South Bangalore Commercial Strip

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by subbarayan_prasanna, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. The location was main street in JP Nagar; it was a residential street 20 years ago. Has become highly commercialized, now. Most residential buildings [single family homes] have been converted into 3 and 4 storied commercial buildings.

    The weather this morning was a pleasant 50 to 60 deg F. Heavily overcast and the light was diffused. Very Monsoonish, clouds from the Northeast.

    Film used: ORWO UN54. Developer used: Home Brew. Exposures at 1/125sec at F/5.6 to F/8.0.

    Camera used: Praktica Nova 1B. Has a built in Selenium meter that works still after some 45 years. Lens is Meyer Oreston 50mm F/1.8. Has Auto or manual switch and a preview button on the side. One peculiar item in this camera is that the automatic aperture mechanism is linked only to the shutter release lever. It is not coupled to the shutter timing cycle, unlike in the L-series. So one has to keep the shutter button pressed until the exposure cycle is over, as indicated by the mirror return. Otherwise the picture will get exposed at full aperture about half way through.

    Many people dislike this camera and the entire Nova series. However, the Nova 1 series is different from the earlier Nova in regard to the shutter mechanism. It does not use the pin and wheel system but uses a non-rotating dial, the speeds being set by a cam and a pendulum. Many from Britain and Europe seem to adore this camera even to the extent of discovering musical notes in the shutter cocking mechanism! [The springs make some ringing noise; the rest is musical extrapolation by the enthusiast.]

    I find the camera handy, though not great in looks or finish. It takes good pictures too! here are some samples.

