Camera of the Week: Fujica AX-3

IMG 7839 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3When Key Snap texted me asking if I wanted a couple grab bags of random camera stuff that someone had just gifted to him, I of course jumped at it.  A free camera to play with? Yes, please! (:

When the contents of the bags were sorted, I found I had a nice 80-200mm zoom that would fit my Olympus OM-1 body, three nice Fuji-mount lenses and a Fujica AX-3 that fit the lenses. Also included was a Minolta Maxxum body with no lens, but with a half-shot roll of film inside.

IMG 7839a Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3So, of course I pulled the half-shot roll out of the Maxxum in the darkroom and re-loaded it into the AX-3, wound back to frame 0 to double-expose onto whatever the previous owner of the Minolta body had shot. The film was ISO100, so I set the camera to ISO200 for my overshooting.

2014 11 27 3 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3 2014 11 27 4 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3 2014 11 27 5 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3Caffenol-C developing is actually pretty good about bringing reasonable contrast and detail out the ancient C-41 Kodak film. The double-exposed frames offer tantalizing ghosts populating my random shots from around the yard. The ghosts are having a birthday party and a ghost woman in the last set of frames nearly bumps into my shadow as both of us back into each other holding cameras to our faces in different places and times.

2014 11 27 2 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3 2014 11 27 1 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3Surprisingly, towards the end of the roll, the non-double-exposed shots turned out pretty well too, despite being underexposed. Not a bad-performing camera at all, the AX-3 was the “middle-of-the-road” 35mm SLR offering by Fuji in the 1980’s. AP autoexposure and a full manual mode, simple operation and some interesting features (a trap-door light blocker for the eyepiece – I’ve never seen that on a camera before), I nevertheless had to dig up a manual online just to figure out how to turn it on. The power switch is disguised as if it were an unobtrusive molded body part,  and is impossible to find intuitively.

IMG 7846 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3Getting the thing working was easy. It takes the same battery as a Canon AE-1, so I had a few handy. Once I figured out the power switch, I was good to go. A nice, easy-to-use shooter with smooth-working, bright glass – I think the only bad thing I can say about it other than the hidden power switch is that I’m not fond of the metallic ringing shutter sound it produces. It’s not really unpleasant, but it sounds cheap compared to many other 35mm bodies I have that give a more meaty, non-ringing “THOCK” on shutter release.

But for free, I can’t complain a bit. (:

Oh look, fellow Typospherian Vikram has one of these too, but his doesn’t seem to work.

Coming up on Camera of the Week:

IMG 7834 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3

IMG 7837 Camera of the Week: Fujica AX 3
$3.68 worth of Polaroid fun. Best if used before 1980? We’ll see about that…

In The Mail: Petersen’s Photographic (1970’s) and the Tiniest Selectric in The World…

The postman was busy this week, dropping off parcels accompanied by typewritten letters from Agents of the Insurgency around the world. From the great state of Maine,  Typewriter Hunter Michael Höhne sent me the first of two large stacks of Petersen’s Photographic magazines that he’s kept around since the 1970’s. Full of useful tips and DIY projects from the Golden Age of 35mm photography, I’m sure up for some interesting reading and trying out stuff, some of which will probably be documented here. Now if I can just get the wife to clean all her hair dye stuff out of my darkroom…

IMG 7831 In The Mail: Petersens Photographic (1970s) and the Tiniest Selectric in The World...
Thanks, Michael! :D

From the great north of the Netherlands comes a package sent on a whim by Typewriter Hunter and Scanner of Rare Typewriter Documents TypesHalfSpaces. Marlize sent me the Tiniest Selectric In The World, which she chanced upon in a thrift store where she lives, and thought “That should be in *this person’s* collection!”  Along with the Selectric (which doubles as a clock, assuming I can locate the tiny battery that powers it) she also enclosed a packet of crest-finish typing paper in a size that is probably common in Europe, but is a bit skinnier and longer than the American “letter” size. It has a nice hard finish that should be good for typecasting. (:

IMG 7832 In The Mail: Petersens Photographic (1970s) and the Tiniest Selectric in The World...
isn’t it cuuute!? Thanks, Marlize! :D

Speaking of Typewriter Hunters, I should note that you guys are on a pace to easily hit 3000 Typewriter Galleries by next January 1. Only 91 left to go, and we’re only 2/3rds of the way through November. A month and a third to get 91 more? Easy Peasy. Piotr Trumpiel might pull that off himself, with an uploading pace that allowed him to easily breeze past me to take 3rd place in the Top 10 Hunters List. Lots of new machines to look at, come get your fix today!

