Cameras, films, junkshops, more film, more cameras!


This rambling manifesto is a combination of outdated, long in-progress/unfinished/contradictory, redundant, and sometimes abandoned thoughts and statements (hmmm, matching most of the film I use!!).

I think I just do this to make notes to myself and think about cameras and film, and not expecting anybody to read it. Some things 'need' to be fixed here, like the Cyrillic characters in the Lomo part that are always broken in code-checking, so ignore anything that doesn't make sense - as in life. Many mentions of 'will add [this or that] soon' persist year after year and are ignored or forgotten. The whole thing lacks order, flow. cohesion; proper punctuation' and any 'semblance to readable style -- let alone value.

So instead maybe go straight here to see some photos [good, bad, weird, experimental] - and much better organized.
In those pages of photos you may note that the quality ranges from good to not as good (!). That's because it ranges from careful, high quality film scans where I knew what the hell I was doing to a few hastily flatbed scanned from prints 10-15 years ago (and now some digital camera stuff too).

There are 'old' and 'new' sets from whole different eras in the scans and the photos themselves - different cameras, different skill levels, different eras of film and my processing of it. Plus, some days I'm 'good' at scanning and postprocessing, other days I just can't get it together - as with photography in general. Some look pretty good, and out of the huge amount of film (and later some digital too) I have/had, there's a lot of decent quality even though the stuff on the website isn't all the best, just the what I like from what I've gotten around to scanning and/or processing. But I guess you just have to believe me. I like to think I've made some improvements since the 1980s, when the older of the photos on this website were made, and in scanning and digipostprocessing since the earlier scans.

I finally added a bunch of new photos in early 2010 and then again in 2011 and 2012, after lapsing for many years since the first scanning years, but have added nothing since 2012. Dang, I have to get things pipelined and load this site up with more photos! Alaska, the UP! Siberia, Russia, Crimea ... Baikal! Superior! The USSR!! Anyway, since I'm not out to make money or impress critics, there's no hurry... I like the shooting the best (or at least it goes the fastest)!

So the photos there are a mix.


Go here for a similarly-to-this-page disorganized and rambling something-or-other about shooting pictures or something.


But here, on this page, is some general info on equipment and film I like to use:

I have managed to keep a more or less up to date update on the list of cameras (not lenses or other etc.) I've got (see lower down this page, that oughta move to a whole new page just about cameras at some point I guess).

Film:
I shoot analog, emulsion, film (at least most of the time). Here's some reasoning on that:

* I understand film, at least to some degree, and I know how to use the medium and what to expect.
* I like the way each film responds differently to various qualities of light - reciprocity, intensity differences, etc.
* I like the possibility to get 'off band' results using aged, damaged, or nonstandardly processed film (which I need to trademark as 'stressed film').
* I like film grain in all its variations and consider that grain, if absolutely everything else was equal, is a dealbreaker for film compared to digital.
* Every film is different, even every batch of film and certainly they change over time, and the processing chemistry and lab conditions mean that the look and feel of what you get in the end is always different, not the computerized precision sameness of digital, which will give the same answer to any question until circuit failure.
* Because, like the quality obtained when sound passes through a series of physical and electrical media in LP records, the quality of light passing through the physical and chemical medium of film gives a unique and magical result (I've also just finally gotten back to records after 20 stupid years of not).
* When you develop yourself and unroll that film wet from the tank, there are your pictures, man, it's like magic! (this left from the old days: and when you send out your Kodachrome slides and they come back, and you lay them out on the light table - wow!)
* When you're looking at and holding slides or negatives from some fantastical time in your past, you know that that exact film was actually there at that time! (plus, if you developed it yourself, it was there then, too!) - so nostalgia plays a role too.
* Working a print in the darkroom is way more intuitive, fun, and real than pressing buttons and moving a mouse on a komputer. Plus it takes time, and skill, and intuition, and knowledge, and experience rather than some 'presets'.
* Because film actually costs something, so deliberation is further promoted because each frame shot is finite and committed, as opposed to the snap and delete activity too common in digiphotography. And when you shoot film, you actually have something in the end that takes some effort to 'delete', thus reminding you of your mistakes and miscalculations.
* Further to the above, the delay between shooting and image viewing in analog photography demands some patience and skill - to remember how things work, predict results, and operate the equipment to get the results you want (and deliberation in photography is important).
* Dream cameras of 20 or 40 years ago are now available for a song, everywhere, yet the faddiest digicam of today is destined (and designed) to become obsolete in mere months
* The quality of construction of cameras (and most everything else) peaked about 1983 and those old cameras will last many, many more decades than the average product of today.
* Unfortunately, a lot of film is going extinct, and in a while it will have been too late to ever use it again (one of the reasons I shot so much Kodachrome ~2002-2010), so I'm doing it while I can.
* Mostly I shoot film just because I like film, and I like to shoot film.

