Tag Archives: 35mm

Christmas… in May

20130809_084556[1] Schwarz is unconcerned.

Today is Friday the 26th of May, 2014. This past Sunday, I had cut the grass and it was in the 80’s (Fahrenheit, high 20’s Celsius); it snowed this morning. Jennifer and I had planned on visiting the library, and in a dusty corner of my mind a scheme had been fermenting. Well, to be honest, it was more of an opportunity to make a little sidetrip. As Jennifer put the final touches on gathering up library materials and double-checking her shopping list, I headed down to the Secret Underground Lair to grab my old Cokin filter holder. It’s the standard, garden variety “A” style that I purchased when I was shooting 35mm.

I mentioned my desire to hit the camera store across the street from the library, and Jennifer agreed. I asked if she’d like to come with, and she said yes, “so you don’t spend any money'” to which I replied, “you mean so I don’t spend too much money”. I had no intention of spending much money at all, and we ended up spending $5.42.

The lady in the store was very nice- she asked if she could help me find anything. I said yes, but I’d like to take a look around first.  She, of course, was fine with that; she went back to her Eric Clapton concert, and we browsed the narrow aisle. This was a classic, Main Street small business: if you don’t see it, they don’t have it. It’s also the sort of business in which the proprietor knows every piece of their stock, and where it might be found.

I only browsed for a few minutes, casting an appreciative eye on both the shiny and the dusty, and then it was back to the lady. “Do you carry Cokin,” I asked.

She said that she did, so I pulled out my filter holder and told her I needed a 52mm adapter ring. She went to a brown cardboard box which had its flaps amputated quite obviously by a boxcutter with only a small thought towards neatness. After only a few moments, she produced a ring and handed it to me. I inspected it. The black paint on the threads was hardly worn, and the paint where the ring mad contact with the holder was unscathed and shiny- in a photographic equipment type of black shiny. Best of all, the front of the ring bore the markings “52mm Ø France”. Genuine Cokin. I was happy. I asked how much.

“Let me check.” I’m guessing she had the item on consignment- she said. “How about $4.95?” I said that sounded fair, and Jennifer paid her.

Poker face. Poker face. Poker face. I learned this some time ago… I haven’t seen these anywhere for less than ten dollars, and I told Jennifer that on the way to the library.

The best part of the deal, though, is this: both of my Nikon lenses are threaded for 52mm filters, so I suddenly have a small stable of around a dozen filters that I can use with both of my lenses.

As cats are alleged to say, “I haz teh happyz.”









What do you mean, “No film?”

This is my second blog. I’m feeling a bit the minimalist, right here, right now. This is a blog about photography, and there won’t be any photos in the inaugural post. No matter. Blogs are built with words, and away we go!

When I was in high school, I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. My cousin Jeff and I had thoughts about traveling to Germany (his Mom was an actual German, naturalized, and much of my family had German heritage). As most of my “plans” went, this didn’t happen. Well, it didn’t happen until I met Jennifer. I graduated high school in 1977, and for the next ten years tried to figure things out, mostly without success. Among the more interesting things I did during that period was a stint living away from home  at college. When I first went there, I had sold my Dad on my lifelong-dream-of-the-week of becoming a special ed teacher (at the time, no one knew that it was I who was actually the “special” one!). So I went there, and got my comeuppance. It turned out that I had a tyrannical instructor in one of my basic special education courses; if you did not have an excuse of typhoid, malaria and leprosy signed by Mother Theresa and witnessed by Nelson Mandela, you could lose a letter grade for missing a single day of class (well, I AM serious about the one day of class= one lost letter grade!) Upon experiencing this harassment 1st hand, I chose to switch majors. Photographic Technology beckoned. Odd switch, to say the least. Kids to cameras. Well, not really. At the time, I owned a 35mm camera, a Minolta (can’t remember which body). And, I liked taking pictures… and as I took a lot, photo tech seemed a natural. Except for the math and science parts (um, did someone bother mentioning “technology”???). You see, math was never my strongpoint in high school, and if I had been a little better at it, I would have gotten A’s in the classes. Instead, I received B’s, because I had to do catch-up math work. My lab partner was good at math, but not so good as a photographer or a lab person (very inconsistent). My takeaway from this period was some good photographic composition skills. Fast-forward several years. I’m married; Jennifer and I are planning a trip to Legoland (unbeknownst to me then, but an item on my bucket list). We are  living in Germany and Jennifer’s parents are on the phone asking if we need anything for the trip. I chime in, “twenty rolls of film!”  They think I am joking.

I never joke about Lego.

I think they sent us a dozen rolls- which were greatly appreciated; we shot nearly three dozen in that one glorious day in Denmark. That was ~1991. We’ve used a few other cameras since then, as well as the ubiquitous cell phone cameras, but I’ve always wanted to get back into SLR photography…”real” photography. In another blog (http://hochspeyer.blogspot.com/2013/10/lets-hear-it-for-autumn.html) I had mentioned a desire to purchase a DSLR. As of this past week, this desire has come true: we now have a Nikon D3200 with a pair of zoom lenses- an 18-55mm and a 75-200mm. The entire outfit was quite the bargain, considering I probably wouldn’t have been able to get a 35mm camera body, 50mm lens and 35-70mm zoom for the same price back when I was shooting film. So as Norbert would be quick to remind me, my latest  “dream-of-the-week” has come true. I’m very happy and feel blessed to have this camera- as little as six months ago we would not have even considered purchasing it… that’s another story for another time. For those who don’t know me, I believe the proper time to close a blog is when one runs out of words… and here  we are.

Until next time… I am hochspeyer- One f-stop short of a six pack.