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Mike Eckman
Works at Best Buy
Lived in Steger, IL
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Mike Eckman

commented on a post on Blogger.
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Well done Adam!  What a beautiful camera you have there.  Your example looks to be in wonderful shape and I love your images.  It is amazing to me how consistently sharp all of these Retinas are.  It really does not seem to matter which lens they have, they're all good.  I've never seen one in person with the Ektar lens, but I know they're far less common, so your example is definitely not something you see every day.  

I love all of the little details that Kodak AG put into this camera as you mentioned.  The dual aperture scales are there so the photographer could easily see it in both portrait and landscape orientation.

Although I am sure you already know this, but don't let the "uncoated" lens keep you from using some color film in this bad boy.  I've shot many rolls of color in pre-war uncoated lenses like this one and consistently get great shots as well!  
Some of the best stories start out wherein one or multiple parties had been partaking of some mind-numbing intoxicants. And some of these same stories carry with them a degree of regret afterwards. I've had a few such occu...
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Mike Eckman

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It's interesting that you comment that when you first got this camera, you thought it would be a "go to" camera for the future.  It's amazing how much alike we think.  I felt the very same way when I got my Yashica-Mat in the fall of 2014.  I enjoyed using it and was impressed with my first test rolls. 

As the months passed, and my collection grew, I only ever came back to that camera once.  In that time, I've added two other, equally awesome TLRs, to my collection - a Flexaret VII and a Yashica D thats in near mint condition.  I've only shot with the Flexaret once, and havent tried out the D yet due to the exact same reason you mention.  TLRs are much less portable.  They are only good for very intentional and purposeful photoshoots.  They're never going to be the first, second, or third camera when I go out on a spontaneous walk, or to a family function.

Which is a shame, because not only are these cameras fun to use,  but they almost always have excellent optics. 
Periodically, I'll be posting scans of some complete rolls of film on here, showing both the good and the bad, and giving some basic information as well a little write up of the shoot as well as the reasons why I selected eac...
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Kind of unfortunate.  I can fit 4 folders into a camera bag but only one TLR.  As such, the TLR is never a daily companion of mine, and only makes its appearance on Road Trip Rambles when there is space in the car for it.  But few of my MF folders can match the Yashica 12 for image quality.  Siggggh. 
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Mike Eckman

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Theres a bunch of "this will make you feel old" posts out there, but this is a good one.  Its pretty amazing to think that kids these days have never heard a dial tone or a busy signal, or that the concept of a telephone that cannot send text messages is completely bizarre.

Mike Eckman

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Enjoying a nice dinner before a week worth of work in Orlando! :)
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Mike Eckman

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I call BS.  I think you built a time machine, went back in time and took these photos in the late 19th/early 20th century, then stored the exposed film in a hermetically sealed box and came back to the present, unsealed that box, then had the film developed! 

Outstanding shots!  I am so impressed with both the composition and the look.  I also like how you showed an A/B comparison of how much larger a 116 negative is compared to a 120.  That is really cool to see side by side like that.  Great work and great article.

Of course, now I HAVE to shoot my 116 camera! :)
My love affair with my Autographic 1A had seemed to have plateaued. Once envisioned as a cheap (only $7.19) camera that would enable me to shoot occasional "supersized" landscape photos on 120 film, my actual results, initia...
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Ok, you caught me in the act!  Just wait til you see the full color shots I took on contemporary Velvia film! 

I would guess this serves as definite validation to get your 116 camera out and shooting again.  As much as I like to improvise with the 120 film for the sake of being innovative, there was something much more relaxing about shooting this camera loaded with film meant for it, and having seen the results on this old Verichrome Pan, the next roll will be even more fun! 
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Mike Eckman

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Great review!  Perhaps I was one of the "instigators" on the Facebook group preaching the words of the Exakta! :)  

Like you, I find the slow speed dial (it also serves double purpose as the self timer too, you can even use them both at the same time), and the instructions in the user manual are very difficult to understand.