  2. I bought this camera from a lady in the US who said that this was bought from the Navy store in Guam, anew; possibly in the late 1960s. All items are original except the lens hood. The Fresnel screen was dirty; Mr Yazdhani of Kamera Werke, Calcutta ground it out for me and sanded the glass lens to provide the screen. It is better than the Fresnel. I CLAed the rest of the camera and the lens. Works smoothly.
  3. This a branch that started in this neighborhood in the 1980s. It had only one teller then. Much like the Wells Fargo banks that one sees in Frontier Westerns. Today, it is spread over three floors, all computerized with specialist executives dealing with loans, mortgages, investments, etc. Strangely, the computerization has also increased the customer time at the bank. I took a home loan mortgage in 1995 from this bank; it took me 15 minutes to do the job. Today I watched some one taking more than an hour to do the same. Computerization has increased the paper work, too. They seem to insist on more hard copies to be filed now.
  4. The new department stores do not sell any of their own brands. They simply rent floor space for the different manufacturers to exhibit and sell their products. Thus in many of these department stores one can find competing brands like Samsung, Onida, LG, Sharp, Videocon, Godrej etc., in neighboring bays. The sales people come from the parent company. Some items such as refrigerators and washing machines many of these brands were made in the same factory on different days of the week, something like one or two days for each brand. I guess these were methods of economizing on costs.
  5. The road is of four lanes now; there are no pedestrian crossings marked yet! I found it scary to cross the road. However, the locals seemed quite cool about it. You can see a couple making leisurely conversation on the road in front of the Bus shelter.
  6. Lack of parking space is a serious problem, now. Change of land use from residential to commercial generates a lot of vehicular traffic; but there are no provisions yet to accommodate the traffic needs.
  7. Most likely these are software and related professionals. The commercial boom in this locality is mainly due to them.
  8. Notice the xerox, typing, fax and DTP services. They generate huge volumes of paperwork!
  9. Some of these items are subsidized with tax reliefs to protect traditional artisan and craft families.
  10. Boom in cell phones, travel services, real estate and commercial floor space are all convergent here.
  11. That is a little of the softer side of life for a change. But that is also spawned by the new disposable income of the 'yuppy' class.
  12. And the last one.
  13. Thanks for viewing and your comments. Regards, sp.
  14. I had a Meyer 50mm lens with an Exakta in the early 1970s. A good performer.
    Something wrong at upper right of last photo. Also, although I generally prefer low contrast, in these photos the contrast is perhaps too low.
  15. I was feeling something missing in my life, and I figured out that I was missing a nice documentary on Bangalore. Thank goodness, this arrived just in time! ;) Good work.
    The Oreston does just fine. Again, your home brew does a nice job in bringing up shadow detail.
    I don't hate novas, just so very disappointed in them. Clearly you've had better luck (and greater skills in revitalizing them) than I have. So many of mine were DOA. Maybe one of these winter nights I can emulate you and see if a little cleaning, etc. will bring them back from the other side. I mean, what harm could I do, they are shelf 'queens' as they are?
  16. Fascinating, as usual, SP. I'd hate to be there in the event of a major fire, though! When I think of the restrictions we have on access, parking, building materials, proximity...I'm also struck by the fact that you must have a fairly wind-free climate. In my town, those florists' stalls would have been gone by lunchtime. Mind you, our local bumper sticker reads, "We've got wind..." Interesting, in light of our recent discussion, that the Nova 1B has the same quirky stop down / shutter release as the Super TL. Great pics, as usual, with the Oreston performing well. Thanks for another informative post.
  17. I do find your posts so refreshing. Maybe it is the do it yourself nature of your interest in photography. You seem to go without fuss yet put together collages the street in its full glory. India is fascinating and what you capture represents such a cultural change. I had been to India as a child sometime in the late seventies. I have very faint memories. I must have been four or five. What I saw is very different from this modern street you bring to us. I love what I see though. Thank you again for sharing and I look forward to seeing more soon!
  18. My family hail from Bangalore, and visit relatives there regularly. The ones we stay with live in one of the Banashankari stages (Cant remember which one exactly).
    I personally last went there over 5 years ago, and looking at your pictures filled my head with the sounds, smells and general memories. Thanks!
    I like no. 9 the best, though I would a bit more contrast would have been nice ;)
  19. SP, I'm going to echo JDM's comment. Aside from your wonderful slice-of-street-life photos, your commentary as a local is far better than any travelogue I could watch. Thanks for the fascinating view into another country!
  20. Looks eerily like Flushing, Queens.
  21. I liked them all, but I especially liked the bus shelter with annoyed pedestrian.
    Great work, Subbarayan. Thanks for sharing.
  22. Very nice SP, appreciate you posting. A little curious in the "Bus shelter & annoyed pedestrian" as the woman has no helmet, while the driver of scooter does. Is her head stronger than his?
  23. Beautiful photos as always, SP. I'm putting Bangalore on my 'must see' list of places in the world. Of course there are several hundred locations on my list, I'm not sure when I'll get there.
    Your camera is quite similar to a set of gear I picked up recently, a Prakticamat with the same Meyer Oreston lens. Same years as your Nova 1B ('65-9 for 'MAT, '67-74 for Nova 1B, and also frequently sold re-badged as a Hanimex (not mine though). Both Hanimex versions only sold in '67, if my book is correct. I bought it for the funky plastic button under the shutter, that activates the TTL meter. It was only afterwards that I discovered the speed dial arrangement.
  24. Mukul, Thanks for the suggestion; I shall try increase the contrast level, as many viewers seem to prefer that. However, the pictures as presented seem to me to be close to the actual scenes of the day. It was a low lit day and I could keep my pupils wide open on the street. Again, if I try increase the contrast in Picasa, often it exaggerates the blacks to make them appear like carbon powder sprayed on. Thanks JDM, I value your comments and encouragement, always. Yes Rick, this place is relatively windless [being midland], as compared to the Coastal zones, except for a few stormy days April-May. Thanks Starvy; I am aware that I have no technical skills as a photographer. So I try to do an interesting “show and tell.” Yes, the DIY mode brings a lot of pleasure. Thanks Swaroop; I shall try and implement your suggestion on the contrast level. Thank you Peter; I look for a thematic to make it interesting. Thank you Frank; I have seen some pictures of Flushing but have not been there. Nice comment Ralf!, about the “strong-headed” woman. Actually they keep changing these rules every other year, perhaps to give more business to the helmet manufacturers! Some years, it is “no helmet,” followed by a couple of years of “both helmets” followed again by “no helmet for the pillion rider.” The Traffic Commissioner is empowered to make these rules; so it seems to change with each new Commissioner and the lobbyists around him. Yes Jody, you would need a bike like that, possibly a much sturdier and better sprung one. Our roads are all dug up, full of ruts, holes and barricades, congested most of the time. There is also a new Metro Rail construction going on that may take years to complete! Welcome to Chaos urbanism! Sp.
  25. SP, please look into a photo editing program called PhotoFiltre. It can be downloaded at no cost and, for its size, is fairly powerful. Simple interface. Windows only.
  26. SP, I don't mean to imply anything about the roads there. It's just that was one of two photos I found, in my somewhat random filing system, that I was 100% certain was taken with my Prakticamat with the Oreston lens attached. Plus, I learned how to ride, sort of, on a very similar machine when I was young, also of French manufacture but maybe 15 years newer than that scooter. What I find interesting, from your photos, is that there's a lot more economic growth there than here, where the middle class is shrinking daily and a susbtantial percentage of our downtown commercial storefront space is boarded up (Montreal, Canada). I don't know if infrastructure spending is a high priority for your government, but I do know that we frequently have slabs of concrete falling off of our elevated highways from lack of maintenance.
    I have heard of adventurous tourists in some countries buying scooters to use as transportation for the duration of their trips, and selling or giving them away when they depart. I would consider it, myself, if I thought I could pack enough camera gear in saddlebags to get by. I suppose I would need some clothes as well. I might be getting a little old, though, for that sort of trip.
  27. Jody, I presented only the facts about our urban condition. I am associated with some NGOs and the Courts in fighting the chaos to get some order. You will enjoy the rural roads in many states, especially, in the South and in the Himalayas, Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra. You could even buy a car like the Maruti-Suzuki 800 and sell it off after your tour. It would cost around US$ 4500 as opposed to a good motor bike that would cost around $2500. And after the tour you can sell the car for some thing like $3000. There are many beautiful landscapes and places of historical interest that you would enjoy photographing. Bset wishes, sp.
  28. Thanks for these interesting pics SP. The Nova series production was 837,050 units compared to the preceding Practica IV and V which together sold only 184,818 so the Nova series must have seemed pretty cool in its day.
    In my 1967 catalog the Nova B with Domiplan was GBP46 and with Tessar GBP56.The Pentax Spotmatic with f1.8 was GBP 120 and the Pentax S1a GBP 78.
  29. Thank you Alan for the details. I have almost all the models of the Nova series, the Nova, Nova1, Nova 1B, the MAT and the Super TL. All made between 1964 and 1970. And, all of them work well. They seem to be designed and engineered with care and precision; it is easy to do a CLA on these models, unless one wants to go for a complete dis-assembly and/or changing the curtains. They don't seem to be built as ruggedly as the Ihagee Exakta VX 1000s. But then, those belonged to a different era and class of design though from the same Dresden. I won't venture to compare the prices with the Pentax, as a lot of the price for Pentax included the packaging, advertising, marketing and other costs. Regards, sp.

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