So after several years without any effects of gear acquisition syndrome, I recently suffered a gas attack. You see for many years I’ve pined after a Pentacon SixTL. You know the one, the east german medium format SLR that is known for it’s unreliability and was famously copied by the Russians when they released the more modern Kiev 60 series.
A very nice Praktisix IIa popped as if by magic into my Ebay watch list several weeks back, it had a few issues but the condition was lovely. I was taken by it and made the purchase. Upon further inspection and a failed attempt at correcting shutter speeds by myself, I decided to ship it off to Mainline Photographics in Sydney. I’ve used them several times in the past for CLA’s (Clean/Lube/Adjust) on my Rolleiflexes. Scott is always helpful and Hans (the technician) is Leica trained and always does a top notch job. While it was away I promptly ordered a replacement reflex mirror and a new waist level finder for it. The finder I had suffered from a busted spring so it wouldn’t stay open and the mirror had some crazing near the bottom edge. Then.. I waited.
The Praktisix is the earlier model pre-dating the Pentacon six but made in the same factory in easy germany. The model I have is of 1960’s vintage. It’s every bit the same camera; with a cloth horizontally travelling focal plane shutter with speeds from B to 1/1000th sec. It features a breach lock lens mount (shared with the Kiev60 series) and Carl Zeiss Jena made a slew of very nice lenses for this mount. My particular copy came with the venerable Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Biometar. I’d like to add a Zeiss Flektogon wide angle very soon.
While I waited patiently for my P6 to come back to me I received an interesting phone call. A lady I met 3 years prior at the local library. I had a camera display there at the time and I had spoken to her about photography and art. She mentioned at the time that she had some old cameras in storage and would be happy to part with them. I gave her my number and we parted ways. Out of the blue she called me saying she’d love to donate her cameras to me. Her charge? a simple thank you. despite my offering to pay. Needless to say I was impressed to find a box full of dusty old gear with a few gleaming gems inside.
I’m sure you notice as I did, the Minolta Autocord and Mamiya 645. There are some other interesting bits in here: a folding polaroid 4×5, bulk loader full of mystery film, folding 6×6 camera, a pentax K1000 with some lenses and some random accessories too. Most of this stuff is in poor condition due to the caked on dust and years of storage, but I was very appreciative nonetheless.
I cleaned up what I could of the Mamiya 645 and the Minolta Autocord and found 2 cameras in really quite good condition, which is great considering they are the most sought after in the box. The Mamiya even came with a very wide 35mm Sekor lens. althought the standard 80mm has some coating damage on the front element. The Minolta Autocord has some chipped paint but is in otherwise great condition. I look forward to shooting with both of them.
Back to the Praktisix, It arrived only today and I already had the replacement finder and reflex mirror sitting here at home ready to go. I promptly got stuck into installing the new reflex mirror which was a little bit of a pain as the screws that hold the mirror tabs in place had become quite stuck over the years, I fired the shutter to pop the mirror in the “up” position, this allowed me to get a better angle at the top tab. I removed it and was able to shimmy the old mirror out and slide the new one in. Getting the tiny screw back in the tab hole took most of the time.
With the mirror installed it was simply a matter of popping on the waist level finder. It’s now ready for a roll of film and some inspiration. It doesn’t help that I’m woefully low on 120 film at the moment, I really need to stock up, but now the question remains. Colour or black and white?
I’f you haven’t been keeping up on the new coming out of Ferrania, they have just announced a new film; or rather resurrected a classic film Ferrania P30. This is really exciting news, I encourage you support this new up and coming film manufacturer.
Cairo Montenotte (SV), Italy – FILM Ferrania is proud to announce its first product, FERRANIA P30®, in a limited ALPHA edition.
FERRANIA P30® ALPHA reproduces, with modern techniques developed by FILM Ferrania scientists, the exact film that made Ferrania world-famous more than 50 years ago.
With its cinema pedigree, ultra fine grain, and very high silver content, FERRANIA P30® ALPHA has no peers in the modern analog film market.
