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I'm Steve Rainwater but most everyone knows me as steevithak online. I'm a camera collector and photographer. I use both film cameras and digital cameras. I process my own color and BW film sometimes. I shoot a lot of expired film. I also collect vintage lenses. has fed my addiction by giving me a good excuse to buy more cameras and lenses. I buy vintage gear mostly at local estate sales and sometimes from eBay. I have a strict $10 upper limit when buying vintage lenses or cameras, yet I still manage to find a surprisingly interesting assortment of gear. I try to add or improve articles here at Camera-Wiki for each piece of equipment I buy. I'm one of the administrators here at Camera-Wiki, so let me know if you run into problems or need help with something. I'm a founding member of Dallas Makerspace, a hackerspace located in Dallas, TX with a special interest group on photography. If you'd like to find out more about me, click through to one of the links below to find my profiles on other websites.

About Me

My Flickr Stream Research

  • Vivitar - My main focus for now is on the corporate history of Ponder and Best (aka Vivitar). I'm researching the correlation of manufacturers to Vivitar serial numbers. And I'm also researching the manufacturers who created Vivitar products such as Kino Precision and Tokina Optical Company, Ltd. I'm particularly interested in making contact with any ex-employees of the company who are willing to share what they know about the company's history. I'm also searching for behind-the-scenes photographs, marketing documents, procurement information that identifies product manufacturers, advertising materials, instructions manuals, service manuals, and of course, actual Vivitar products of any kind. My main product interest right now is collecting the earliest Vivitar lenses, known as the Compatible T System lenses and the Pyramid Preset lenses. If you have any Vivitar product you're willing to donate towards my research, I'm able and willing to photograph or scan it. contact me!

Other Photography Projects

General Interests

Photography, vintage cameras, electronics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, robots, arc welding, MIG welding, metal arts, kinetic art, music, space colonization, urban design, early utopian and communist communities, solar power, wind power, alternative energy, R. Buckminster Fuller, sustainable technology, social entrepreneurialism, science fiction, pulp magazine art, FLOSS (free [libre] / open source software), art cars, bioreactors, microfinance, and lots more stuff I can't think of at the moment.

ToDo List

  • Set up SineBot to autosign unsigned posts to talk pages
  • Need to make some progress on 501(c)(3) status
  • Complete indie-go-go fundraiser campaign video for camerawiki
  • Submit upstream patches to Hotcat to simplify installation process
  • MediaWiki extension to allow admin mods to booksources page (replace links, add affliate IDs, search by title)
  • MediaWiki extension implementing a new page wizard with camera, lens, company, etc. template loading (v1.19+)
  • Discuss amazon / barnes and noble affiliate links on booksources page with community
  • Discuss adding an ebay search link to camera / lens pages (also ebay affiliate link?)
  • Revisit camera template
  • More work on the flickr template extension to simplify adding photos
  • Need Vivitar Pyramid presets and Chrome noses (have 135mm and 200mm chrome nose)
  • Complete collection of Vivitar T-Mounts and document (still need 85mm, 600mm, 800mm)
  • shoot additional pics of my Ansco viking
  • Improve Wittnauer Legionairre page
  • Add my mercury satellite pics to Imperial page
  • Start a Fotokemika company page (right now, it's just a redirect to the Efke film page)
  • Clean up and sort out the Hanimex camera listing, start a lens listing
  • Shoot photos of my Seattle Film Works film canister/box and start company page
  • Pages like K mount lenses should really be categories so that camera and lens articles can be added easily
  • Need page for the company that made/distributed Kamero 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for Nikura, a company that made/distributed Nikura 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for company that made/distributed Owen 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for company that made/distributed Star-D 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for company that made/distributed Opticam cameras and 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for company that made/distributed Deitz cameras and 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for company that made/distributed Cunor 35mm SLR lenses
  • Need page for company that made/distributed Carenar / Super Carenar 35mm SLR lenses
  • Create categories for article of month and week, auto update home page daily
  • Create some way of marking date-specific articles so they can auto displayed and tweeted

Handy Internal Links

  • Camera links - links to manufacturer histories and photo resources

Public Domain Photography Books

These are eBay searches for known public domain photography books with potential illustrations useful in

MediaWiki Technical Links

Camera History Dates


I'm collecting some dates in the history of cameras and photography. The idea is to post a tweet on the camera-wiki twitter feed when the date rolls around and link it to the related camera-wiki article.

