Five Frames with Nikonos V

To me, the best thing about living in the Bay Area is the easy access to all kinds of nature, by bike and by other means of transportation. You can put your bicycle on nearly every form of public transit (except Muni street car): all buses, almost all trains, and also by ferry. This makes bike-powered weekend trips a lot easier. Our hills are treacherous, and our beer is decent: sometimes you want to skip a hill or roll down one. Put your bike on a ferry, bus, train.

Recently, I did one such trip with a friend where we boarded a ferry to Larkspur and then a train to Petaluma. While I find it easier to just cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge and get in the miles, on days where I want longer rides, I’m thankful to these multi-modal options on easier days when I just want to take it slow but still be further from home, on a bike.

I also recently came into the possession of a Nikonos V. The seller was very apologetic that its meter wasn’t working, and that its O-rings needed work before it can be a truly amphibious camera again: but I was not, for I managed to own a Nikonos V for $50 instead of $500. Although it looks like a toy camera, it is one of the most ergonomic and user friendly cameras I have ever used. It puts a modern GoPro to shame. You can even scuba dive with it (after getting the O-rings serviced).

As someone who enjoys manual metering, I am not afraid of film cameras without batteries and meters. The camera is perfect on land as well as in water. I quite like the heft of it: I think it will be my standard biking and camping camera. I have no worries at all about rolling into a pile of dirt, or falling into water. The 35mm f2.5 lens it came with is also very capable.

A scan of a color photograph of two women looking at San Francisco ferry building as a ferry pulls away from the harbor

View of San Francisco from the ferry.

A scan of a color photograph of a man on a ferry, wearing a yellow jacket looking at Alcatraz in the distance

A person looking at Alcatraz from the ferry.

A scan of a color photograph of a group of people boating near the Bay Bridge

People on a boat near the Bay Bridge.

A scan of a color photograph of a ferry causing large waves in the water. View from the deck

On the Larkspur ferry, the bike holding area is on the deck, which makes it fun and easy to look at the view while also being able to keep an eye on your bike.

A scan of a color photograph of a group of Falungong activists protesting China at the Ferry Building in San Francisco

There was a large Falungong rally at the Ferry Building in San Francisco on that day. The Nikonos IV is a capable land documentary camera as well as underwater camera, too.

All photos taken with Nikonos V, 35mm f2.5 lens, Fuji Superia 400, self-developed in Cinestill C41 kit, and scanned on Plustek 8200i.

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Adrianna Tan @skinnylatte
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