35mm Compact Photographer #8 – Daniel VanDurmen – An RF xpro shooter

By Daniel VanDurmen

First, a bit of background? As much or as little as you are comfortable sharing… Name, Where you are from, what you do, What else in life do you enjoy? that sort of thing?

Daniel VanDurmen. I live in Tulsa Oklahoma and work in the graphics department of a local commercial signage company.  Besides film photography I enjoy autocross, mountain biking, and restoring mid century modern office furniture.

How long have you been taking photos?

Since I was about eleven, when I was first allowed to use my mother’s Kodak Instamatic 126. I took my first job, sacking groceries, at the age of 15, with the specific purpose of saving enough money to buy my first real camera, the Minolta X-700. I’ve been shooting a variety of cameras and formats for about 30 years since then.

What sort of photography do you enjoy or partake in the most (street, landscape, etc)

I enjoy street and architectural the most, but also enjoy concerts and some nature and landscape.

How big a part of your photography life are 35mm compact cameras?

 Probably 50-60%. I use mostly digital for concerts, and film SLRs for auto and bike races, but prefer fixed lens rangefinders for my photo walkabouts.

What about the experience of shooting with them appeals to you?

The simplicity, pocket-ability, and no viewfinder blackout.

Do you feel they have affected your style? Become part of it? Or are the reason for it…?

Yes, absolutely. I used to lug around a huge bag of SLR gear and feel so weighted down, that I often just packed up and went home with very few images. I feel I do my best work when I just take one small camera.

Which is/are your favourite cameras? the one/s that go with you the most?

 Wow, that’s a hard one. Probably my Olympus XA. I really believe it’s the most brilliant little camera ever! Also, I really enjoy my Minolta Hi-Matic 9.


Olympus XA


1966 Minolta Hi-Matic 9

What is it specifically about these cameras that appeal to you so much?

The size of the XA is a boon, I love it with either RedScale or X-Pro. On the other hand, the Hi-Matic 9 is big and heavy, but it feels so good.

What was the path to this shooting habit? How did you discover it appealed to you?

 I had an old Hi-Matic E setting on the shelf for years.  I just got it working a few years ago and was surprised at the results and how much I enjoyed using it.  I’ve bought another 20+ rangefinders and compacts since then, in various conditions.

himatic e

Hi-Matic E

Show us your favourite/best image/s taken with a compact camera?

What films do you shoot with and why?

Various E6 films, Agfa CR200, Velvia 50, Provia 100F, and occasionally expired Ektachromes which I then cross process in C41 at home.  I also use various C41 films such as Kodak Ultramax 400, Portra 400, Ektar 100, Fuji Superia 400.  I redscale my own film as well as developing Neopan Acros 100 B&W in Caffenol.

How, where, why do you process and or print your photos?

I develop my own films at home in my kitchen, hang them to dry in my shower, then scan them on my Epson V600. I edit in Photoshop Elements 9 for Mac, Nik Collection Plug-ins, and occasionally order prints from Snapfish.

What other cameras/type of camera do you regularly shoot with and why – what situations require something else/more if any?

 I use a Nikon P7100 digital compact for concerts and family shots, but prefer film for everything else. I’ve got a gorgeous Nikon F2 that I enjoy, as well as several Minolta SRT series SLRs, for which I have an extensive arsenal of lenses for.  I collect and use Polaroids as well, especially the peel-apart pack film cameras such as the Auto 250 and Super Shooter. Also, not to be forgotten, I love my 1954 Argus TLR and 1952 Kodak Duaflex TRLs.  Oh, and I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention my recent obsession with half frame cameras such as the Olympus Pen EES2, Konica AutoReflex, and Canon Demi EE17.

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Hamish Gill on 35mm Compact Photographer #8 – Daniel VanDurmen – An RF xpro shooter

Comment posted: 24/10/2013

Thanks Daniel, I have just spent a good half hour flicking through your ipernity, some great photography in there! You make me want to shoot more xpro!


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Urban Hafner on 35mm Compact Photographer #8 – Daniel VanDurmen – An RF xpro shooter

Comment posted: 24/10/2013

Yeah, great shots Daniel. I haven't had much success with cross processing recently. I used my Minolta Hi-Matic F and Agfa Precisa CT at ISO 200. Most shots came out seriously underexposed. I think it worked before so now I have the feeling that the meter in the camera isn't precise enough for that stuff.

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