1933 Waco Standard Cabin Biplane


A 1933 Waco UIC biplane at Albert Whitted airport in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It is shown


here without the usual cowling around the 210hp Continental 7 cylinder radial power plant.


She is currently flying tourists around the St. Pete/Clearwater beach area but was originally owned by William Randolph Hearst and flown between the family estate in San Simeon to the family ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico.  How about that big ole steering wheel sized yoke?!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward – Metamorphosis


Found this butterfly(moth?) just after emerging from its chrysalis(cacoon?) that is attached to the side of the house this morning.   The afterbirth from the wet body and wings has run down the wall and dried.  It flew away shortly after this, the last photo in the series.


Film Cameras: Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35


My only waterproof camera – the Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35.  It became available in the late 80s.  It has two electronically selectable, internal autofocus lens settings, 35 and 50mm.  When the front optic is covered by water the camera defaults to a fixed focus setting for all underwater shooting and is rated only to a depth of 1/2 atmosphere.  Not a serious underwater camera, but great for snorkeling, canoeing, beach, waterpark, and general photography anywhere one would not take a camera that might fall prey to water and sand.  Below, the underwater viewfinder is strapped on for easy viewing through a mask at either 35mm or 50mm.  Oh yeah, it floats.


Film Camera – SLRs: Canon F-1n


Canon’s final iteration of their flagship professional 35mm film camera before the autofocus EOS (and popular by manual focus amateur and professional fans long after the EOS), the Canon F-1n.  New in 1983 the body without lens was $600.  As a serious amateur photographer, this was my primary camera for 20+ years, until I finally boarded the new millenium’s digital train.   The F-1n and the A-1 were always loaded (one with Kodachrome and the other with Plus-x) and in my bag with assorted FD lenses, a couple of Vivitar flashes, and accoutrements.

I won’t take the time to espouse all her virtues, but it and the available accessories was the  consummate professional camera of its time.  It has interchangeable viewfinders, focusing and metering screens.  The Titanium shutter is electronically coupled from 8 seconds to 1/2000.  X-sync is 1/90.  With the battery removed the shutter could still be released mechanically from 1/90 to 1/2000, a feature that saved the photo for me more than once.  It is pictured here with the lens to which it was primarily married for all those years, a Tokina 35-135mm f3.5 zoom.

Film Camera – SLRs: Canon A-1


My first A-series Canon was actually the AE-1.  It is the only one of my cameras I do not still have.  After moving up to this A-series flagship, the A-1, I traded my AE-1 for my very first computer, a Commodore 64!   It is pictured with the fast f1.4 50mm lens.  That lens is still one of the best pieces of glass I own…I have never been able to find a single flaw in this lens.

The A-1 is the very first camera to offer fully automatic, light meter coupled, microprocessor programmed selection of both aperture settings and the 30 seconds to 1/1000 shutter speeds.  True auto exposure for the very first time.  Shutter release is fully electronic, requiring the 6v photo cell.  X-sync is 1/60th second.

Film Camera – SLRs: Bell & Howell Auto 35 Reflex


And so began my love for all things Canon.  The B&H Auto 35 Reflex is a Canon EXEE produced from the late 60s through the early 70s and re-branded as the B&H for sale in the west. This one has Canon’s EX 50mm f1.8 standard lens.  Canon also made a 35, 100 and 135mm f3.5 lenses that are not easily exchanged.  The shutter’s fully mechanical B, 1/8 – 1/500 speeds are fired without the 1.3v mercury battery used for TTL CdS metering.  Shutter priority metering is achieved by match needle within the viewfinder.  Aperature settings are not on the lens but on the ring surrounding the film rewind lever.  X-sync is 1/60 by means of a PC socket.  On the front is the spring loaded self-timer shutter release and the QL stands for Canon’s quick load film system the Auto 35/EXEE employed.

Film Cameras: Minolta Autocord


Dad’s 2 1/4 roll film (6x6cm) twin lens reflex, the Minolta Autocord 75mm f3.5.  Below is a poorly exposed chrome of dad with it around his neck.  He kept a sunshield and yellow filter in the accessory kit on the strap.  I still have them but the leather strap did not survive.  This photo was probably shot with the Argus sometime in the late 50s.


This is another chrome shot with the Argus c.1958 at the camera shop in St. Thomas  in which dad purchased the Minolta.  A fellow photography enthusiast and shipmate poses in front of Jack’s Cameras.  The cameras and cigars were duty free.



Film Cameras: Voigtlander Vitomatic II


This Voigtlander Vitomatic II was purchased by my grandfather while in Germany in the early 60s.  Voigtlander was a division of Zeiss and this rangefinder camera sports a 50mm f2.8 Skopar lens with leaf shutter and a selenium cell light meter.