Nikon Zoom 300 AF (Lite-Touch Zoom)

I just found a new point and shoot camera for my holidays. I got this baby from ebay for 3€ which was cheaper than the shipment costs. I’ve shot the first roll of film with it – the first pictures seem to be rather blurry like the shutter was kind of stuck and needs to be freed. Anyway – now there is a roll of film loaded again and I can’t wait to see the results.

Nikon Zoom 300 AF (Lite-Touch Zoom)
Nikon Zoom 300 AF (Lite-Touch Zoom)

I’ll keep you informed when I have more results for this thing. Here is some raw technical data:

  • Name: Nikon Zoom 300 AF, also common names: Lite-Touch Zoom
  • Lens: 35-70mm (unverified: 3.5/35mm – 6.5/70mm)
  • Panorama mode (basically a frame limits the exposure area)
  • One 3V CR123A (or DL123) lithium battery
  • Quartz Date option for imprinting (mine has it)
  • Date release 1994

Link section:

Is the camera worth it? The first images came out pretty nice and the camera seems to be in a working state. I really like the shape and the format, however, you need to use DX coded film in order to use it. For all your self-loaders out there – take care. The camera probably defaults to 100 ISO in case.

It’s also unclear about the ISO rates the camera is capable of dealing with. I suspect it’s 100 – 1600, however let’s try and ask Nikon about that.

EXIF 1.0 Dial data for Pentax MX arrived

Do you know the real EXIF thing – we did it with Dial data back for the Pentax MX. I was never able to afford one – but now as everyone goes digital the data backs became cheap. They are great replacements for you backplane, too.

Right now I need to get some batteries for this baby and confirm that it’s working as expected. There are some drawbacks for this particular one as the year can only be adjusted from 77 to 88. That means that this device is year 2000, 2035 and 2038 safe.

However, you can still use the possibility to exposure the aperture and the shutter speed and a number into the film. As soon as this baby works, I’ll post some images.

The replacement batteries are known as;

Silver oxide:

  • SR44
  • Energizer 357/303
  • Duracell D357
  • KA76, LR1154, EPX76, S76


  • LR44
  • KS76
  • MS76,
  • SP76
  • A76
  • PX76a
  • AG13

Which one should you get? The silver oxide ones. And here is why. In the spec for the silver oxide it says: 1.55V 160 mAh compared to 1.5V 105 mAh for the Alkalines. That’s 55 mAh more with the same size. However, the Alkalines are dirtcheap – which makes up the disadvantage fairly easy. It’s up to you, I’ll go for the SR – and have a spare with me, just in case.

What’s in your bag – City night shot edition

Fog came over Munich! Time for some night city photography! There is a former powerplant next to my place which has been abonded a while ago. Now a shop for furniture moved in and I want to take some images of it.

After work I went home – packed my bag and I wonder if someone is interested in what I am carrying. Well, I usually enjoy the unpacking videos on youtube but as I don’t run such a channel – there you go.

  • Bag: Kalahari K-31
  • Tripod: Manfrotto Pro 190b (old series)
  • Head: FLM Centerball 24 (one day I will update this!)
  • Camera: Rolleicord Va Medium Format Camera
  • 2 Magic Heat Gel packs (for cold hands)
  • Thin gloves
  • A 35mm film canister (with the shutter release for the Rolleicord)
  • A swiss army knife
  • A lens cleaning cloth
  • A backlight for bicycles (to secure the tripod)
  • A leather pouch with spare films (Ilford HP5+)
  • Tissues (always useful!)
  • A headlight Fenix HL23 (the lowest mode is awesome!)
  • A cable release
  • A lightmeter Gossen Digiflash (small, handy and it does the job)
  • A pen (not shown)

Basically that’s it. It’s still a small and lightweight package and usually I have everything with me that might be of use. Especially the magic heat packs give you some heat and sometimes that’s the difference of waiting for a shot or leaving when it’s too cold and missing it.

