Minolta Maxxum 7000

Minolta Maxxum 7000

When I was in high school I saved up to get a new camera, I got the Minolta Maxxum 7000 it was somewhere around 500$ at the time and became my favorite camera. As life goes on I lost it in a house fire in 2002. so I recently got one on ebay for 20$ WOW! It came with a Promaster Fluorescent FL-D Filter – 55mm, Vivitar 628AF Flash. Sigma 35-135mm AF lens. If you look you can find really great deals on 35mm cameras. Because most people have gone digital and with photo labs closing all over the world. most people are leaving the word of film behind. But there is a large community of people like me who still love the art and feel of film.



Caffenol C / Lomography

My second attempt to develop film using Caffenol C, I used my Contina Camera that I got off ebay for 5$. This camera has a Lomography feel and look to it. I used a different formula then the first time I tried to develop black and white film using coffee. This time the film came out much better then the first time I tried it. A deeper darker grain. I did let it just stand develop for 3 min after agitating for 9 min, The first time I just developed it for 9 min with no standing.

1950s Zeiss Ikon Contina Vintage Rangefinder 35mm Film Camera 526/24 45mm Novar

Film I used.

Kodak 100 Tmax

Caffenol-C film developer
Water 8 oz
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda 2½ tsp (level)
Vitamin C powder ¼ tsp (level)
Folger’s Coffee Crystals 4 tsp (slightly rounded, NOT decaf)

Developing time.
9 min agitate 3 times every min
3 min stand
Stop with room temp water.


Let solution stand for about 5 minutes

I use Iford rapid fixer

Flushed with room temp water 3 times
final flush water with automatic dish-washing liquid.
8oz water with 1 tsp dish-washing liquid

I use a traditional stainless steel tank.


Deardorff 5×7 Field Camera



Phone 312–829-5655

Mr. Laben F. Deardorff, the founder of L. F. Deardorff & Sons, Inc. was born in Preble County, Ohio, on a farm near Eaton, on December 31, 1862. He and his family belonged to the Church of the Bretheren (Dunkards) and were “plain people” living off the land and observing all of the strict rules.

The Deardorffs raised flax and wool from which they made all of the cloth for their clothes. They also made the looms for weaving it. They had a blacksmith’s shop for making their own tools and shoeing their horses, a cider mill, and a corn and feed mill which was run by horse power. They also had a saw mill with two five foot eight inch circular saws capable of splitting a log five feet in diameter, which was run by a forty horse power stationary steam engine. This engine was also equipped to make shingles and do the millwork to produce high grade lumber. Their furniture was nearly all homemade, they pegged shoes, blocked hats, and took care of most of their personal needs. Most of the food for the approximately 30 employees who ran the mill, was raised on the farm. Their back yard was equipped with two very large Dutch ovens, and a large kitchen for putting together the meals.

Laben was raised on the idea if you need anything, make it yourself, from which he became very inventive. All his life he had a creative mind, and was continually thinking of and making new things. He graduated at age 18 from high school and almost immediately bought a new suit which was his first that was not home spun. He also had his picture taken, which was not looked on favorably by the Dunkards. On presenting a print to his favorite aunt, who was then quite old, she remarked in her down-home drawl, “Now Laban you shouldn’t have done that; those photographer fellows go into a dark room when they do their work, and people that’s honest do their work out in the light.”

In the late 1870’s the mill business became very depressed, and they had a fire which made it very difficult to operate successfully. Because of that, in 1882, at the age of 20, Laben decided to go to Chicago.

He wanted to be a business man, so he took a short business course, then got a job and went to work. He worked for an insurance company; then an elevator company, each for about a year. He then worked for Gayton A. Douglas, who had the first amateur photographic store in Chicago. This was the opportunity he needed so he could use his inventive abilities since be could repair and make changes in the cameras, which he did after hours.