If any of your readers would like someone else's take on how to use this feature of the camera, I attempted to explain it in detail to those who struggle with the "official" explanation.

My explanation, along with a full review and some sample shots, is available on my blog at:

http://www.mikeeckman.com/2015/07/ihagee-exakta-vx-v4-2-1954/
A little while back, I finally gave 35mm another try, by reactivating a Praktica FX3. The experience was interesting to say the least, and while I wasn't over the moon about dealing with some of the ways of the old camera, I...
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Yes, Mike, you are definitely one of the ones responsible for my getting bitten by the Exakta bug.  I'm really happy with the results of this great camera and just sent three more rolls off from the pair of them to see some more results.  

I now have a trio of 50mm lenses for the camera, all of which work pretty well, but the challenge is finding much in other focal lengths that does not cost a King's Ransom.  Got a Schact 35mm/3.5 and an Isco Gottingen 135mm/2.8 but both have some issues. Seems most of the things I see start in the low to mid 100's.  Yikes! 
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Mike Eckman

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Wow, thanks for the memories. I used to watch this over and over at the time, and even though I only had a lowly 386 and the demo could barely run, I still loved it! :-)
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Have him in circles
38 people
bilal khan's profile photo
Bryan Kouba's profile photo
Jason Davis's profile photo
Lynne Robbins's profile photo
John Caron's profile photo
Ashley McPherson's profile photo
patrick harvey's profile photo
Ryan Brodbeck's profile photo
Tracy Etienne's profile photo
Work
Employment
  • Best Buy
    Geek Squad Agent, present
  • Applied Systems
    Supervisor, present
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  • Super Stickman Golf 2
  • Boom Beach
  • Fallout Shelter
  • On The Run
  • Lara Croft GO
  • Trials Frontier
  • Angry Birds Under Pigstruction
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Previously
Steger, IL - Chicago Heights, IL
Recently remodeled, the Schererville Hooters is one of the nicest in the area. Go in for a lunch special to save money, and enjoy one of their local Three Floyd's beers on tap!
Public - 3 weeks ago
reviewed 3 weeks ago
It was great!
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
I stayed one night in Crawfordsville and wanted to sample the night life in the area. Searching Google and other sites did not turn up very many options for a good bar, and since I didn't want to endlessly roam the town, when we saw Eastside Bar & Grill we went in. The bar is a standalone building near a shopping center and is pretty large inside. The bar has a nice Internet jukebox that allows you to create your own playlists either from the kiosk itself, or through your smartphone. I know this is pretty common these days, but some smaller town bars don't have these yet. There were several rooms in the bar offering a couple of pool tables. There was even a set of bags (cornhole to some) setup for people to play. The staff was reasonably friendly, and the bar seemed clean. I didn't notice any sticky floors, chairs, even the bathroom was decently clean. Based on the size of the bar, and the offerings of pool tables, a decent jukebox, and no major cleanliness complaints, my issues with the bar was more with the selection of alcohol. It is clear that the bar owners are aiming low with this place. The only beer on tap was Coors. They had a nice selection of beers, as long as you wanted Bud, Miller, or Coors products. They made no attempt to cater to craft beer, or even many import beers (I think they did have Heineken). Even the liquor selection was pretty basic. Order a drink with vodka, and I noticed they poured it from a plastic bottle. Jack Daniels was the only whiskey they had. Glancing through the liquor bottles in the well, it was clear the bar makes no effort to upsell top shelf liquors. The fact that this is a small town bar catering to modest people doesn't automatically give this a 3 star rating. Theres more. The food is pretty much all frozen stuff heated up in a microwave (or at least thats what it tasted like). I ordered chicken strips with fries, and some hot wings, then later we ordered some cheese sticks. Their special of the day was a hot pretzel with cheese sauce. Everything we ate tasted like it was straight from the Walmart freezer. Again, just like with the booze, the owners of this bar are clearly aiming low. Even the staff, which was friendly, just didnt seem too professional. The bar tender we had at first was probably in her 30s and was friendly, but once the bar got a little busier, she stopped coming over to us despite the fact that we had a $90+ tab going. While I acknowledge thats not necessarily "high roller" territory, if I was a bar owner, I would teach my staff to recognize the customers