Don’t let the top fool you, the Contax G2 isn’t actually made by the famous German camera manufacture that produced the same cameras that Robert Capa took with him during the Operation Overlord landings at Normandy, better known as D-Day. While proudly saying Contax, it’s actually manufactured under licence by the Japanese firm Kyocera. But the Contax G2 does hold one thing above any other rangefinders out there, it is one of two autofocus rangefinders ever produced, the other one is the previous G1 model. There are some out there that say that the G series aren’t true rangefinders, and they do have a point.Read More →

We’re switching away from our usual format and making like Paddington Bear and doing it ourselves! And there’s plenty out there from making your own developer, mounting old lenses on modern cameras, even some basic repairs you can do yourself at home. As always, we be held responsible if things mess up, we’re not professionals or trained in this matter, please do these at your own risk. Kodak Hawkeye Lens Flip Discussed back in Episode 2, it is possible to flip the lenses on the Kodak Hawkeye and Hawkeye Flash models of the iconic 1950s snapshot camera. Being a single element lens, this only exaggeratesRead More →

The F-1 was Canon’s response to the Nikon F line and the direct competitor to the Nikon F2. The first in a long line of trusted professional SLR system cameras the F-1 is a rugged mechanical beast that today is fairly forgotten with many prefering to work with modern EOS cameras for lens compatablities. While a camera I don’t take out that much because I prefer to work with Nikon systems. The F-1 is a solid mechanical camera that would, if not for the price tag, be a good learner camera. The F-1 certainly cuts a nice figure The Dirt Maker: Canon Model: F-1 Type:Read More →

At first glance you would think that the Lynx-14 was just another mid-1960s fixed lens rangefinder, along the lines of the Minolta Hi-Matic line or a cousin of the Yashica Electro line. But the model of camera gives you an idea of what makes this camera stand apart from its contemporaries. The Lynx-14 is the only fixed lens rangefinder to feature an f/1.4 lens, which gives about an extra stop over most others that only have an f/1.8 or f/1.7 lens. Big thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning me this beauty. Would you just look at that glass! The Dirt Maker: Yashica Model: Lynx-14 Type:Read More →

Comrades! Welcome to Communist Camera Revival. Don’t get the (red) scare, we’re just covering Communist Cameras this month as the 1st of May marks International Communist Camera Day! So why was the 1st ICCD? Because the day was a major holiday in the Soviet Union. So let’s get our lomo on and explore the wondrous cameras that have come out of Communist countries. But where did these cameras come from, many look like top end German cameras? Well the simple fact is that they came from Germany, when the Red Army overran Germany they carried away parts, tools, and employees that worked for the majorRead More →

While generally an underdog camera in the 6×4.5 market, the Pentax 645 is by far my favourite of all the cameras within the line. Probably because you don’t see many of them kicking around. I know of only three other photographers in my area that use the camera. But unlike its contemporaries this wasn’t a system camera. You got the body and that was it there was little you could do. But because of that you got a camera that had a built in light meter, motordrive, and grip. Plus the backing of some fantastic optics! While a bit bulky the Pentax 645 is aRead More →

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 →

It’s April so we’re going to give the often detracted APS or Advanced Photo System some love because frankly the cameras used with it are pretty darn cool and for the most part the system was pretty innovative for the time. But it was too little too late, with consumer grade digital cameras on the horizon and stores and labs not willing or being forced to upgrade their equipment the format died fairly quickly. Today you can get the cameras for a song, but the film is either cold stored or worse stored. The format was developed by the major camera manufactures and film manufacturesRead 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 →