  • 01 Jan 1864 - Alfred Stieglitz birthday- need article
  • 10 Jan 2008 - 110 Camera Day - need article
  • 26 Jan 2013 - 126 Camera Day - need article
  • 27 Jan 2009 - Winter 127 Day - need article
  • 01 Feb 2004 - Take Your Box Camera to Work Day - need article
  • 07 Feb 2011 - launched -
  • 17 Feb 1931 - Fay Godwin birthday - need article
  • 18 Feb 1936 - Philip Jones Griffiths - need article
  • 20 Feb 1902 - Ansel Adams birthday - need article
  • 13 Mar 1930 - Bunny Yeager birthday - need article
  • 09 Apr 1922 - Patent granted to Eastman Kodak for Kodachrome file, #1,997,493 - Kodachrome
  • 01 May 2009 - Commie Camera Day - need article
  • 14 May 2005 - Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame for inventing Kodachrome film. Their patent number was 1,997,493 - Kodachrome
  • 17 May 1966 - Vivitar trademark registered - Vivitar
  • 20 May 1938 - Astrid Kirchherr birthday - need article
  • 26 May 1895 - Dorothea Lange birthday - need article
  • 06 Jun 1912 - Bruno Bernard birthday - Bruno Bernard
  • 12 Jun 1899 - Arthur Fellig (Weegee) birthday - need article
  • 14 Jun 1904 - Margaret Bourke-White birthday
  • 17 Jun 1838 - Frederick Hollyer birthday - need article
  • 22 Jun 1951 - Paul Couvrette birthday - need article
  • 23 Jun 1950 - Kathy Vargas birthday - need article
  • 12 Jul 2004 - World 127 Day - need article
  • 14 Jul 1934 - Lee Friedlander birthday - need article
  • 17 Jul 1898 - Berenice Abbott birthday - Berenice Abbott
  • 21 Jul 1810 - Henri Victor Regnault birthday - need article
  • 22 Aug 1908 - Henri Cartier-Bresson birthday - need article
  • 28 Aug 2009 - 828 Camera Day
  • 03 Sep 1921 - Ruth Orkin birthday - need article
  • 12 Sep 1953 - Nancy "Nan" Goldin birthday - need article
  • 13 Sep 1939 - Joel-Peter Witkin birthday - need article
  • 20 Sep 1933 - Minolta trademark registered - Minolta
  • 01 Nov 1889 - Hannah Höch birthday - need article
  • 11 Nov 1926 - Sam Haskins birthday - need article
  • 26 Nov 1948 - Polaroid Day - supposedly date the first Polaroid cameras was sold
  • 07 Dec 2004 - American 127 Day - need article
  • 16 Dec 1914 - O. Winston Link birthday - need article

Irregular Dates

  • Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is held on the last Sunday of April
  • World Toy Camera Day is held on the 3rd Saturday in October
  • Argus Day is held on a date determined mathematically by the equation Jul 31 + n, where n = the current year - 2000
  • Polaroid Camera week starts on an arbitrary day selected by members of a flickr group

Technical notes

Wikipedia "on this day" theory of operation: the template on the main page uses a macro that expands into a template name based on the current date (e.g. "{{Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/April 6}}" do a view source or edit to see macro). A template exists for each possible day. A day template includes up to five eligible anniversary events plus any number of ineligible events that are not displayed but are retained for editor review and usage. I intend to have our wikibot extract one event each day and post it to twitter, so maybe our docs require the most significant event (or best researched article) to be the first one?

Danger! Test Pages

Links to broken, testing, and development pages. Nothing to see here...

Article count test

  • Current (automated result): 9,125
  • 7870 - Jan 29