Leica rangefinder cameras have defined small format photography from its beginning and persist to the current day. Maybe you know about the digital rangefinders, including the M11 and the M10 Monochrom, which shoot only black and white but with oh so much capability? Or maybe you’re familiar with the Leica film rangefinders that are still made today, and are even expanding, with the recent announcement of a reissued M6 that is closely based on the original M camera design of the M3 introduced way back in 1954 (Morgan, p.90).
Ilford Pan F
My analog photography obsession snowballed quickly from a Pentax K1000 flea market impulse buy. Before I knew it, I had a budding camera collection and was part of a darkroom community. The gear aspect of photography can undoubtedly take a life of its own. And I am no stranger to GAS, gear acquisition syndrome.
As of late, I mostly shoot medium format with my Hasselblad 500CM (I’ll sell body parts before that camera!). And I’m calmer when it comes to gear. I’ve sold many of my 35mm cameras but have kept one rangefinder, one SLR, and one point-and-shoot. The Pentax K1000, Olympus 35SP, and the Olympus mju-II were gifted to me by my inlaws. I then told myself that this would be all my 35mm cameras.
My first contribution to 35mmc is more a consequence of shoddiness than anything else. On a lazy Saturday, I picked a shiny Agfa Click II in the local thrift store, for the sensible price of 3,5 euros. The Agfa Click, and her sibling, the Clack, are often dismissed as toy cameras, some even compare them to the Holga. That’s quite unfair because, despite their simplicity, these shooters are quite capable.
It was on the map, but then so was Bisti De-Na-Zin, the place our itinerary, planned weeks ago, had on our agenda for the day. That itinerary hadn’t considered the status of our legs and feet, conditioned by winter and Pandemic. After hiking trails the day before at the Petrified Forest, our feet and legs were jelly and sore.
Some people are color shooters, others are black and white shooters. Then you have that part of the Venn diagram that has both color and black and white shooters. Most people favor one or the other. I am personally a color shooter. The only way I can describe it is that I “see” in color. And I don’t mean that I am not color blind. Rather that I am attracted to color and that is what I usually shoot. Others can “see” in black and white. They are attracted to light or the lack of light in certain scenes. It is hard for me to see in this way but I know that there should be a balance in my shooting.