Mamiya RB67

This camera has become my main workhorse. I’ve been using it for everything. Portraits, street work, events, landscapes and so much more.

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It is one of my all time favourite pieces from my collection, which is a good thing considering how much effort is required to use it.

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Ensign Ful-Vue

Due to the varied nature of photography, many different breeds of camera exist. Some more complicated and set up for the professional, and others are for a far more simple market.

Box cameras are some of the earliest and basic designs, that often still function even to this day. Most operate using a simple leaf shutter and most having very few, If any aperture options.

Ensign FUL-VUE

The camera was made in England between 1946 and 1950. It is a simple square format box camera, with very little in the way of exposure control. It has a stamped metal body and a huge, bright waist level viewfinder.

It has two shutter speeds “I” for “Instant” (roughly 1/30th sec when manufactured) and and “B” for “Bulb” by my guess, the aperture is somewhere around f.8 which is fairly typical of these kinds of cameras.

As a result of the fixed shutter speed and aperture, the only part of the exposure process that the photographer has control over is the film speed. In my research I’ve found most film from this era to be around the 100iso region but is often (unhelpfully) labelled as “panchromatic” own brand film as most of these companies produced cameras to sell their own film stock.

As a result I often use Ilford fp4 in cameras of this era because it has the best chance of getting the correct exposures.

The camera is reasonably nice to use, again it’s super basic and ergonomics were unheard of in the 40s in the UK.

That being said, it’s a wonderful addition to my collection, you really don’t have to think about much while shooting, because there’s nothing you can do to adjust exposure anyway. Just being able to focus on composition is a great exercise for any photographer. And cameras like this are the perfect opportunity to practice!

Polaroid 600 Extreme

UPDATED POST: this first went live YEARS ago so please excuse the incredibly basic review format

There are more varieties of Polaroid 600 cameras out there than there’s been iPhone updates – it would be ridiculous of me to review every single one. However, you will see more Polaroid reviews from me in future, if I find something that breaks the convention.

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On Lockdown

I’ve been in two minds about posting these images. But I feel that it’s even more important to keep making work during times like these. It’s our responsibility as photographers to keep working and creating even with the lockdown in place.

With all the downtime I’ve been landed with as a result of Covid-19, I ended up shooting and processing my remaining rolls of Kodak TMAX.

These images were shot using a Nikonos IV-A and Zorki 4 during the first 2 weeks of lockdown. Some images taken in Cardiff in the week before the lockdown came into effect, and the latter shot where I live in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

Despite the past month being the warmest of the year, the whole world has seemed cold. Seeing the social distancing measures in place as people queue up for supplies, or seeing near deserted beaches at Barry Island.

Places such as this rely on tourist trade as a source of income. It was sobering to have the sun beating down on your back while every shop on the waterfront had closed shutters and empty displays. The rides have not moved an inch in over a month.

 

 

 

 

 

From Russia With Love (Zenit 11)

This camera came to me from my first every camera haul, where I was incredibly lucky to be able to get this as well as 5 other cameras gifted to me in one go Including the Agfa Isolette I it has not seen as much use as I’d liked it to have seen. But someday I’ll end up using it again when the time is right.

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The Zenit 11 was manufactured between 1981 and 1990 by KMZ and MMZ It is a single lens reflex camera with a selenium cell meter and M42 lens mount system. some of the controls are a little odd to find, for example the film rewind release wasn’t the most easily marked button on the camera which caused me to tear the first roll of film a little.

I have missed using this camera. It has a nice reassuring nice, reassuring weight and is built like a tank. For it’s age it’s in great condition, and it always performs well. The parts are all still moving freely. The non-coupled metering system was unfamiliar to me when i first shot the Zenit, but now having shot vintage cameras for a few years, taking non TTL readings is business as usual.

I’ve used the Zenit in many different situations. It’s just as comfortable in the hills as it is on the street, just beware that becoming a regular Zenit shooter will give you a hell of a workout just carrying the thing around. but it’ll be worth it for the images!