Retina IIa

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Roger Hicks, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    This afternoon I went to a music and rural crafts festival in the village where I live. On the way I grabbed a 1953 Kodak Retina IIa, despite having many 'better' cameras to choose from.

    I'm not even sure about my own motivation. When the film ran out I came back and picked up a Leica MP (the festival was in the park 100 yards from my house). Same film though.

    What governs which camera you pick up?

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  2. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Looks, most certainly, play a large part.
     
  3. Bruce Appel

    Bruce Appel Member

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    Mood I'm in at the moment.
     
  4. pauldc

    pauldc Member

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    At last count I have 23 different cameras - nothing fancy or expensive but things I have collected on the cheap over the years like a XA, a canonet, a spotmatic etc. So picking which camera is a good question.

    I tend to do either of two different things:

    1. I like to keep all the cameras ticking over (especially the shutters) so I tend to go through cameras by rotation. If I have just finished a film in one camera I move on to the next one with a new film. I also find it refreshing to keep getting introduced to old friends! The actual order is totally random and intuitive and a bit of a lucky dip which adds to the fun. And also I find that different cameras (their feel and their viewfinders) really push me photographically - no comfort zones here.

    2. Also, it is funny but certain films seem to suit certain cameras and always produce pleasing results. There is probably no logic to this! So my Konica S2 loves Tmax 100 in Aculux, my Yashica GSN loves Delta 100, the XA seems to work well with Neopan 400. So, if I fancy a particular film for a days shooting the camera picks itself (for example Neopan is nice for festivals and fairs because of its speed and flexibility - I recently used it to shoot a lovely steam and traction engine fair at the Royal Armoury in north London). My canonet works well with Superia 400 and Reala.

    I feel guilty if a certain camera has not been used for a while - I owe it to these little marvels to get them out and show what they can do!
     
  5. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    A camera which I am able to operate almost subconciously - usually an OM1n or occasionally a Mamiya C330f.

    Lachlan
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Paul,

    Fascinating idea!

    I'll have to think about which of my cameras like which films. Some combinations, certainly, are really unexpected: Delta 3200 in (half-frame) Olympus Pen W.

    Thanks for the other responses too.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  7. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Roger, when I had and used a couple of IIas it was very simple. I carried one when riding a bicycle, carried my Nikkormat when walking or driving. The Retinas were ideal cycling cameras. Not too heavy, pocketable, wouldn't do much harm when fallen on.

    These days I have more cameras, leave most of the ones in good working order at home. The broken ones stay home too.

    Normally FM2n with KM for macro only, N8008S with ISO 100 E6 for other subjects. The two live in the same case. We have two other Nikons, they mainly stay at home. Not sure what I'll do when I run out of KM.

    2x3 Speed, Century. Speed for long lenses, barrel lenses. Century for short lenses. The two together for very long lenses. ISO 100 E6 in one holder, TMX in the other. The two live in the same case, where one goes so does the other.

    Choice of format? Time available, reasons for shooting, subject. On the whole I'm shooting 2x3 more, 35 mm less, and taking fewer pictures overall.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  8. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Format first of course, then noise, then some combination of portability and suitability for the environment. For example, when going to an event where people will be in 40's clothing, usually an Argus, Ciroflex, or Speed Graphic. Quiet places, either a TLR or a leaf shuttered rangefinder like a Canonet or a Yashica Lynx. And I try to rotate the older ones to keep the shutters working.
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Just glad you are shooting film ... I heard a nastry rumor over at the Shutterbug forum that the digital bug had hit you....

    BTW, I almost always shoot my Toyo 45AII, and occasionally my F5, but I do have my N80 (F80) loaded with film right now. As always, my choice is Velvia.
     
  10. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    It all depends on my mood. Just now I shot a roll of 36 of my 2-year-old niece in her back yard... I used a Nikon F3HP with MD-4 motor drive because I wanted to use my F3. :smile: My F100 might have been a better choice technically, but the F3 was more fun, for whatever reason.

    Sometimes I stick a roll in one of my Soviet cameras (Fed 3a or 2b being my favourites)... the photographs are never as technically good as I can get with my Nikons, but they are a lot of fun to take.

    Old cameras are fun to use. I get probably 60-70% of my enjoyment in photography from the taking of photographs... so why not maximize it?
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've tried to whittle them down, but each one seems to have a purpose. The Canon F-1N is mostly for birds, and it's often accompanied by a Gowland 4x5". 5x7" Press Graphic SLR for portraits of moving subjects on sunny days. Sinar 8x10" P is kind of the around-the-house still life and portrait camera. The 8x10" Gowland gets out of the house more. Voigtlander Perkeo II is the briefcase camera. Tech V 4x5" is the travel camera of late for its ruggedness and versatility, but the Bronica S2a kit maybe more for walking around in cities and some studio portraits. The Voigtlander Superb TLR is a nice inconspicuous street shooter. The old 11x14" is still looking for its niche, but I'm using it more and more, as I've worked out the mechanical kinks--replaced the bellows, fixed the bed cracks, modified the back for standard holders, etc. The 6x9 Tech V is waiting to have its lenses cammed, but I use it occasionally as a view camera.

