Peter Flower

The Focal Points Newsletter aims to provide not only a record of the Society's events but also more general news that may be of interest to our members. It also likes to record the activities of members in external events, including any successes they had in having their work published or receiving awards in external competitions. There have been numerous examples of this in the past. Longer-term members may recall reports which featured Tony Peacock, Dave Lyon and Ian Hunt in this respect. Not surprisingly, considering his long career in professional photography, we have published many reports on Don Morley. Although he covered all sorts of news subjects his main interest was in sports photography. He had a keen interest in motor-cycling and recorded events at the Isle of Man TT races over a period of 40 years. Recently we reported in Newsletter 90 the fact that Don had been appointed as the honorary president of the 'Association Of Pioneer Motorcyclists' (APMC).

What is perhaps less known is the additional role that Steve Lawrenson performs as organiser of the U3A (University of the 3rd Age) photography section. He organises regular monthly outings to various venues for a group of enthusiastic amateur photographers, some of whom are also members of Reigate PS. We have also featured random events involving members in non-society events. An example of this was reported in Newsletter 94, where Jill Flower had produced a huge cyanotype print on Brighton Beach with the aid of her university colleagues. This Newsletter features a further report in which Jill visited a London school for a special activity that introduced young people to the magic of cyanotype photography.

I am sure that other members are involved in photographic activities outside those of the Society. I would welcome the opportunity to publish them in the Newsletter, adding to the interesting stories for our readers.

Popularity of the Newsletter

The comprehensive nature and extent of reporting in this Newsletter far exceeds that of most other camera clubs or societies. This is evident by the amount of interest that is experienced. If you look at the end of any Newsletter you will see a small figure that records the number of hits to date on this. Even for the most recent issue it will be recognised that the readership far exceeds that of the number of members in the Society, even if each one read it many times over! The figures for readership are increasing all the time. Newsletters dating back to issue No. 60 of 7 May 2014 are available to access. This was the issue when we introduced Joomla content management system to develop the new web site. This made the content much easier to access from a variety of devices, from smartphones up to tablets and desktop computers.

The overall statistics make interesting reading. Over the 35 Newsletter issues, from 60 to 94, there has been a total of over 35,000 hits. 4 issues currently show over 2,000 hits each and the current trend shows in excess of 1,000 hits taking place between successive issues. It is obvious that readership extends well beyond the membership.

Chatham Challenge – 1 July 2017 – Organised by Mick Higgs

Peter Flower

The venue for this year's event was the South Park Estate. Mick, who works on the estate as a gamekeeper, had been able to obtain permission from the owner for members to gain access to the whole estate with the exception of the house interior. This gave competitors access to a a wide range of open land, gardens, farm buildings and the chapel. Thirteen members competed (unlucky for someone who might win!).

© Peter Flower

These photographs show the main house and a commemorative plaque in the chapel. As explained by the text, the chapel was the site of a death on 21 July 1944. It is difficult to associate this peaceful place in countryside, remote from strategic targets by the enemy, with its destruction by a German flying bomb. However, the imprecise nature of their flights made anywhere in the south-east a potential target, being in relatively close proximity to a number of airfields.

The beautiful gardens, small lakes and buildings gave ample opportunity to find subjects that would match Mick's subject list. However, 'Pond life/wildlife' was more problematic. Rabbits took fright, as did pheasants, and the ducks on the green surface of the water did not present a very interesting sight. There was also a lack of 'Action' in this peaceful environment.

The weather was somewhat overcast during the early part of the day. Intermittent sun that came through in the afternoon gave better modelling to buildings and sculptural details, so a number of subjects were revisited. This was a very interesting venue, and thanks are due to Mick for making the special arrangements. It will be interesting to see the results at the December meeting.

Nikon 800mm lens with custom rig

Peter Flower

The AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 VR is a huge and weighty lens. Shooting hand-held with it for more than a few seconds is pretty much unbearable unless you are a champion weight-lifter. Wanting to utilise it for aviation photography, Jim Winters built a rig to accommodate the lens and a camera body that he can use for hours. It will be noted that part of the counter-balance weight is composed of two wheels. An ingenious design feature, this allows it to be wheeled into position!

The images below show the rig, and one of the many high-speed photographs shot at the National Salute to America's Heroes in Miami Beach over Memorial weekend.

