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View from the Carrot Room

Images, reviews and general ramblings about film and digital photography …oh and 3D printing

Time for a fresh start…

The ‘View from the Carrot Room‘ blog has been going for a while and it’s direction has meandered a fair bit in that time but mostly it has been about reviewing my cameras.

I have kinda come to the end of that and want to go in a different direction; partly because there are a lot of other (better) blogs doing this (Like those by Jim Grey and Mike Eckman) and partly because I want to do more photography with the cameras I have and enjoy.

At the same time, the free storage I have on WordPress is over 87% so I needed to decide on what to do about that; quit, buy more, try to switch to linking images on Flickr or what?

I feel that a fresh start is how I wanted to go; leave what I have done here where it is and start a completely new blog initially in parallel then mothballing ‘View from’ entirely. 

I want to do something that is more about the pictures and not about the gear which will hopefully bring me back to where I want to be as a photographer.  I have decided on a new simple format of posts with just five images that are linked by a single subject matter; be it type of images, location or even gear used.  But just five images and a similar number of paragraphs describing why those image and what my thinking is or what I was doing etc.  

I know I could try to change this blog into that new format but somehow I think starting back at ground zero is a better way and will focus me on the new direction.

So this is me launching that new blog and I hope those of you reading this will come take a look and perhaps if you like what you see (and read) you will follow me there.  Don’t worry the Carrot Room is still open and the new site is called just that ‘the carrot room’ at www.carrotroom.com.  I have already posted a few things on there for you to check out…. so be my guest at my new address.

Thank you for reading my random and varying posts here, I really appreciate your likes, comments and attention.

Featured post

Happy International Photography Day!

Here’s one I took earlier….

First quick tryout with pixl-latr

What seemed a long while ago, I pledged on Kickstarter a simple device for using your camera to ‘scan’ negatives by Hamish at 35mmc. I have a scanner but it takes time to set up and to scan the images and sometimes (often) I could use a simple and quick method for digitizing negatives and this seemed the ideal solution.

The day has finally arrived when the pixl-latr is here and ready for me to try out and I wanted to do a quick review.

Packaging-wise Hamish has gone for an all cardboard (no polluting plastic) approach which is appreciated and it made it over to the US in good shape; some of the pieces moved around inside but that’s not an issue.

Instructions are simple and clear and the device is pretty instinctive to use anyway.

I didn’t have time on the day it came for a ‘serious’ test but did do a quick setup with the camera handheld, just to try it out

Continue reading “First quick tryout with pixl-latr”

Do I really need this….

As I sit here I am staring at my Canon 7 rangefinder camera.  Arguably the most sophisticated non-Leica rangefinder out there and at it’s time of release probably the most feature-rich rangefinder available.  It has everything you could possibly want in a camera; built-in light meter, multiple bright lines in the excellent viewfinder, easy film loading, shutter speeds up to 1/1000 and an excellent range of good quality lenses.

Due to all of the above and an opportunity to get one at a reasonable price I bought it late last year.  

It arrived and I immediately I  found a problem that was not expected from the sellers description.  But being a reputable dealer they took it back, did a CLA on it and returned it too me in good shape.   It came without a lens but I already had a Jupiter lens with the LTM mount and started shooting a film straight away.  The results came back as slightly mixed, some shots were well focused/exposed and some were not.  I wasn’t sure whether this was operator error (probably) or an issue with the lens; these Russian lenses are known to sometimes not be exactly correct for all LTM cameras.  Also, my particular lens has a very loose aperture ring and it is very very easy to accidentally move it meaning DOF is not what I am expecting and exposure is off.

Continue reading “Do I really need this….”

Kilfitt-Makro Kilar E 40mm f3.5 Lens

35mmc just published a short post I did on this lens that I bought fairly recently, after finding it recommended by Mike Eckman on a post he contributed to at Casual Photophile (here).

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote that and I thought I would expand a little on my experience with the lens so far and also some 3D printing.

The post I discovered this on was about favourite lenses and it was an interesting read; especially as people tried to not pick the obvious (perhaps) clichéd choices and avoided the “best” just sticking with the ones they use the most and truly are favourites.  

