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Friday, 28 July 2017


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And then there is the classic box camera.



Eric Newby's book, "Learning the Ropes" which is the images from his trip narrated in "The Last Great Grain Race" book, has significance for me as my grandfather worked on these type of ships, before WW1; he ran away to sea, from his home in Pin Mill Uk, and had his 13th birthday in Cape Town in 1908 on such a ship.

The most evocative to me image is 126 where a man is hanging onto rigging above waves flooding the deck, in a heavy sea; grandfather said you got out of the way of those seas. You always had to be aware of where you were and what was available to cling to when the wave arrived!

A few pennies coming your way for the collecting book.

I recently found an old Zeiss Nettar 515/16 (6x6 on 120 roll film) at the local pawn shop for $25. It's a low end model of a low end line - a Novar-Anastigmat triplet of 75mm f/6.3 in a Vario rimset (so post-war) shutter with all of 1/200, 1/75, 1/25 & B speeds topped with a simple albada finder. Your new to you Exacta 66 is from a very different world...

But I've used simple triplets in the past and know they're up to what ever skill I have. I have a roll of 100 speed film in it and a jug of diafine waiting...

Good enough. Good enough.

I have got the sister volume, Collecting and using old SLRs. Blue cover. It is also a delight.

There is also Eric Newby's book Learning the Ropes, which I think features principally his photos taken as an 18 year old on board sailing ships. Newby was great character with nice taste in suits (Anderson and Sheppard).

Am also a big fan of Ivor Mantale. His book on SLRs is fun.

Mike, thanks for the heads up on Ivor Matanale's book. You might also enjoy Michael Pritchard's A History of Photography in 50 Cameras, which I found informative and fascinating:

Please don't forget Ivor Matanle's book on the 'Classic SLR.' Perhaps the definitive work on the topic.

Victor Hasselblad bought your Mamiya?

Remarkable. First you post about the Spotmatic, then the Ivor Matanle book with the first cover illustration showing a Vito B, I think.

I saved up for almost 2 years (as I recollect) to buy an f/2.8 Vito B in good used condition, when I was 13 or 14. It was a great first 35mm camera, and I have it still, covered in black tape from my student days.

The Spotmatic II 50mm/1.4 came in 1975 when I helped with stocktaking in the final sale of James A Sinclair of No 3 Whitehall, London, which my wife's aunts and mother had inherited from Sinclair, their uncle. I got to buy the new Spotmatic and a Kodak professional Carousel at trade price. They won out over a Leica M5 without the projector. The right choice for me, looking back.

Sinclair was a fine pictorialist photographer as well as a camera maker and dealer, with a line in Pt/Pd and other exotic printing materials, and sold high-class still and 16mm movie kit to the Government departments nearby.

Thumbs up for the Eric Newby book. I've read two or three of his stories- "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush" and "The Last Grain Race" are favorites of mine. His pictures are quite good, too, and reflect his wry vision of the world very effectively. Thanks for pointing out "What the Traveler Saw" to your readers; I'm sure many of them will enjoy it, as I have.

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