The thermometer says -2 degrees Celsius and the fog is pretty thick.

Ilford HP5+ in Caffenol C-L (is) – 2nd test

Another day, another Ilford HP5+ test with Caffenol C-L (is). This time I tested the development of the HP5+ at 400 boxspeed with a development time of 45 minutes instead of the 30 minutes from the previous trial. Why? Because I was looking for more gamma which is easier to scan but still printable on an enlarger.

Seems that I overshot the target by some minutes, plus we are dealing with fog here. So, here is the new density measurement. I’ve adjusted the agitation to the following schema: 30 sec initial, 3 times at 1, 5, 15, 30 minutes.

Will there be a new test? Maybe, if I have a look at the curves I will look for 38 minutes with the agitation schema: 30 sec initial, 3 times at 1,5,15. I will adjust the amount of salt slightly up to 20g/l for a test.

Film Density measure of Ilford HP5+ in Caffenol C-L (is)
Film Density measure of Ilford HP5+ in Caffenol C-L (is)

ADOX Thermometer Inox worth the gold?

I’ve just bought the ADOX thermometer made by ADOX from the online shop of Foto Impex in Berlin, Germany.  The main question is: is the thermometer worth the gold?

I guess that depends on your personal expectations. The thermometer is made from Inox steel and feels solid. It’s not massive, still pretty lightweight but it doesn’t feel cheap. There is a strong metal clip (also from Inox steel) attached which can be used to clip the thermometer to your development tanks.

The thermometer can be easily adjusted using a screw on the back of the thermometer to screw the scala inside.

Is it worth the gold?

A simple thermometer made from glas can be alot cheaper, however, it lacks higher temperatures. The scale is somewhat awyard to read due to the fact that the Celsius scale is on the inside and the Fahrenheit scale is on the outside. It seems that this product is aimed for the American market.

The ultimate slogan by ADOX is: it won’t break if it falls down in your darkroom. I can’t remember when I dropped a thermometer the last time. But maybe if this happens to you more frequent, maybe a cheaper alternative might be an option like the ADOX thermometer for black and white development. It’s about half of the price for the Inox version. How does it perform to other brands? Well, there is another one from Kaiser which is still cheaper and is made of plastic. This one can be used for color development, too – the cheaper ADOX version is not up to the task.

I had some issues with mine. The bur on the metal clip was quite horrible and I took a file to remove it. It was also slightly off, however, I used a second thermometer to adjust the temperature. Both were pretty easy fixes but are they really necessary if you buy a premium product?

So is it worth it – if you plan to stick with black and white development the simple version will just do it. However, if you are looking for one that is up for color development, is stylish and you want to add a certain hipster factor to your darkroom – go for it.

ADOX Thermometer Inox Steel

What: A thermometer fully made from Inox steel
Price: ~11 €
Function: Measures temperatures of diluted coffee
Features: Hipster feeling within your darkroom, solid build
Recommendation: Meeeh. Check options.


Ilford HP5+ @400 in Caffenol C-L (is)

– updated test here –

I just finished my first test series for the Ilford HP5+ in Caffenol C-L (is). There are a couple of things to notice that are important to the way I decided to develop this film. Reinhold from the Caffenol blog gave me starting point for 800 ASA, however in one of his blog posts Thomas suggested the following method to develop some films at boxspeed: Caffenol C-L, 30min and some agitation methods for a semi stand development.

I decided to apply the same method for my Ilford HP5+ that I shot at 400 ASA. I used 16g/l of iodized salt instead of Kaliumbromide. I used the same agitation method as Thomas suggested:

Agitation scheme:

  • 30 seconds continously at the start
  • 3 times at 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes

After 30 minutes I dumped the developer.

So – let’s have a look at the negatives. They are evenly developed (very nice), however they are too thin and the development time for the film seems to be way too short. I’ll try that again! However, for a start it’s not too bad.