    Coolpix 990?--handy for archiving documents and posting items for sale in the APUG classifieds.
     
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Robert,

    Well, my wife and I do have two digis, a Nikon D70 and a Minox 8111.

    Frances refers to the 8111 as her new short-term memory and I use the Nikon for pack-shots, step-by-steps, record shots and the like -- and even for 'real' photography with soft-focus lenses and for a (very few) subjects. There's a new gallery at www.rogerandfrances.com called '1000 Motels' which is entirely digi, but that's because we thought digi reflected the banality of motels (and we like the strange things the auto white balance does).

    But we didn't even take the digis on our trip to China a few months ago; we just shot about 150 rolls of film in Leica, Voigtlander and Alpa.

    Professionally, the digi is invaluable. For fun -- and I much prefer being an amateur to being a professional -- film wins hands down, as some of the other galleries on the site will (I hope) show. I'm shooting more and more mono and less and less colour, too...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear PhotoJim.

    I absolutely agree about the pleasure of using the camera to take pictures -- and there's an inherent pleasure in using a piece of good mechanical engineering for its intended purpose.

    I once badly upset A Major Manufacturer about 10 years ago at the launch of their new super-auto-everything 35mm SLR. He asked me what I thought, and I said, "Well, I prefer smaller, lighter cameras, so I use medium format."

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogeranmdfrances.com)
     
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  15. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'm doing fine without it, but each to his own.
     
  16. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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  17. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Well Roger that is a great question and I have been struggling to find an answer. I have heaps of cameras and have great difficulty at times in choosing which to go with. One thing that I do is leave the work cameras at home ( F5 and F100 ) to separate work from play! I have a little project at the moment in that I am posting a different classic camera each month on my website with a snippet of information and a few photos.

    I find this a great way to use all the cameras in my collection and have a little fun besides.

    Today I took my Voigtlander Bessamatic out for an airing, it will be the camera for June. Have a peek by googling tony lockerbie and going to classic cameras.

    Btw I liked the China photos that you and Francis took and had published in Black and White Photography ( have I mentioned how good that magazine is!) Also own your book on Rangefinders.

    Cheers, Tony
     
  18. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I think we all look at what we have and try to decide what to take. Sometimes, I'll pick something just because it hasn't been used in a while. Other times, I choose based on what I think I'll be shooting.

    For the zoo, I like an SLR with longer lenses plus a wide angle. If I'm out on a fun day trip, maybe a small 35mm rangefinder plus a 120 roll-film camera.
     
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Robert,

    Yes, but you don't shoot pack shots and step-by-steps. Digi is ideal for that sort of thing -- and I often need that sort of thing to illustrate articles. If I were selling only pictures-as-pictures (which I think may be closer to what you do) rather than 'this is what a Zeiss Ikon looks like' or 'this is how you load a 120 spool', it would be a different story.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  20. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    What we have handy is also a strong deciding factor.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  21. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Tony,

    Very nice pics! And good camera summaries too. Fun!

    Thanks for the kind words. There are lots more China pics on www.rogerandfrances.com in the gallery.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  22. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Sorry Roger, I didn't mean to come across so critical. There are a lot of people who use digital for those things it is good for, I have a Canon A510 that I use for snaps myself.
     
  23. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Robert,

    No need to apologize!

    Perhaps I shouldn't have been so defensive... (I really don't like the beastly things)

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  24. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I sometimes choose cameras based on whether I've used a particular one in a while. Actually, I have one now (a Conley Junior (or something like that)) which is waiting to be used for the first time in probably 70+ years. Well, maybe not that long, but it was my grandma's camera and after having the bellows replaced and the shutter cla'd last year, I think I should get out and use it.

    I suppose that I also choose the camera based on the subject matter and the circumstances/area in which I'll be shooting.
     
  25. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I keep toying with replacing my digicam for that reason. I let the last girlfriend keep the old one as she was using it all the time to document locations and props for filmmakers. It really helped to be able to shoot something and then email it to the producer and ask if that was what they wanted. But I do miss it occasionally when I need to rebuild something or send a quick snap to the family of something new, like my garden.
     
  26. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear DBP,

    Yup, that's about it.

    Cheers,

    Roger