An old Yashica for 10 euros?

My wife and I were in Stockholm last weekend. The intention was to go to the J.P. Gaultier exhibition and to generally roam around the city. Both of the tasks were completed quite well as the weather was nice and sunny and we were quite energetic and happy. 

Walking towards the Kungsträdgården metro station we sighted a Loppis (the Swedish equivalent of a flea market) and decided to take a gander. Most of the items on the tables were not really very interesting however and old camera caught our eye. The name Yashica made me very excited and the excitement only grew when I spotted the elusive Yashinon 45 mm f/1.7 lens. I knew the lens but didn’t know the camera model: Yashica Minister 700 but really, with that lens how wrong can you go. 

We were both getting quite gitty and I asked the woman selling the camera for the price and to my surprise she was only asking 100 kr for it. She explained it that everyone is only using digital nowadays and there is really little demand for old film cameras. While that might be true, Eva was already pushing the 100 kr bill into my hand. Only one question remained: “Is it working?” and indeed she replied “Yes, of course!” – perfect!

It was a weekend so it took me a few days to get a roll of film, a new battery and test it out myself however she was right – the camera works. The exposure meter is busted and there are a few things to complain about but mechanically the camera is fine – especially considering the price. 

I took a roll of photos with the help of my trusty Sverdlovsk-4 exposure meter (which by the way still exposes very well) and tried to get the feel of the camera. It felt nice – sturdy build, a bit heavy but good to hold. The leaf shutter makes the most delicate of noises – like a leaf jumping across asphalt in autumn. The exposure setting system on the camera is a bit weird though. If the exposure meter would work it would make sense however it is a bit of a challenge to get it right in the beginning, but you can get used to it. 

The main problem for me was the rangefinder. It is still calibrated and has coupled parallax correction but it was quite hard to see when the subject was very close. Maybe it just needs a bit of cleaning.

When I got the scans back, I noticed some horizontal lines and white specks on the images but I don’t know if they are from the camera or the scanner. I will take it to a professional repair shop to fix all the little bugs and we will hopefully have another really nice camera to add to our collection.

I’ll leave you with a selection of the pictures I took on a roll of Fuji Realia 100 film. They are nothing too special as I wanted to fill the entire film within an afternoon but some turned out really well. The lens really is as good as they say….

“Warm Day” Reason tutorial

This is the first Reason tutorial I have ever made. I decided that as I learn to use this software and producing in general, I would share my knowledge with others in the community. It may also be a great way to attract listeners to my music as there are more people looking for tutorials on Youtube than there are those, looking for my music.

The whole process is very new to me and doing voice over work for videos while recording them in real time is quite an effort. That’s why you hear so many times when I kind of freeze. Practice makes perfect anyway and I will be happy for your feedback!

How a Warm Day came to be

So today is a new start on my musical path. After a lot of soul searching and failed or semi-successful starts at musical expression, I’ve found something that I am comfortable and happy with for now.

Last year I started writing an album in Estonian – everything was quite similar to what I had done before. I started, recorded some songs, had some lyrics but it never got anywhere. I was never happy with the songs. I did however get the idea of starting a video blog about the creation process and although I never made more than 1 episode, the idea was stuck.

A year later (this spring) I got a new wind of creativity. This time it was different, this time it was fresh. I started making plans on a new album. I wanted it to be more about me – my ideas, my feelings and my expression – no lyrics from talented poets, just my crap. It would be in English, it would be somewhat funky, some disco, pop and the rhythms needed to be good and all in all amateur as hell!

In the beginning, I had an idea to make an EP. I had actually written around 5 songs already and they fit well together. My recording plans were however delayed by health and work, so the EP was waiting for its time – as was I. In the meantime, I got interested and finally bought Reason 7 along with Balance and boy was it was a surge of inspiration.!

I watched a lot of the videos Propellerhead had made on their Youtube channel and people like Boy in a band  and Pomplamoose who used Youtube as their main output of creativity. Once it got to the point that I could start recording with my new system, I didn’t want to do an EP anymore. I wanted my songs to come out when they are done, directly and I wanted them to be open. So how is this going to work?

I will write and record a song, sometimes with the help of my friends and allies, I will film a video and upload it directly to Youtube and finally upload a Reason tutorial on the writing, recording and mixing process. Open! The first song done in this manner is “Warm day” and the tutorial will be coming in the end of this week.

I want to thank all the friends who helped me with the song an the video. My wife Eva was behind the camera for the home scenes, Helene and Indrek added musical parts that fitted perfectly and there is a whole list of people who sent in clips from their summer:

  • Evelin Reimand
  • Antti Pääsukene
  • Kristiina Herkül
  • Tanel Topaasia
  • Indrek Haav
  • Monica Odlare
  • Tarmo Luberg

The idea for the video came from the Propellerhead Facebook page, from a post they made: “No better way to spend the summer than inside, hunched over your computer making music.” So here I am, sitting at home, recording a song about the summer and leaving the outside fun to my friends to add in later 🙂

Thank you for all the inspiration!