Tuesday, December 18, 2018


I had previously mentioned Saturday's range trip. I arrived in the parking lot just as they were unlocking the front door and turning on the "OPEN" sign. I had 150 rounds of Magtech 124gr FMJ with me, fifty of which was already loaded into magazines.

I put the TQ and blowout kit in the range tray photo as my usual "I am not on the range alone" signal but, as it turned out, I managed to chew through my 150 rounds in big, goofy mag dumps at seven yards before they managed to get any other range customers out there with me.

The gun ran fine.

This brings the round count to 1,420 rounds since the weapon was last cleaned or lubricated, with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 580 rounds left to go.

Useful pointers if you're new to film...

It seems weird to someone my age, but anybody much under 40 grew up in an era when film photography was the province of artistes and dinosaurs. I mean, it still sort of is, but it's definitely seeing an upswing in popularity.

Digital has been mainstream pretty much since the turn of the millennium, so if that's what you've always shot and would like to dabble with film, the video has some good pointers on what to look for when browsing the dusty offerings you'll run across.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Overheard in the Hallway...

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Good news, bad news...

I shot film pretty consistently all through 2015 and then it sorta ground to a halt.

I don't develop film at home because there's not really any way to do so here at Roseholme Cottage. It's a tiny frame structure completely devoid of windowless interior rooms, and even the basement has glass brick windows along the long walls. I could use a dark bag and tanks, but that's a pain.

Anyway, what happened was that as that year drew to a close, I'd built up a backlog of around a dozen rolls of exposed film, plus a couple test rolls loaded in cameras, and I was like "That's it. No more film shooting until I reduce this backlog."

To send them in to The Darkroom, I need to pull out my little portable printer (which I'd bought for more or less this purpose), print out my order form, stick it in the little film mailer along with up to four rolls of film (the most that fit in one mailer) and send it off.

So discovering that Robert's could do it on-site was a revelation.

Without thinking, I dropped the stuff off and, as though I were back at one of the photolabs where I worked when Bush the Elder was still POTUS, breezily answered "Oh, just give me 4x6 prints!" when asked what service I wanted.

It wasn't until later that I realized my mistake.

See, when The Darkroom developed my stuff, they not only sent back the sleeved negatives and a set of prints, they also sent a CD-ROM of the .jpegs, and also uploaded the .jpegs to an account where you could access them.

So I've got cut and sleeved negatives of these latest rolls, and 4x6s...but that's not how we look at photos anymore. See? I'm holding this nice pic of a '64 GTO on Portra 160 up to the screen, and you guys can't see it.

I don't have a scanner, either. Robert's charges $3.99/roll for scanning at the time of developing, or $5.99/roll after the negs have been cut. I should have dispensed with the prints and just got them scanned. Oh well, next time.

Also, several of these rolls were test rolls to check certain old cameras for light leaks and such. The bad part is, except for a couple of pictures that immediately tie them to a certain camera at a certain time & place, I have no idea which roll went with which camera. The good part? At least none of them show the artifacts that would indicate light leaks.

Also, I was sure that the pictures of the GTO and of my mom & dad that I shot with the EOS 1N had been shot on Tri-X. Turns out it had Portra 160 in it.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Well, that went swiftly.

Showed up at the range with fifty rounds already in magazines and a Q-PT target in hand and proceeded to Ricky Bobby my way through a hundred and fifty rounds before anybody else got out on the pistol range.

It's that time of year again...

...the time when people start making "best of" lists, that is.

The Online Photographer has a top ten cameras list, for those who don't shop the used cases the way I do. (Well, actually, a few of those offerings have been out long enough that pre-loved models may be findable.)


Yesterday morning I dragged feet getting out the door to the range, and when I got there at about quarter to noon, the parking lot was jammed full.

I'd forgotten that Indy Arms Co was hosting a three-day-long "Glock Days" sale event this weekend.

