It lives! (my Canonet 28)

As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently purchased a Canonet 28 on eBay. This is a compact rangefinder made in the 70’s. It has a sharp f/2.8 40mm prime lens, and it’s super lightweight. The only problem is that it was not designed to function manually (except for focusing of course). The Canonet 28 has a built in meter, with a light-sensitive cell on the lens (but not through-the-lens). If the meter is not functioning or you are using a flash, the camera defaults to 1/30 shutter speed.

When I bought the camera, the seller mentioned that he did not have a battery to test the meter, and there was a chance it wasn’t working. I took a gamble and scored the camera for about $22! I preemptively ordered a Wein Cell zinc-air battery that replaces the original required lead battery. When the camera arrived I installed the battery and held my breath…nothing. No movement from the shutter speed indicator. Bummed out, I called a local camera repair store to see about an estimate and set the camera aside.

A day or two later, after some further research, I discovered that zinc-air batteries need time to oxidize after opening in order to work correctly (hence the name ‘zinc-air‘. I picked up my Canonet with the battery still inside and set it to auto…presto! The meter jumped to life. I loaded a roll of Ilford HP5…

canonet 28 1

Unfortunately, the foam light-seals on the back still need to be replaced, as is true of most vintage cameras. I took a bit of an unorthodox approach to a temporary fix and sealed the back with electrical tape…

Canonet 28 2

Hopefully this works until I can replace the seals. I really don’t enjoy light-leaks in my photos unless it’s the look I’m going for (it never is…) On a side note, I used the iPhone Camera Plus app to take these pictures and I think they turned out really well. The app is completely worth all the 99 cents I payed for it. Huge upgrade from the native software.

Thanks for stopping by today!




DSC_4410I think the best time to photograph the moon is just before or just after sunset, when the light is in transition from light to dark. It provides a much more dynamic and beautiful background for the subject. The trees also add context and framing.

To take this photo I used my Dolica Proline tripod and set an eight-second exposure @ f/16.

The World’s Best $40 Tripod

Photography can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean it has to be. When I’m not out being a photographer, I’m a full time college student in Southern California i.e. someone with a small income in a very high-cost place. A tripod is an essential tool in my photography arsenal, a $700 Gitzo tripod is not. But that’s okay!

When I started shopping around for a tripod I did have some minimum requirements:

1. It had to have a ball-head; a feature which I feel is infinitely more practical than constantly adjusting the vertical and horizontal axis separately.

2. Minimal plastic; plastic breaks easily and will just end up costing you time and money in the long run.

3. Must support at least 10lbs; the potential weight of my DSLR and film cameras with a zoom, or if I just feel like mounting a 10lb weight some day you know?

4. Had to be at least 60 inches tall or more;

5. Had to be under $100; keeping my wallet happy 🙂

I give you…the Dolica Proline 62″ ball-head tripod!


For $40 you get…

-an alloy ball-head

-aluminum tripod legs

-a telescoping center barrel

-an alloy quick release plate

-micro-adjustable feet

-two built in levels

-13lbs carrying capacity

-VERY minimal use of plastic

-a nice carrying case


The ball-head is very sturdy and the knobs are easy to turn, and..get this…not made of plastic! Notice however, that the legs join onto the center barrel at separate joints. On more expensive tripods there is usually one larger molded piece of metal where the legs attach.
Despite this, the tripod still has a relatively solid feel.


The clamps for the telescoping legs are, unfortunately, made of plastic. I haven’t had any trouble with them breaking, but I also don’t abuse this tripod very much when I use it.

Buy if…

-you’re on a limited income

-you want the features of a more expensive tripod w/out the cost

-you don’t care about brands

-you want a reliable, but not overly abusable piece of equipment

Pass if…

-you want to shoot video…it doesn’t pan

-you shoot ultra-zooms

-you’re a gear snob

-you’re a professional

-you regularly run over tripods with your car


Thanks for stopping by today!