Acknowledgement - Photo of Jim Winters by Pete Boden


Acknowledgement – Jim Winters

A collection of Jim Winters' spectacular air show photographs can be viewed at this link -


Don't watch the birdie!

Peter Flower

Taking a photo of a dog or cat can be difficult, but here to help is Flexy Paw, a smartphone attachment that dangles a treat above the device's camera. The treat serves as a lure to catch the animal's attention, giving photographers a chance to snap to a photo. Because the attachment clips to the phone, it can be connected to nearly any smartphone, and keeps the user's hands free to compose and take the photo. The clip holding the pet treat is attached to a flexible armature, enabling the photographer to reposition it out of the camera's field of view, as well as move it to one side or the other for posing purposes. Once the photo is snapped, of course, the pet can then be rewarded with the treat.

Taking selfies can be dangerous

Peter Flower

An item which I saw in the Mail on Sunday 'Event' magazine of 25 June 2017 drew attention to the hazards of selfie photography. I quote from the article - 'Ten times as many people die while taking selfies as are killed by sharks. In 2016, eight people died following shark attacks, while 89 died taking selfies.' It is not difficult to find examples of instances where this applies. A 19-year-old from Houston died after trying to take an Instagram selfie while holding a loaded gun to his head. He accidentally fired the gun and shot himself in the throat. A Japanese tourist fell down a staircase to his death while taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal, Agra, India. There have been numerous instances shown in the media of people taking selfies while stood on the edge of locations like the crumbling cliffs of the Seven Sisters or the Dorset coast.

Acknowledgement – The Telegraph web news and Daily Mail, Alamy

Mt. St. Helens Eruption Photos

Peter Flower

Kati Dimoff of Portland, Oregon, found an Argus C2 camera (dating from about 1938) at a thrift store containing a damaged roll of Kodachrome slide film. She took the film to Blue Moon Camera which is one of the last, best places to get old, expired, and out-of-production film processed. After having it developed - in black and white because the Kodachrome colour developing process had been discontinued years ago - Kate received the film back with a note on the package. It read: “Is this from the Mt St Helens eruption?” It was. Three of the photos on the roll were taken on or around that fateful day in 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted violently—considered by many to be the most disastrous volcanic eruption the United States has ever seen.

Acknowledgement to PetaPixel

Other photographs on the film enabled Kate to identify the owner of the camera. These featured Mel Purvis, his wife Karen, his grandmother Faye, and his son Tristan. Mel saw the portrait in The Oregonian and contacted the paper, who put him in touch with Dimoff. So, after all this time grandma's camera, complete with family and historic images, is back with the owner.

Nikon 100 Years

Peter Flower

As we announced earlier in Newsletter 89 the company (originally named Nippon Kogaku K.K) will be celebrating its centennial anniversary on 25 July 2017. To mark the occasion Nikon is producing a number of cameras, lenses and other products that feature special centennial markings. Included in these are special editions of the D5 and D500 cameras, as well as the NIKKOR 70-200E and a triple set of f/2.8 zoom Anniversary Edition lenses. To commemorate the release of the Nikon Model 1 in 1948, that marked the beginning of the Nikon story, the 100th Anniversary Crystal Creation Nikon Model I brings this iconic camera back to life, using high-quality crystal by renowned crystal maker Swarovski®.

The company is also releasing this miniature of the Nikon F, faithfully recreated in 1/2 scale. The Nikon F was the genesis of Nikon’s flagship models, which continues to be beloved by many camera enthusiasts, and introduced the Nikon F lens mount that is still in use today.

To celebrate the Nikon anniversary Amateur Photographer devoted a large part of its 8 July 2017 edition to articles about the company. These covered such items as their choice of the 12 most important Nikon cameras and some of the most significant images taken with Nikon cameras. However, for me, the most interesting article told the story of the early adoption of Nikon lenses dating back to 1950. It should be remembered that at that time the most likely 35mm cameras and lenses used for reportage (especially in conflict zones where rugged and reliable equipment was a paramount requirement) were Leica and Contax. In Steve Fairclough's article he mentions David Douglas Duncan who had a chance meeting in Tokyo with Jun Miki, who photographed for Life magazine. A print from a photograph that Jun took of David in poor light conditions astonished David with its sharpness and quality. It was explained that the image was taken with a local lens called a Nikkor made by the Nikon company. A meeting was arranged between Duncan, his fellow Life photographer Horace Bristol and Masao Nagaoko of Nikon. Comparison of Nikkor lenses with their own Leitz and Zeiss lenses showed the superiority of the Nikkors. Subsequently David and Horace decided to utilise the Nikon lenses on their respective Leica and Contax cameras.

