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Thread: Retina IIa

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    Retina IIa

    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)

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    Looks, most certainly, play a large part.
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

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    Mood I'm in at the moment.

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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!

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

    Lachlan

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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)

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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

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    DBP
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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.

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    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    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)
    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.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  10. #10
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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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. 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?

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