If you’ve ever seen the TV show Madmen, you’ll probably have your 21st Century, post MeToo era sensibilities challenged with the sheer amount of sexism that was and is still rampant today. Now if you’re a little confused, let me introduce you to the Nikon EM. Designed to fill in the entry-level gap in the Nikon SLR line, the EM was primarily marketed towards women. The reason is that as a camera, it is basic, set for semi-automatic aperture priority, and that is the only mode available. It also is small, compact, and lightweight. But don’t let that stop you, the EM is an excellentRead More →

Of all the branches of the greater Eastman Kodak empire, their German subsidiary, Kodak AG was responsible for some of Kodak’s iconic designs and cult cameras. And despite existing before World War Two, they became one of the many camera manufacturers who were propped up by the allies to rebuild the shattered German economy in the post-war reconstruction. One of the best-known cameras out of Kodak AG is the Retina line of cameras. And while the Retina existed pre-war, it expanded into one of the more confusing lines of cameras in the companies history. And while the Retina is more associated with viewfinder and rangefinderRead More →

When it comes to game-changing cameras there is nothing more iconic than the Olympus OM-1, it ushered in the small format for the SLR world, and not to be outdone by Olympus, Pentax released their versions of the small SLR, the first two being the MX and the ME. But the ME had a lot of limitations including the lack of a manual mode, enter the ME Super. I’ve had both a ME and ME Super come through my collection in the past, one went to a friend (not sure if she still uses or even has it) and the ME Super met its endRead More →

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a sucker for professional 35mm cameras, and there are two that I’ve always wanted, the Nikon F5 and the Minolta Maxxum 9. While I loved working with the Maxxum 7, the 9 still drew me in just that little bit more. And while the 7 and 9 share many similar features and design cues, the Maxxum 7 to the Maxxum 9 is what the Nikon F100 is to the Nikon F5. All solid cameras, it’s just the 9 and F5 are aimed more for the professional than the advanced amateur. I was sold on the 9 as soonRead More →

The unique, the desirable, and hard to come by Nikon FM3a was the final FM model SLR produced by Nikon and exclusively for the Japanese market. But this is an FM camera that isn’t 100% and FM camera, you may have noticed the A in the model, and there’s a good reason for it, the camera is more a best of both worlds. All you love about the FM series and all you like about the FE series in one beautiful camera that will have you wanting one of your own to replace your FMs and FEs. Big thanks to James Lee for loaning outRead More →

When it comes to iconic cameras, Nikon does not have a shortage in their catalogue. From the highly valued rangefinders to the game-changing Nikon F. Plus all the professional camera bodies that followed in the footsteps of the original system camera. But among the cameras that are highly sought after by many photographers still, today are the compact SLRs of the 1970s and 1980s. Among those is the Nikon FM and the electronic cousin, the Nikon FE. For me, the FE fits into that little niche between my all-mechanical Nikon F2 Photomic and the fair more automatic Nikon FA. The FE fills the gap whenRead More →

As someone who learned photography on a rangefinder, I have a soft spot for the style of camera. And as a student of history, being able to shoot on a camera made by the oldest photography companies in the world (sort of) is even better. Taking both these facts, the Bessa R2M is a joy of a camera. Joy in the sense that it is a very accessible camera, pretty much if you can shoot any film camera you can use this one, and without the gnashing of teeth that might come with a German rangefinder camera. Now as you may (or may not) knowRead More →

While I have shot only a handful of Canon products during my reviews, they’ve all given positive results in my books. The Canon FTb is not bucking this trend as a solid match needle, mechanical SLR it is certainly a top pick for me as a student camera. Simple in its operation, and yet provides a good solid introduction to 35mm film photography. Special thanks to Bill Smith for loaning out this black beauty! The Dirt Make: Canon Model: FTb Type: Single Lens Reflex Format: 135 (35mm), 36×24 Len: Interchangeable, Canon FD Mount Year of Manufacture: 1971 The Good The number one thing I loveRead More →

I’m going to come out and say it right off the bat. I’m used to handling big and bulky SLRs. Yet as I feel smaller cameras like the Nikon FE, Nikon FA, and Pentax ME Super, I realised that there needed to be a single instigator of this shift in SLR size. That camera is the Olympus OM-1, released just under two decades from the first ‘system’ SLR, the Nikon F. But the OM-1 switched the game, changed the narrative on the system camera. It showed you didn’t need a bulky camera to get results. And those who use the OM-1 or any of theRead 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 →