So what do you do when you get bored while recovering from a burn out? And you want to take it slow?

In my case, I built a camera by myself. And called it the CooperCam, since my family name translates to Cooper in English.

It took some thinking, some simple parts from the local home depot warehouse, some dumb luck and an old brass barrel lens that I'd found online for petty cash. 

Pentax 67 was one of the most popular camera systems in the classic medium format. The cameras, lenses and accessories of the series have been on the market since 1969. The focal lengths of the lenses with the additional names Super Takumar and SMC (Super Multi Coating) Takumar range from 35mm to 1000mm. This page contains a full list of all lenses made for the system.

Medium Format is the bee's knees for film shooters. It's where you can shoot film and rival the image quality from digital files, while retaining the signature lower contrast film look. And did you know that 6x7 is the designated press and artist's format! This article extensively discusses your 6x7 options!

Leicas are cool and nice to shoot, other rangefinders often are nice too. But, when real film image quality is required, you need a big negative.
Big, as in Texas-kinda BIG. Enter the Fujica and Fuji rangefinders, dubbed 'The Texas Leicas'. Prepare to be blown away by their image quality (and their size, too)!
The Super Ikonta series from Zeiss Ikon started their life in 1934. In that year, Zeiss Ikon released three Super Ikonta cameras for the 120 format. They were remarkable cameras and continue to be so until present day. A good Super Ikonta has unprecedented image quality, they are the Rolls Royces in build quality when it comes to medium format folder cameras. 
 
The three cameras that were launched in 1934 very nicely had their own strengths and there was a model for every wallet.
 
 
Read on to see if the Super Ikontas fit your bill!

The Horseman Convertible 842 camera was made in the early 1970s. This Medium Format camera with a 62mm wide angle lens was a novelty. It equals a 32mm or even a 25mm wide angle in the 135 format! The camera remains a rarity to this day, sometimes these cameras surface on eBay or on camera shows. Judging from serial numbers on the lenses, there were less than 5,000 cameras made.

At the end of the Second World War, the cover of an American comic depicted a female Army photographer named Linda Lens hitting a German soldier knock out with a Kodak Medalist on a strap.

Impressive for sure but to make a real impression (on a soldier's helmet or elsewhere), I'd advise the Mamiya RB67.

Type 35mm Single-Lens Reflex.

Lenses Pentax K mount. Pentax screw-mount with adapter; manual diaphragm and stop-down metering.

Name K1000, spotlighting the advanced 1/1,000 top shutter speed.

 

Through-the-lens full-aperture metering. Instant-return mirror.

Single 360º rotating shutter speed dial.

Full-aperture coupled metering.

ASA setting on shutter dial with automatic ASA lock.

Full-aperture viewing with fully automatic diaphragm (closes down to set shooting aperture and reopens to full aperture automatically for every shot).

Bright Fresnel focusing screen with microprism center spot (also additional split-image on K1000 SE). "Pure Image" finder with no distractions except the meter/zone system needle.

Automatic double-exposure prevention.

Shutter-cocked indicator.

Combined shutter cock and film-wind lever.

Ratcheted multi-step wind lever. Many Nikons don't have this.

Automatic resetting frame counter.

Rewind crank with folding lever and rotating crank tip.

Ratcheted single or multi-stroke wind lever with comfortable plastic tip.

X-sync hot shoe. PC flash sync socket.

Threaded for a conventional cable-release.

¼-20 tripod socket. Tripod Screw Maximum Depth: 5.5mm.

Finder 0.88x magnification with 50mm lens.

Glass prism. Ground glass with central microprism spot. The luxury K1000 SE version seen here has a combined split-image rangefinder with microprism collar.

Meter needle, and that's it.

Shutter Horizontal rubberized-silk focal-plane. 1 ~ 1,000 and Bulb.

1/60 flash sync. For flash bulbs, use 1/30 and slower with M, MF and FP bulbs.

Orange "cocked" indicator next to shutter button. Uses a regular screw-in cable release.

Wind Lever Single or ratcheted multiple strokes. 160º throw with 10º stand-off.

Frame counter goes to 37, starts at 00.

Meter Two CdS cells. Single live needle in finder: center is OK, up is brighter and down is darker.

ASA 20 ~ ISO 3,200. Metering range: EV 3 ~ EV 18 at ISO 100 with f/2 lens.

Power One tiny 20¢ A76, LR44, SR44 or S76 cell. Power Switch: None, just leave on the lens cap so the CdS cells sucks no power.

Size 3.7 x 5.6 x 1.9 inches HWD. 93.5 x 143 x 49.5 millimeters HWD.

Weight Japan: with battery, strap lugs but no caps, strap or film: 21.375 oz. (606.0g). Japan: with battery, strap lugs and 36-exposure film but no caps or strap: 22.155 oz. (628.1g).

Weight China: with battery, strap lugs but no caps, strap or film: 18.567 oz. (526.4g). China: with battery, strap lugs and 36-expoousure film but no caps or strap: 19.347 oz. (548.5g).