It was Mike’s recommendation that caught my eye though and it seemed to me that this lens would fit nicely into my small tool-set.  I have been toying with buying a new lens that I could use on my digital and maybe also on a couple of my film cameras too.  This wasn’t quite what I had in mind but it just sounded very useful and might replace an Olympus lens I am thinking of parting with.

Continue reading “Kilfitt-Makro Kilar E 40mm f3.5 Lens”

Simple tools

I had an experience the other day that got reminded me of how we often over-complicate things.  
I was doing a task that is totally not photography – I was replacing a part on my trailer; it’s an old trailer and the modern equivalent part is more robust (I guess better) but, as a result slightly bigger.
This I did not realize until I tried to fit the part – it was a no go.  Trying to source a different part the same size as the original proved fruitless.  The problem was the hole in the trailer was about a quarter of an inch smaller than the part going into it – a 2″ hole and a 2 1/4″ part.  So how to make the hole bigger?
I dismissed filing as it would take forever and likely would not be evenly round and instead ordered a (slightly expensive) hole enlarger bit for my drill.  That arrived but on trying to fit it in my drill I found the chuck on the drill was 3/8″ and the shaft of the tool 1/2″ (face-palm).  Well…. another drill (a corded one) wasn’t a bad idea to have anyway so off to the store I went and came back with a new drill.

Continue reading “Simple tools”

International

I have been using a new to me Canon 7 recently as you may have guessed from my post here.  I have not done a full review as really I think there are plenty of articles about this camera and it’s brothers & sisters.

It is possibly the most fully featured rangefinder I have used and it is really nice.  I am debating whether I really need yet another rangefinder in my tool-set however and I am sure that debate will continue.

In the meantime I will continue to try it out and find out what (if anything) turns me off.

While I was at one of my customers before the whole lock-down thing came a long I took it on a lunchtime walk. I found this old truck parked in a residential area close by and took this close up image.  I like the way that there is just enough rust with the paintwork old and faded.  Part of me wonders if that is natural or through some clever technique to make it look just like that; maybe a bit of both.

Continue reading “International”

A year of photos

It may have been noticed that over the last year my photo output may have dwindled.  There are lots of reasons for this, the majority of which I won’t go into, but the main reason is my daughter who turned one last month.  As is common with new parents (not that I am a new parent as I already have one who just turned 23) you spend a lot of time photographing the baby and capturing those special moments… especially if you are some kind of photographer; and I have been doing just that. 
I don’t usually share pictures of my family here but I though I might share pictures that I guess might be considered a project.  It’s not really a project just a bit of fun my wife and I have been having which hopefully our girl won’t object to too much when she’s older.
To explain the background a little, my wife is bit of a Disney-phile; meaning that she likes all things Disney.  I wouldn’t say she is obsessed, she works for Disney and that was her main ambition when growing up.  As a result we visit the parks quite often and we have quite a bit of Disney merchandise.
So from a photography point of view, after the birth of our daughter we embarked on a schedule of taking pictures once a month each with a different Disney theme.  At the same time we also took a monthly non-Disney photographs as the official monthly anniversaries came along and also marked certain holidays and such (like the featured picture above).  I have not done much (if any) studio photography and I don’t usually do portraiture so this was a bit of a challenge for me and we had to improvise quite a lot especially in terms of lighting and backgrounds.  We worked as a team; my wife the art director and ‘client’ and me the technical side; trying to make it work and capturing the pictures.  Our daughter did her part in posing perfectly for us and smiling as needed.

So here are the twelve ‘Disney’ photos we were able to create

Continue reading “A year of photos”

Monarch’s

The previous owner of our house which we bought about a year and a half ago had planted the front to encourage monarch butterfly’s to lay eggs etc. Last year we were too occupied with other things to really take notice of it but we were pleased to see a few butterfly’s around the house.

This February I was able to stop and look and see that we had quite a ‘crop’ of caterpillars on the plants which was nice to see. I was able to snap some decent pictures.

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