Laben combined part of a camera made by Scovil Manufacturing Company with one made by the Adams Company. Douglas sent this to Scovil, and they made it under the name of Scovil Triad. He gave one of his designs for a view camera to a man by the name of W. F. Carlton who was in a position to make the camera. Carlton gave him a 6-1/2 X 8-1/2 camera for the designs, and later sold them to the Rochester Optical Company. They produced the camera and called it the Premo View. Rochester sold their photographic business to Eastman Kodak, who then made the camera until about 1910.

During the years from about 1885 until about 1900, Mr. Laben F. Deardorff worked for several companies including E. & H. T. Anthony, and Sweet-Wal1ach & Company, which later became the Eastman Kodak store. During this period he became very much interested in lenses and had Bausch & Lomb make changes in the Zeiss series 11 to make it more practical for photoengraving. These characteristics are still used in all process lenses. He also invented a Petzval type portrait lens which had adjustable separation for changing the shape of the field. On applying for a patent, he found that Ernst Gundlach of the Gundlach Optical Company had just patented it. Mr. Gundlach gave him the patent, and Mr. Deardorff had the lens made and sold it for a number of years. It was used for all of the official portraits made at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1903.

Just before the turn of the century, Laben Deardorff went into the supply business and later, about 1904, also did commercial photography. He built the first bromide enlarger in Chicago, which was a horizontal type, projected into the darkroom, had the negative carrier in the wall and an arc light in another room. The light was increased by a set of mirrors mounted around the arc and adjusted to reflect on the negative.

In 1909 because of a depressed condition and the fact that the Eastman Kodak Store wanted him to work for them, he sold out to them and ran their repair shop for three-and-a-half years. The store decided to close the repair shop, so he went into partnership with a man named Heyer who repaired surgical instruments. Heyer was an older man, and after about a year he sold his share of the business to Mr. Deardorff who then ran it alone repairing photographic equipment, microscopes, and some other equipment connected with the medical profession as well. By 1917 his son, Merle S. Deardorff started to work for him and he began to repolish photographic lenses. For a number of years this work became a very important part of the business. About 1920, the old Premo View cameras were about gone and the commercial photographers began demanding that we make them something. Mr. Kaufman & Fabry and Mr. Erickson of Chicago Architectural Photographing Company advanced the money for cameras. We had bought the C. J. Olstad Camera Company and tried to make them there while we ran our place in the Chicago Loop. But it did not work. A decision had to be made to move to the Olstad place or give it up. We made the move which cost us our amateur repair business, but was an advantage to the professional.


Two other sons, James Russell and John Milton were with us by that time, so Mr. L. F. Deardorff had the ideas and experience and the sons supplied the cheap labor. The Olstad place consisted of an obsolete saw, planer and sanding disc, plus a good jointer. It was about two thousand square feet in an old wagon factory with an old volcano stove and a shut-off valve so the water could be shut off at night to keep it from freezing. We partitioned off a small space for our engine lathe and polisher and started to make cameras. Ten were made in the first lot. JM & JR did the woodwork and MS made the special screws on the engine lathe. The big problem was work normally done on a punch press had to be done by hand. Because of the small volume and the cost of dies, MS scribed these on sheet metal and chiseled them to the lines in a small vise. Mahogany was another problem. There was not enough money for new wood, so L. F. found a lot of bar tops that had been scrapped because of prohibition. From these the first ten cameras were made. The mahogany was good, but it contained too many nails and screws. The cameras were hand finished, including the lacquer which was hand brushed and polished to a piano finish. The metal work was polished and rubbed with French emery so the finish was the same as that of a microscope. These were very hard days. In winter it was difficult to raise the temperature to 65 degrees. At night it would often go below freezing. One morning it was 13 degrees below zero in the shop. No work was done that day. The ten cameras were sold long before they were finished, so we decided to make an additional fifteen.

We went to several dealers to see if they would be interested, but they told us the camera was too expensive. One dealer said he couldn’t sell an 8×10 View Camera for $150.00 if it was made of gold.

We bought the screws for this lot, but made the punch press parts by hand. The third lot had punch press as well as screw machine parts, and was also sold before completed. The dealers then came to us for cameras. By this time things were better. We overcame the heat problems with two more stoves, bought some new machinery, and a party gave us an air compressor, spray booth and a paint spray gun.