HP5+ in Caffenol C-L (is)
HP5+ in Caffenol C-L (is)

Dealer delivered in time

My trusted photo dealer delivered the requested goods in time for the next shooting. Oh, btw – as we are analogue fans, we need to stick together. The company that I use to order all my stuff for analogue photography is Foto Impex from Berlin.

They seem to be some sort of a combined, brand, photo gear – all in one perfect company. Read: The owner acquired the name Adox a while ago and is producing various products using the brand name Adox – Foto Impex seem to be the retailer (yep, it’s own) for it.

Great service, very friendly contact and very competitive prices. In this order I ordered 10 Ilford HP5+ film, 2x Adofix P (a powder fixer for 1l) and a Adox Thermometer made with Inox steel.

Can’t wait to work with the thermometer.

How to wash/rinse film with low water consumption

Black and white film development requires you to rinse the film in order to clear the fixer from the film emulsion. There are various methods out there, however sometimes you are in a situation when fresh water is limited and you can’t choose the method.

I think that’s environmental friendly, too – however, does this really work to get archive safe negatives?

Ilford recommends the following method in such kind of situations:

  1. Pour out the developer, fill the tank with water and invert 5 times
  2. Dump the water, fill with water, invert 10 times
  3. Dump the water, fill with water, invert the tank 20 times
  4. Dump the water, fill with water, add washing aid, rinse

I am washing my films like this, however, don’t expect to remove the purple tint from the delta films with this method.

Here is the link to the Ilford article.

Teaspoon or scale?

Do you develop with Caffenol? Do you use the teaspoon or a scale to measure the correct amount of ingredients? I started with teaspoons, however, I felt that some consistency is lacking in that approach. I acquired a small scale which comes in handy when I am measuring the correct amounts of ingredients for the next Caffenol stock.

It’s a cheap one (~ 10 Euro), however I am feeling safer with this, even if I own the correct standardized teaspoons (check the image).

It seems that there has been quite some discussion within the Caffenol community about this. Especially when it comes to Potassium Bromid you are probably looking for a scale anyways.

Something that I am always considering: When I do all the work for film speed testing, gamma testing, tweaking my development processes – I am aiming for consistency and not for randomness.

Do it once to try it out? Pick a low speed film (ISO 100) and stick with teaspoons, if are planning to do this frequently – get a scale!

Anyways, how do you measure the different parts?

Agfaphoto APX 100 (new emulsion) in Caffenol C-M (rs)

Inspired by the Cafenol blog and the post about the new Agfaphoto APX 100 film I decided to start my own tests. Reinhold made some experiments and he offered the following suggestion:

[…]10 minutes at 20 °C in Caffenol-C-M (rs) are enough,[…]

That was my starting point, I took a roll of film, loaded the camera and went out for some shooting. I did the development with the following schema:

  • 20° C
  • Caffenol C-M (rs)
  • Development time: 10 minutes
  • Agitation: 1 min continously then 3 times per minute

The negatives came out pretty dark but still very scannable. Check out the gallery here.

Test Shooting APX100

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But from there – things started to get more intense as I tried to figure out the correct development time for the film. I went for some film testing as Dr. Anzinger suggested on his webpage in the article “Schwarzweißfilme densitometrisch eintesten” to figure the correct development time.

I began with the value above – however, I used Vuescan/Silverfast as my densitometer to figure the density values. My scanner is a flatbad scanner Canon Canoscan 9000F Mark 2. I am pretty surprised by the result and right now I have actually no idea what’s happening there.

After I have started with 10 minutes development time, the new calculated time was 7:30. According to the data the film is still to dense and suggests 06:04 now.

Any ideas?

Here are the graphs and the data so far, the first series is measured with Silverfast, then I made the second series with the new development time and measured the density with Silverfast and then with Vuescan.

Agfa APX 100 (new emulsion) in C-C-M (rs), density testing
Agfa APX 100 (new emulsion) in C-C-M (rs), density testing