There are more reasons, but they can all be distilled (explained?) in this analogy: the invention of oil paints didn't make drawing obsolete, and the invention of photography didn't make oil painting obsolete. Marketing is trying to make film obsolete, since film cameras don't go obsolete like digicams and therefore don't fit with our 21st century 'buy often and dispose often' culture, but I and (many others) pay no heed to this call since it's insane.


Films I use:
I've used a wide variety of films over the years... I've often been limited by price, availability, or other conditions, and so have made do as opportunity presents, buying cheaper; bulk; or expired film. This is as common now as ever, since so many good old films are disappearing, yet it's also possible to look wider for some of the rarer stuff.

Also, I like post-expiry dated films. I dipped into some fortuitously sourced Ektachrome 64 and Ektachrome 64p in recent years that expired between 1981 and the mid-90s. The EPR64, in particular, has very pleasing browns, and if I were in the deciduous eastern forest I'd've have shot dozens of rolls on the leafy forest floor. Sometimes the film expires long after I shoot it and it's in my freezer... I have sometimes, through accident or design, waited as long as *10 years* before developing some film that I acquired while still 'fresh' - and in 2004 I developed a roll of Kodacolor that I accidentally started shooting at 1600 instead of 100... in 1992! Even better, in spring 2009 I shot and developed (to great result) a roll of Panatomic-X that expired in June 1981 - not cold stored, and it looks fantastic! So that's a tie with the EPR64 rolls that also expired that month so many decades back. And I have at least a few rolls of film that have accidentally gone through checked baggage on multi-segment transatlantic flights, with only subtle changes resulting.

Another effect I've used (initially from necessity) and liked is developing in nearly exhausted E6 chemistry... I'll put some of these on later, I think . Try that with a digital camera - closest you can get (without fakery) is a corrupted file!


OK, OK, OK - What the hell Films do I use?!?
Most of the 'nice' pictures here were shot on slide films (Kodachrome, Ektachrome or Fujichrome series usually; but also Orwo [DDR], etc.), and some, especially the 'weird' ones, were shot with color print film - Kodak or any of many cheaper films like Agfa, 3M, Konica, Samsung, Fuji, etc. The B/W was shot on Ilford, Smena [USSR], Kodak, and other films. Most of the E6, and some of the Orwo [slide]; c-41 (color print); and most of the B/W films were developed by me at home or abroad in makeshift labs. The K14 [Kodachrome], much of the Orwo, and most C41 [color print] films were done at labs of variable quality in a few scattered countries. Some more recent (2009-2014) B&W & color has been done at the UAF darkroom here in Fairbanks.

Currently (spring 2014) using these films (more or less in order of quantity):
Ilford FP4 and HP5, and a little Pan-F; Ektar 100 in 35 and 120; Portra 160 and 400 in 120 and 35; various expiry frozen Elite-chrome 100; some 1994 frozen EPR-100 in 120; a fair bit if Fuji Sensia 100 & 200, Velvia 50 and Provia 100 in 35mm; the last of my Vericolor III in 120 (expiry mid 90s); a little bit of Panatomic-X (June 1981); other b/w of various expiry in 35 and 120 incl. Agfa APX-25 two last rolls of Svema Foto 100 I must've bought in the xUSSR sometime ca. 1999-2003; etc.
Not sure where to put it in this 'order' because only 'plan' to shoot this but haven't started yet: recently bought 20 rolls each of Rollei Digibase CN200 and CR200 in 35mm, but I also have 400' of last-batch Ektachrome 100D cinema 35mm yet to spool, and a bunch of assorted 35mm 'chrome stuff including a bunch of 1997-expired Fujichrome 64T in 35, various Ektachrome, etc. I went on a small acquisition kick after the last Ektachrome was discontinued - but should've bought both the 400' rolls of 100D that were available...
Also I need now to get some 4x5 to shoot with the new Sinar; probably will use FP4, Ektar 100, and whatever 'chrome I can get; already have some Portra vc to try with it.

