this:

Okay, maybe not that bad but it sure felt like it!

Sigh.  I'm really beginning to despise garden pests.  I had planted about 10 hills of cucumbers and two plants grew (which were promptly eating down to nothing in ONE day).  I had planted a bunch of herbs in the garden, too.  The only ones that grew were the ones in pots.  Is it possible something at the seeds before they had a chance to pop?  Recently, I noticed the Japanese Beetles have been devouring my rose bush.  I hand picked about eight of those little buggers off the bush yesterday.

*stepping off soap box now*

Despite the above rant, I do have some lovelies growing on The Homestead:

I forgot to take snaps of the planters and hanging basket. Darn it.

The local college put on its rendition of Big River.  Based on Mark Twain's 1884 novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,  it features music in the bluegrass and country styles in keeping with the setting of the novel. I have to say that there are some very talented theatrical students at the college. 

Some of the singing literally gave me goosebumps... it was *that* good.

The Snowflower Diaries is hosting its first ever giveaway. Click on over to see what it's all about.  There are also some freebies that you may want to stitch up.

I am almost doing a happy dance.  Almost... but not quite.  I didn't realize how much I really had done on Yuku.  After this past weekend's stitching marathon, I've only got Yuku's right sleeve to finish!  Yay.  Here's what she looks like:

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

I should take some close ups so you can see the details better. (Note to self: take better pics of Yuku)  I need to take a break from all the BS and FK's.  Sounds naughty, doesn't it?  LOL  Yuku is going to be put away for a bit while I work on an exchange piece and some gift ideas I have.

Balloon Glow is coming along nicely, too.  So many pretty colors in the sky.  I'm about 1/4 done with one page.  It still doesn't look like anything but blobs of color.

See that tiny little brown rectangle?  That's one of the balloon baskets (in case you were wondering and all...).

I've been doing some projects around The Homestead so stay tuned for future installments.

Jul 3, 2013

A Little This and A Little That

Where the heck did June go???!

Even though I've been doing quite a few little tasks around The Homestead, I don't have a whole lot to blog about. Here's the latest "news"...

The deluge of rain has stopped for a bit, but before doing so my Craftsman 6gal 2HP wet/dry vac died. Ya'll know that when it rains and rains and rains, I get water in my basement and the shopvac has been my saving grace in getting the water up off the floor quickly. I finally had time to "shop" for a new wet/dry vac on Saturday. I really wanted to get another Craftsman, but the Sears store in town only had 3 models that could hold 4 gallons or less. At Menards, they had the ShopVac brand. The 8gal vacs were on sale for $10 less than the 6gal ones so I ended up with and 8gal 4HP vac. Bring on the rain! On second thought, I could do without rain for a while.

Last week, I started a new project that I stitch during my lunch hour at work. Here's a progress photo after a week's worth of stitching:

It doesn't look like much right now, but it's been going pretty fast since all the stitches in the sky are half stitches.

Finally, I was able to finish The Black Cat into an ornament! As you may have noticed, I really enjoy doing flat padded ornaments.

Designer: Bent Creek
Fabric:  25ct Hand-Dyed Linen
Fibers: DMC, GAST, Anchor
Embellishments: Runched Ribbon

Lastly, I hope all my U.S. bloggy buddies have a safe 4th of July!

Until next time,