Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Voigtländer Prominent: Strange Is Beautiful

I laughed a little to myself when I read the Craigslist ad, "We know how much it cost, but what is it worth?! Submit your offers and the highest bid will be accepted on April 5th!" The blurry, oddly angled photo taken in bad light betrayed little or no sense of its condition, and I just let it pass. Of course I wanted a nice 1950's era chrome rangefinder, but I'm not really willing to get into a bidding war over one. I've got plenty of cameras already.


Come On-a My House


April 5th came and went, and the ad was re-listed. Then it was re-listed again, and then again. No one was biting. Eventually curiosity got the best of me, and I sent an email asking what kind of price range he was looking for.  He wanted $200, I politely declined with the excuse that I was just looking for something cheap to take on vacation with me, and I wished him luck.

Here's the fun part: when he heard I was actually going to be using the camera and not just putting it on display somewhere, he offered to give it to me for $100 and the assurance that I'd put it to good use. Apparently it belonged to a friend of his, a 91-year-old veteran that bought it while stationed in Germany sometime around 1951. He agreed to sell it for his friend, who was excited to hear that it might get some use again.

So the adventure began.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Camera Review: Pentax P30T

The Pentax P30T, attached to a lens from a
Vivitar v4000 that suffered a sad fate.
I didn't know much about the Pentax P30T when I saw it pop up on a Craigslist ad for $30. Of course, I looked it up before sending out the email, but there wasn't much to say, it seemed. It was the pictures that drew me in. It just felt so... 1980's. All of the controls flush against the top panel. The pewter colored body. The big "P30" etched vertically into the hand grip rubber in that TV interlaced style that was so common back then.

This camera looked like something from Blade Runner.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Film Photography & Digital Processing: Yes, You Should Edit Your Photos!

There seems to be a presumption, growing in popularity, that film photography is somehow more pure than digital photography. It's the idea that doing any processing on an image after scanning it from the negative is considered "cheating" because you're altering the image from its original, physical source. I'd like to try to clear up this misconception in my usual long-winded and rambling style.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Canon A-1: Wonderful, Ridiculous Machine

Released in 1978, the Canon A-1 was the first SLR in history to offer a full Program mode, allowing the camera to choose both the shutter speed and aperture and thus allowing the user to concentrate completely on getting the shot. I like historically significant cameras, so this one was on my list. I considered myself lucky when one popped up on Craigslist for a good price.

I was thinking about what a great deal I had gotten as I was driving home after buying my Canon A-1. I suppose I did get a good deal, although it wasn't quite the deal it seemed. The body came with the "Action Grip", three lenses, a generic flash, a cable release, user manual, and a camera bag that held everything. All of this for $60. I had noticed that the battery door was cracked, but replacement doors are cheap and this is a common issue, so I didn't worry too much about it.