Unless you’re a studio photographer, the first time that most film shooters begin considering purchasing a light meter is when they fall in love with some beautiful vintage camera that does not feature a built-in light meter. When I was younger, I naively clung to cameras with built-in meters, not fully appreciating bodies such as […]Read more "Metering the Meterless"
What are your go-to focal lengths? I shoot most of my work within the 50-90mm range. But everyone needs a jump-start to their creativity once in a while. A different lens can help us take our work in different directions but also can improve what we already do. Yes, folks, the equipment matters. Previously, I […]Read more "The Voigtländer 15mm 4.5 Heliar & An Introduction to Rectilinear Super Wides"
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my new-to-me, super cheapie antique-store-find Yashica A. Last week, I burned my first 5 rolls of Kodak Tri-X in it as a test drive and man, what a test drive it was! Every year, my wife hosts a Fall Family Photo session on our friends’ beautifully rustic property in […]Read more "Yashica A, In Use"
A few weeks ago, I picked up a Yashica A TLR and was eager to test it. I bought a fresh 5- roll-box of Kodak Tri-X 120. When I opened the film, I was surprised to see that the backing paper design was different and had a waxy sheen to it. I found that, in […]Read more "New Kodak Backing Paper"
A while back, I dropped my Leica M6 TTL on concrete. The camera was fine but it’s full weight came square down onto the Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 Nokton ASPH that had been my go-to 50mm for years. The focus ring became very tight from the impact. Because I’d had this lens rebuilt once before and […]Read more "Voigtlander Nokton 50mm 1.5 Rebuilt Again"
[first published on http://www.JohnnyMartyr.com in 2015] The Agfa Optima Parat is a beautifully quirky compact, fixed lens, scale focus, 35mm half-frame camera, made in Germany in 1963. I bought mine in 2008 from Tina Waters, the curator of Gallery 61 in New York. I paid $70 for it as a tested, working copy and today, […]Read more "A Rave Review of the Agfa Optima Parat"
When we think of Leica, the second thing we often think of is Summicron. But before Leica formulated their legend, there was a lesser known yet still quite remarkable nifty 50. Thanks to having been overshadowed by the Cron, this very capable Leitz 50/2 is usually available for less than $400. That’s right, I’m talking […]Read more "Leitz 5cm f2 Summitar"
I stopped into my local camera repair shop last week to retrieve my Leitz Summarit which got damaged during my family trip to Disney earlier this year. Lev, the shop-owner told me that he had something I might be interested in. He brought out a little black Barnack Leica and I tried my best to keep […]Read more "A Brief History of my 1930 Leica I/III"
The Nikon FM10 is a camera that experienced/knowledgeable film photographers take pride in dismissing. The chorus is common: “It’s all plastic!” “It’s not even made by Nikon!” But look, what the vocal opponents don’t seem to get is that the Nikon FM10 is actually a highly evolved, practical camera, capable of terrific photos. And it […]Read more "Defending the Nikon FM10"
I’m as much of a Leica fan as anyone but I have to admit, the Japanese reincarnate of Voigtländer seriously one-upped the German Leica gods when they designed their T-Winder. Let’s begin at the beginning. Leica introduced a few rapidwinder devices for it’s screw mount 35mm rangefinder cameras in the 1930’s or 40’s. The exact history […]Read more "Leicavit vs. T-Winder"