I picked up my first camera while I was in college. It was a Leica IIIf. I bought it used at a used stuff store on Hawthorne Ave in Portland, Oregon. I didn't know what I had. It was a classic gem. I wish I had kept it.
But it was not a SLR. And in the 60s the SLRs were where photography was. So I bought a Minolta SRT101. I loved that camera and kept it for years, adding newer Minolta models as I had money to do so. I still have a collection. The X570 is my favorite.
Eventually, I used the Leica less and less and finally sold it.
The Minoltas became my staple even as I took up photography as a profession. As a short time freelancer, I added a 4x5 Calumet and a twin-lens Yashicamat.
The Yashica is another camera that I should have kept. It made amazingly sharp images. But 120 film is hard to come by these days, and the boxy old 6x6 cameras have been replaced by the various digital cameras so common today. And to tell the truth, today's digitals produce images equal to any 6x6 or 6x7 I've owned, including the Mamiya RB 67 that became THE camera during my years as a professional doing studio photography. It was the go-to camera for many professionals in those years. It was a workhorse and was affectionately known simply as "the RB."
Today there is a resurgence of 35mm and b&w photography. One day I may take up my Minoltas again, but for the time being I am 100% digital. Right now I've settled upon a great little camera, the Lumix GF2. It is a micro 4/3 format, which seems something less than "professional." But the images are amazing, and compared to any of the DSLRs, it is easy to carry around and small enough to look like I am just doing amateur snapshots. In street photography, which is what I am doing more and more of, that is an advantage.
Some of the images that follow were taken a few years ago on my first trip to India. They were taken with a Konica-Minolta A2. That, too, was an impressive camera, but the cameras I had gradually broke down, and it seemed best to upgrade. I did - to the Lumix GF2 series.
It took a while to learn the camera. The photography I do requires control over the aperture and shutter and manual focus. I had to learn the touch screen system, but now that I am familiar with it, I love it.
I've taken up HDR photography lately. You'll see some images on this page later. That requires a camera that will bracket a series of images and will shoot RAW. The Lumix does that nicely. I suppose newer cameras will surpass the GF2. Probably they already have. But for the time being I am satisfied that this camera will give me the image quality I want.
The nice thing about this camera is that I can add lenses. And I have. I bought a great Olympus 40-150mm and have been impressed by its sharpness. I don't use it often, but for a close photo in which I want to control the background, it does the job nicely. However, most of my street photography is done with the Lumix lens, and most of that at the 14mm focal length.
|Images of India