that are spending money. Instead, as the night went on, we got a random rotation of "beertenders" who asked us several times if we had a tab, despite the fact that we had already told them several times. After 9pm, the jukebox shut off, and a DJ started playing a strange rotation of rap music and Led Zeppelin. None of the music was anything you could dance to (not that there were any people dancing), but it just seemed like the DJ had no interest in getting people moving. It just seemed like they hired some kid with an iPod, a PA system, and some DJ lights to play random music. Everything about this bar, from the choice of beer, lack of top shelf liquor, entirely frozen menu, odd DJ, and amateurish staff reeked of lost opportunity. Overall, we didn't have a bad time, and maybe in Crawfordsville, Indiana, this type of bar is all that you need, but I can't help but wonder what this bar could have been like with a little more effort. They have a good location, a large building, and some nice pool tables. It wouldn't take much to elevate this bar to something much better.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
This place is not closed. It reopened as a breakfast lunch place called Raspberries. Their food and service are excellent. Most of their dishes have big portions and you get a lot of food for the money. Google needs to update that this place is not Permanently Closed. Great brunch place. Highly recommended!!
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
14 reviews
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Looks like a hole in the wall, but it's not. This pizza by far is the best in the area. Better than Aurelios (even the Homewood one) better than Sanfrantellos, better than Ninos. Do yourself a favor and try their pizza. We even got a cheeseburger once and it was very good!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I stayed at the Ramada Limited in Crawfordsville for one night on May, 2014. We booked this hotel through Hotwire and it was the second least expensive option in the area. Reading some of these reviews and knowing its close proximity to a strip club, I had pretty low expectations, but I am pleased to say that I had no complaints about the hotel. This is a base level hotel off an Interstate in a small town in Indiana, so you have to have realistic expectations of it, but the two different people we came in contact with at the front desk were helpful and polite. The lobby was clean and brightly lit. There is a pool and hottub right off the lobby that looked to be of average size. Although I didn't use either the pool or the hottub, from what I could see through the window, nothing stood out as being wrong with it. We stayed in room 207 and it was clean and well maintained. There was no foul odor of any kind, not even of cleaning products like one other review mentioned. The beds were both comfortable and we didn't notice any soiling of the sheets or comforter. I've been in nicer hotels that had less comfortable beds. The room was stocked with all the usual things you would expect a hotel room to have, ice bucket, cups, coffee maker, hair dryer, soap, shampoo and plenty of towels for one night. The hotel also features free wifi, and a free breakfast, but we did not have time to take advantage of either. Overall, I'd say we had a really nice experience here, and for the money, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Its location is right off the Interstate, and is very easy to get to. There is a McDonalds, Cracker Barrel and several gas stations nearby for convenience. And yes, the strip club. It seems to only be open at night, so its not like there's naked people running around in the parking lot in the day time. We didn't notice any questionable people roaming the hallways or anything. It seemed like the hotel had pretty normal clientele. I could see families with kids being turned off by this, but other than the sign, its a pretty nondescript white building. Its not hurting anyone. In conclusion, based off my one night stay, I'd give this hotel a try again. I know that experiences can vary wildly based on night of stay, room, staff, etc, but from what we saw, this hotel definitely does not deserve some of the negative reviews on here.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
This place gives Mexican food a good name! Most of the time when I think of Mexican food, is either a fast food taco or burrito stand or I think of pepes. This is a nice restaurant, I'd say in the same vein as Olive garden. The menu is elaborate and the decor is very nice. Plus they advertise they have 15 meals for under ten bucks. I went with the Grande enchilada combo which was massive. Way more food than I could eat. I also tried their spinach casserole which was delicious! All of our did including the sides of beans and rice were great! I definitely will go back to try more things on their menu!! Highly recommended!!
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Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago