måndag 29 mars 2010

More on photography

Minox 35 GT, originally uploaded by Guido lighthunter.

In the mid-1990s I took up photography again, tentatively at first. By that time, good cameras made in the 1970s could be obtained for next to nothing. I was not keen on carrying around my big and heavy Nikon F2 so I got hold of an Olympus Trip 35, a small and simple camera with manual focussing and simple automatic exposure control. This was quite successful and I was not worried about taking it to places where one would not use a better camera. In that way I managed to get some dramatic shots such as one of the sea front cleaners at Brighton, trying to sweep back the sea at high tide in a gale. My only criticism is that the pictures are soft.

Other cameras from this period that I tried were a Canonet, which had an incredibly sharp lens but was bigger and clumsier then the Olympus, and an Olympus RC, a camera like the Trip but with a coupled rangefinder.

Finding I was taking my photography more seriously I obtained a Nikon F3 body for use with my lens collection, again at no great outlay.

By then, digital cameras had started to become popular and the better old classic film cameras could be picked up quite inexpensively. At that time, out of curiosity, partly encouraged by my friend Lomokev, I tried a variety of old classic film cameras. These include the Contax T2, which is beautifully made, takes sharp pictures with rich colour rendering, but suffers from a poor viewfinder and the lack of a thread for a protective UV filter; the Olympus XA , which is compact, robust and takes reasonable photographs; and the Minox 35GT (above) the smallest 35 mm camera ever made, not quite as robust as the Olympus and mine gave a disappointingly soft rendering.

Unfortunately the Minox was so small that I lost it a couple of times, eventually for good, so my cheap film camera is now the Olympus XA.

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