Shortly afterwards, in June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. Duncan, along with many other photographers, flew into the war zone. This was the beginning of a long assignment covering that conflict. It was not long before word spread of the image quality obtained with the Nikon lenses and other photographers adopted them. During the bitter winter at the start of the conflict it was also noted that Nikon S camera bodies continued to work in the sub-zero weather conditions.

The events of this time marked a turning point in camera manufacture. There was increased recognition of the quality available from Nikon and, subsequently, other Japanese camera companies. From this point on Japanese photographic equipment gained increasing public awareness and thus began the rise in popularity that saw previous domination of the German companies eroded.

C.P. Goerz – interesting new lens


C.P. Goerz has unveiled a new lens called the Citograph 35. It’s a 35mm f/8 lens that promises to “always be in focus”. Cito means spontaneous in Latin, and that’s where the name is derived from. The German start-up behind the Kickstarter campaign wants to bring spontaneity back to photography and Instagram on a more professional level. With a fixed focus set to the hyperfocal distance point, everything at 9 feet or more from the lens is in focus. It will be available for Nikon, Canon Sony, Leica M, Micro Four Thirds, and Fuji cameras. The creators envision this lens being used on all sorts of DSLR and mirrorless bodies, bringing impulsive photography back to professional cameras.


Peter Flower

C.P.Goerz is the name of a company founded in 1886 by Carl Paul Goerz. Originally, it made geometrical drawing instruments for schools. From 1888 it made cameras and lenses. It is likely that someone has bought the brand name and will now develop new lenses under the same name. In 1926 the German branch of the original Goerz company merged with ICA, Contessa-Nettel and Ernemann to form Zeiss Ikon.

My earliest experience of photography was with an old Goerz folding roll film camera. This belonged to my father who had this, plus a plate-back Voigtlander camera. I am not certain about the Goerz model identity, but my memory is of one which took a film wider than 120, possibly taking 6.5 x 9 cm pictures, and fitted with an f/6.3 lens. It would have been similar to the following image.

Leica TL2


Leica has announced this new APS-C mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The latest TL-mount model has a 24 megapixel sensor, more processing power and more comfortable chamfered edges. Greater processing power brings up to 20 fps continuous shooting (in e-shutter mode) together with UHD 4K/30p video capture. It also has a Type-C USB 3.0 connector and HDMI output. Leica also claims faster startup times, faster focus and an eight-fold increase in touchscreen responsiveness. However, battery life has dropped considerably since the original TL. The camera is available silver or black anodized finish and remains compatible with the Visoflex Typ 020 2.36M-dot EVF and all the company's existing TL and SL lenses. The TL2 will cost £1700 body only, which is similar money to the best APS-C mirrorless models on the market, such as the Sony Alpha 6300 and the Fujifilm X-T2. But to actually use it you’ll also need to buy a lens, with the matched Vario Elmar TL 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH zoom costing £1325. Other TL lenses cost from £1450 up to £2050.

Leica warning advisory – 20 July 2017

Leica's new TL2 may break if you use it with the Leica Visoflex electronic viewfinder. The company released the following statement saying that they had "identified the cause of the failure when using the TL2 in combination with the electronic viewfinder" and that "it is very likely that this can be resolved with a firmware update." But until that firmware update is ready (it is currently being 'intensively' tested) users should either not attach the Visoflex viewfinder, or they should return their TL2 to the Leica dealer they purchased it from.

Canon 6D Mark II


The 6D Mark II is Canon's 'entry-level' full-frame digital SLR. It uses an all-new 26.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon's DIGIC 7 processor. It features Dual Pixel AF which allows for very responsive autofocus when shooting live view or video. When using the optical viewfinder there is a 45-point all-cross-type AF system. The camera can shoot at up to 6.5 fps with Servo AF and has a top ISO of 40,000. The camera has a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD and a weather and dust-resistant body. It captures 1080/60p video and can create 4K time-lapse movies. It also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC support for easy camera control and photo-sharing. The camera will be available at £1999 for the body only or £2,379 as a kit with the 24-70mm f/4L lens.

