When it comes to cameras there are many who are fans of the red dot but we’re not talking about older Kodak cameras, rather those gems from Germany, the Leicas. Today’s episode covers the famous and super expensive M-Series of Rangefinders. Joining Bill and James on today’s episode is Marwan from SilverGrain Classics. The history of Leica extends well back from the introduction of the M rangefinders. If you have a Leica you’ll know that the company has always had an eye for quality and a certain high-standard. The original Leica cameras designed by Oscar Barnack had their days in the inter-war years and theRead More →

The iconic Leica camera, often cloned and duplicated by many, the Russians with their Fed line, and the Japanese by Canon, Nikon, and Yashica. Wait, Yashica? Meet the Yashica YF, a camera that I didn’t even know existed until fellow photographer and friend James Lee showed it off. The YF, based on the Nicca 3L, which Yashica bought up the whole company, is a wonderful combination of the Barnack Leicas and the M-Series. Combined in such a way to produced a spectacular camera that shows off exactly how a rangefinder of the era should look and behave. Big thanks to James Lee for loaning outRead 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 →

To say the Mamiya Universal is clunky and hard to use is an understatement. But it is not wholly un-useable, you just need to find the flow of the camera. The Universal isn’t a bad camera, underrated, hard to use yes, but a good camera. And while the whole Press series is a strange departure and little more than a footnote in the history of Mamiya, it almost seems like they were trying to build a system camera to see that they could before hitting the big time with their medium format SLRs. But there is a strange draw to a camera system that youRead More →

Playing along the same lines of the fixed lens camera rangefinders of the 1960s and 70s the Olympus 35 SP is one of the top models that you can get from that era, I’d actually rank it equal with the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. And the best part as many people go for the Cannonet line of cameras, the 35 SP again like the 7s is more of an underdog camera and like many Olympus cameras has gained somewhat of a cult following. But what made the camera stand out among it’s peers that a dual metering system that had both a center weighted and anRead More →

Probably the most powerful pocket camera I’ve ever used, the Olympus XA brings the power of the rangefinder, aperture priority and stunning optics into something that can fit in almost every pocket. I’ve used a couple cameras from the XA line in the past, the terribly restrictive XA1 (don’t let the 1 fool you, the 1 came later than the XA and was pretty darn limited), along with the wide angle XA4, but the XA is truly where Olympus made something that was nothing short of magic. The Dirt Make: Olympus Model: XA Type: Rangefinder Format: 35mm, 35x24mm Lens: Fixed, Olympus F.Zuiko 1:2.8 f=35mm YearRead 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 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 →

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 →

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 →