by Jouni Rinne
Recently, I’ve become interested in infrared photography. Oh, I’ve always been interested in it, but now I have actually done something and tried out both film and digital infrared photography. Some of the resulting pictures are shown below.
A series of pictures of an approaching thunderstorm in Toijala, Finland, photographed with Rollei Infrared 400S (developed in Rodinal 1:25 7,5min @20℃). Camera was a Miranda Sensorex C with a 50mm lens.
The first picture was taken without any filters.
The second picture was taken with a Hoya 25A red filter.
The third picture was taken with a Hoya R72 infrared filter.
Also, I had a spare Panasonic Lumix GF1 body converted to an infrared-capable camera (i.e. the hot-mirror in front of the sensor was replaced with a plain glass one). The conversion was made by Kamerahuolto Mustonen & Laine in Helsinki, Finland. Currently, they seem to be the only camera service in Finland to have sufficient know-how for such a conversion.
Here’s an un-color-corrected test picture taken with the Panasonic Lumix GF1 and Hoya R72.
by Jouni Rinne
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Fotodiox has now a range of adapters for Miranda lenses. Since then I have wanted to see and test them for myself, so I ended ordering their Fotodiox PRO Miranda-MFT adapter for $59,95 plus P&P. It arrived a few days ago; here are the test results:
The adapter looks very good. The Miranda bayonet is made of chromed brass; the rest of the body is black anodised aluminium. The manufacturing tolerances of the bayonets and the m44 thread are very good, both the camera end and the lens end are a much tighter fit than the sloppy-ish bayonets in the ramir73-made adapters I reviewed earlier.
But now for the bad news…
The adapter body is too short for correct focus to infinity. Repeat: Too Damn Short!
The register (i.e. flange distance to the film or sensor) of Miranda cameras is 41,5mm, while in the MFT cameras it is 19,25mm, leaving 22,25mm for the adapter (The measurement ‘A’ in the picture above). While on the ramir73′s adapters the adapter length was correct, on Fotodiox’s adapter the measurement ‘A’ is only 21,65mm, i.e. it is 0,6mm too short. 0,6mm may not sound much, but even that little error causes the infinity focusing of a lens to be completely off the mark. As an example, on a certain 50mm Miranda lens I was forced to set the lens to the ’5m’ mark instead of ‘∞’ to focus to infinity.
The Miranda bayonet is fitted to the adapter body with four screws, so this error could be fixed by placing spacers of suitable thickness under the bayonet… But why would I need to do that kind of thing to an adapter costing nearly $60? On a $5 Chinese adapter it would be acceptable, but… I’ll try to contact Fotodiox to hear whether they have something to say about this!
by Jouni Rinne
Well, I couldn’t resist adding a follow-up to the “Repairing the RE” post series. Just a few days ago I developed the first test roll of film taken with the repaired Miranda Sensomat RE (Foma Fomapan 100, developed with Rodinal 1:50, 8,5 min @ 20℃). Seems that the exposure meter adjustment was spot on, all of the pictures came out very well. Here’s an example picture taken within the ancient walls of the Häme castle.
(As an aside, I had to reluctantly admit that the thin, soft film base of Foma films and the Paterson system developing spirals does not work together. I was forced to develop the film in an old Nikor stainless steel developing tank / spiral combo; the film went into the Nikor spiral without any trouble…)
by Jouni Rinne
I finally got round to fixing the second RE, and properly this time. The lens had some oil in the aperture blades, so I needed to partially dismantle it and carefully clean out the blades with lighter fluid. Also, the meter reading was off. After removing the left side cover I noticed that, probably because of the previous owner’s ill-advised attempt to adjust the meter to work with a LR44 (a wrong type of battery for this camera), the red lacquer seal on top of the meter had been broken; fortunately the actual, correct adjustment resistors at the bottom of the camera hadn’t, apparently, been touched. The meter needed just a slight adjustment; I checked the reading with a grey card, comparing the result with the readings of other – both analog and digital – cameras.
I’m using the MR-44 adapter from Small Battery Company to power the RE’s exposure meter – the best possible, although not very cheap, substitute for the original PX675 mercury battery.
The first RE, which started this series of posts, has already been permanently demoted to a parts donor camera, so this post concludes the “Repairing the RE”-series.
by Jouni Rinne
Some of you may have been wondering why I’m obsessed with such an obscure and long since vanished camera make like Miranda. Well, there are several reasons, which can be divided in three subcategories:
- Historical reasons:
My dad bought his Miranda Fv in either late 1966 or early 1967. Many of my childhood memories involves Dad with the Miranda dangling from his neck. He seemed to haul it everywhere he went…
- Ethnical reasons:
I like Japan as a country, its people, and everything “Made In Japan”. 頑張れ日本!
- Technical reasons:
I deeply respect the designs of Ogihara-san and Ōtsuka-san, the company founders. The Miranda cameras were well made and durable; they had lots of unconventional – sometimes very so – but very well thought out features. It was a great loss for the camera world when the company folded over in 1977!
I have never been part of “The Mainstream”. Whatever my current hobby is, it seems that everything unconventional, ingenious, non-mainstream, but well working solutions interest me greatly. Some examples: as a younger man I repaired and used old British motorbikes… my favourite was Velocette, a very idiosyncratic make. My all-time-favourite car is the Citroën 2CV (do I need to say more?). I’ve used Linux as my operating system for almost 15 years… The list is endless.