The Yashica FR-I is another one of those late 20th century 35mm SLR, based on the Yashica FR and Contax RTS it’s an aperture priority camera which already gives it a plus in my books. And with the C/Y mount you have a pile of great lenses available. However the camera itself has, at least for me, some usability issues that really turned me off the camera as a whole. The Dirt Make: Yashica Model: FR-I Type: 35mm, Single Lens Reflex Lens: Interchangeable, Contax/Yashica Mount Years Manufactured: 1977-1981 The Good Over all this is a comfortable camera to work with, clean lines, nice big shutterRead More →

If there is an icon of Nikon’s durability and commitment to quality the Nikon FM2 is that camera. With one of the most extended production periods of any Nikon camera (1982-2001), the FM2 is a no-nonsense, mechanical camera that can take any punishment you throw at it. I picked up the FM2n originally as a gift to a friend, but quickly fell in love with the camera and promptly purchased an older FM for the friend and kept the FM2n for my own. The FM2n became a constant companion. The Dirt Make: Nikon Model: FM2n Type: 35mm, Single Lens Reflex Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F-Mount Shutter:Read More →

When it comes to Nikon, you know most of the cameras in their catalogue, especially their professional offerings. But there are plenty of hidden gems in their camera line as well. Some even have a cult following, I’m thinking of course of their Nikkormat cameras. But what about the Nikon FG? Like many Nikon cameras of the 1980s, it’s often overlooked in favour of the semi-pro FE2/FM2(n) and for a good reason. The FE/FM series attracts a massive following because it followed the original Nikon design ethos of uncompromised industrial design and quality. But the late 1970s and into the 1980s brought a lot ofRead More →

When you first lay eyes on the Contax G series of cameras you’re going to wonder to yourself, what sort of camera are these? Are they rangefinders? Are they some kind of digital camera? A dressed-up point and shoot? Well the G Series is sort of both, well it certainly is not a digital camera. But it’s a rangefinder and a dressed-up point-and-shoot, in reality, it’s a camera that’s in a class all of its own, the Autofocus Rangefinder (AFRF). I don’t remember exactly what drew me to the G2 when I first got my hands on the camera back at the end of theRead More →

When it comes to 35mm SLRs I’m solidly in the Nikon camp. Yet, Canon had something that could be considered an equal, if not a stronger camera for the 1970s than the Nikon offering of the time. That being the Canon F-1, Canon’s answer to the Nikon F2. Sadly the F-1 only lived a short time in my collection before going to a good friend who had a larger selection of Canon lenses. I know it went to a good home. But as a camera, the F-1 is an amazing performer and if I had more lenses it would have been a strong addition toRead More →

When it comes to fixed lens rangefinders, these cameras were what got me into photography with my very first camera, the Hi-Matic 7s. But these cameras are usually fixed on having f/2.8 or f/1.8 lenses due to the shutters available. Yashica decided to go bigger and often faster with their Lynx line of cameras. So when I had the chance to get my hands on the fixed lens rangefinder with the fastest lens available among these cameras (there are no others with an f/1.4 lens according to all of us in the Alliance), I had to take it out for review. But when it comesRead More →

I remember the first time I saw the Pentax 645; it was at Belle Art Camera in Hamilton, Ontario. It was sitting there in all its medium format beauty with the 75mm f/2.8 lens. The store employee told me all about the camera, what it did, how it worked. And I was looking to up my medium format game. The price was right, so I dropped the cash and left with a camera that would come with me on future trips, projects, and even some weddings. As a camera, the Pentax 645 is a workhorse and a working man’s camera, it has everything you wantRead More →

What is it about Soviet-made cameras that attract such a cult following? I mean they are notorious for breaking, or just being of poor quality right off the factory line. But what is the mark of quality? For the West, we look at cameras such as the Leica and Hasselblad which are precision built cameras with a great deal of research, development, and quality checks before they get into the hands of photographers. But for the Soviets, it was something that could be quickly built, easily repaired, and put into everyone’s hand. And the FED-2 has that mark of quality. But these were far criesRead More →

There’s something strange about the Smena 8M, it wasn’t my first experience with Soviet cameras and certainly wasn’t going to be my last. But the Smena 8m made me both loved and despised the cameras from the Soviet bloc. The camera is simple to the point of being demining, a chunk of plastic that has little to offer a photographer. Other than a strange joy and annoyance in general operation. Every time I used it, I wanted to give it away, tossing more images than those I kept. Yet now looking back at the three rolls I shot through the camera the resulting photos aren’tRead More →

If you have ever listened to my photography journey then you will have had heard of this particular camera, I am of course talking about the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. While among the plethora of fixed lens rangefinders that flooded the market through the 1960s and 1970s it doesn’t stand out among some of the era’s heavy hitters, the Hi-Matic 7s is a sleeper of a camera. And for me, it holds the honour of being my first personal film camera a five-dollar purchase at a garage sale in 2002 it would be a near-constant companion until I got my first SLR. Still, it was aRead More →