Canon EOS 200D


This is an ultra-compact digital SLR that features a 24MP APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel autofocus system. It is a successor to the EOS100D. The comparative features are listed in the image below, illustrating the improved new features.

The 200D is available at a price of £579, body only, or £679 complete with 18-55mm IS STM kit lens.

Metabones Canon to Sony adapter improvements


Previous reports have mentioned the availability of adapters to allow the use of Canon lenses on Sony A7 model range and the latest A9. Although the range of native lenses for Sony is improving all the time it is impossible to compete with the choice of lenses available to Canon EOS camera users, built up over many years. This, plus the reluctance of Canon users to lose their investment in existing equipment, has slowed any potential switch between the two makes. There have been adapters available to use Canon EF lenses on the Sony alpha range models, opening up the possibility of using already-owned lenses with the Sony models. This is obviously of benefit in persuading professional and serious amateur photographers to take the significant step of changing makes. However, the adapters have not necessarily been able to match the convenience and speed of use as on the native bodies. The announcement from Metabones of their latest firmware update should overcome these problems. The update for EF-E Smart Adapter Mark IV/V and EF-E Speed Booster Ultra adds autofocus support for medium and high burst modes on the Sony a9. However, since adapted lens support maxes out at 10 fps with AF, high burst mode simply runs at medium speeds (10 fps electronic, 5 fps mechanical). Amateur Photographer reports that it has had a chance to give this update a trial with a number of Canon mount lenses (including Sigma lenses), and is impressed with the results. The Mark V adapter is currently available at a price of £399.

Note: Sigma Lens Mount Converter

The Sigma Mount Converter MC-11 allows the use of Sigma SA mount and Sigma EOS mount interchangeable lenses with the Sony E-mount camera body. It is currently available at a price of £199

Rollei Vario Chrome 135-36 Colour film


Rollei Vario Chrome 135-36 is a medium to high-speed colour reversal film that is intended for photography under low-level daylight illumination or under other light sources using proper filtration. Rollei Vario Chrome has a medium degree of sharpness, its image results are characterized by a slightly visible grain and a warmish image tone. As the name suggests it has a broad exposure latitude from 200 to 400 ISO (DX coded at 320 ISO). If intended to project as slides it is suggest to shoot the film at 200 ISO whereas 320-400 ISO is preferable for scanning applications.

Zorki film


Zorki Photo has announced the upcoming launch of its first film product: Zorki Photo Mono. This 100 ISO black-and-white negative film offers a 'biting contrast and a traditional grain structure' for a 'classic' film appearance, according to the company. The Zorki Photo Mono film can be used as low as 50 ISO or pushed as high as 400 with suitable adjustments to development times, and it can be developed at home or in a lab using all common developers.

Zorki Photo plans to sell Mono for £4 (about $5.18 USD) per roll, with pre-orders available through the company's online shop starting on 7 July. Shipments are anticipated to begin this October and will be available globally.

Nikon announcements


A flurry of announcements have eminated from Nikon to coincide with the company's 100th anniversary. Quite apart from special products to mark the occasion the company has released details about future plans. Two of these are reported below. Sadly, it is not all good news. The D750 model continues to have shutter problems.

Nikon D850 – New model under development


On 25 July 2017 Nikon Inc. formally announced the development of the next generation full-frame, high-resolution, high-speed digital SLR cameras with the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Nikon D850. This announcement coincides with Nikon’s 100th anniversary of its establishment which is celebrated today. Quoting from the Nikon announcement - “The D850 is the successor to the D810, which has been highly praised by its users for offering extremely sharp and clear rendering, with rich tone characteristics. This powerful new FX-format digital SLR camera is engineered with a range of new technologies, features and performance enhancements that are a direct result of feedback from users, who demand the very best from their camera equipment. The D850 will exceed the expectations of the vast range of photographers that seek the high resolution and high-speed capabilities that only a Nikon of this calibre complemented by NIKKOR lenses can offer.”

Nikon Mirrorless Cameras


Nikon already has a number of mirrorless camera models in its range, but these have all been limited to the compact category. The possibility of Nikon extending the range of models was brought to a halt when an announced on 13 February 2017 officially put an end to the prospect of new DL series models. (As reported in Newsletter 91) However, the rumour mill has been particularly active in recent months with speculation that Nikon would have to react to the threat of highly popular cameras from the likes of Sony and Fujifilm. Although the announcement is far from being specific there is now confirmation that the company is actively involved in development of mirrorless models. On 12 July 2017 the following reply was made to DPReview - "While details are confidential, we can say that we are currently developing new mirrorless products that build upon Nikon's strengths, and offer the performance prospective customers expect, including the ultimate optics performance, image-processing technologies, strength and durability, and operation."

