The funny thing is, the Bronica SQ-Ai is the camera where I first developed a love/hate relationship with Bronica cameras, especially the black plastic ones. I got mine, back after the SQ-Am body kicked it (I do not ever want to see another SQ-Am). I figured the SQ-Ai would fill the need in my kit for an interchangeable lens, SLR for medium format 6×6. And for a while it did, but then a few things cropped up, mostly because of configuration, and design flaws that made me dump the camera. While not a bad camera, you need to be careful about which model and whichRead More →

The iconic Leica camera, often cloned and duplicated by many, the Russians with their Fed line, and the Japanese by Canon, Nikon, and Yashica. Wait, Yashica? Meet the Yashica YF, a camera that I didn’t even know existed until fellow photographer and friend James Lee showed it off. The YF, based on the Nicca 3L, which Yashica bought up the whole company, is a wonderful combination of the Barnack Leicas and the M-Series. Combined in such a way to produced a spectacular camera that shows off exactly how a rangefinder of the era should look and behave. Big thanks to James Lee for loaning outRead More →

I don’t mean to knock a camera right off the bat, but honestly, Pentax could have done far better than the Pentax MG. Built as part of the compact M series of Pentax SLRs following the release of the Olympus OM-1. Designed as an entry level camera and it shows, bare-bones, simple, and so small it hurts. But you have to take the good with the bad in these reviews, and it’s been a while since I found a camera that I immediately disliked the moment I picked it up. Thanks to James Lee for loaning out the MG for review. The Dirt Make: PentaxRead More →

Polaroid, the name itself implies instant photography, and in this case, you would be 100% correct, the Polaroid One is probably the best Type-600 camera I have used. It’s also the most modern being the last one built before the company went bankrupt in the early 21st-century, and while Polaroid Originals does produce brand new modern instant cameras in the form of the stunning OneStep2 and the I-1. But if you have a desire for a classic Polaroid then look no further than the Polaroid One. The Dirt Make: Polaroid Model: One Type: Point-And-Shoot Format: Type-600 Instant Lens: Fixed, Polaroid 100mm f/11.5 Year of Manufacture:Read More →

The Fuji GSW690ii is not a camera you need, but it sure is fun to have. That being said, a lot is going for the camera and if you’re like me, and are a wide-angle junky who loves to shoot big and wide than a GSW690 is certainly a camera that will make you very happy. There’s a reason they have the nickname Texas Leica because everything’s bigger in Texas, and what’s better than a superb rangefinder, a magnificent rangefinder that shoots 6×9 and a wide angle lens that covers everything. Special thanks to James Lee for loaning out this beauty! The Dirt Make: FujiRead More →

It only makes sense that the iconic Mamiya m645 grew up, and ended up being a perfect camera that blends the traditional film and modern digital photographic market. I am of course talking about the Mamiya 645 AF-D III. The AF-D III is by far the newest and most advanced camera I’ve had a chance to review in these blogs and well worth the wait. The camera is the medium format camera for the 21st-Century hybrid shooter as it can accept both traditional medium format film and digital backs. The penultimate iteration of the classic wedding photographer workhorse that will pay for itself if youRead More →

In the past, I’ve described the Bronica SQ-Am as the camera used by Darth Vader, I’d like to revise that statement, the Leicaflex SL2 is the camera of choice for the Dark Lord of the Sith. While my previous experience with Leica SLRs has been lacklustre, the SL2 makes up for that experience without question. The camera is a mechanical beast and shows off exactly what makes a Leica, a Leica. From amazing optics to precision mechanics. And yet of all the Leica cameras, I’ve used the SL2 is the first one I’ve picked up that felt instantly familiar I didn’t even have to checkRead More →

I’ll be the first to admit I have a soft spot for match needle mechanical SLRs. And the camera that created that soft spot is not the SR-T 101, but rather it’s cousin the SR-T 102, but it’s the 101 on the review block today, and with little between the two, it seems only fair to apply the same level of familiarity. The SR-T line is the cameras that made me love photography, simple in their design and operation the cameras are near perfect for students and those who are learning photography. And despite being decades separated from the camera, going back to them isRead More →

Before Apple picked up the name Retina, it attached itself to a line of folding German Kodak cameras. Wait, isn’t Kodak an American camera brand you may be asking. And yes, you’re right but their German branch, Kodak AG, had a rather strong reputation in bringing inexpensive but solid performance cameras to market, and their iconic line, Retina. And while the camera is classified as a folder, it lacks the distinctive bellows that prove to be a weak spot in these cameras. Armed with German rather than American optics the cameras are solid performers if a bit fickle in their operation. A note to theRead More →

There are many cameras out there that hold iconic status, others that carry a cult status, however, when it comes to the Mamiya m645 the camera holds neither but remains an essential camera to many a wedding photography. The m645 is a workhorse, designed to take a beating and keep on getting photos, and there’s a strong chance that if you got married when medium format was king of the wedding market, or you’re of a certain age where school photos were still taken on film the m645 was the camera in the hand of the photographer. And while the m645 has evolved and changedRead More →