A couple of years ago (late 2009), I wrote:
I'm trying to shoot as much Kodachrome now as I can, while I still can [that was written ca. 2008]. From about 2005 until Thanksgiving Day 2010 I shot probably 75% of my photos on Kodachrome; most of that was KR64, some KM25... and I shot the last of my KL200 in 2009. I used a lot of long-expired Kodachrome in that period with mostly good results, some from as long ago as the early 1980s! Recently came into a little bit of KM-25, too. I shot my last 3 rolls of Kodachrome 200 in May 2009 on a UP bicycle tour.

As I write this [fall 2009] it's about a day since Kodak announced the discontinuation of Kodachrome forever... So I have - allegedly - a year and a half to shoot my existing 60-70 rolls I have on hand by then [I did it, finishing Thanksgiving day 2010]. I've also been shooting more professional color print film last couple years - the Portra variants [back when there were many! ca. 2008], the new Ektar 100, 100UC, some Fuji NP-160, etc. And a couple rolls Ektar 25! In winter 2009 I shot a lot of b/w for a class I took at UAF; mostly Ilford HP5, but a lot of other stuff - including the abovementioned Pan-X, some Agfa APX25, etc.

... [and that I was using] these films (in order of quantity):
Kodachrome KR 64 (expiry 1993 to 2010) and KM 25 (1993 to 2002); Ektar 100 in 35 and 120; various iterations of Portra in 120 and 35; 1984 expiry frozen Ektachrome EPR-64 in 35; a little (Ektachrome) Elite-chrome 100 and 200; some Kodak UC-100; some 1994 frozen EPR-100 in 120; a bit if Fuji Velvia 50 and Provia 100 and Astia 100 in 35; a little bit of Vericolor III in 120 and 35, expiry late '80s-mid 90s; a few rolls of Ektar 25 in 35 and 120, some HP5 (current); a little bit of Panatomic-X (June 1981); other b/w of various expiry in 35 and 120 incl. Agfa APX-25, Ilford Pan-F, Delta 100, FP4; few rolls Tri-X; some Polaroid 667, and 669 on my RB-67; others in lesser quantities, etc. (Can you discern an 'etc.' from that? If so, good.)

Qualities preferred: order of types/brands/etc follows preference: in this half-witted table, left side = better; cannot remember any top-bottom order except that I like all those; the qualities are not in reference to the brands they are under...


Kodak (professional only)
Ilford
Smena (ussr)
Fuji
Agfa
Kodachrome
E-6 slide
B/W
Polaroid (Fuji)
Colour print
Other
Cold stored 10+ years Past-dated badly stored shot 10 years ago new (last resort)
Grainy
Fine
Medium grain
Low-speed
High-speed
Mid-speed
High contrast
Bulk-loaded

Update 2013.04: At this point, I'll take what I can get in film, though still prefer 'chrome when possible. Luckily b/w is in better shape than color, and lately have been going for Ilford HP5 and FP4 a lot.


Digital side - Most photos are from emulsion film - no digital cameras used until I bought a Nikon D700 in late 2009 (it was stolen in fall 2011); digi-photos are marked as such. At the end of 2013 I bought a Nikon D800 (to use with my old Nikkor lenses of course), giving me a little bit of security to do photography even if film soon becomes too expensive or impossible to process (living without running water in my small house in Alaska and as photo classes at the university become prohibitively expensive).

For digital transfer from film, I used two methods: First (best and usually) - films were scanned on my Polaroid SS4000 or later Nikon 5000 film scanners at 4000 dpi, and then lightly adjusted and resized in various programs like Photoshop, etc. Nothing's too hopped up - mostly I remove a few scratches or dust, adjust curves to something that looks natural on my setup, and resize for web posting. I try to get them to look as they did to me when I was at the scene, not what is possible to do with photoshop. Some are long exposures, especially the starry sky and aurora stuff and the lomo photos, but most is similar to what I was seeing at the instant. Most surely there have been technical and artistic 'mistakes' made at many steps along the way - but that's a lot of the fun!

A few of the 'great ancestor' photos here and there were scanned with flatbed scanners. Usually those are pretty small size.. Also the 2008-2009 black and white from Alaska (and the 2013 when I get them up) were flatbed scanned, since they came from prints where most of the magic was done: in the darkroom, printing. They look like hell here, but that's what I've been saying...