Nikon expands D750 shutter recall yet again - more cameras affected


It seems Nikon D750 shutter issues are still plaguing the company over two years after it initially issued a recall on some serial numbers produced between October 2014 and June 2015. In another update issued recently, Nikon expanded the recall to include more cameras - specifically models produced between July 2014 and September 2014 and from July 2015 through to September 2016.

Bowens in liquidation


Lighting giant Bowens, a company with 94 years of history and millions of customers worldwide under its belt, has entered liquidation. The news has not been officially confirmed by Bowens or Aurelius, the investment firm that acquired the company one year ago, but several independent sources have corroborated the story. The origins of Bowens go back more than 90 years to 1923. The company was originally founded in London as a camera repair company which by the 1950s had grown to be one of the largest in Europe. It was at this time that Bowens first started manufacturing lighting equipment for photographers .Bowens' first flash bulb units were produced in 1947 and by 1950 the company started to produce the first electronic studio flash systems. Investing heavily in research and development, Bowens led the way in photographic lighting electrical and mechanical design leading to a product that would completely transform photographic studios, when in 1963 the company produced the first electronic studio flash unit with capacitors, control and flash in a single unit – the monobloc was born.

The company manufactures studio and location lighting as well as creative light shaping tools and accessories for professional image makers. Designed in the United Kingdom, Bowens products are known by photographers and movie makers around the world. It was less than a year ago, in September 2016, that the company announced its Generation X flash series, the first new lighting products from Bowens since its recent acquisition by Aurelius. This would come in two ranges - XMT, suited for on-the-go location shooting, and XMS, built for studio work.

CIPA Analysis of camera sales


We have reported before on trends in camera shipments, but it is always interesting to check on the latest situation. The following two graphs from this organisation show a significant drop since 2015. On the other hand, viewing the figures from January to May, it would appear to show 2017 figures matching or improving upon those of the previous year. However, this is to ignore the effect of the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquake in Japan. As was reported in Newsletters 80 and 82 there was considerable disruption to production of manufacturers such as Sony, Nikon and Pentax. Fujifilm was also affected. The fact that Sony is a supplier of sensors to other companies, such as Nikon, resulted in disruption to other companies' production, even when they could reinstate their production lines.

Against this background, the current year's shipment figures do not look that impressive. It will be seen that built-in lens cameras took a fairly predictable dive in 2016 following the earthquake, which might explain why May 2017 shows such an improvement. Much the same pattern applies to the interchangeable lens category, although the trend against 2015 figures appears more healthy. It is quite difficult to see the trends for sales of mirrorless cameras. This is largely because of the fact that this category encompasses both fixed-lens compact and so-called bridge cameras as well as ILCs (interchangeable lens cameras). However, the following chart compiled from CIPA figures shows just the ILC category trend for the years 2012 to 2016. Whilst the overall sales have fallen dramatically, almost halving in that time, it will be seen that mirrorless figures have held up much better. In this respect the percentage share of this category is the only figure to have improved.

Cyanotypes for Cherry Garden School

Jill Flower

I have been enjoying the cyanotype process and I offered to share it with the children at the school where our daughter Lesley is a teacher. This is a special primary school in Bermondsey. The school was ambitious and asked if we could do it for the whole school of 47 children, not just the more able ones, and this was agreed. I coated and dried a large quantity of A3 paper the day before and we set off with it all to get to the school for 9:00am. No sooner had we set up in a part of the playground than it clouded over and started to rain! Plan B! We moved to an area under a sun awning. Because of the poor light the prints were taking twice as long so it was difficult to keep the children engaged, but they did produce some credible results. After lunch the head teacher looked up the local weather forecast and said the sun would be out at 2pm, and it was! We went back to our original spot and, assisted by Lesley, we managed to work with the rest of the children who enjoyed the process, watching their pictures come up, as if by magic, in the dish. That's when they weren't tipping the water all over us. We had a very exhausting but rewarding day and helped the children to produce photographs that they can be proud of. The children had great fun arranging toys and other objects to produce their pictures. There was also great interest from the teaching and support staff who asked questions about a process that they had not seen before. Two images of the cyanotype prints are shown below.

