My Equipment

I am strictly a film photographer.  My usual camera of choice is my trusty Pentax MX, for which I have various lenses;  I also occasionally use a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic, and have been learning to work with a lovely little Beltica.  I usually prefer black & white film, ‘though lately I’ve been forcing myself to venture more into color.

I shoot in available light, hand-held; I have pretty steady nerves.  All of my negs are lab-processed, and I scan the negs on my recently-acquired Epson V700 (sans post-processing software).   As far as the images you’re seeing, some photos may be cropped, but none are digitally altered.

Also, my cameras got no batteries in ’em, because in the good ol’ Luddite tradition, you don’t need no stinkin’ batteries.

P.S. As this page is occasionally updated, some of my responses to earlier comments might not make any sense any more. Oh, well.

15 comments on “My Equipment

  1. Well, I said I’d get to your blog, Luddy, and here I am – only a week late!

    I admire you’re staying with film, but that’s certainly not for me. Its strange, 3 years ago or more I was 100% certain that I was staying with film, but then Nikon brought out the D700 which seemed to offer about as much as my simply wonderful F6 – and, wondering whether or not to get one – I managed to make the decision just after prices had risen – but a shop in Bath got me one at the old price. Another plus of course is that the D700 can use all of the F6’s lenses.

    And since then I’ve never looked back, because digital offers me vastly greater creative potential than film – and I work on the premise that the Raw image is a digital negative (that happens to be in colour) and I take it from there. The D700 is big and so is my 70-300 and, even more so, my 80-400, but I have an Optech camera strap that spreads the weight – and I don’t mind carrying the weight, and I know this gear will deliver when required.

    I also use a little Canon G11 PowerShot for times when the big Nikon is not suitable eg at cafe tables, and I’m continually amazed at the pictures this camera takes. I’m absolutely in love with the fully articulated screen – I can look down into it and see exactly what the photo will look like, and with “shutter noise” switched off and image stabilisation always on, that’s just perfect.

    And so my still cherished film cameras sit at home – F6 and OM-4 Ti, and also a Leica Minilux, Olympus mju-II, and a wonderful Ricoh GR1v.

    I’m right there with you on available light and hand held – but the Nikkor lenses have vibration reduction, which really helps with camera shake and with picture composition too – because the image freezes just before capture, so that I can see exactly what I’ve got.

    I’m also right with re the Neopan and Ilford films, especially Neopan 1600. And I used to really love Agfa Scala mono slides – for me they were the most saddening casualty of the digital rise.

    Although there would be initial outlay, you can save yourself money by gettinga film scanner. I use a plustech OpticFilm 7600i. Its not fast but its really produces the goods. Adrian

    • Brother, you don’t know how many hours I’ve wasted online, drooling over film scanners of every price & capacity! But it’s always that initial cost that sends me cowering. I know I’ll have to make the commitment one of these days.

      Funny, I had the exact opposite reaction to digital cameras: I felt far more limited; too techie for me. I grab a camera, a lens, some rolls of film, and I’m out the door. (As I say, don’t even need batteries.) This probably sounds more confining, since I’m limiting myself to just what I can carry in my hand, but I find this forces me to be more creative — i.e., “How can I coax something strange and beautiful out of what I have here and now?”

      Oh, I’m gonna miss the 1600 when I can no longer find it. Have you seen it on eBay for ridiculous prices? Neopan SS is also getting hard to find, it seems. I still miss Kodak HIE; I’ll probably never stop pining for that film.

      Anyway, Adrian, thanks for the feedback on my posts. I always like getting comments. (Heh. I’m even old fashioned when it comes to blogging.)

      And listen, if you ever wanna unload that OM4, I can certainly find a place for it in my camera bag…

  2. Well, the OM4 Ti’s not going anywhere so I’ll keep you in mind. I have Zuiko lenses too – 75-150, 28 f2, 21 f3.5 (wonderful lens, and tiny), 135 f2.8 (again like this one very much), 50 1.4 silvernose. I also have the old OM-1 and OM-2 that I used in Kenya, but they’re full of mould now.

    Where are you based? Are you here in the UK? I’m in Bristol.

    I also urge you to take the plunge with a film scanner – there are many cheaper ones around now. I recommend plustech.

    The other thing to mention is Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 – not cheap but wow! You’ll see many pictures on my blog that use it. I realise you’re not into digitally manipulating pictures much – but if you ever have a change of mind >>> SEP2!!! Adrian

  3. As one who learned photography back when you had to use a ferrotype to dry prints (no such animal as resin-coated paper), I deeply appreciate all the aesthetics of real film. I still use film for x-rays, and I miss using Kodachrome and Tri-X, push-processing and all the tricks you had to do before t-grain emulsions. Ilford? Must be some new invention. I’ll admit putting the phone-cam in my pocket is easier than lugging around my twin lens Rollieflex 120. I enjoyed browsing here!

    • Thanks, Invisible Mikey.

      I admit I like the T-grains, so I’m disappointed that some of my favorites of these, especially the Neopans, are already being eased out. And it was sad to see Plus-X go. Oh, well. I’ll ease my sorrows in the arms of Ilford HP5 and FP4.

      You’re welcome to browse here any time!

  4. hehe! i like your comment about the stinking batteries! youre a man after my tastes, sir! ive only just landed on ur site, so i dont know the full story about your exploits as yet but im very definitely old school, man…people can take it…or leave it! yeah sure…ive got a couple digicams…nothing special…just ricoh grd and canon g something or other! but nothing beats my film cameras…the more basic, the better. i love lugging my yashica or rolleiflex tlr around…well…im a bit of an extrovert underneath i think… i just love the attention it gets me…! and of course, what can beat my olympus trip…..!

    • Hey, filmcamera999, thanks for stopping by!

      There’s just something about the heftiness of the whole thing when shooting film; I know this sounds really snobby, but I feel that we have to think more about what we’re doing in analogue.

      (ummm…also…although I tend to overuse the word “dude” even when greeting my female friends, I’m not actually a “sir”…)

  5. I like your B&W photos and I agree about ‘no batteries’ in the cameras. When I shot film, I used Nikon FM bodies because of their manual operation and mechanical shutters.

    That is in the distant past. I now use a point-and-shoot Canon digital camera that takes AA batteries. At least now I can always have a fresh, fully-charged battery instead of a slightly-charged NiCad or two.

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Allan!

      I remember those little batteries that my cameras required were too pricey and hard to find for me; it was easier to do without. By now I’ve just gotten used to it!

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