The tale of the film scanner:
In 2002 I bought my first film scanner (see here if you don't know what a film scanner is - it's not a flatbed scanner), a Polaroid SS4000. I was mighty impressed - good hardware, and the scans were great. No IR scratch removal which was appearing at that time, but since I kept my film mostly in good shape that wasn't important. I scanned a few hundred frames over the 4 months I had this, then went to Alaska for a while to work, but left the scanner in storage in Georgia, where I was in grad school. When I finally got back to it after a year and a half I scanned a dozen or so frames and the last scan faded from 'regular' to dark over the image, and that was that. Lamp went bad? Bad connection somewhere inside? Don't know, since I migrated back to Alaska a couple months later, left the 4000 back in storage, and haven't gotten that stuff out of storage since! Maybe someday...

Here's a little bit that I wrote here years ago RE the scanner situation and excusing myself for not having new photos up:
Unfortunately, the #$%@!! $700 scanner seems to have broken as of autumn 2003, after only ~5 months of use. Hence nothing new for a while... Second (worst) - many photos here are from department store prints that were scanned on any of many shitty flatbed scanners available to me (mostly HP, with their characteristic permanently fogged glass from plastic decay...). If the colors look way, way off, or there's a color range of about 4 colors and 20 shades of black, or you see wrinkles, coffee rings, etc. it's probably one of these. One day, I'll get a new scanner and get this all straightened out - maybe.

So I had been without a film scanner for over 6 years (2002-2008) and really had to get something to pick up the workflow on all the film that I was shooting... In the meantime, the selection of scanners shrank to almost none, and my increasingly long shelf of binders full of film grew... In 2007, for example, I probably shot 150 rolls of 35mm; fewer in 2008 - lots of time in remote fieldwork, and when out of the field it was a very rainy summer and I didn't wander as much (things picked up again after that summer - fall and winter 2008-2009 was extremely productive, especially in b/w. In 2009 I guess I shot a few hundred rolls of color; in 2010 even more. In 2011 thus far I've not done much - no inspiration, yet...

I probably would have got another scanner earlier, but delayed because of moving around, fieldwork, low money, etc., and then I got into medium format and decided I *needed* to be able to scan 6x7 too, thus doubling the cost of a scanner (at the time the prices were ~$1100 and ~$2200; now the prices of the same items used is more than double than they were new when I was looking!)... So that delayed things more.

So I finally broke down and bought, late summer 2008, a Nikon CoolScan 5000, after waiting for too long trying to get a 9000 without luck (the couple times they showed up in the years I waited happened to coincide with me being too poor at the moment). Of course a month or two after I finally bought the 5000 (as I never knew if/when I'd see that one again either), a few 9000s appeared). Good scanner, awful, buggy software.

In mid-2010 Nikon discontinued their film scanners entirely, and now the options are a cheap $100 hunkajunk or at $10,000+ Hasselblad and on up. Too bad I was too poor in the last couple years; I'd thought about buying a 9000, or at least another 5000 to hoard when they were occasionally available, but didn't. I often compare trying to buy a film scanner after 2005 with trying to buy a car in the Soviet Union -- you wait years (in this case months and months and months and now forever) and get whatever model they have at last available.

November 2013 update. Have been scanning some 120 stuff on a Nikon 9000 at UAF, though the silverfast software is very difficult to understand, and having apple komputers with their missing mouse buttons and other non-ergonomics doesn't help speed things up.
So thinking of scanning 120 again, the new Plustek 120 scanner seems pretty good, and I might try to get one of them while I can later in the winter... Haven't gotten around to 35mm scanning in over 2 years now, mostly because of time/space constraints and the fact that either or both of my two awesome cats would be sure to 'help' with fur additions unless I can get a good work area set up...


Cameras:
I've used various cameras, including Canon, Nikon, & Olympus SLRs, Kiev 88TTL and Mamiya RB67 medium-formats, a Contax G1, and various mini cameras like the Lomo LC-A, Olympus XA, Minox ML, Kiev 35A, Cosina CX2, some rangefinders, varous cheap digicams, etc., etc.