Summer Sessions – organised by Stephen Hewes

Reports by Peter Flower

These were a series of events for Monday evenings at which non-members were invited to join us for a couple of hours, getting to know about us and our programme of events as well as potentially joining the society.

Monday 3 July – Priory Park

Approaching the meeting point near the central cafe at 6pm I was surprised to see the number of new faces that had gathered with existing members. The popularity of the event was largely due to the highly successful publicity put out by Peter Tucker. Stephen suggested that new people should buddy up with existing members in order to set off in individual groups to photograph features in the park. Taking advice from members they could experiment with different positions and angles to photograph such features as the sundial, flower borders, cafe and other objects. Fortunately we were blessed with excellent evening sunshine. Rosemary Calliman and I budied up with Francesca. Our first visit was to the sundial which presents a variety of ways in which it can be recorded – close-up to read the inscriptions on the silvery surface, against the backdrop of the gardens or, perhaps, from low down against the sky. Choice of points of view are illustrated below !


© Jill Flower

Unfortunately, with so many people present it was difficult to obtain an uncluttered view. This is illustrated by my photograph which follows. Fortunately, due to the magic of Photoshop, I was able to 'remove' the offending people in the background!

© Peter Flower

Another exercise was given in controlling depth of field, as illustrated in the following images.

© Peter Flower

I then explained to Francesca the importance of using the right focal length when taking portraits. This was a problem that was all too evident with the taking of selfies, normally held at arm's length. Taking her portrait, using different distances and focal lengths, I was able to demonstrate the way to avoid facial distortion.

© Peter Flower

The following collage of people taking part was taken by Peter Tucker.

© Peter Tucker

I took the following group photos.

© Peter Flower

Two more photos from Jill.

© Jill Flower

This was a very successful evening, with many of the visitors promising to return for further events. Stephen and I were the last to leave. As we did so the low evening sun shafting across the Priory flower beds and lighting the building in the background presented this very pleasant view.

© Peter Flower

Monday 10 July

This was another well-attended meeting. Stephen proposed that we walk from the park up into the High Street and then on up into the Castle grounds. He had suggested that polarising filters might be brought along. This would enable us to experiment with enhancing blue skies, minimising reflections in shop windows and reducing reflections from shiny leaves in hedges. Rosemary was able to lend a polarising filter to Francesca, enabling her to experiment with the effects that could be obtained. The following images show the difference that polarising can make. In the first it can be seen that the low evening sun is resulting in the windows showing the reflections of light from the opposite buildings. This has been totally eliminated in the second.

© Peter Flower

Jill had brought along a recently purchased film camera with which she was experimenting. (Details are given in a separate item below) This ancient film camera aroused a great deal of interest. However, perhaps the most interesting thing about this was that people's curiosity overcame their natural resistance to having their photographs taken. The following collages shows two instances where Jill took people pictures in the High Street, plus two pictures of the street itself. What may not be immediately obvious, comparing these two street views, is that one was taken using a red filter (originally from a Rollei) which has made a significant difference to the contrast between clouds and blue sky.

© Jill Flower

Following the wander along the High Street and around the Castle grounds we assembled back near the Boots store.

© Peter Flower

From there we split into two general groups. Stephen led one for another circuit around the town, whilst the rest of us went back into the park to try some action photography at the skate ramps. There have been problems in the past, with the skaters and bikers objecting to photography. On this occasion there were no such problems. In fact members were able to chat to some of them on an amicable basis. The following photographs were taken by prospective new member, Graham Reader.

© Graham Reader

At the end of the evening a group of us went to the Pizza Express restaurant.

Ensign Ful-Vue camera

This is the camera that Jill used on this evening. It was purchased for £10 from a market stall in Totnes on a recent brief holiday in Devon. This model dates from 1929. In reality it is a box camera, but the attraction of this model was the large reflex viewfinder. In this respect it is a simpler version of a twin lens reflex. What it lacks, by comparison with, say, a Rollei is the ability to change aperture or shutter speed. The aperture is unspecified, but probably f/11. The shutter speed has two options – something like a 30th of a second, and a 'Time' one where it can be held open for as long as the release is held. It takes regular 120 roll film, producing 12 two and a quarter inch square photographs. According to the original specification there is an ability to set the lens at two different points. However, this fixed focus length lens appears to be jammed (fortunately in its longer focus setting) providing a coverage from about eight feet out to infinity.

