Something to hear about …

Soooo … hmm, do I have a tendency of starting out my sentences with that? OK … hmm, that is another word that I use to start. Let’s start this again.

Taking a break from posting the F-1 stuff, it stuck me that I could post something about what I am hearing … no, not what I am listening to but what I am listening with.

Some months ago my earbuds ran into a problem … no sound on one side due to electrical problem. I was not surprised as these buds have lasted me over 5 years of use. So I started a search for a replacement.

Now I am somewhat of an audiophile … but a really cheap one, so I was looking for the best quality earbuds for the lowest price !! The last ones I had were Panasonic something (it appears there is no model labelled), and I specifically got them because they were cheap but most importantly they had a really good frequency range. So now I search for something like it.

What I ended up with is … the Symphonized NRG 3.0.

Why, frequency response of 18Hz-22kHz and it was clean throughout. They are not for bassheads (unlike my Panasonic ones) but they do produce a “nice” overall range. Very pleasant while listening to Pink Floyd – Brain Damage or Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy (makes you want to do those odd dance moves). They also have an angled plug so it doesn’t pull at a right angle when plugged into the side my laptop.

Oh, and I forgot to mention … they have a real wood enclosure, so yeah they look cool (at least to me).

For under $30 they are a great buy.


FFFF… well just F-1 … nnnnn

My first SLR camera was a Canon T-70 … ah, I thought it was the greatest camera … it was the greatest camera as it was my first. That started my thing for Canon cameras, not that I had many of them, so I was not one of those people that became obsesest and collect every single one of them. My second camera was a Canon T-90, cause it was really electronically cool … but, I became more appreciative of the simple things, shutter, aperture, and the film. My next, and final, film camera was the oh so awesome New F-1 (or is it the F-1N … not to be confused with the F-1n ??)

… but this ain’t a story about that one, this is the story about the one that came before, the one that started it … the Canon F-1, the original and the revised F-1n (it had a plastic tip on the film advance lever and some other mods).


The Canon F-1 is a legendary camera for this company. It was a reaction to the Nikon F2 camera … though it was released in 1971 about 6 months before the F2 … and it was (in my mind) their equals. Canon’s 5 year reaction was full on (the Canonflex vs F didn’t work out so well) … not only did they bring in a new modular camera, it was built to take a beating in extreme environments, they also developed a crap load of accessories and the new line of FD lenses to support the automatic aperture system allows the lens to remain wide open all the time, until the camera takes the shot.

They updated the F-1 five years later (F-1n, note the camera keeps its F-1 label) with about 13 improvements, like a brighter mirror … including changes to the advance lever to make it quicker.

To identify an F-1n vs the F-1, look at the film advance lever … you can see the updated plastic tip on the n model (on the right).

f-1_lever f-1n_lever

… anyway, as a New F-1 (or F-1N) user, I can see that this was an awesome camera system. It feels like a block of steel, feels like a professional camera that was the basis of the even more awesome camera. Oh, and this camera was also the base for the unique Canon EF.

Baldinette … just clearing the view.

Sadly, this Balda Baldinette came to me in almost perfect condition … the only thing I had to do was clean out the viewfinder port and give it a shine.

DSC00552 1 First thing to do is to remove the rewind knob … just unscrew it.

Then remove the film counter while holding outter knurled ring.

The four screws hold the top plate on … remove them and then lift off top cover. You can go inside and clean out the viewfinder ports.

DSC00553 1Under the cover … as this is not a rangefinder camera there is not much here … you can clean counter dial and red dot.

Make sure the red dot mechanism is moving freely … after putting the top plate back on, make sure the red dot is still moving after advancing and tripping the shutter.

If you do want to get into the shutter, I noticed the focus distance ring would need to be marked to reposition it correctly when you put it back on.


Balda Baldinette

Even though the info says that Balda made “cheap” cameras, he didn’t make them cheaply made … though the shutter/lens was commonly on the low end of the scale.

The Baldinette was made in 1950. It was a viewfinder 35mm format folder … all metal body, and pocketable like the Retina. It was also made in a red leather version.

Typical of the cameras of those days, different shutter/lens combos were available. The one I have has a Pronto shutter that doesn’t have that many speeds, B and 1/30 to 1/300s so it really is a daylight camera … though it does have a hotshoe and a PC port … and the Schneider Radionar 50mm f/3.5 (triplet) lens.

… the camera is advanced enough to have a safetly lock on the winder … the counter will only advance if there is acutally film advancing within the camera and there is a manually push button that needs to be pressed after each exposure to unlock the shutter release button.

The one I got a hold of is in working condition, everything still feels as mechanically sound as when it was produced over 60 years ago.


Blast from the past …

Just before I started this Blog, while I was working on fixing my first cameras, I discovered a great forum dedicated to people who fixed their own photographic equipment.

board_logo The Classic Camera Repair Forum was created by Kar Yan & Henry on their site to share information about reviving old cameras.

I found this site while searching for repair manuals. They had some links and their own articles about repairing … but they also created a Forum.

This forum is where I first bumped into Rick Oleson, and many others who contributed information that has helped me over the years.

Sadly the site shut down in 2013. You can view it via WayBack Machine:

The archives are also available on the RangeFinder Forum: RFF – Gearheads Delight … you can dig there for lost information … and you will find that the discussions still go on thanks to RFF.

The adventures of this guy who tries to restore and repair vintage photographic equipment … and wins (most of the time).

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