This Old Camera: Pentax 645N. A Practical Impractical Camera

I have dabbled with a few medium format film cameras in recent years. Wonderful devices, but practical is not a word that jumps to mind. They kind of make no sense admittedly. If you want to use film 35mm cameras should do the job. Plenty of sharp lenses on 35mm. Plenty of great 35mm cameras. Nikon F-something, Leica M-anything, Contax G or T then number and on and on. But if you are looking for those things many like in pictures without even knowing why, like DOF, focus fall off and detail, it is hard to beat medium format film. Why not digital medium format? Go check out the prices of even years old, used medium format digital cameras at the big sites and come back. Start out with the son of Pentax 645N, the 645D, not even the more recent 645Z. I’ll wait…

You back? I know, right? Ok. As I was saying medium format film cameras.

Continue reading “This Old Camera: Pentax 645N. A Practical Impractical Camera”

2 favorite compacts at 2 different price points: Contax T2 vs. Konica C35 AF2

Two things I appreciate are quality and bang for buck. It is easy to buy into a top notch experience. But it is very satisfying to find a more frugal path to an excellent experience, One example of this is the recent blog post I wrote for KEH.com comparing the Leica M3 to the FED 2. Another would be two fully manual, waist level viewfinder 6×6 cameras I adore. The Hasselbad 501c…

 

and Yashica Mat LM…

 

Much different spend, but both are capable of great things when used carefully. Just realized I have not posted anything on the Yashica Mat LM yet. Must remedy that. But that is not the topic for today.

Today we visit the Contax T2 and the Konica C35 AF2. Continue reading “2 favorite compacts at 2 different price points: Contax T2 vs. Konica C35 AF2”

This Old Camera/Scanner Files: The mighty little Contax T2

Being smitten with the Contax G Boys I wanted more, but less. More of that Contax/Zeiss goodness, but in a smaller package. Decided on the T range. Ruled out the Contax T since it was MF only and the flash was not built in (Personal preference. Don’t come at me T fans.). Went for the Contax T2. Why not the Contax T3? Because I did not see a great gain for the extra cost and I was not as enamored with the aesthetics as the T2 (Again. Personal preference. Don’t come at me T3 fans.). Plus neither has a slidey door thing that I have already lost minutes potentially wearing out. Continue reading “This Old Camera/Scanner Files: The mighty little Contax T2”

Tiny Second Hand Camera Smackdown: Ricoh GR vs. Sony RX100 IV

Recently I exchanged the Sony 20mm f/2.8 that I bought when I purchased my a6000 not that long ago for the Rokinon 35mm f/2.8. My thinking was that the two lenses were redundant since 35mm (50-ish in full frame terms) was my preferred focal length and the Rokinon seemed barely larger than the 20mm {2.43 x 1.30″ (61.8 x 33 mm) vs 2.46 x 0.80″ vs (62.6 x 20.4 mm)} while gaining another full frame lens in my quiver. No brainer, right? Nope. I really like the Rokinon, but it was not a suitable replacement for the 20mm. Why? Glad you asked:

  • Despite its tiny profile the Rokinon better marries with the full frame Sonys in operation. Where focus speed seems adequate on the A7Rii it is less so on the a6000. No idea why. While not awful on the a6000 it is nowhere near as fast as the 20mm on the a6000. Had no idea how good that lens was until I no longer had it… The framework for an R&B or Country song right there.
  • 0.5″ (12.6mm) does not seem like a huge difference in theory, but in application that turns a very pocketable camera into a somewhat pocketable camera. Also the slightly rounded front edge and metal build of the 20mm meant it went in and out of pocket far easier than the square cornered and plastic Rokinon.

Simple fix. Buy the 20mm again. One problem. Southeastern Camera had two tempting full-blown second-hand cameras (ones I always thought about buying) that barely cost more than the 20mm lens new that would be even smaller than the already petite a6000. The thinking was that for a little more spend than a lens ($350-ish) I could potentially have a whole camera ($500-ish).

 

 

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What to do? Continue reading “Tiny Second Hand Camera Smackdown: Ricoh GR vs. Sony RX100 IV”

I like wide. The Sony G FE 12-24mm f/4 does wide well.

If you ask my conscious self to rank the order of my wide, normal, and tele lens preferences it would be normal, then tele followed by wide. My flickr galleries and blog posts would back this up if you only considered the number of photos posted and the type of lenses written about respectively. For this reason it is the one AF, name brand lens type I did not really budget for once returning to Sony with a vengeance. Thought the vintage K-Mount Vivitar 17-28mm

 

would suffice adapted to a full frame Sony technically, but I never used it. Why? Continue reading “I like wide. The Sony G FE 12-24mm f/4 does wide well.”