Lenses:
In short, tons. Too much to get into here, but I will mention I like manual focus because:
1) I trust myself more than a microchip to know what the hell I want in a picture,
2) It's quieter,
3) No electricity required,
4) The quality of the lenses is night & day, and tactile experience is part of photography for me. The few autofocus lenses I've seen are unacceptibly chintzy-feeling, ugly, huge, etc.
5) Manual lenses more durable
6) Manual focus lenses are usually cheaper, and (for now; I'm sure I'll think of more later to add),
7) They're more fun.
The huge lenses for my RB67 are like some sort of overblown contract space equipment, ditto the old Nikkors, Rokkors, Super-Takumars, etc.
I'm working on (Jan 2014) replacing my basic Nikon kit to get back what was stolen a couple years ago. For Nikon F now I've got the 20/4, 24/2.8, several good 50s, 55/3.5 'micro', 58/1.4 Q, 105/2.5, 200/5, Series E 70-210 plus others of less repute (28/3.5, 35/2.8, old Sigma 70-200, of course the 43-86 monster, 35-105, etc.) I still have to get the 75-150E, a 35/2, maybe a 135 and/or 85. One day when I see it cheap enough the 500/8 mirror just to have the donut bokeh on a few photos!
And in the mini-set, I really like the 38/1.8 on my Pen-F - wow, what a great and petite li'l lens!
With that bit out of the way, I admit that I do have the Contax G which has only autofocus lenses (annoying to use but optics good). I also bought one autofocus 50mm lens along with teh D800 (slightly used) just to have one to play with. Was appaled it's made in china, though optics are OK (not that hard on a 50mm anyway). And of course any cheap digicams have autofocus - I use them in my scientific fieldwork all the time, and they are a pain in the ass to get to focus on what I want.


Here's a rundown of some cameras used to date, in order of acquisition from first to most recent [if you're curious about the camera there are reference links at end of blurb that will open in a new browser tab]. This is a poorly maintained page; much info missing and some of the links are probably extinct; you can figure it out. This page is also one of the most hit here at rjl.us tanks to the many searched-for terms, so if you're one of those people and were hoping for a little more-ahem-complete information and cannot find it elsewhere (or would like personal opinion and experiences) feel free to contact me.

Many cameras in my 'prehistory' - 126 and 110 instamatics, old 8mm film cameras, weird or cheap old bakelite things from the 50s and 60s never used... Few were used to any pleasing effect, most were only looked at and dreamed about - I was too poor to buy film in those days.

First cameras - Keystone 126 and K-mart 110 snapshot cameras.

Some pinhole cameras also made and used in jr. high school photography class [at this time I began to drool over pix of SLRs I could not afford - see cameras owned now, below]. Also, in 2013 I made a series of beer-can cam pinhole photos I liked. Yes, have to add a scan.

Yashica rangefinder (probably an Electro 35 variant, but cannot remember); ca. 1981-1984; stupidly I lost all photos made with this one - my first precision camera.

Canon A-1 [two of them; 1984-1993 and 1993-present. First one fatally damaged in tragic Leningrad mayonnaise mishap ; still, it hung on for about a year before the mayonnaise hardened... ] 24, 28 macro, 50, 70-210 macro lenses at the time.

Canon AE-1 Now sadly deceased, but I got some nice B/W photos with this during 1995 in the xUSSR... 50, 28 macro, and 70-210 lenses used at the time.

Lomo LC-A [Kompakt-avtomat] (several of them; the name ìÏÍÏ [LOMO] stands for "Leningrad Optical-Mechanical Factory" in Russian; more appropriately, a Russian verb for "to break" is "" ['lomat']!: here's the definition of the word from my Abbyy Lingvo Russian-English dictionary programme (I may need to fix the Cyrillic as my html checker often busts it):

. - ; . - , (-./-.)
1) break; fracture ( , .. { Lomo, ! - rjl} 2) . ( ) quarry 3) .; . ( ) rack; cause to ache . ? I was aching all over 4) .; .: () ? to rack one's brains (over), to puzzle (over) ? to play the fool ? to wring one's hands () ? to bow obsequiously (to)

What the hell does this mean?? It means that they are great FUN cameras but don't always last long! Mine have lasted anything from a few weeks to a few years. Their price on the web is very, very greatly overrated (you can find better rants than I have time to write). Great design, real nice heavy feel, but quality control abysmal (well, Soviet), like many Soviet products. A shame, since other aspects are great. I've gone so far as to make a pilgrimage to the Lomo factory; saw examples of their numerous products and prototypes, but no Lomo cameras for sale, frown. All sold to the West for sale at high markup. Best bet for this is to go to the xUSSR and buy an old lomo second-hand at a camera shop for about $15 [but they are all being bought up there for sale on e-bay @ $US90! Search out an old Cosina instead, or a Minox - you can get one of these great cameras for less that the $150 (ow!) some people are trying to sell the Lomo for. I've been through 3-4 Lomos over about 10 years. But god, they're fantastic -when they still work! Bought the last one in Ukraine, August 2001 [paid $25 - the most ever!]... I think it conked out in 2002 as I recall. Design and ergonomics almost perfect! [but remember they are a 95% copy of the Cosina CX; if the USSR had been sued by Cosina, they would have lost hands down! Ditto for the Kiev 35, the early FEDs, The Kiev 30, etc., etc...

