Camera notes

Cameras are one of my favourite interests – I repair and use older, mostly mechanical, film cameras, of Minolta and Leitz/Leica manufacture.  Using an old Leica IIIf or IIIg will always bring a smile to my face and the technical excellence of the later models is undeniable. I never really warmed to the M models, mostly because of the cost and since I was about 18 had always had an affordable ‘user’ camera in the form of a more-or-less current Minolta. My first was an SRT 101 and I then moved on to the XG (which I never liked) and very quickly on to various XD, XE, SRT 303 and eventually the XK/XM/X-1 and even an XK Motor. Ilove all of those, and have spent most of my time since the 1980s also repairing and rejuvenating these models (less so the XD and XG) just out of fun. If I saw one going cheap that was broken, I could hardly resist buying it just to have the chance to find out what was wrong with it and make it work properly again 🙂

Still my favourite film over the last 15 years, thankfully the Kodak ‘Portra’ range is still available and very much current. The skin-tones and colour balance are to my eye unattainable with any other film at any speed. Other film emulsions are too ‘gaudy’ for my liking

In the between times I also dabbled with the Leica R3, R4 and R5, which are similar enough to the Minolta XE and XD-offerings, if just a tad more mechanically, electronically and aesthetically pleasing… with horrendously expensive glass.

For the Digital world I have made good friends with a Sony DSC V3 Cyber-shot over many years, which also has a very usable infra-red functionality. The newest acquisition is a Sony A7RII, which I can use all my originally expensive and heavy Minolta ‘legacy’ wide-open prime-lenses on. I daresay that a few dedicated digital Autofocus lenses will follow in time. At the moment still licking my wounds regarding the cost of the body.

I will report more on that one, once I have recorded some images and gained some experience with it.