Tag Archive for: film

An Adventure with the Canon AE-1 – Getting it Working and Developed

An Adventure with the Canon AE-1 – Getting it Working and Developed

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Fujifilm GX680 Film Back Battery Replacement

Fujifilm GX680 Film Back Battery Replacement

(Studio images to follow, for the moment refer to the video)

There are 6 screws to remove. The first two on the back by the open lever are longer than the others. 

Two on each side. These are on the blank side. 

Two on the side with the dark slide. You can either remove the dark slide to make it easier to get to, or flip the handle out of the way to remove the screws. 

The knob at the top is actually a screw. That center part will rotate, you just have to figure out how to get a grip on it, and then it just unscrews. The plastic piece just comes right out, don’t worry about orientation, it is keyed. 

We want to go ahead and open the back, just bring down the lever until it clicks, then swing it open. 

You can now separate the back, just wiggle and it should come loose. There are no hidden snaps. You will find it easier if the lock is clicked all the way down. 

On the side you will find the battery you need to remove. 

For this part you will need a soldering iron and solder. Some wick or solder sucker can help clean up excess. In mine, the battery was adhered to the plastic with tape, I recommend lifting it off first before desoldering. Then just desolder the battery legs. 

Because I didn’t remove the tape first, I applied heat for too long, and removed the pin that the battery tab was soldered too. I simply cleaned the pad area and reattached the pin. 

To solder the new battery, I made sure the direction or polarity of the battery was correct by referencing a photo I took prior to removing the old battery. In this view, positive is on the left side of the screen, with negative being on the right, or nearest that large circular speaker/beeper. 

The tab was held to the pin, and solder was applied to the iron, then the joint. 

For the other tab, I bent it into place, and repeated soldering.

The finished soldering job is not great, but contact is made, and the connection appears strong enough.

We can test if the battery is working by holding down the bottom “call” button and making sure the screen displays. 

Now we just put the unit back together by putting the back plastic door assembly back on, making sure the opening lever is all the way down. 

Snap the back into place. 

Return the knob by putting the plastic piece on until it locks into the keyed position, then put the screw back in. 

The remainder is putting the rest of the screws in, remembering the longer ones go by the door opening lever. 

As an added step, I created a label with the date the battery was changed. The area was cleaned with an isopropyl alcohol swab and let to air dry prior to applying the label. 

It is finished! The back now successfully remembers how many exposures were taken even if the camera has power removed, or if the back is taken off of the camera. 

In the example we are on exposure 2. Removing the back, the call button still works, and it shows the correct number.   

To remove the film back from the camera, insert the dark slide into the back. Press the revolve button and turn anti-clockwise 45 degrees, the back will now free itself to pull straight off. 

Hopefully that was helpful! If so go ahead and leave a like. Make sure you are subscribed for more camera and tech videos, and leave a comment if you have any questions, I’ll try and help! Thanks!

Nick with Minolta Camera

Minolta XG-9

Minolta XG-9

Minolta XG-9 camera body.

Camera Make: Minolta

Release Year: 1979

Release Price: $170 for the Body,  $280 for Body and 50mm f/1.4 lens (as of 1981)

Current Street Price: $20 – $50

Notable uses:

Interesting Features:

Media: 35mm Film

Can you still get the media now: Yes.

Interchangeable lenses: Minolta MD Bayonet Mount

Batteries: Two 1.5V Silver Oxide

Can you still get the battery: Easily, using two AG13 / KS 76, does not need to be silver to function correctly based on my testing.


Can you test without batteries: No. The shutter will not fire in any mode without batteries. You can focus an attached lens, turn dials, and cock the shutter once if not already cocked.

Can you test without a lens: Yes. The camera will let you fire the shutter without a lens.

Can you test without media: Yes. Film is not required to function, and you do not need to trick the film advance to do subsequent shutter tests.