FED-2 1 Soviet camera. Initials stand for "Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky"; he was founder of the original; Soviet Secret police; the predecessor of the famous KGB. Sheesh - Only in the USSR! (speaking of Feliks Edmundovich, remind me to tell you sometime about when I worked on a classified project dealing with Lee Harvey Oswald in the "Club Dzerzhinsky" inside the KGB HQ, when I lived in Minsk in the early 90s - it's true!)

Kiev 35A. Soviet, later Ukrainian copy of Minox 35x. Reliability, results, and number owned similar to Lomo. [1 2 3]. Kiev is the Russian name for Kyiv, the Capital City of Ukraine (pronounced as it appears, noy as keyy-evv, howdy!)! I have also been to this factory in search of parts, etc.

Kiev 30 - 2 of them [1 2]

Kiev 88 ttl [1 2 3 4] 60, 80, 200mm lenses used.

Chaika [1 1], a 'darling' little 35mm half-frame camera. Interesting 1960s modern styling, but the optics on mine weren't so great. Probably a truly original Soviet design; that in itself a rarity. Chaika is the Russian word for seagull.

Contax G1 [ 0 1 2] Bought in 1999 as a more convenient setup for my USSR travel than the larger Canons and FD lenses. For landscape and scientific photography it's a perfect little travel kit: G1, and 28, 45, 90 mm Carl Zeiss T* lenses. It all fits in a small Tamrac bag - until I added the 21mm! Though it's small, decent lenses (though i get a ton of flare even when using hoods and being careful), and solid, but the damned autofocus is a real shame and a great creative and ergonomic crippling. I've mentioned elsewhere on this website about my fundamental opposition to machines making decisions. Makes me want to get a leica m4.

FED 50 [1 2 3 4]

Lomo Smena-8: fantastic plastic, but with features available only in cameras costing hundreds of dollars more (mine cost the equivalent of $7 in Ukraine, summer 2001) (haven't seen that camera in years; can't remember why I wrote so highly of it)

Cosina CX-2 . Actually, the Lomo LC-A is not an original Soviet design [as I had thought for years], but a 97% soviet copy of the Cosina CX-2 [there is one change; the way the lens and viewfinder covers open - clever as hell on both, though I like the Lomo variant a little more for ergonomics and the Cosina a little more for cleverness]. Anyway, I bought a CX-2 on ebay in fall 2001. The Cosina CX-2 is the successor to the CX-1, and every bit as perfect as the Lomo [photographically and ergonomically] [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

Minox 35 ML The 'model' for the Kiev 35 copy. Curiously, I had better photographic and camera longevity results with the Kiev than with the single used Minox 35 I own. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]
Using a Olympus XA -1 1 2 3 4 5] for snapshot needs these days mostly; after trying all the Lomo-like variants listed above (and a few more), this one seems best: hasn't broken yet either!

Also, got an autofocus early '90s Olympus >>Stylus Zoom<< in 2006; a fine snapshot camera with decent optics, flash, a zoom lens, etc...


Recent cameras, now by year:

in 2007 I bought:
A Nikon F3hp [ -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6]
a Nikon FG [1 2]
a Nikkormat FTn [ref 1 2] (and a ton of lenses to go with them; the FTn is one of my favorite 35mms now) Update: stolen fall 2011 along with most of my good Nikon lenses (see below).
two Mamiya RB67s [ref 1 2 3 4] (I like the RB67!)
a Yashica Dental-eye [degroot ref] III (a camera made for dental photography with a 100mm macro ring flash lens!) [ref 1 2 3, 4 ]
and probably a few others.


