Sunday, July 05, 2009

Started up a Flikr account. I'm over at

I really enjoyed photography when I was doing media studies at college, after I left school and continued onto Dundee College to study photography. Circumstances dictated that I had to leave and on top of that, the SLR that I owned at the the time had a severely scratched lens. Being poor and stupid I threw it out, not thinking to keep the camera body, get my lens polished or even just buy a new lens (all possibilities now that I thiink back). I really enjoyed photography, despite the fact I wasn't very good at it. I really enjoyed the darkroom and processing of films and photos and I enjoyed taking pictures without the aid of a digital viewscreen for immediate consideration.

Anyway, a friend was selling a number of old Soviet cameras and I purchased them (personal note - pay Graeme!). Also, my wife bought me an old Praktica from the charity shop where she volunteers. I now have a healthy collection of vintage cameras and lenses. These are:

Praktica B200
Fed 5
Zenit 12XP
Zenit 19

The Praktica is a German camera and came in  a nice wee leather shoulder bag with seperate compartments for the camera and lens, another lens and a hotshoe flash, all included.  I'll edit this post more when I have time to check the sizes and specs of them.

The Fed 5 is Ukranian and was made in the '70's. It is a Leica copy so I can buy new lenses for it as long as I get Leica lenses. It comes in a lovely brown case. This is probably my favourite camera because it feels lovely in your hands and the mechanics sound so smooth. Winding it on and releasing the shutter is actually a pleasure to feel and hear. It may not be satisfying to people who prefer the huge CLUNK, but it is to me.

The Zenit 12XP and 19 both came with a variety of lenses and were both fitted with their standard 58mm lenses.  I have a 28mm wide angle lens, 2.5/120mm lens, 4/120mm lens,  Macro lens and also an 80-200mm zoom lens. I was trying out all these lenses the other day on an excursion along the cliffs in Arbroath so hopefully they come out alright. I've only used the Zenit 12XP so far because the Zenit 19 is a total beast of a camera and also only works with two watch batteries, which I don't have right now.

My future plans for photography is to get the chemicals and spiral tank to develop my own black and white negatives and eventually get an enlarger and the approprate equipment to be able to process my own pictures. I can always "black out" a room to use as a dark room and we have a cupboard that can be gutted (minus Lynn's sweing equipment) and used for this purpose if need be. It costs £7.99 to get a roll of B&W film developed in Arbroath and takes 2 weeks! I want to speak to the college and try to convince them to open the labs they have to the public (I.E. - me!) so that i can use there rooms for B&W photography. I prefer this over colour, but then again if you look at my Flikr you will see the lovely colours that the Fed 5 produces that have started to sway me to colour, if only with the Fed....


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