As a 15 year old I got my first ever SLR for a Christmas present. It was a Soviet made Zenit and served me well for a while. When I opted for ‘A’ Level Photography at school, I decided to upgrade. With a small budget made up from part-time work, the only new camera I could afford was a Praktica, the latest model being the MTL5b. Literally made in their millions in the old GDR (or East Germany as we knew it), Prakticas were relatively cheap and had a decent reputation for reliability. And perfect for learning with. Others in my cohort also had Prakticas. One class mate had a neat, sleek SLR which looked rather impressive. I worked out years later it was an Olympus OM.
In an earlier post I suggested that the only thing left to do with my 1950s rangefinder 35mm was a pinhole conversion project, bearing in mind that most features were dead (invisible patch, wonky viewfinder etc) but at least an apparently working shutter including bulb setting. So here I present my Paxette Pinhole. Being a Series II, this one has interchangeable lenses via a M39-like screw mount, which means the lens can be easily removed and replaced with my custom made pinhole.
The title is a reflection of the fact that this is essentially part 2 of my initial ‘5 Frames’ pitch. You may have read my earlier one; the original idea was to present ten camera/film combinations but then I realised that half the cameras on review were Chinons, hence this title. I have developed a fondness for Chinon cameras (I also like Agfa) and have quite a few, from fully featured SLRs to simple point and shoots. Some of these are versions made for other companies or simply rebadged into their brands. Chinon made cameras in the guise of Sears, Hanimex, Revue, GAF, Prinz to name a few.
The title is a reflection that I have (too) many cameras and that there remains a decent suite of emulsion available on the market. Now before you have visions of me lugging five camera combinations to my local graveyard, the films were not all exposed on the same day. It is a favourite camera/lens/film testing ground of mine. Overlooking the River Medway and surrounded by woodland, St Michael & All Angels has always seemed a great place to be buried… It’s also a great place to take photos!