Wednesday 28 March 2012

Eye-popping Remington 5


I was just seeing if there were any clues to fixing notagain's carriage problem on his Travel-Riter (there weren't) when I noticed that the ribbon spools on my Remington 5 shift. I can't think of any other typewriters where the spools shift with the carriage. That explains why this and other incarnations of the Remington Portable family use such small spools. Anyway, perfect excuse for a 2 frame animation.

The Union Flag flanked by maple leaves on the paper table are because this was made by Remington in Canada in 1939.

Tages Anzeiger: Questions 5-8

See Retro Tech Geneva where this thread began.
See Manual Entry too.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Brit milah

The line return ratchet didn't work. It does now.

I can see how this must look but it was quite painless, didn't require anaesthetic and only took a minute.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Foundation and Empire

Imperial The Good Companion. s/n EN839, 1948
By Appointment to His Majesty King George the Fifth.
This, and the following four images are at the same scale.
Click any to supersize to 1000 pixels
Imperial Good Companion 4. s/n 4BS401T, 1958
Imperial Good Companion 5. s/n 5A756, 1957
Imperial Good Companion 5. s/n 5G990, 1958
The Good Companion, return lever
Good Companion 4, return lever
Good Companion 5 serial number. Earlier model had the number on the bottom
of the molding, later ones are numbered under the top cover
Ribbon selector is different between earlier and later models
Older and newer line-space ratchet pawls. What is the later arrow pointing to?
Possible platen re-covery? The ratchet on the later model doesn't work consistently when
it doesn't engage with the cog. This might be because it fouls the platen rubber.
Under the hood of the Good Companion 4

Under the hood of the Good Companion 5
What lies beneath. A Good Companion 4's nether regions exposed
...and the Good Companion 5's revolutionary though
more delicate undercarriage

Read my spoof manual for the Good Companion 5

Friday 9 March 2012


Coming: typewriter seen from my singularity, apparently.
Going: Imperial Good Companion 5. Kingston-upon-Hull, 1958

Sunday 4 March 2012

Vorsprung durch Technik

This 1969 Olympia SF came from Oxford at the same time as the Good Companion 4. So, I was walking along the riverbank yesterday and spotted a 52mm Nikon lenscap - just there on the path. Nobody was around so I picked it up and took it home. It is always useful to have a spare.

I was packing the cap away with my old 'analogue' camera kit: a couple of outdated Nikon FMs and assorted lenses, and there were my old macro extension tubes and 50mm f1.8 Nikkor AIS, just sitting there, doing nothing. I clicked them together and fitted them to the DSLR and had a play under the glare of a 60watt Anglepoise.

For image quality, the 25 year-old lens knocks spots off the new kit zoom lenses I generally use - even though it was designed for full-frame 35mm and you have to set aperture and focus manually. Besides, in macro, you set the focus on infinity and shift the camera to and fro to get focus - exposure's just a matter of trial and error. It doesn't take long. Old meets new - I kept looking for the red exposure guide in the viewfinder. You just have to check the LCD monitor though. I reckon using old analogue lenses with a digital body is a very appealing way to take photos.

Doing this reminded me of a conversation I had a month or so back with someone who was praising the merit of 'fixies'. A modern pushbike with neither gears nor freewheel. You either get it or you don't. If you like the idea of fixies - you'll probably like this way of taking pictures for the same indefinable reasons.

Meanwhile, back to the subject. For all-round typing ability, small dimensions and beautiful results - this Olympia SF is the best ultraportable I have used. By miles. I'm not sure what the differences are between this, the angular SF and the Splendides. Until I took the macros, I thought the typeslugs were spotless but even dirty, the type is sharp, clear and effortless. German engineering perfection. Typecast coming soon.

PS: Anyone know why Olympias sometimes use the four domino dots for the margin release? 

PPS: I feel I should add that all these photos are unedited apart from some overall sharpening to compensate for any softening during processing, and re-sizing from 4288 pixels to 640 pixels.