In 2008 I bought:
an Olympus OM-2Sp [ref 1 2 3 4]
a Contax RTS (I) [ref 1 2 3]
an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SP [refs 1 2 3 4 ]
a Canon F1 (original) [ref 1 2]
A 1963 (within a month or so of Kennedy's assassination) Nikon F with bashed standard (non-photomic) prism) [0 1 2 3]
... and some assorted Pentax ME Supers [ref 1] (initial buying excuse: for the lenses I might use on a future K1000), but later shot some through one and it's got a feel... (all from yard sales, junk shops...)


In 2009 thus far I have bought:
a KowaSix mm [ref 1],
a Nikomat FTN [ref 1 Nikomat ref],
a Nikkorex F (cheap and for oddity's sake, but not the quality of real Nikons - though the copal square shutter with fancy logo on blades is pretty neat, and have to put a picture here) [1 2],
a Ricoh XR-S [ref1], also a spare body non-operational. Junkier than I'd always imagined, actually. I used to dream of this one in the early 1980s.
a Minolta SRT201 [ref1],
a Nikon D700 -- digicam (!) Don't worry, the d700 isn't nearly the pleasure to use nor does it feel as precise, intuitive, or direct. But figured I'd better learns something about the digicam world, in case I might need such a machine. ... Stolen fall 2011 (see below).
a (1968, within a month or so of when i was born) black Nikon F with standard prism,
another 1968 F (silver, ca. July '68) with the FTn finder [ref 1 2]
a Yashica Electro 35 'GSN' for $7 at the local junkshop (no lens cap; else in apparently good shape [ -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 ]. Maybe in honor of long ago Yashica (see above), but actually just found it when I went in to get...
a Kodak Ektra 200 110 instamatic in original box (picture soon), that's why I liked it, AND an original GE flipflash only half used! 78 cents. Made in West Germany, July 1980, by the way, while the USSR was busy with the Moscow olympics. [ 0 ]
Thus the 2009 total seems sure to stay at a mere 10 (or so), though I'll keep my eyes open tomorrow (Dec. 31, 2009 when I wrote this) in case...
Also started peeking as 4x5s...


In 2010:
In 2010 I think I only got one 'significant' camera - another Yashica DEIII (note January 2014: I see someone mentioned the DE to the 'lomography' crowd [OMG!!OMG!!!OMG!!HEART!!ROLF!!GTHO!!DTMT!!KMA!!:}>)!!!], so guessing it'll be all over the web and sky-high on eb soon, for a while). A friend did give me a small box of misc. stuff, including a Zeiss Jena 90mm f3.5 M42 mount, though...


In 2011:
Not a big photography shooting or camera-getting year in 2011, either. But got a few 70s cams at the local and excellent junkshops of Moscow/Pullman including a Petri, another Olympus XA and a pretty decent Nikon FM2n. (The FM2n was stolen fall 2011 [see below]).

Merry xmas liebermann: On November 30th 2011 my house was robbed along with at least four others on the same road (the police treat the actual number as their secret and have revealed themselves to be a bunch of bumbling idiots, though they have their big embezzlement scandal to occupy themselves with anyway, so why should they worry about crime?). I lost $6,500+ of equipment (replacement cost of similar condition used as if I could afford to replace), so definitely losing ground. Gone: my Nikon D700, FM2n (never even got to use it), Nikkormat FTn, most of my good Nikon lenses, my Sekonic light meter, filters... Can't afford any of that stuff anymore, since my Gov wages are about 60% what they were a few years ago! See a list and serial numbers here.

In 2012:
I bought a Minolta SRT-102 [1], and a Yashica FR (both at local junkshops).
If I were still making a fair wage I'd go and look for some old Nikon lenses to replace the loss, and a light meter, but that's all beyond my means these days...


In 2013:
I bought a few more... Two more Nikkormats - an FTn and an FT2, an Olympus OM-1n, an Olympus Pen-FT half-frame, a Mamiya 645J, and most exciting so far, a Sinar P 4x5. Later in the year I got a Nikon F2, and a Nikon D800 (to replace the stolen in 2011 D700?) Got on the free at the end of the year two well-used Olympus Stylus's - another Stylus Zoom and an 'Stylus Epic' zoom.



In 2014:
I'm working on getting my Nikkor lens kit back to where it was in 2011; this may involve the peripheral acquisition of a few Nikon bodies as I search for deals that often come in the form of someone's yardsale to eb deal.


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Photography: without it I am a ghost; probably with it too.



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edition: 2014.01.15 | © robert liebermann
url: http://rjl.us/photo/kameras.htm
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