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Tuesday, 11 January 2011


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It seems the logical evolution of the previous post about the iPhone camera.

Heh. reminds me of a time when I was working in a lab/studio that had been broken into....the thieves took every battered Minolta X370 and X700 (probably eight altogether) except the one in the darkbox at the time...but left the two Hasselblad bodies and Mamiya 6x7.

Ah thieves, they should learn to study a bit more, maybe a thieves accademy complete with MTh. In the early nineteeneighties they broke into my nephews car (a smart Fiesta XR2) and stole the radio. Bummer. But after my nephew inspected the car they had missed the HP41CV programmable calculator which was lying on the passenger seat all singing all dancing with tapedeck and printer. A few years back my house was broken into and they stole all my electric guitars and left the acoustic, unfortunatelly my house was in a village at the end of a cul de sac (easy policing indeed) and since Boomer barked the neighbours called the police (Boomer could bark all he wanted since) and my guitars were returned. Oh, yeah the acoustic was a Martin.......:-).

I had a similar experiance in 1980. The theif who broke into the house took a Nikon FM with lens attached but left 2 other Nikon lenses. Took my no name stereo, turntable, and 2 of the 4 speakers, but left the Cambo, set up on a tripod in the middle of the room. And not surprised they left the enlarger.They also took the liquor and a piggy bank.
Have to trust theives to be ignorant of items of value and only look for quick cash, drugs and booze.

Ah, a Chamonix, if I am not mistaken! I love those cameras, but ended up buying a Linhof Master Technika instead. Now I am considering selling it and buying the Chamonix 45N II. I would love to go to 8x10 but I am not sure it makes any sense until I have proven myself to have some persistence with the 4x5.


very funny stories --- must be an 1980's thing
because in that same time period a thief broke into my car and stole my pioneer 6x9 coaxials from the back seat. He left the bottle of Jack Daniels that was sitting right next to the speakers. Silly thief...


Ah well - the Swedish Post is currently looking into whether they have 'lost' a nice Hasselblad 501c (and Zeiss 80mm and A-12 back) that was on its way to a new owner, or whether it is just lost (without the inverted commas, that is).
Seems like Swedish thieves may have been doing some reading-up, after all...

"Before point-and-shoots came along in the '80s, having a camera pretty much meant having a 35mm SLR"

For professionals and serious amateurs, that's true. The rest of us had 35mm fixed lenses (like my beloved Argus C3), or 110/126 cartridge based cameras. (Not to mention Polaroids)

110's and 126's were about as point and shoot as the come - they were fixed focus with a very deep DOF. You pointed, you shot, you manually advanced the film.

By the way, big thanks to anybody who bought a print or prints from the Peter Turnley sale, because that's what enabled me to purchase this.


10X8 Chamonix?

I have a 5X4 Chamonix and whenever I use it I have people ask me why I'm using an "old" camera. I'm thinking of getting a frock coat and top hat to go with it.

Mike, isn't that a 8x10 Chamonix?
I'll be eagerly waiting for your updates on the new camera...
Will you be developing the film yourself? Should be a nice incentive to put the darkroom to good use ;)

Okay, I'm going to put on my Carnac the Magnificent turbanand engage in a bit of speculation/prediction - that the single use will involve Ilford's newly announced direct positive paper....

5x7 Shen Hao?

And the single use: Pleasure

I've always thought that if I left one of those Champagne Mamiya 7s on a park bench that no one would take it. It just looks so cheap. Now your Diana story has blown my theory out of the water.

@Steve Greenwood that would be interesting indeed.

I have a pack of their FB Glossy to try in my 5X4. They do it in 4.9"X3.9" so that it will fit in a 5X4 film holder. They only do 10X8 so I imagine it would have to be trimmed to fit into a 10X8 film holder.

Looks like we all have a story about thieves not knowing the value of "non-standard" photo equipment staring them in their desperate and devious faces.

Mine occurred back in the early 90's; I had a break-in at the studio. The old Canon FD gear that I was procrastinating to sell in order to upgrade to some flashy new EOS stuff got cleaned out. All of it - even my spare batteries, sync cords, and miscellaneous filters. My other gear which sat on the shelf below the Canon stuff included 2 APO Lanthars, a Nikon S2 kit, a Linhof Tech V, and a few other pricey bits, remained untouched. I actually have to thank the thief for getting me to finally modernize my 35mm equipment...

