Photography Toys

Rolleiflex Model K8 T1

Acquired in August 2012, this has been on my wanted list for a while. The serial number indicates this was one of a batch of 56,000 cameras made between 1958 and 1961. Mine has the built in meter fitted within the focusing knob, and surprising this still works and appears to be reasonably accurate. The glass is still clear and the shutter is whisper quiet. In overall excellent condition I hope to get a lot of use out of it soon.

Agfa Isolette Mk V 1950-52

My latest acquisition in May 2012. What could be better than the 6x6format contained within a folding design no bigger than a 1970’s SLR body size. This is a little beauty and is in pretty good condition. The lens is the poorer Agnar f/4.5 in a vario shutter, but nonetheless produces a nice image. With no metering, I use an iPhone metering app to take light readings which I then transfer to the lens.

Polaroid SX70 Sonar

With the Button gone, I needed a replacement. I’ve always lusted after the SX70 folder, and being wary that they are not the most reliable, I decided to bite the bullet and find one that was in almost mint condition. I probably paid over the odds, but this one is a little peach. I just love the Sonar focusing attachment. So ugly, yet so retro.

Zero Image 2000 Pinhole

My latest toy, and something given to me last year by all my dearest friends. The only problem with it, are the fingerprints I leave on the lacquered finish every time I pick it up. I need some white cotton gloves. The 4×5 was very tempting, but this with the 6×6 format, and the ability to use normal roll film, makes this an almost ‘use every day’ camera!

Illy Pinhole

These italian coffee jars make great pinholes. This one takes 5×7" multigrade paper for the negative. A piece of gaffer tape acts as the shutter over the .25mm pinhole pierced into the tins side.

SX70 Button

The cheapest way to get into SX70 photography. I picket this up on eBay for £5, and with ‘The Impossible Projects’ Px100 instant film, produces some wonderfully creamy images of great delicacy. It does need a fair amount of light to perform well though, especially with the PX70 colour film. The poor old Button passed away in April 2012 while trying to cough up a sheet of PX600 Black Frame. RIP.

Miss Holgaroid: Polaroid Back

A small batch of these came up on ‘The Impossible Projects’ webby last year. Although it leaks like hell – without modification, and requires bright sunlight to get the best out of Fuji’s FP 100 B&W and Colour peel apart film, this combination produces some interesting , if a little unpredictable results.

Pentax 6×7

They looked so sorry for themselves sitting on that shelf, I had to have them!!. An early model Pentax 6×7 with metering head, 45mm f/4 SMC wide angle, and an early model 200mm f/4 mid range telephoto. It’s like owning a legal firearm with that mirror slap….Kerrrr….Lunk! Obtained from my favourite used camera dealer ‘Mifsuds’ in Brixham. A great place to spend a day – sorry guys- but you will always leave the place with something!!

Olympus Trip

Olympus Trip Version 5. Manufactured between 1978 and 1982. A bargain at £19 from the camera shop in Bodmin. While not overly impressed with the 35mm format, this little peach is idiot proof to operate, is compact enough to be carried around in your pocket, and with something reasonably fine grained – like FP4, provides some quite smooth results.

Sekonic L-758D DigitalMaster

After the demise of my analogue Sekonic light meter, I have been prevaricating about what its replacement should be. A chance visit to ebay had me staring it this little puppy with a button marked ‘make an offer’ I entered a silly low price and pressed the button. My bluff was called, and now It’s all mine. What I really like about this meter is that after calibrating I know my films dynamic range and clipping point are. Just like Photoshop!

Apple iPhone 3GS

This has been my best camera phone. Always to hand and handles most scenes reasonably well. The dearth of camera apps like Hipstamatic, Lo-Mob and Swankolab can tweek the images to your hearts content. The Lightmeter app also doubles up as ….well er a lightmeter, if I don’t have the Sekonic to hand.

Moskva 2

Moskva 2 is a Soviet made copy of the 1947 Ziess Ikonta C521/2 folding camera. Made in 1955, this 6×9 120 medium format camera was of a sprung self erecting design, with rangefinder focusing, and a 110mm f4.5 lens in a "Moment" shutter for speeds 1 to 1/250 sec plus B mode. It’s clunky, awkward to use, but is built like the preverbal , and just looks so gorgeous.

Holga 120 GFN

One of the later glass lensed models, but which still creates images with wild barrel distortion and a subtle vignetted edges. This camera is bomb proof and has been dropped in the sea twice. The lens has never been cleaned – except in between dunkings – and seems to get better with age.

Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai

Probably my favourite camera and my format – 6×6. Over the last few years I have added a 40mm f/4 and a 150mm f/3.5 ‘S’ lenses to compliment standard 80mm f/2.8 PS, which came with the body. Bought from Ffordes in Inverness-shire with the classic styled Sekonic light meter for £500. A little pricy, but both were in mint condition.

Jobo CPe-2 Film and Print Processor

I have a shameful admission to make. I offered someone £50 for this and the offer was accepted. The previous owner was somewhat pissed off that they normally fetch around £170ish on eBay. While I don’t use it for print processing, it allows consistancy when I develop film.

Nikon D80

Once the photography bug got me again, this was my first proper camera after the Ixus. Big and chunky, unlike the plasticy offering from Canon at the time. The stock 18-50 lens was replaced with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 – f/4.5 which still suits my photographic style.

Canon Ixus 750

This is the camera that got me back into photography after a break of some 30 off years. Idiot proof and makes a great pocket travel camera if you don’t want to get bogged down with anything more complicated.

Sony Cybershot

Only 2.1 megapixels, but this was the first digital camera I had that produced images good enough to print up to A4. It has all the rudimentary features of any modern DSLR and at the time its ultra modern look, really turned heads when you were out with it. I wonder if this will be regarded as a classic in 20 or 30 years time. Modern vintage photography!