About three years later the 5×7 camera was designed and offered for sale. In 1932 the Commercial Series studio stand was developed and a year later the 11×14 Commercial Series studio camera. This outfit made it possible to illustrate merchandise much more efficiently and made considerable improvement in that business. The Navy also found it very practical for their use.

In 1935 the business was moved to 11 South Desplaines Street. This space was much more efficient than the old one and gave us room for the expansion that was needed. The period from about 1935 to 1945 was very difficult. Because of the depression it was hard to exist even though a fair amount at sales were made. Mr. Kellsey, son-in-law joined the company and pressed the idea of a hand camera with swings. The Triamapro camera which was made from 1936 to 1947 was developed for this purpose. Mr. Kellsey was also very anxious to write a book and after spending much time, effort and money, finally brought out “CORRECTIVE PHOTOGRAPHY.” The business was incorporated in 1945 and during the war period we sold many cameras to the government. In 1949 the Air Force

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gave us our largest order for 353 8 X 10 View cameras, carrying cases, tripods, focusing clothes, and lenses. After the war we discontinued the Triamapro and the small 4 X 5 camera which was brought out about 1940. In 1954 the Portrait camera was developed and placed on the market in 1955. Our most prosperous years were 1956 and 1957 and left us in a very strong position, but from 1958 to 1970 business was very poor. Some very interesting devices were developed during this period, such as the tax map projector which is in use by Sidwell of West Chicago, Illinois; the Criminal Identification camera, which was made for the City of Chicago, but sold all over the country, the criminal evidence camera for Chicago, and the Aerial Map Projector for the Army Map Service at Washington D. C. The Army Map Projector was so large it had to be cut down to fit the largest highway trailer.

Mr. L. F. Deardorff died in 1952, Mr. Kellsey in 1962, J. M. in 1969, and J. R. in 1970. This left the business with only one of the original. partners.

During the early 1970’s business picked up rapidly, particularly in View Cameras and because of the lack of experienced help, it was decided to concentrate on our standard equipment rather than special orders. It became necessary to move again, and although the business was in good financial condition, this was very expensive and caused a lack of capital for several years. Mr. J. M. Deardorff, Jr. joined the company with the idea of eventually taking over its management. It has been very difficult during this period because it was necessary to organize production so it could be accomplished with people who have developed the necessary skills, but do not understand the camera. This requires volume and may cause great difficulty when business is slow. The company is capable of producing more View Cameras than ever, so now we are planning to make the 11 X 14 View Model, and then some of the heavy equipment. With this organization, we feel we can still supply what we believe to be the best equipment in our field.

The history of L. F. DEARDORFF & SONS, INC.
as told by Mr. Merle S. Deardorff..

The Deardorff (used $600-$2000) is quite comparable to some contemporary wood cameras. It weights 8 lbs and has 22 inches of bellows, and the standard range of movements (ie all front, swings and tilts at rear).


Daguerreotype Camera

Daguerreotype Camera was the first commercially successful photographic process. The image is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate.
The process was developed by Louis Daguerre together with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Niepce had produced the first photographic image in the camera obscura using asphaltum on a copper plate sensitised with lavender oil that required exposures as long as eight hours.
The image in a daguerreotype is often described as being formed by the amalgam, or alloy, of mercury and silver because mercury vapor from a pool of heated mercury is used to develop the plate; but using the Becquerel process (using a red filter and two-and-a-half stops extra exposure) daguerreotypes can be produced without mercury, and chemical analysis shows that there is no mercury in the final image with the Bequerel process. This leads to questioning the theory that the image is formed of amalgam with mercury development.
Exposure times were later reduced by sensitising the plate with other silver halides: silver bromide and silver chloride, and by replacing the Chevalier lenses with much larger, faster lenses designed by Joseph Petzval. A reduction in camera size and the size of the image will always result in more light reaching the image plane and consequently reduced exposures, and a small metal camera that produces small circular images was made by Voigtländer.

