I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for manual focus Minolta cameras. And the Minolta lineup is a unique cross-section of camera technology through the post-war 20th Century. All my early experience with photography came in various Minolta cameras, from my family’s Riva Zoom to my first personal camera, the Hi-Matic 7s and the first SLRs in the SR-T 102 X-7a. More recently, the XE-7 has been my Minolta SR-Mount of choice. But the XE-7 lead me down the rabbit hole of the 1970s of Minolta’s technology-sharing agreement with Ernst Leitz because, of course, there was something better. And that something better is the MinoltaRead More →

I always seem to want to come back for more. One of my first experiences with a Soviet camera was a Smena 8m, this was a gift from my good friend Michael Raso, and the camera was interesting, to say the least. There wasn’t anything bad with it; it was pretty unique and produced excellent images. It was hard to work with, too much to do, too fickle, and I wasn’t getting to know the camera well enough. So I passed it onto another photographer who went on to use the camera to produce awesome results. There wasn’t anything wrong with the 8m; I thinkRead More →

The Hasselblad V-System, one that has achieved legendary status within the photographic community. I’m surprised that I actually own the original 500c, and while I don’t use it as much as I used to, it remains a popular tool in my kit. But what about going with something a little newer? The original 500c saw its initial release in 1957 and certainly has flaws, but as a system camera, it started something. While the 503cx isn’t the newest horse in the stable, it adds a pile of features that makes up a greatly improved camera system but allows the use of the older accessories. AndRead More →

While we are all unabashedly Nikon fans here at CCR, that doesn’t mean we don’t shoot other camera systems. And while we’ve done a bunch of deep dives on the Nikon F series, what about the other F? We’re of course talking about the Canon F-1, F-1n and New F-1 because all are different, two are close, one of a radically different name. So stay tuned and join, Bill, John, Ori, and Jess as they dig into Canon’s answer to the Nikon F! Nikon changed the face of professional SLRs in 1959 with the release of the Nikon F, a true system camera. Canon hadRead More →

You’re probably wondering why I’m reviewing a Nikkormat EL when I’ve reviewed a Nikon FE. The reason is simple; the Nikkormat EL is the FE’s foundation, the original Nikon electronic semi-automatic camera. This means that to understand where the FE comes from, I needed to try out an EL. That was my first mistake; the second mistake was shooting a second roll through the Nikkormat EL. I don’t think this mistake is a bad thing. The camera worked perfectly in both rolls; the mistake was that now I want a Nikkormat EL. It’s an easy-to-use camera, especially if you’ve used an FE or FE2, andRead More →

Am I crazy for reviewing a camera that you can have for a song? Maybe? But I’m out here to talk about a camera that many will pass over due to age and the slow autofocus speeds. But when it comes to cameras in the history of photography, the F-401 fits in a strange little niche often forgotten next to the more advanced cameras of the day and, of course, the almighty F90/N90(x/s). And while I have given away the F90, and it gets far more use with its new owner, when I saw the F-401 offered up for free, I jumped on the camera.Read More →

Much of my early years of photography were taken up with the Minolta system. From my initial gateway camera, the Hi-Matic 7s to my first SLR the SR-T 102. The next step in my journey would be some level of automation, and for that, in stepped the X-7a. A gift from a church member who was no longer using the camera gifted me the camera and a single lens. But having a set of Minolta SR lenses already, I had an excellent selection of optics. And the camera would be my first experience with a motor drive, go through some of my earliest explorations andRead More →

Suppose a singular camera relaunched the love of film photography and sparked the inspiration of hundreds if not thousands of photographers. That camera is the LOMO LC-A. While this particular camera is not an LC-A, it is, in the proper fashion of the original LC-A, a direct successor and continuation on the inspiration given by that fateful day in 1991, but more on that later. The LC-A+ is Lomography’s answer to providing the classic look that gave the latter days of the Soviet Bloc rich saturated colours and heavy contrast. First released in 2006 after the closure of the original LOMO production lines for theRead More →

I’ve quickly learned over the three previous reviews of Olympus lenses that there is a certain polarization when it comes to Zuiko glass. In most cases, Zuiko glass is well received by those who use the OM system. But only some lenses and those are usually the ones that fetch the highest price on the used market. And then there’s this lens. Now I’m only recently starting to make more use of zoom lenses, and I have the Minolta Maxxum system to thank for it, so if this review seems clunky, it’s because this is the first zoom lens I’ve reviewed in this series. TheRead More →

Oddly enough this is not the first Praktica SLR that I’ve had in my collection, one of my earliest SLRs that I never actually got around to using was a Praktica Super TL that ended up going into one of the early giveaways for the Film Photography Podcast in their first season along with a LOMO Lubitel 2. So when the LTL showed up at my doorstep, I decided to give the cameras another go. The LTL is, given its age, a bit of an anachronism. By the 1970s, most camera makers west of the iron curtain and Japan used open aperture TTL metering. Yet,Read More →