Monday 17 July

On this occasion we met in the car park at the top of Reigate Hill. This was another sunny evening. Before heading off towards the Fort and Inglis folly Stephen directed us to the nearby sculpted log with its Surrey Hills emblem. Anyone walking by would have wondered what celebrity was the focus for so many paparazzi !

© Peter Flower

The answer – Anita (maybe chosen because of her red top!) and then Jill who stood in so that Anita could get some shots as well.

© Peter Flower

From there we headed off towards the Fort, which gave plenty of opportunities for close-ups of tatty details as well as sweeping views down on Reigate and beyond from the raised banking at the rear. Jill had a fish-eye lens on her camera which captured a view of the steps up to the banking and I photographed a very low view of wild flowers which were growing in abundance along the way.

© Jill Flower - Peter Flower

The low evening sun shafting through the hedges along the path caught the eye of Francesca who is seen being given advice by Stephen and Jill.

© Jill Flower - Peter Flower

Finally we made it along to the Inglis folly. The contrasting views available are illustrated by Jill's wde-angle view of the ceiling and columns, together with mine that shows the sun shielded by the vertical columns.

© Jill Flower - Peter Flower

Finally we retraced our steps over the pedestrian bridge – as shown in another wide-angle view by Jill.

© Jill Flower

Returning to the town a number of us went to the Eighty Ate burger cafe in Reigate High Street, a delicious ending to the evening's events attended by both members and prospective new ones.

Monday 24 July 2017

The weather earlier in the day had been showery. Fortunately, when we gathered in the car park at the top of Reigate Hill, the rain had ceased and we only had to contend with rather overcast skies. This was not ideal for photography. The woodland and scenic views across Gatton Park would have been superb in conditions of the lowering evening sun. There was another good turnout of members and visitors who set off from the Wray Lane car park towards Gatton, and we were met on the way by three others who had joined the path at different points. The woodland path heads towards Gatton Park, but we took a brief diversion down to the right to obtain the open views that lead down to the landscape set out by Capability Brown. Returning to the main path we soon came upon the first of the viewpoint 'frames' that encourage you to look at the view. There was also the sight of the somewhat unusual Belted Galloway cows grazing in the field below.

© Peter Flower

Further along we came upon this interesting upended tree root resembling a sculpture and a large snail.

© Jill Flower            Peter Flower

The path eventually emerges from the woodland, in view of the buildings that are the accommodation for the boarding pupils of the Royal Alexandra & Albert School. A gate to the right leads into the open ground where there is a stone circle. This was constructed to celebrate the turn of the millennium with each stone representing a 200 year time period and inscribed with quotes and poems of the era. In the right lighting conditions this could provide stunning images.

© Peter Flower

A short walk across the field brought you to a fence, beyond which was a large herd of cattle. About four of us went over to try to take close-up photographs of the cows. Cows are naturally curious, so it was no difficulty getting them close to you, but a barbed wire fence presented the difficulty of obtaining 'clean' shots. I had an easier task of taking shots from different angles with the benefit of the fully articulated screen and variable angle viewfinder on my Panasonic GX8 camera, but even so it was difficult to keep focus, especially when the stupid cows tried to lick the camera! I don't think we're quite ready to substitute iris recognition for ear tags to identify each animal!

© Peter Flower

We returned to the car park at the end of a very pleasant evening. Eight of us went down into Reigate and had a meal at the Pizza Express restaurant. The following photograph shows Michael, Jill, myself, Francesca, Stephen, the two Steves and Jan. (Sadly, Francesca will not be joining us again – she shortly goes on holiday and then back to university)

© Peter Flower

Comment – The illustrations for these articles are not necessarily representative of the range and quality that were taken by members and visitors. It was not possible within the timescale available to gather a wider selection. However, I hope that those who attended will put their images up on the Flickr site which is available at


And finally . . . . . . . .

Images from internet sources

We have all seen numerous photographs of people apparently holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Here are some variations of that theme.

We have already made several references to the Nikon 100th Anniversary which coincides with this Newsletter publication. If you have time to waste, waiting for the kettle to boil or coffee to brew, you can enjoy (?) 3 minutes 45 seconds of the music video “Oz” from which this still was grabbed.


Alternatively you can choose from a menu of items on their Anniversary web site -