There Is No Cat

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Thursday, May 26, 2016

52@52 Week 43

I mentioned last week that I had gotten one of the Impossible Project’s new I-1 cameras. This week, that was all I shot with

Beach badge booth in Asbury Park one week before the season opens

I took the camera to the boardwalk in Asbury Park last Saturday, loaded with a pack of their latest black & white film. One nice thing about the film for this camera is that it doesn’t have any batteries in it. The camera carries the battery, unlike old Polaroid cameras, which were powered by a battery within the film pack. That solution made sense 40 years ago, but with today’s understanding of environmental impacts, having a permanent battery in the cameras makes more sense.

The viewfinder on the I-1 is the best take I’ve seen on a sports viewfinder. I got something similar with my Wanderlust Travelwide and found it so useless that I replaced it with a Linhof large format viewfinder. Wanderlust didn't provide any instructions on how to use theirs; they have a site that will supposedly someday include instructions and tips on how to use their camera, but it’s been “coming soon” for many months. Impossible does a much better job on the education front. Impossible’s viewfinder has some clever touches. The mechanism for framing with the silver circle inside the silver box is very good, and Impossible even has a video explaining how to frame shots. That said, it’s still a sports viewfinder, and framing is never going to be exact with this. I find that what winds up on the film is about 10-15% wider than what I see through the viewfinder. Impossible recommends that your eye should be 4-5 centimeters from the viewfinder. It seems to me that this roughly corresponds with jamming my chin up against the back of the camera. Basic physics and optics dictates that if I wanted to see everything that would show up on the film, I would have to get even closer, but that’s not really possible. The viewfinder is attached to the camera with magnets, and is easily removed. I hope that either Impossible or someone else takes the opportunity to create a replacement viewfinder that provides a more accurate, and more reproducibly accurate, viewfinder for the camera. I know it’s not an SLR like my beloved SX-70, but the viewfinder could really be better.

The camera is being widely reviewed. I’m reasonably happy with mine. I’m still figuring things out. I haven’t done much with the iOS app, just a couple of manual shots, but it shows promise. Ray Liu, for example, has been doing some really neat work with his I-1 and the light painting function of the app to capture long exposure light trails. I hope to try something with this in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, you get this snapshot.

Posted at 10:04 AM


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This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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