Tools of the trade (pt .1)

Ricoh SLX 500

Some of you might know I have a fondness for analogue photography and the corresponding cameras. Sure, shooting some pictures digital is a lot quicker and most of the time easier too. I also own a digital SLR, but sometimes it’s just so much more relaxing to shoot something analogue. Over the years I collected a few. Some standard 35 mm film but also some that need a roll of 120 film. I don’t really have a preference for a type of film, but sometimes medium format’s large negatives make for cleaner and clearer pictures.

It all started with a Ricoh SLX 500 that I found in my parents attic (this is the standard procedure I think, haha) in 2004. It was a nice set all snugly kept away in a special carrying case. The set consisted of the Ricoh body, a 50 mm objective and a 29 mm objective and a UV filter. To my disappointment the mirror was locked and the owner of my local photography store couldn’t get it fixed (at least not without me paying a lot of money for it) so I just left it like it is. Maybe I take apart someday just to see how it works. Who knows?

Nikon FEThe Ricoh triggered my attention and made me look a bit harder to find a working analogue camera. My nephew came to the rescue and donated me his old Nikon FE. He got a digital SLR so he didn’t ‘need it’ anymore… Well, I couldn’t get much luckier. A Nikon FE in perfect working order including the Nikon 50 mm f1.8 and a Nikon zoomlens 36-72 mm Series E and also a polarization filter and a UV filter. This camera has been used the most. It is still in daily use. Either by me or by my girlfriend. This camera thought me a lot on analogue photography. Apertures, timing, over- and underexposing all those basics that are just a need to know.

DSC_2622Another camera that tought me a lot was the first pinhole camera I made. It was made after an online paper version I found while looking for information about pinhole cameras and how to build them. Pinhole camera’s are real miracles. They work with the easiest principle of light. Let it pass through a small hole and a reversed (upside down, but not mirrored) images apears at the otherside. This particular Dirkon Pinhole Camera is made of paper, but virtually anything can be used. I bought a lightmeter and got started with a roll of 50 iso Ilford 35 mm film. I was able to calculate the F value of this little beast (around 170!) and also had a bit more of an idea to wat timing to use… The results van be seen in the Photography section. Five minutes of light on the film seemed to do the trick on a sunny day. And it gives a very nice feeling knowing that you did all by yourself. Build the camera, develope the film and make the prints. Very satisfactioning!

These two working camera’s above are the ones I have used the most. I have some more, but thos aren’t being used almost every day. They will be discussed later and contain a few more 35mm cam’s, but also my very first and only one TLR Voigtländer!

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