I bought this camera and lens combo nearly two years ago, and finally received it back from being fully serviced just as COVID-19 began sweeping through the United States. As such, I’ve had quite a bit of down time during my weeks off (medical personnel here) to really test out the camera since I bought it. It’s an absolute joy to use, and the rangefinder inside puts my Fujica GL690 and Canonet QL17 Giii to shame. I think we’ve all heard the hype surrounding the Leica M3, and after using it the past few weeks, I’d say the hype is real.
For a steal on eBay, I acquired a Bronica ETRsi and 5 different lenses, inside a Pelican case, for just under $400. The 500mm f/8 EII lens takes up a quarter of the space in the case and weighs more than everything else combined. Weighing in an unwieldy 8 pounds, this thing is an incredible pain in the ass to carry around, and I wouldn’t be surprised to have the police called on me for carrying around a gun. It would be a little better handling wise if it had a more substantial tripod mount.
Similar to the Olympus XA2, I found the Canon Sure Shot for a measly $10 at an estate sale close to my house. Besides some corroded battery terminals that were easily cleaned out, the camera worked flawlessly. I never thought I would be someone to buy into the whole point & shoot scene, but for $10, why not try? Once I had the battery compartment cleaned out, I set out to shoot a few rolls and see what this thing was capable of.
I’ve spent the last year and a half relearning how to shoot film. I learned four years ago originally shooting, developing, and printing B&W. The last 9 months I’ve shot almost exclusively medium format, fully mechanical cameras. I never really had an interest in point and shoot cameras, until I found this Olympus and a Canon Sure Shot at an estate sale. After cleaning out the horribly corroded battery terminals, I discovered they both worked perfectly after sitting for what must have been a few years unused.
My dive into medium format film was hard and fast. Less than two months after I started shooting film again, and after buying a Leica M3, I found this beauty of a Mamiya M645 set up on eBay. It originally came with the 80mm f/2.8 but I wanted to go a little wider. The 55 f/2.8 offers a full frame equivalent of about 36mm. This lens has barely left the camera, and allows me to hand hold most shots at 1/60th of a second with ease.