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Recommended reading

💻 Have you noticed how most cars are black, white, or gray today? Whatever happened to blue and green? Tom Halter found that the state of New York publishes its car registration data from 1946 and did an analysis of color trends over time. Read Curbside Analysis: Fade to Gray — Where Have All the Car Colors Gone?

Buffa Louie's at the Gables
Pentax K10D, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC Pentax-DA AL, 2020

💻 Bastian Berbner tells the story of postal worker Finbarr O’Brien, a soft-spoken, conservative, straight man — and how his experience and his voice helped influence Ireland to legalize gay marriage. Read The Unlikely Friendship that Helped Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Ireland

💻 The news is full of experts telling us what we should be doing during the pandemic. Trouble is, as J P Cavanaugh points out so well, experts can be wrong. We should always think critically about what they say. Read Experts — A Look Behind the Curtain

💻 COVID-19 is not like the flu — it can be protracted and brutal. Lynlee Swartz found out the hard way, and shares her story. I know Lynlee; we worked together at a software startup a few years ago. Read The Coronavirus Story You’re Not Hearing About On the News

📷 Mark O’Brien rounds up all of the ISO 100 (and 125) black-and-white films made today and gives a mini-review of each. Read The B&W ISO 100 Club

📷 It’s the last film SLR to enter production, anywhere, ever. It’s newer than Facebook! And it’s from Russia. Stephen Dowling looks at the Zenit-KM Plus. Read Younger than Facebook: The last Zenit film SLR

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14 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. I bought a Zenit 122 a couple of months back, for the lens attached, the MC-Zenitar M2s 50/2, which is pretty fantastic. It’s a bit plasticky, but plenty sharp, had really close focus and the same swirly bokeh potential as its Helios 44 predecessors. I didn’t know there was an even newer Zenit body.

  2. Once again, some great reading recommendations! I think the car color thing also speaks to how boring cars have become. They all look alike in design and color. I say bring back the hood ornament! Lol.

    • There have always been “lookalike” cars — when a design style proves popular all the others copy it, and it’s been that way for 100 years. But color — now, that’s changed. I think there are a few reasons for it, including: people want colors that don’t make it hard to sell the car later, and a lot of cars are bought used from fleets (e.g., Hertz) and those fleets buy neutral colors.

  3. P says:

    I always enjoy people’s write-ups on various speed film stocks. Mark O’Brien’s round-up of 100 ASA stocks is no exception. However, I have to disagree with his opinion that Ultrafine Xtreme 100 is Kentmere 100. I could be wrong, but based on my own experiences I think it’s actually much more closely related to FP4 PLUS. Whatever the case, it’s a great film. Now, as far as I’m concerned, two film stocks that are likely Kentmere 100 (or very, very closely related, at least) are Rollei RPX 100 and AgfaPhoto APX 100. Still, both Ultrafine Xtreme 100 and Kentmere 100 are nice, “lower cost” options, although even they are no longer really all that low cost. They now cost as much as what the Ilford and Kodak equivalents did just a very short time ago. There is no longer such a thing as budget film stocks. Kodak, Fujifilm, and Ilford pointlessly driving costs up massively (especially Kodak) recently have made sure of that. It’s very frustrating, and based on my analysis of the economics of film manufacturing and how these companies are doing, there’s no excuse for it other than pure, undiluted greed.

    • I agree, Ultrafine Xtreme 100 doesn’t behave at all like Kentmere 100.

      I’m not entirely sure the cost increases have been pointless. I think they’re about economies of a much smaller scale. Or maybe I’m buying the film manufacturers’ line and they’re not telling the truth.

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