The Typewriter Database Gadget for Blogger!

Well, after having some people try out the TWDB widget in their Blogger blogs, it turns out that Blogger strips certain tags (including both OBJECT and IFRAME) tags from any “HTML/Javascript” code you try to paste into their gadget. This, despite my research suggesting that it should work fine.

So, I did a little more digging and figured out how to build a Blogger Gadget. I then set up a throwaway Blogger account to test it, and wella – it works. Now there is yet another method listed in your user page at TWDB, and this one works with blogger, albeit with limited customization, because Blogger wants to create it’s own IFRAME, and won’t allow you to style it.

2014 11 15 a The Typewriter Database Gadget for Blogger!See there at the bottom? Copy the bolded URL there and…

2014 11 15 b The Typewriter Database Gadget for Blogger!
Note that here you can change a couple of the flags that get saved. If your blog has a very dark background, set the “css” from “1” to “2”. This changes the text/link colors to something more appropriate to dark backgrounds. If you want to show your “Sightings” instead, change the “collection_search” flag from “My+Collection” to “Sightings”.

2014 11 15 c The Typewriter Database Gadget for Blogger! 2014 11 15 d The Typewriter Database Gadget for Blogger! 2014 11 15 e The Typewriter Database Gadget for Blogger!

Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!

2014 11 10 1 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!Oh hey, look at that over in the right side of the blog! It’s a Widget for displaying my currently owned typewriters, as entered into the Typewriter Database.

“How do I get this nifty Widget for my blog?” I hear you say. Well, it’s easy as pie. Just log into your “Typewriter Hunter”-level account at the Typewriter Database, and go to your Account Page.

2014 11 10 0 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!Right there at the bottom is a new section with a code box containing HTML code that you can cut-n-paste directly into your Blog or CMS. Copy this code and paste it into a plain text widget area on your blog’s admin. For WordPress, I did this:

2014 11 10 4 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!Appearance > Widgets > drag a new “Text” widget to one of the sidebars. A dialog window will pop up. Just paste the code into the big box and click “Save”. That’s it!

The default styling of the Widget is similar to the Database itself. Black text, red links on a white background. Works with many layouts, but you can change the SIZE of the widget, as well as the background color and border by editing the “style=” attribute of the OBJECT tag. Here’s an example:

2014 11 10 2 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!Here’s the widget displaying my “Sightings” on my main splash page, with more verbose descriptions, a different background, border and size – using some of the customization options of the widget. Consider the code for this example:

2014 11 10 3 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!Note two new flags: “mydesc” and “typedesc”.  Set ‘em to 1 and they display your Profile Description and a shortened Typewriter Description for each machine shown. Leave ‘em off or set them to “0” and these descriptions are omitted.

Note also that I’ve changed the “collection_search” flag from “My+Collection” to “Sightings”.  Those are, so far, the only two options for this flag.

By altering the “Style=” attribute I could widen the border and change it from black to a brown color. I’ve also changed the background color and set the widget width to better fit the layout of the page.

Here’s another example, same page:

2014 11 10 5 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog! 2014 11 10 6 Typewriter Database Update: Collection Widget for your Blog!Note in the code I’ve changed the “css” flag from “1” to “2”. This changes the colors of the text and links to colors more appropriate for dark backgrounds. I’ve also changed the “style=” attribute of the OBJECT tag to a black background and gave the whole thing a 60% opacity for a ghostly look that can look interesting. Hopefully, this gets you started on styling the widget to fit the style of your site.

The results are always ordered oldest manufacture date to newest, descending. I may come up with other orders later, but for now, this seems logical.

Enjoy! (:

A Typecast Blog by The Right Reverend Theodore Munk