Author Archives: Tom (Admin)

Camera Review: the Pho-Tak Traveler 120

Never heard of the Pho-Tak Corporation and the cameras they manufactured around 1948-1950 in Chicago? Neither had I, until I unwrapped this Christmas gift from my daughter, who sparked my interest in vintage cameras about 6 years ago. It’s a … Continue reading

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Ektachrome Returns!

I followed with interest the hype surrounding the re-release by Kodak Alaris of Ektachrome 100 slide film, announced in early 2017, after having been completely phased out by 2013. Honestly, initially I wasn’t that interested, but as time wore on … Continue reading

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Rice Harvest in Antananarivo

After three years living in Antananarivo, you gradually stop noticing the things that you found so fascinating and unique about this city as a newcomer. Antananarivo is a city of 1.5 million people. It has a downtown – an older, … Continue reading

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Great News: Jerome is Learning English and Coding!

Way back in 2016 when I was still new to Madagascar, Anne and I saw an online notice that a crowdfunding initiative on the eastern coast of the country was looking for a photographer and a videographer to produce a … Continue reading

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Swimming with Whale Sharks in Madagascar

Check another item off the bucket list:  in November, we made it to Nosy Be to see the whale sharks – considered endangered by some – feeding on the plankton that “bloom” there the same time every year.  This capped … Continue reading

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…but what’s there to do in southern Madagascar?

In our quest to see everything there is to see in Madagascar (for which, honestly speaking, there is simply not enough time, but we’re trying our absolute best!) we recently made our way to south Madagascar.  Specifically, we went to … Continue reading

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Vintage Camera Test: the No. 1A Autographic Kodak Junior

The No. 1A Autographic Junior was made in various versions between 1914 and 1927.  it’s got a beautifully detailed brass and enamel faceplate, a fold-out foot with the Kodak logo, and its name engraved on a brass plate below the … Continue reading

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My Experience with Kodak AEROCHROME

A few months ago, I’d never heard of “Aerochrome” film.  What is aerochrome?  According to Kodak, “KODAK AEROCHROME III Infrared Film 1443 is an infrared-sensitive, false-color reversal film intended for various aerial photographic applications where infrared discriminations may yield practical … Continue reading

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Making a Camera Work: The No. 2 Folding Pocket Kodak Model C or Maybe D…

Among the growing group of people who collect and operate vintage film cameras, there are two types of people:  those who quickly figure out a way to make an old camera work again, and those who obsess way too long … Continue reading

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Results, #ShittyCameraChallenge, October Edition

Back in June, I was excited to post my results in the first Shitty Camera Challenge.  At the time, the results were completely appropriate for the camera I used at the time, and I still lie awake at night wondering … Continue reading

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Vintage Camera Review: No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak No. B-4

The No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak No. B-4, despite its “pocket” moniker, is a hefty folding camera made between June 1908 and April 1909 which I got from my parents for Christmas a few years ago.  It consists of a … Continue reading

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Vintage Camera Review: Kodak No. 1A Folding Hawk-Eye Model 1

This was once a beautiful camera.  It’s made of sheet metal painted black and covered in leatherette, with a wooden baseboard and shiny nickel and black metal parts, and a little brass, complemented by red leather bellows.  It folds open … Continue reading

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Vintage Camera Review: No. 1A Folding Pocket Kodak

Of all my cameras, this has probably been one of the most difficult to work with.  But once I figured out the problem, I firmly kicked myself.  A couple of times, for good measure. Made of brass, wood, stainless steel … Continue reading

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Whale Watching in Madagascar

Every June or July, thousands of humpback whales migrate thousands of miles north from Antarctica to have their young just off the coast of Madagascar. And finally we made it up in time to see them (September is best!) Not … Continue reading

Posted in Aerial photography/videography, Madagascar, Wildlife and Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Twelve Months, Twelve Cameras, Twelve Decades…and One Film. #ATG365

In August 2017, the hosts of podcast Against the Grain discussed photographers’ tendency to immediately look at photos they’ve shot (chimping) and how film photography slows the process down, resulting in an increased emphasis on capturing the photo, without constantly worrying about … Continue reading

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Andringitra Park in Madagascar: Sheer Cliffs and Ringtails

Andringitra National Park is one of those places where adventure travelers go.  It’s got peaks that people go out and climb over a four-day period.  The one in the photo above is just a two-day climb for rock climbers, not … Continue reading

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New Project: Mini-Documentaries on Madagascar’s Informal Sector

I’m excited to be working on a new and admittedly somewhat ambitious project:  a series of short documentaries examining some jobs in Madagascar’s informal sector.  I plan to describe the work itself, but also spend some time thinking about why … Continue reading

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Review: Canon FTb

I received my Canon FTb in a box of cameras I ordered on eBay when I was bored a few years ago and have run several rolls of film through it over the years (after I repaired it) with outstanding … Continue reading

Posted in Gear, Vintage cameras | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Camera Review: Ansco B-2 Cadet

For reasons known only to them, camera manufacturers have, over the years, felt that “cadet” was a good name for a camera.  There are at least 20 or so cameras (plus an exposure meter and an enlarger) called Cadets, to … Continue reading

Posted in Found Film, Vintage cameras | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Testing the 1937/8 Falcon Model F

yes, it came to me with a roll of film inside!  Sadly, I was unable to rescue any images from it. I have no idea why, but I really wanted this old Falcon camera to work well.  Sadly, I would … Continue reading

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Reviewing my Newest Addition: A Rolleiflex 2.8c

One of the most attractive and most iconic vintage cameras ever made, in my opinion, is the Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera. Manufactured from 1929 until (in some form) 2015, the Rolleiflex was one of the longest-running camera models … Continue reading

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South African Safari – Addo Elephant Park

I previously posted about Ironman South Africa last April.  Well, naturally you don’t go all the way to South Africa for a sporting event and then go back home.  Nope – safari time! There are a number of parks and … Continue reading

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A Barefoot (?) Ironman South Africa

I’ve been a runner for about four decades.  I was never especially good at it, but I’ve managed to pull off nearly twenty marathons and uncountable 5k, 10k and other distance races.  About twenty years ago I thought I’d give … Continue reading

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Shooting with the (1949-1959) Kodak Pony 828

I finally got around to shooting with a camera I’ve had for quite some time, the Kodak Pony 828, a bakelite camera produced from 1949 to 1959, as a transition between rollfilm and 35mm film. I have actually owned two … Continue reading

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My Entries in the #ShittyCameraChallenge

I laughed when I saw the announcement on Twitter: As I am known to use shitty cameras to make shitty pictures, this seemed perfect for me.  I decided this would be a great opportunity to try out this camera I … Continue reading

Posted in Contests, Other, Madagascar, Photo Contest, Vintage cameras | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment