What's New at 120studio.com

Site news archive - September 2017 (Click here for current)

2017 September 29

Film;  Large Format

A reader asks, "Why is the Kodak Aero Ektar lens so desirable?"  (If you've never seen this lens, vintage ones are usually available through this link.)

Its popularity may stem from the fact that it's such a fast lens, at least compared to other LF lenses.  However, the depth of field is paper thin at widest aperture;  it was most useful when the camera was looking out the belly of a B-17.  For that use, the shallow DOF was alright, and I'm sure it helped with the slow films they had at the time.  Even Kodak Tri-X, which was introduced in 1940, was an ISO 200 film until much later.

For a starter 4x5 lens, I'd still recommend a standard Optar 135mm.  It's not the sharpest lens on earth, but you should still notice a big difference between that and a 35mm photo.


Crenova Digital Multimeter

Premium Coconut MCT Oil

ThermoPro TP60 Digital Hygrometer & Thermometer - a wireless weather station that measures humidity and temperature. Currently 58% off.

Linkable LED Utility Shop Light  These look pretty good;  supposed to be 4800 lumens?

Fluke 324 Clamp Meter  40/400A AC, 600V, True RMS with Temperature and Capacitance measurements, Resistance to 4000 Ohms. 

Fluke 174 True RMS Multimeter also on sale at a substantial discount (at the moment). One of the best manufacturers of multimeters and related equipment.

Fluke 117 Electricians True RMS Multimeter also on sale.

Victorinox Mens Watch.  They make their own watch movements and their accuracy is pretty good, as I understand.

2017 September 18


Angle Grinder With Sparks

Kodak Tri-X 400 @ EI 400, dev in DD-X 1+9
September 2017

New Article:  Side-Blast Forge From a 55-Gallon Drum.  This, because a plain old fire in a circle was not very efficient as a heat source.  Mainly because it didn't really allow shaping the fire area to reflect in the heat.  I had tried rocks for that, but some of them exploded quite severely ("not recommended"....at all.)  And even the good ones were unwieldy and never quite the right shape.

I'd read about making something better from a 55-gallon drum, so I decided to try it.  Here's the build article.

2017 September 12

Radio, Electronics

A reader from Canada asks if the Sangean WR-11 always includes a backlit panel and an external antenna.  He said that Amazon.ca says no backlit panel, and no external AM hookup. You folks in Canada couldn't have a different variety of WR-11, could you? This is a bit of a mystery. The reader says he's going to try one out, so I'm really curious to see if he gets one with a backlit panel.

You can't very well enjoy AM radio at night (best time to listen to it) without a proper light-up panel. I can't imagine they wouldn't include one on the Canadian variant; however I've read elsewhere that someone got a WR-11 without the external antenna connectors.

Whether it has the connector or not, a passive external AM antenna such as this one will improve reception on almost any AM radio.  It works by inductive coupling with the internal ferrite antenna.  They don't have to be connected with a wire to each other.  (The main reason for having actual connectors on the radio is so you can attach a long-wire antenna.)

Metal & Shop

I knew that Taiwan bench vise with its welded-on anvil would be useful sooner or later...

New Article:  Fixing A Cheap Lawn Cart.  Sort of an intermission until I get the next article ready in the "Cart Build" series.

This repair was just a notch above "duct tape and super glue".  Hack fixery at its finest.

2017 September 6


Right this moment-- and I have no idea how long it will last-- there's a super deal on the great Yost 104 machinist viseAt the moment it's about $30 less than the lowest I've ever seen it for sale.  Sale was over within a couple days, but it went back to a lower price than I usually see it for elsewhere, so it's still a good deal at the moment I write this.

One thing about these sales, you never know when they're going to happen or when they end, so now's the time to buy.  (By the time some of you read this, the sale could be over, so no guarantees.)


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