9.29.2021

San Antonio Street Photography with an Olympus Half Frame Camera.

A sketch artist plying her trade at the Mercado in San Antonio.

Waiting with a raspa on the square in front of the Alamo.

I'm often asked to post a few images from the Olympus half frame cameras (Pen-F and Pen-FT) and I keep meaning to get around to it. Yesterday, I was looking through an older archive of scans I'd made with a Nikon CoolScan 4000 of Kodachromes I'd shot with a Pen-FT and the 40mm f1.4 lens. Kodachrome 64 always seemed like the perfect companion for those little cameras. 

So, here are two images that I quite like which I think show off the capabilities of those small and agile cameras quite nicely. Since the cameras were already old by the time I started using them the metering wasn't incredible and the batteries for the meters had been mostly discontinued. I learned to use the "cheat sheet" of typical exposures which came packaged on each box of film from Kodak. That methodology seemed to work even better than a hand held meter, and at least as well as the metering in most new TTL metering cameras. 

Whatever shortcomings you see in the images (technically) please blame my scanning acumen and not the camera or lens. They are both just fine. 

Wasn't Kodachrome 64 a very beautiful film? I certainly miss it. 

But I'll never miss the process of film scanning....

 

OT: in regards to yesterday's column about food. And weird food. And zany diets. And stuff.

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The cook at Nutty Brown Café.

Yeah. So I'm not bulletproof. I got a coronary calcium CT scan and my doc didn't like the numbers all that well so he conferred with my cardiologist who suggested I come in and do an exercise stress test. In the interim I went into "research mode" and did a deep dive into related subjects. There's a lot to sink one's teeth into if you have the time and inclination. So much swirls around imflammation and diet. I went to a source I know to find out more. Yesterday's post was based on that fun and deep-diving conversation. 

This morning I presented myself in a pair of running shorts, running shoes and a compliant attitude to the staff at my cardiologist's office. They wired me up with something like 12 electrical leads, got a baseline EKG, and then put me on a treadmill. For someone my age they like to start slow and try to get to a pulse rate of 130 beats per minutes before stopping. They are diligent to monitor blood pressure and to make sure the test subject isn't in any way symptomatic. After a long time and much treadmill acceleration, as well as an ever steepening angle, we were able achieve our 130 mark and the tech was about to stop. I suggested we instead continue and aim for some time at 150 bpm, since my Apple Watch tells me I spend some quality time at 150 during swim practice each morning. 

They complied and after a short while we hit 150 and I suggested we try for 160. We got there and by that time I was getting a bit out of breath and, to be frank, bored. We stopped the test and I waited for my heart doc to come read the results. No abnormalities on any of the nodes. Not at 130 and not at 160. Took a peek at my blood panel numbers and asked, "are you sure you are 65?" I assured him I was and asked him for a prognosis. He suggested I continue doing exactly what I have been doing and maybe we'd retest in five years.

I mentioned the beet juice, the anti-coffee stance, and the tragic abandonment of red wine. He shrugged and mentioned that beet juice tastes terrible ( I concur ) and that I could get the same effect with L-Arginine supplementation,  and that red wine, on the whole might just be something "occasional" instead of being staunchly canceled altogether. We got to coffee and he just stared at me as if I was nuts... But he did suggest I stop using the half and half in the coffee as a "baby step." 

This whole episode caused me some anxiety. Not the exercise stress test part but the reminder of my own ever approaching mortality. Belinda's suggested regimen? Just loosen up and have more fun. Enjoy stuff more and stop worrying about whether or not you'll do or not do "work". In fact, get used to just saying "no." 

I don't take this all unseriously. My numbers were too high. The tests are accurate and can be predictive. Life is short. Commerce is officially boring for me now. I guess "more fun" is a good prescription. Thanks Dr. Belinda. But tightening up on the diet can't hurt. Adding anti-imflammaries and nitric oxide progenitors can't hurt. My take? It's stress that kills you. For the moment my only stress is.... nothing comes to mind.

And Eric, don't worry. I won't start posting recipes for kale, soy paste and wheat husk brownies here. And yes, black coffee is back on the menu. But the red wine will have to wait until I get up to Calgary....

No whining (whinging???) tolerated. 

 

It's almost like I called someone's girlfriend "ugly." So much affection for a camera....


 I feel so chastened now I can hardly wait to defrost my credit card in that ice cube tray (do they still have those?) and rush out to buy a Ricoh GRIIIx. The fact? that it's somewhat made out of magnesium sure turned the tide for me. I've also been over to Nordstroms to buy some extra large trousers in which to ensconce said camera; pocket-wise...

Seriously, I get it that some people love cameras that I don't. But the whole point of writing the column wasn't to disparage the GRIIIx but the industry in general for never reattaining the ability to put out the highly shootable designs they mastered during the film days. There are few cameras today, regardless of the maker, that are as fun to shoot as various film cameras of old. This is even true in the nose bleed arena of Leica M series cameras. They are mostly too fat, front to back, today than even the basic M6 of yesteryear. I wonder why this has to be so...

Hey, I get that people love to stick things in their pockets. I see girls with cut off jeans shoving enormous phones in their back pockets everyday. Guys with chubby wallets stretching the fabric of pockets with intensity. Seems like everyone is super okay with that. Just don't expect me to always love the same cameras you do cuz that's not going always going to happen. 

But Ricoh, If they read the comments posted to yesterday's post will be happy to see that so many people care so deeply for their products. Just to be contrarian; I still love the Pentax K-1. It's a great camera. Just superb.


A portrait from a while back. An actor named Amber.

Amber. Austin.