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Thursday, 03 August 2017


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My soul stirred when I read "Hasselblad 500CM" and "Bronica SQ-A".

I never owned either. Digital came along just as I was looking into medium format for my business. Both were still going strong at the time, but I opted for a move to digital in the early 2000s. Regardless, there is something so appealing about these medium format cameras that I felt moved upon reading their names.

Canon AE-1. That's another name that moves me. I actually owned one of those. I sold it. Idiot. *Smacks forehead* I wonder what became of it?

My digital cameras and I have had many, many adventures together. We've done excellent work. Yet, I'll never be as attached to them as I was to my AE-1. Nor moved by them the way I am by old 6x6 medium format cameras.

I have to admit, This one has me scratching my head. I do get having nostalgic feelings for certain cameras that we once used, But $1600 bucks
For a camera that you don't intend to use when Cameras you would use, that have the IBIS you want, are available for that price really doesn't make a lot of sense to me if you are interested in Pictures.
But I guess it doesn't have to, so enjoy it.

[Well, maybe I am just not committing to using it, while I would secretly really like to. It's tough to keep a low profile with intentions when you write a website "read by millions." And I am aware that I tend to get buffeted by the winds of enthusiasms that I then never follow up on. In AA we call that a "character defect." That is one of mine I know.

I hope to try some portraits with it. But don't hold me to that. Wait and see. --Mike]

Happy to be in the 0.03% of your audience.

This is not a character defect if you are writing a photography blog; it's a business asset.

Especially for those of us (I'm one) who come here to read about photography, not about cameras like all the other sites. Those of us who, notwithstanding, are completely fascinated by any posts you make about equipment... : )

Perhaps it's the way you write 'em.

Fair enough
My Daughter who shoots digital professionally has lately been running film through a beautiful Hasselblad 500 C.
Just be ready for how dim the finder will be.
I do hope you do a portrait series with it. From what I have seen, You have a nice natural light studio/ office up there.
.....and you get to use your tripod again.

Well, your old nostalgia train provided me with a few hours of diverting entertainment. Despite being a manager in a pretty good camera store in the late 80s/early 90s, I knew basically nothing of the Exakta 66 or its East German progenitor, the Pentacon 6.

The site you linked to (for the picture of Herr Mandermann) has page after page of operational and historical information about the Pentacon 6 of the kind that can only be written by a passionate devotee. I mean that as a great compliment.

I had to fight the very strong urge to buy one, even though there's no chance I would shoot more than one roll of film before my attention wandered!

I am enjoying the nostalgia train, but I think that after all these posts you now actually have an obligation to use the camera and post some results. You did warn us that this may not happen, but now you have made me so curious about this camera and lens that I would really love to see some photos. I am also very interested in an experience report on how the nostalgia holds up and translates into joy of using the camera.

Yes, you really need to stop this train before I make a new "Saved Search" in eBay (or "followed" search, with the 'Bay trying to be all social-networky!) for a Pentacon Six TL with working metered prism. You know I have a lens for it already...

Get your exposed Tri-X to Edgar Praus in Rochester. He's right around the corner from the George Eastman Museum.

My first MF camera was a Yashica 635. Nice hut not great. I sold it to buy a 35mm lens for my Olympus OM-1 some 35 years ago.
After that I got a Kiev 66, a Pentaxon 6/Exakta copy.
That I sold soon after.
Next was Fuji GA645. Great camera that I still have, though the lens extension is broken. Fuji would have charged more to fix it than the cost of a second hand body. It is on my shelf now.
Michael Reichmann convinced me to get a Pentax 67 and a few lenses. Great landscape camera but eventually too heavy for me so I sold it and got a SWC and after thar two more blads, 500C/M and 500C. All those I still have. Waiting for the inspiration to buy some film.
That's my medium format history. Excluding panoramic cameras. I have actually written an article on those (in IAPP magazine).

My first camera was a Pentax K1000 I got for my 15th birthday. I sold it around the turn of the century to get some money for film school, but I always wished I'd kept it.

Recently a friend of mine told me of a posting for a K1000 on Facebook by a friend of hers. In the photos of it, I could see that the flaked-off black paint was exactly the same as my first camera. There's almost no chance that it wasn't, in fact, my old K1000.

Alas, by that point, it had been sold, and lost again.

My first MF camera was a Yashicamat 124G which I still have. I cannot remember how many shekels I paid for it around 1980, but it was not a back breaking amount.

So MF cameras from the 1980s were way more expensive, especially after you adjust for inflation, than "full-frame" cameras today, yet the full-frame cameras blow away those old MF cameras as far as image quality.

I guess I'm part of the 0.03%, too.

I had a Pentacon 6 (prism finder, 80mm Xenotar) at the same time I had an Exakta VX1000, which as a lefty seemed pretty convenient.

They ended up going away once I got a Canon Ftb, then a couple of F1's, which I used from 1972 until 2004 when I switched to (Olympus) digital.

I've still got a Mamiya RB67 sd in storage with several lenses, prism finder, Polaroid back and so on. Still looking for the macro lens, but I doubt I'll go back to using it, given current realities.

Still, nice to recall olden days...

I (briefly) owned a Seagull 6x6 TLR, which I think was a Chinese knock-off of a Japanese copy of a Rolleimat. Or something of that ilk. They were available in the UK for a while in the 90's.

I don't feel the slightest pang of nostalgia for it.

"a camera of direct interest to roughly .03% of you". Count me in for an essay or two per week on the mighty Exakta. Back in the early 70s, I cut my teenage photographic teeth using my grandfather's Mercury II (half-frame and zone focus), with my Dad's light meter and Kodachrome 64. (I felt on the cutting edge of photographic gadgetry, if not creativity then.) Using my 2 kg 6x9cm rangefinder now, I'm (hopefully) doing my part in keeping history alive. I wasn't quite a teenager when it was built.

It's possible to make passable "scans" of MF negatives with a light tablet (iPad?), negative holder and an iPhone (even an iPhone 4). Passable by my standards.

Hey, I’m pretty sure most of your readers prefer the nostalgia train to the pool queue!

This isn't a camera blog, not even a photography blog. This is a blog about the inner world of Mike Johnston.

As long as one steers off the cult models, one can get into MF rather cheap.
Mamiya 645 and Bronica ETR system kits can be gotten really cheap, like $200 cheap. I got a Fuji 6x9 from Japan, really nice bang for the buck and actually well priced because its spartan philosophy hasn't caught on the hype.
Rolleiflexes, Hassies and Mamiya 6 & 7 aren't cheap and actually have increased prices!

I'm actually part of the younger population (20s) who shoot film and digital going along with it; although the former weighs in more interest than the latter. Also, nice to know you were in the $1400/mo bracket as I am with my summer gig that just ended. Made a few bucks but you gotta be careful with them as they fly!
I'd want to spend it on a nice mirrorless update, having an old EPL2; (GX80 seems nice) but $700-800 buys a few propacks of film and a return ticket to Asia...

As of 0,03% interest, that has been rising a bit with quite some newcomers in the young side. There are some youtube channels that spark interest on film. It's philosophy isn't of sheer resolution, but rather, aesthetical qualities.

I have an acquitance who spent way too much on a Canon kit and L lenses but his works looks to hard at emulating what C41 film can easily do. I told him $50 would go a nice way for an AF body, but that fell on deaf ears.

Regarding "This isn't a camera blog, not even a photography blog. This is a blog about the inner world of Mike Johnston", above, the clue is in the blog title ;-)

As one gets older (very much older)the "nostalgia train" gathers speed and includes cars, cameras, music, boats, trips to here and there and yes, even old girl friends.

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