You may think you’re looking at a Leica, and you would be partially correct. During the Second World War the Red Army carried back to the Soviet Block the contents of many factories that were in Germany, including photographic technology, equipment, and parts. Even colour film technology was removed from Agfa’s plant. So when you see not only Fed and Zorki cameras they are infact direct clones of Leica model cameras. Often being manufactured at less cost but suffered from one thing…quality control. It may look like a Leica, but it sure isn’t one. And in someways it’s a bit better! The Dirt Maker: FEDRead More →

Designed as the camera for Youth (Smena or ϹМЕНА roughly translated is Young Generation or Relay), the Smena 8m was a staple camera from the Leningrad Optical-Mechanical Union (LOMO) that really was the most basic of cameras out there. This simple viewfinder camera will either delight or frustrate you as it can be fairly complex to work with, which is rather odd since it was a Youth camera. The ϹМЕНА 8M the strangest chunk of plastic the ruble can buy The Dirt Maker: Lomo (ЛОМО) Model: Smena 8m (ϹМЕНА 8M) Type: 35mm Viewfinder Lens: Fixed, Lomo T-43 4/40 (T-43 4/40 ЛОМО) Year of Manufacture: 1970-1995Read More →

The Hi-Matic 7s, where to start on this sweet fixed lens rangefinder. It truely is the underdog when it comes to the rangefinder explosion of the 1960s and today is barely seen with everyone clamoring for Yashica Electros, Canonet QL17 GIIIs, and Olympus 35SP, and while these are all great cameras the Hi-Matic 7s is a true sleeper. The slightly upgraded version of the Hi-Matic 7 (the second camera in the Hi-Matic line) features the same meter as Minolta’s SrT line of single lens reflex cameras, a hotshoe, and the Safe Loading System (SLS). This also happens to be the very first camera that IRead More →

This is a beast of camera. I mean I thought that lugging around a 4×5 was crazy, the GX680iii is just nuts. This camera would feel more at home in a studio than in the field. But I often find studio work boring. But as a system camera it is incredible, a couple it with excellent Fuji glass on the front and you have a power camera that gives you the flexibility of large format with the convenience of roll film. Special Thanks to James Lee for loaning me the camera for this review. Despite being a studio camera it came out on a hike!Read More →

Olympus seems to have a way of creating cult cameras and the Trip 35 is no different, this is a fantastic compact and fully automated camera that can fit in a pocket or bag. But don’t let the size give it away, the Trip 35 produces fantastic sharp images mostly thanks to the fantasic Zuiko lens. It’s a great way to get quality images in a compact camera. The Dirt Maker: Olympus Model: Trip 35 Type: 35mm Point & Shoot Zone Focus Lens: Fixed, Olympus D.Zuiko f=40mm 1:2.8 (Tessar Design) Year of Manufacture: 1967-1984 The Good No batteries here, the fully automated system can beRead More →

There aren’t many cameras out there that I’ve picked up and loved right off the bat. I could probably count them all on just one hand. Oddly enough they’re all from the Nikon F series. The Nikon F2 came into my toolkit by chance and quickly earned a strong reputation for being a reliable camera in any weather and one that has been on the waiting list for a total CLA when I have the chance to send away. I can use all my manual focus lenses on it, and it doesn’t miss a beat. A constant companion on photo walks and trips, easy toRead More →

To start it off, let me just say that I’m a Nikon guy and have very little experience with Canon gear. That being said, I’m rather a big fan of this camera after shooting it. It gives any photographer a very pleasing experience. Easy to handle and easy to use. And while it does require a battery, it makes for a great student camera with full automatic mode and manual settings. The Canon AE-1 Program with an older Breach-Lock 50mm f/1.4 lens that I got with a Canon F-1 The Dirt Maker: Canon Model: AE-1 Program Type: 35mm Single Lens Reflex Lens: Interchangeable, Canon FDRead More →

This is the ultimate in twin lens cameras, the famous Rolleiflex’s were the very best when it came to fixed lens TLR cameras, and mine is no different. A constant favourite that often gets dragged along on my many travels and adventures and really the only top down cameras that I can use comfortably. To make it even better I’m the second owner of this beauty. The Rolleiflex in all its glory, one of the five cameras that I can say I loved at first use The Dirt Maker: Franke & Heidecke Model: Rolleiflex 2,8F K7F3 Type: 120/220 Twin Lens Reflex Lens: Fixed, Carl ZeissRead More →

Accept no copy, the one the only, the iconic camera that started out life as the bargain model that featured the the new K-Mount (Introduced in 1975), but has since gained greater popularity, and the camera you most likely used in your High School Photography Course, is the Pentax K1000. This all mechanical marvel is the essential student camera and general beater that can be used pretty much anywhere in the world today! The wide range of top quality lenses and ease of use saw it named the Film Photography Project’s Camera of the Year for 2014 and after having several pass in and outRead More →

When my Nikon F80 started to flake out, I needed a replacement, but in those days the Nikon F5 (my grail camera) remained financially out of reach, so I went with the one step down from the F5, the F4. The camera quickly gained my trust as the go-to 35mm camera when I headed out into the field and lasted in my collection for several years before I switched to the Nikon F5 and even then there was overlap. Despite the flaws of the early autofocus, the LCD bleed, and limitations with manual focus and AF-G lenses, the F4 became a constant companion. I knewRead More →