5 frames with…

Leica M10-P and CV35 Ultron II with a custom 3D printed hood

5 frames with the Voigtlander 35/2 Ultron II on M10-P in Hong Kong: The beginning of my Leica journey

I started to take photography as my serious hobby over 10 years ago, when I was even in middle school. Since I got to learn more about different gear, and developed my interest in street photography, the Leica M-system inevitably occupied one place in my mind. I had experience with DSLRs, some Minolta film SLRs, later the compact cameras such as T2, T3 and Hexar AF. For a few years I stopped taking cameras and film out but just using my phone.

Nikon FE and Lomo Earl grey 100

5 frames with the Lomo Earl Grey 100 and the Nikon FE

I picked up a 3 pack of Lomo Earl Grey on Black Friday of last year while my local film store was running a promotion for about 20$, making it at the time the cheapest film I could get my hands on as not much was actually left in stock in local stores.

I had just gotten back my Kodak Tri-X 400 negatives from the lab which I had pushed 2 stops (shot at 1600) delivering exceptional results so I thought I would do the same for this film. I loaded the first roll into my newly purchased Nikon FE and set the ISO to 400, perhaps pushing the first film you load in a new camera isn’t a very good idea because you are looking to isolate any potential problems with the light meter or perhaps see if that small dirt advertised by the seller as “does not affect pictures” is in fact as he claims, but the Nikon I received looked in immaculate condition so I put my trust in it.

Fujica ST605n

5 Frames with a Fujica ST605n and Rollei Retro 400s

I bought my first SLR camera as a teenager back in 1981. I remember visiting the now long-gone Vic Odden’s in London Bridge and coming home with a secondhand Fujica ST605n with its slightly unsual standard lens, a Fujinon 55mm f2.2. Alongside a copy of the 35mm Photographer’s Handbook and lots of trial and error I learned how to take photographs using the basic manual controls on that solid simple camera.

5 Frames with the Spinner 360°

I’ve had a thing about panoramas for some time and have experimented with rotation points and stitching software quite a bit over the years. Analogue panoramas are something else though. Posh schools seemed to do whole school photographs using panoramic cameras with rotating heads. None of my schools had enough space for the whole school to sit together, or teachers who were brave enough to try to herd us all together. I’m also aware of the Hasselblad XPan, the Widelux and the Russian Horizon cameras, but they are quite pricy (and I’m quite cheap).

5 Frames with the Kodak Retina 1a & Very Expired Ilford FP4

Word is, Folding Kodak Retinas are a lovely piece of kit, provided your winding mechanism isn’t broken. I had a beautiful Retina iia with a dodgy winder. F2 Schneider lens, nice clear rangefinder, I sent it to Dave, my camera wizard, full of hope. In the interim I bought a Retina ia as a possible donor. The difference between the two models were that the one lacked a rangefinder so had a smaller top section, and the lens was an f2.8, other than that the one and two were identical. They were manufactured side by side by the Nagel company in Stuttgart, Germany. Official lists state they were manufactured from 1951-54 but some people think it was as early as 1949. The build quality of both is superb and, while not cheap, they are still relatively inexpensive, for the time being. Well, my iia was unfixable, ok probably not unfixable per se but it needed hugely expensive professional help which made it unviable.

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