Compact Photographers

35mm Compact Photographer #3 – Julián Péter – Hi-skill with a Hi-Matic!

July 29, 2013

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?

Hello 35mm compact fans,

My name is Julián Péter and I am a 23-year old Maritime student from Slovakia. Since childhood, I have been constantly on the move and have lived abroad for many years. Nowadays, my wanderlust has not left me and I still continue to explore the World and its many corners.

How long have you been taking photos?

I started taking photographs at around 15 or 16. At that time, my family owned a 1.3MP Olympus super-zoom camera and I gradually started to shift from standing in front of the lens to being the one behind the viewfinde

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

My first forays into photography started with general nature and landscape shots. Over time I transformed myself into a sort of „urban“ photographer, taking pictures of town and city sights. This lead me to photographing people and now I focus on reportage and documentary photography.

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

Contrary to my generation, I started shooting on film. I still do, but due to economical reasons, I am slowly phasing it out. However, till I do, I still use a 35mm compact. Actually, I am currently using it for an „urban sights“ project.

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

Compacts are light to carry around. That is a very important feature if you are going to walk around the city for hours. Also, they are small and inconspicuous and generally just fun to shoot.

Do you feel they have effected your style? become part of it? or are the reason for it…?

I think less about technical details and focus more on getting the shot.

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

My favorite camera is the one I have with me –  Minolta Hi-Matic GF. Made in Japan in 1984, plastic, fully manual. Amazingly sharp lens, though.

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

It is really simple to use. The shutter is fixed at about 1/100, you have only three aperture settings represented by pictograms (f16, f8, f4), 4 focusing zones (again pictograms), and it has an underexposure light and a pop-up flash. All you have to do is use Sunny 16 and you are good.

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

After completing a long-term reportage project, I just wanted to do something simple and intuitive. Keep calm and snap on!

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

What films do you shoot with and why?

As it is a simple camera, I am not too concerned about film. Usually, I go for the cheapest option. In the past, I used Kodak Gold 200 with good results. These days I feed the camera with Agfa CT Precisa 100 slide film. I found it in one Austrian shop for almost nothing and bought up their entire stock. I am very interested in the results.

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

Fortunately, I found a great little family-run lab in our capital city of Bratislava. I get recognized even after a long absence and their service is impeccable

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

For „professional“ work I reach for my Nikon D3100 with the 35mm/f1.8 lens or the Nikon P310 digital compact. The latter is an amazing little bugger, f1.8 lens too (at 24mm). I have made good handheld shots with it even in complete darkness.

Here are some links where you can find more from me

Twitter: @JuloPeter

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  • Reply
    March 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    hey i was wondering that there is also red light near the view finder. what is that for? sometimes it lights up sometimes it doesn’t?

    • Reply
      Julián Péter
      March 20, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      It shows underexposure. Basically, if it lights up, the camera wants you to use flash.

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