Hey everybody, Jason Brunner got me to come here and have a look/see. By the way, Jason sent me a nice fat check in the mail to say that! Heheh, Jason I really dig your videos on YouTube. Well now...... this seems like the place!

Well, let me introduce myself. I am one sharp monkey! hehe.. okay, well, that's not a good introduction. Let me back up a bit and start over.

I'm at the top of the hill here in life, having a look around and I'm sort experiencing a pattern in my life. This is my strange dichotemy. My career or job is as a software engineer/developer/designer/architect. So, I'm making money in the digital world you see. But I ride a bike to work and back. I used to own a ton of electric guitars and basses, and all that digital equipment for taking the soundwaves and doing things with them. But I sold all that stuff a few days before 9/11/01. Now I play only one guitar, a Jose Ramirez R1 classical. There are no pickups on this guitar. It is... analog. About 5 years ago, I suddenly out of the blue remembered how to crochet. I was suffering from a poor season after a failed business (long story, and I'm not going into that here). So I crocheted something for everyone in my family. Imagine a surly dude doing something grandma used to do. Hahah, blows my mind still. Well, I got so far into the fiber arts I started knitting, and I was getting darn good with it too. All the old ladies wanted to know all my secret tips. And I bought tons of knitting machines. And then I bought one that was electronic. Figured I'd write a software program to pattern the knit straight from the computer to the machine and use that program to download pixelated graphics (i.e. photographs). But something went wrong, when I received the machine from UPS it turns out the eBay seller was quite the liar. It was one rusted heaping pile of junk. Nothing worked. So that set me about on another purging of digital things. Back to the manual.. analog world.

Well, when I was a young little whipper snapper, I jumped into the photography world. This started for me in the darkroom in Patrick Henry Junior High School. I so wanted to be a photographer, until I found out that most of them were poor and struggled to maintain a life. :rolleyes: Ahh the youthful things we do. So I went onto other creative endeavors ultimately. But not before I wasted about 10 years in a career that taxed my brain cells, but paid mightly well. I was a Real Estate Appraiser. And I snapped off oh.. at least 2 36 exposure rolls of 35mm daily, on the job. I applied my artistic talent to the mundane job. The photos were only seen by the boss, and the loan officer and the underwriter. I know.. such a small audience. But I got praises galore because I've got the eye... y'know.

Well, then along came digital photography. And I must confess I jumped in deep. But.. in the past few years I've really desired to express myself through another artform, yet again. Down went the knitting needles, down went the paint brushes, down went the computer and the so called "plan" to startup another dot com like last time.. only minus any failures and lawsuits and the like. I'm going back to my roots you see. I can't stand digital cameras to be honest. The only thing they are really any good for is for gettin' your stuff up on eBay!

So.. I've bought myself some darkroom equipment from some student who is having a hard time making ends meet and contemplating moving back in with his mother (hello economy!). I'm sort of dead set here at converting my bathroom and walkin closet or both, into a darkroom but shhhhhhhhhh, don't tell the landlord!

I haven't yet decided upon what camera and what format to get involved with again. But honestly I'm thinking medium format at the least, however I got me this Beseler 35 enlarger and I'm thinking 35 has a lot of indication as to the film size that it accepts! So, unless I want to buy more equipment before I get started maybe I should get me a cheep 35 mm camera to play with.

I used to be a huge huge fan of Olympus OM-2. I still am. What a great camera! Man I had a great setup for that camera, the OM-10 also, and let's see.. what else have I gotten my stinkin fingers on in my life? I think my first SLR was a Yashika. I've had a couple of TLR's, I think one was a Rolleiflex I didn't like that thing.. it had a lens stuck on it you could not take off! Oh but it shot outrageously sweet negatives. I had a Mamiya 220 also. I've had some Petax's and Nikons. Canons in there too. But I never had the money to plink down on a Hasselblad. Nor did I have the cash for a large format view camera. Well, now I'm older.. I don't have the income of a young little whipper snapper paper boy anymore. I've got the income of an underpaid software developer competing for jobs in the USA against Indian, Pakistani, and Philippinos. I smell a career change sometime.....

While I still have some money, maybe I ought to stock up on some equipment that is no longer being made.

So I've got one opening question for the people who have stuck around this long to read my long winded post.

Hasselblad?

or....

Mamiya 645 or RB 67?

or....

Bronica?

Are the Zeiss lenses on those Hasselblads really that superior to anything else?

I'm wondering if there ever has been some sort of scientific assessment performed to rate the Zeiss lenses on Hasselblads versus Sekor lenses on Mamiyas. I think that Rolleiflex I had gave me the nicest negatives I've ever shot. But this is memory. Sometime in the drug years of my 20's I let go of all my posessions, including my negative books and all that jazz. So I can only go by my memory. But the Rolleiflex had them Zeiss lenses as well.....