How to test the camera: Insert batteries and turn the dial to B.C. The front light should illuminate brightly*. You can then attempt to cock the shutter, test fire, examine the meter, roughly check shutter speeds, make sure film advance is functioning, etc.

*My battery holder was corroded, and even after cleaning in vinegar, it still required scratching it quite a bit to make contact. It usually takes me several attempts at getting the batteries in place until the front light will illuminate, but once it does, I do not have any issues after that.

Camera Operation

How to Load the Camera: Typical 35mm SLR Film Loading

Viewfinder: SLR with Split and Microprism.

How to Take a Picture: Half press the shutter button to activate the meter, fully depress to fire the shutter.


Highly recommended camera. One of the easiest manual focus 35mm cameras I own. Requires few easy to get batteries, and has worked reliably (outside of mine having been corroded). Since it is consistently cheaper and less desirable than the Canon AE-1, it is a good cheap beginner camera, and most kit lenses are great, or you can easily find cheap lenses for the camera. Minolta MD lenses are less desirable than Canon FD lenses, making equivalent lenses routinely less expensive second hand. The main drawback is the lack of metering in non auto modes, you get no real feedback on manual exposure. Good way to learn how to use manual metering though while still having auto when needed.


Auto Tone Title

Don’t Underestimate Auto Features In Photoshop

I recently had 2 rolls of film developed that were shot on the brand-new-to-me Pentax Spotmatic. Sadly, I underexposed most of the shots, and they look terrible. 

Raw Film shot of Two Cameras on a Shelf

Raw Film shot of Two Cameras on a Shelf

As you can see, this photo is pretty awful and crazy washed out. I started playing with Photoshop as per usual, using the Camera Raw Filter, trying various curves and levels. The results weren’t too much better. Out of just random desperation, I hit “Auto Tone” from the Image menu. 

Photoshop Auto Tone Menu Option

Photoshop Auto Tone Menu Option

And look at that instant result!

Edited Film shot of Two Cameras on a Shelf

Edited Film shot of Two Cameras on a Shelf

With one click Photoshop did a vastly better job than I was getting with 10 to 15 minutes of playing. It managed to get rid of the haze, adjust the levels, and get everything pretty much perfect, instantly. Going through the rolls, almost every picture was improved by this to the point I didn’t need to do any additional editing. The effect isn’t perfect though, shots that are too far gone can’t be saved, such as this one. 

Side by side film shot of Lily, image on the left being the raw film image, image on the right being the Auto Tone adjusted image, showing a large amount of grain and noise.

Raw and Auto Tone side by side.

As you can see, it does remove the usual green haze, but because the exposure was so low, the image just becomes awash with noise. It’s certainly improved, but by no means does it magically fix the image. More work might be able to be done however. 

The best part about this discovery is that Auto Tone in Photoshop by default has a keyboard shortcut, so you can just drop your image in, do Ctrl + J to duplicate the layer, and then Shift + Ctrl + L and BOOP, your image is fixed, and you can toggle the layer on and off the see the before and after. Also don’t ignore the Auto Contrast and Auto Color options, some images work better with those.

3 Images side-by-side of a group of fursuiters, the left image is raw from the film, the middle image has Auto Tone applied, and the right image has Auto Color applied.

Side by side of Raw, Auto Tone, and Auto Color

Quickly becomes its own subset of Instagram-esque filters, and we aren’t even using LUTs!

While I certainly don’t recommend falling into the laziness of just hitting auto, sometimes you want or need a quick fix, or at least a way to make the photo look like how you imagined it would turn out from the camera. The the appeal of film in this digital age is the limitations, which can also be its biggest downfall. At least I know how to quickly get these one-of-a-kind treasures to be decent, displayable images.


Goldbeam Co-Producer VI Transfer Device Teardown

Teardown of a large box meant for transferring prints or film to a VHS camera, as well as mixing audio and even enhancing video signals. It’s basically a 90s video editing powerhouse, since home PCs weren’t really capable of video editing by any definition.

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