FILM Ferrania CEO Nicola Baldini said, “Each frame is like a piece of jewellery.” Pasolini, Rossellini, Visconti and many other Italian directors powered their masterpieces with P30 film.
In 1961, Sophia Loren won the Academy Award for “La Cio ciara” ( Two Women) by Vittorio De Sica and the entire world started to appreciate the beauty of FERRANIA P30® . In 1963, the legendary film 8 ½ by Federico Fellini was shot on FERRANIA P30® stock, cementing its place in cinema history.
It seems to me of late that of the myriad of photography blogs I follow there is a general watering down occurring, that is to say that compared with say last year, or 3 years ago the kind of content I am seeing on said blogs is getting a little less about photography and a little more general. I won’t single any of them out and it isn’t “all” of them, but I’m starting to see more and more non-photography stuff showing up.
So what does that say about the industry/profession/hobby? I will say there certainly isn’t any less camera equipment and gear reviews, they are still rampant which of course makes sense, companies need to sell their gear and reviews bring big numbers to a blog, I know that here on Thorley Photographics most of our hits are for film and camera reviews.
Leaving reviews aside though for a minute, what is going on exactly? is photography reduced yet to a point where anyone with enough nous and a reasonably good quality camera no longer needs to sift through the internet in search of information and opinion on such topics? has the smart phone diluted our art enough that less people actually care about what is being said with photography and how those photos actually look in terms of quality and composition? maybe the few of us with a real passion for the art of photography already “know-it-all” so to speak and there are fewer of the younger generation coming forward to embrace it as an art/hobby.
I might be wildly misdirected but these are just musings at this point, my own life is far to busy to delve as deeply into photography as I have in the past, but I ask of you (if there is anyone out there) what is it you like to see when you read a blog post? What would best serve you from our blog here? more reviews? more tech articles? random photo related ramblings perhaps? I would love to hear from you, hit us back in the comments section below!!
Wow it’s been 12 months since the last update, how slack have I been !
I’ve been super busy but I have a good excuse (see attached photo’s) … Well I’ve been taking lots of baby photos, and I also saw it as an excuse to try out Polaroid cameras. I have never really got the point of Polaroids, my argument was always, it’s way more expensive than film and you don’t even get a negative. But having played with a few polaroid cameras and impossible film, I’m coming around to the idea that polaroid is cool in it’s own way. It’s not something to replace shooting film it’s just something extra to have in addition to film.
Over the past 6 months I’ve been playing with impossible v1 film and V2.0, I’ve got to say v2.0 is a huge increase in quality. I’m looking forward to trying it in spectra format. Also waiting for the v2.0 to come out in colour. Looks like the Impossible people are going full steam ahead.
My first attempt at a photo essay. I decided I’d have a go at photo essay’s as I have been seeing some very lovely ones on the net lately, most notably over at www.theonlinedarkroom.com . So I grabbed my Nikon FM and loaded it with some Kodak Double-X (motion picture film). The Coogee to Bondi beach walk is a 6.5 Km coastal walk between two of Sydney’s most iconic beaches.
First stop Gordon’s bay no-one pays much attention to the signs 😉
Further on at Clovelly the local PADI SCUBA centre trains divers all year around.
The protected beach at Clovelley is very popular with families as well. Where as Tammara beach is where the beautiful people go to be seen in their teensy weensy bikini’s.
The kids play football(soccer) while the older people play lawn bowls
The historic Waverly cemetery marks the half way point of the walk.
A nice spot to soak up the winter sun and watch the surfers, or read a good book.
Although with all the lovely beaches I cant understand why this surfer is surfing so close to the rocks.
6.5 km and 600 Calories later the end is in sight
Bondi ice bergs sea baths is one of Sydney’s most iconic outdoor swimming pools. The Sydney coast line has literally hundreds of these sea baths / rock pools / swimming pools. Most of them are owned by the local city council and are free to use, others like the Bondi one are privately owned and charge a small fee.