The idea of waiting in line to shoot on a public range jammed nut-to-butt with customers was...let's go with "less than appealing", so I hung a u-turn, drove home, and walked to Twenty Tap for lunch with Bobbi instead.

I'm hoping to get out the door early enough that I hit the parking lot just as they're opening today. I'll check in, do my quick mag dumps, and get out before it has a chance to get crazy busy.

Friday, December 14, 2018


I really, really want to wrap up this 2k test and get on to other things, but I hate loading magazines on the firing line at the range, which limits the number of rounds I can shoot in one session. See, I have three fifteen round mags and a ten-rounder, which is enough to hold a box of ammo. (Well, I have a Ram-Line mag, too, but I'm not using it until I've completed the 2k test.) This means I load fifty rounds while making idle chit-chat in the showroom, then I go dump them downrange and load them up again on the line.

Yesterday I went ahead and brought 150 rounds, which meant two cycles of loading out on the range.

The upper grouping is the 147gr Speer Lawman, and the lower is the Magtech. All of this was just big goofy mag dumps, fired as fast as I could get a sight picture (or faster, as is evinced by that one egregiously dropped shot.) I'm actually getting a little good at shooting this thing, which makes me feel dirty.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This brings the round count to 1,270 rounds with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 730 rounds left to go.

From elsewhere...

Thursday, December 13, 2018


"This is where the past two years of topsy-turvy politics have left us: A class of politicians who simply believe they cannot be killed off. As Andrew Rawnsley put it in June 2017, "Britain has a zombie prime minister" -- and now Britain isn't the only one."
Actually, I think zombie politicians would be an improvement over the vampire politicians we have now. Better to shuffle about mindlessly than suck the body politic dry of tax dollars while pooping out red tape.

And you could get away from zombie politicians by closing the door.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Because the Ruger often lives in a lockbox locked in the trunk of my car in the unheated garage overnight, I get to discover the very low temperature properties of FP10. They aren't great, tbh fam.

The thermometer in the Zed Drei said it was 27°F in the garage yesterday morning. There's plenty of visible lube still weeping out of the rails, but it was distinctly congeal-y, and the slide was noticeably sluggish until the gun had been heated up by the first couple mag dumps.

I was pushing as much speed as I could on that lower A-zone at seven yards. With this gun that means high .3 splits so far, not helped by the fact that the smallish, dirty front sight gets lost against the dark colored target.

There were no malfunctions of any type to report. This brings the round count to 1,120 rounds with no malfunctions of any type to report. Only 880 rounds left to go.

Film is not dead...again.

So I just found out that the Robert's Camera downtown develops film on site. I hadn't shot any film since late 2015 or early 2016 because I'd accumulated a ten-roll backlog and sending it off to The Darkroom three rolls at a time is a pain in the arse.

I dropped them all off at Robert's yesterday. The color will be done by Friday and the B&W by next week.

I busted out the EOS-1N in celebration!

The 1N is the second-to-last pro-grade film body produced by Canon. It was superseded by the EOS-1V in 2000, which remained in the catalog until earlier this year. The handling and controls are almost identical to the digital EOS-1DS MkII I've been using, so much so that I almost always catch myself "chimping" after shots, only to find myself staring at the camera's blank backplate.

If you already shoot a Canon EOS DSLR, this would be an easy way to get into film. Used ones are available for around two bills at the Amazon link above, and all your EF (but not EF-S) lenses will work on it. Even if you'd never shot film before in your life, loading and transport is completely automated.

Learning how to load film into a Barnack Leica is like trying to master origami, with the bonus that if you get it wrong, you trash your shutter. With this thing you just pull out a bit of leader to the handy marking inside the film compartment, close the back, and go. When it shoots the last image, it rewinds automagically. (I'll note that the camera calculates the number of shots you get by reading the DX code on the canister, rather than by the motor feeling tension on the spool, so no eking out that 37th or 38th exposure.)