Missing No self-timer. No easy double-exposures. No motor drive, except for this one. No Autofocus No auto exposure. No easy depth-of-field preview (you can press the lens mount button and half-unmount the lens to preview depth of field.) No mirror lock-up. No intervalometer. No custom functions. No interchangeable focus screens. No batteries (just one tiny cell). No problem! None of that other stuff is important; the K1000 lets us pay attention to our picture instead of our camera's instruction book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ricoh Caddy was Ricoh's most accomplished half frame camera ever. Not that they built so many, but they got it right pretty quick. It has full manual settings, a Tomioka lens and the ergonomics are truly excellent. And to boot, it fits in your jeans pocket. Although it should be treated with a bit more respect because of what it is and what it delivers!

While I truly enjoy my screw mount Leicas, it took me a long time to find their SLR counterpart. While essentially it really shouldn't have been that hard, once you think about it.

I know Leica built some truly terrific early Leicaflexes, but they are more related to the M series rangefinders than to the earlier screw mount cameras.

Same time,  the Russians copied the early Leica II and went on from there to produce a Single Lens Reflex camera. Enter the Zenit line of SLR cameras from the early 1960s! Incredible fun for petty cash!

The Ricoh GXR is a remarkable camera. It is built by a unique concept, where changing a lens means you also change the sensor.

Ricoh Launched the GXR in november 2009. It was designed to be a Compact System Camera (CSC), which means it is a small camera and it featured exchangeable lenses. But Ricoh decided to not just manufacture exchangeable lenses, but incorporate lens and sensor in a single unit, called a 'lensor'. The idea behind this was simple: different lenses could benefit from different sensor sizes.

The A12 GXR Mount lensor isn't quite a lensor, in that it has no lens incorporated! Instead it has a Leica M mount in the unit that also houses an APS-C 12MP sensor.

Mirrorless camera adapters article

With the modern day new mirrorless cameras like the Fuji X-T2 and the Sony A7-II, there's great fun in finding less-than-usual lenses in abandoned lens mounts, and adapt them to fit the camera of your choice.

There's a lot of adapters available for peanut prices if you want to try something exotic and this article lists a lot of options to get your lens and camera connected.

Don't forget to get a bunch of macro rings to add between camera and lens if that is your thing!

In this article I try to compile a comprehensive guide to adapting lenses to various types and brands of cameras and lens mounts. As you will have found out by now (or you wouldn't be reading this article), most camera manufacturers used their own, proprietary lens mounts to make sure that once a customer (that means you) bought into a system, they'd be hooked forever.

Tamron Adaptall lenses were at one time the bee's knees of amateur photographer's kits. They are fun to shoot today and can be had for a song, while performance can be excellent!

So you've been looking for this very special lens that will make your Nikon / Minolta / Canon / Zeiss-Ikon (choose your brand) contemporary-correct camera kit complete, but the only specimen you can find has a bent filter rim? Despair not! For today I'm offering a simple DIY tool to straighten filter rims, provided they are made from metal that can bend back into shape.

On the net you can find all kinds of stories on this lens. Most say its very soft wide open, prone to flare and what else. But most of the time this is merely a side effect from shooting a 50+ year old lens that has gotten hazy inside. Most of these lenses have scratches in the front element coating, which cannot be remedied with this pictorial, but image quality still can be improved a lot by cleaning the lens up.

 

Wanna see how to get the most out of this lens again? Read on!

Maybe you're old enough to remember what it felt like to have a stack of prints, negatives or slides in your hand as the result of your photographic labour. Or maybe you're less of a fossil than that and your results reside in a folder on a hard drive, on or off site. In either case, as a (semi) professional photographer you need to have a filing system that will allow you to locate a file, negative or print quickly and have some details on lens used, camera used, film or (digital) processing used, etc. so you can re-create an iconic image with some consistency. 

This blog post shows you my MO when it comes to keeping tabs on what I did and where the results are stored.

After I discovered online that the 1940's American Perfex Deluxe rangefinder was also available in a version with a Wollensak lens in a 38mm screw mount, I decided to buy one and find out if it would fit a Leica.

Only when it arrived I found out that the focussing unit of the Perfex is on the body, not on the lens. A bit like a really unsophisticated Contax focusing system. So much for easily adapting the lens for Leica, I thought. The camera sat on a shelf for quite some time. It wasn't a feat of engineering either, using it was like photographing with a brick, both in ergonomics and in results. I didn't even try, it was too obvious.

Konica has always been a company with its own master plan on photography. The release of the Hexar in 1993 came as a suprise to the photography community. The Hexar was shockingly good, despite its quirky button use to set the cameras functions with. It was hailed as the viable alternative for a Leica M6, and AutoFocus too!

 

Johan Niels Kuiper, fotograaf in Assen, Drenthe - Konica Hexar AF 

 

 

In this digital day and era, I feel safe to say the Hexar is the best compact film camera ever produced. Full stop. What, you don't believe me?