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single frame: Neighborhood playground

single frame: Neighborhood playground

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Neighborhood playground
Agfa Optima-Parat
Ilford Delta 100
Rodinal 1+25
2024

Well-known film-camera reviewer Mike Eckman met up with me not long ago on his way to his northwest Indiana home after a camera show and sale in Cincinnati. Mike has been very good about connecting all of us in the film-camera community. He makes a real point of it.

We sat down for a beer and a cheeseburger at a pub around the corner from my house and talked all things gear. He brought along an Agfa Optima-Parat, a half-frame 35mm camera, to give me.

I didn’t enjoy my last half-frame camera, a Canon Dial 35-2. It usage was just too clumsy, which made 72 frames take a very long time. I was sick of the camera when I finished the first roll. I never shot another in it.

But half-frame cameras are The Hotness these days. A few heavy hitters in the film-photography community — Johnny Martyr, Mike Elek, and Theo Panagopoulos — have written rave reviews of this particular one. I knew I wanted to give half-frame another chance, and I figured this was the camera to use for it.

I’ve shot two rolls in it now; a review is forthcoming. On the first roll I didn’t set the frame counter right — it counts down, not up. RTFM, Jim! I had no idea how many frames I’d shot of this roll of Ilford Delta 100 when I, frankly, became bored and rewound it. Indeed, I’d shot the whole roll; the last frame showed ghosts of four or five images. Apparently the camera kept letting me think it was winding even though the film was no longer moving. I set the frame counter carefully for the next roll.

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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.

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