My guess was that you did decide to make the jump into full plate, and the single use was contact printing. I must admit I was intrigued by the format after that discussion, but I tried cropping and printing some digital files to 6.5x8.5, and for some reason the 3:4 ratio doesn't sit well with me.


More important;

complete building the basement darkroom.

Then you'll be able to print the images
from the new piece of stand alone furniture!

Whole Plate Chamonix is my guess.

I had no idea what make of camera it was, but following Carsten, John, and Denis's lead, I looked on the Chamonix website. It look likes a Chamonix and the only camera there that weighs about six and a half pounds is the wholeplate one. (Wholeplate is 6.5 X 8.5 inches if you don't already know)

On November 25th Mike wrote about this film size: "I've finally come round to agreeing with Oren's longtime conclusion that it's curiously perfect"

My case rests.

Another stupid crook(s) story!
I ran an mid-upscale Hifi store in the '80s (McIntosh, Tandberg etc) One morning I arrived at the store to find the delivery van missing and upon entering many of the displays torn apart with the equipment missing. Why this would happen is a puzzle since the warehouse was full of new nicely boxed easily stackable and removed through the loading door equipment. The state police noticed the van weaving down the highway thought the driver was intoxicated so when they turned on the blue lights the van pulled over and the occupants ran into the woods to escape. (The weaving was due to the shifting load of cleverly piled equipment)Around this time the report was received by the officers and confirmed with the vehicle's contents. A few minutes later the thieves were picked up illegally hitch hiking on the same highway. Aside from a few cosmetic marks all of the equipment was back on display a few hours later.

Oren Grad was talking about an ideal film size for making contact prints. That is what our Mr. J is going to make from the negatives.

"Before point-and-shoots came along in the '80s, having a camera pretty much meant having a 35mm SLR, "

So no one used Hasselblads, instamatics, Brownies, Hawkeyes, Leicas and other rangefinders, Polaroids, Rolleiflexes, Speed Graphics....

Today you can go on ebay and get old "Great Wall" Dianas and Diana clones for $10 or less.

OK, one more dumb thief story. 1976. Santa Monica beach. Come home for the movies and a all my and my girlfriend's Leicas and Nikons and lenses are strewn around the living room floor. Gasp! Clothes ripped out of all the drawers and thrown everywhere. Eventually we discover the one missing item - a $90 cassette tape recorder. The police arrive and survey the scene and make the calm declaration that "the druggie probably had a fence for the tape machine but didn't know where to unload cameras."

I have a 5X4 Chamonix and whenever I use it I have people ask me why I'm using an "old" camera. I'm thinking of getting a frock coat and top hat to go with it.

You should be able to find something suitable from here: http://www.steampunkemporium.com/steam.php?utm_nooverride=1&gclid=CPyy-5CWtKYCFYUe4Qoden-FHA

OK, if you've got patience for one more: They took the Minolta SLR, left behind 2 Leica M3s. Actually, as someone else hinted, I think thieves are pretty smart about what they can sell with no hassles. No point in carrying off something they can't convert to quick cash.

Whole plate sounds like a great size. Thought about that when I read the original post on it. In the darkroom days my standard size for personal prints was 6x8 (8x10 paper with 1-inch borders) -- usually enlarged from 4x5 negatives.

Congratulations on the Chamonix Whole Plate camera, Mike. Very nice. Enjoy.

Well, now I'm going to have to think up a prize for Paul, who beat Roger Bradbury to the punch by a mere 8 minutes. [g]

More soon,


That's right, I had completely forgotten about the whole plate post! Very interesting! Well Mike, since all you need is a darkened room, a timer and a good lamp to make a contact print, I guess we can expect to see one here soon? Oh, if you have a scanner, that is.

Maybe this should be the test of the true ascetic: factor-in a device's likely appeal to a thief versus what you know you can do with it, before deciding to buy it.

Many years ago, I had parked my minivan in the back area parking lot of a local shopping center. I took my two small boys shopping, leaving my Leica M6 on the front passenger floor area. When we returned about an hour later, I found the passenger window busted out. Needless to say, my heart dropped... But when I got up to the van, there was my Domke camera bag, Leica untouched. The thief was interested in my after-market car stereo, and messed up my dashboard, but left the Leica. I consider it a fair trade.

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