This is a Daguerreotype image from the Library of Congress.


Savannah Girl behind the lens

I’m working on a book about Vintage cameras and The theam of this book is the girl behind the lens. Models are always in front of the camera not behind so I taught it would be cool to shoot them holding my vintage camera collection. As if they were behind the lens not in front. I think this project will take me some where around 2 years to complete. Yesterday I had a photo shoot to do for a client. so I took a few of my cameras with me to get some shots of them with the model. Her name was Savannah she was a fun model to work with..

Welta camera 1908

Rolleicord camera 1939



Olympus OM 1

When I was just a kid some where around 8 or 9 I wanted a camera real bad, I just always had a thing for cameras, So I asked for a camera from my family but I diden’t want just any camera I wanted a real 35mm one not a 126 camera like my sister had. So the first camera I got was a Olympus OM 1 and boy did I love that camera I took it every where I went. But over time I moved On to new and better cameras but I never forgot that first 35mm camera I got. I lost it in a move and kinda misted it, So I went on ebay and got a used one for 20$ with the light meeter still working, The light meter in my Old OM 1 stooped working maybe I wore it out. Holding that camera in my hands once again brought back a lot of memories. Boy I loved that camera.

I took this picture with my old OM 1 I was around 9 when I took it..


Argus C4 f/2.8 50mm Coated Cintar Lens

I got a Argus C4 that was produced in the 1950’s off of ebay for 6$ when I received it the shutter was broken so the camera did not work. but it had a very clear f/2.8 50mm Coated Cintar lens. So I drilled a hole in a body cap to my Nikon D50 and attached the lens.. It makes a very soft blur macro lens I kinda like, Definitely something fun to play with. I think I’m going to get a bellow for it to see how it preforms.. Here are some of the photos I took and adjusted in Photoshop..


AGFA ( Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation) Cameras

Agfa Karat 6-3


AGFA was the abbreviation for Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation, given in 1873 to a company that had been founded in Berlin in 1867. It produced chemicals for photography. Most famous is the film developer Rodinal, introduced in 1892 and continued for 115 years. When Agfa obtained the Rietzschel camera works in Munich from Bayer in 1925, it badged all Rietzschel products with its Agfa rhombus. In 1926 it introduced the first real Agfa camera, the Standard. In 1927 the name Rietzschel disappeared from the products. In that year the successful Billy camera series was introduced, and Agfa licensed Ansco to manufacture its products for the American market.

In 1930 the first Agfa Box camera for 6×9 cm exposures on roll film was produced. In the following year it popularized photography in Germany by dumping the Box 44 for 4 Reichsmark, easily recouping its losses afterwards by selling Agfa 120 roll films. In 1937 it brought out its first camera for 35mm film.

After WWII Agfa improved its prewar models and introduced the new 35mm Solinette. In 1954 it modernized its camera design with the Silette series; 1956 saw the introduction of the medium format Automatic 66. In 1959 a 35mm viewfinder camera with autoexposure button followed, the Optima. In 1964 Agfa introduced the Rapid system as an answer to Kodak’s 126 film. The company debuted cameras accepting 126 film in 1967.

In 1968 Agfa introduced its red sensor point, a round membrane made of red foil and framed with a metal ring. Depending on the camera type, either a mechanical or an electromechanical shutter release button was hidden under the flexible membrane. Since then this touchpad-like shutter button was used on most of the company’s models and became a familiar feature.

In Germany Agfa had a huge success with its popular “Ritsch-Ratsch” pocket cameras, which accepted 110 cartridge film. A whole series of these Agfamatic cameras was launched twice, the first series using magicubes and the second, flipflash. Of course these cameras had the red sensor point as shutter release button.

In the early 1980s Agfa produced its last film cameras. The new models of the Selectronic series were manufactured by Chinon. Agfa gave up camera production in 1983. All later Agfa film cameras were OEM products.

Agfa Isolette/Jsolette (1937)


Agfa Ambi Silette, c.1957