If you want a stripped down photographic experience the Minolta A5 gives it. The aperture, shutter and focus are all controlled at the lens using finely machined dials. The Citizen shutter has speeds from 1 second to 1/500 as well as bulb, each one selected with a satisfying click. The focus is silky smooth and easy to see in the viewfinder with its sharp edged focus patch. As with most rangefinders it is excellent for focusing in dim light. The lens is a 45mm 1:2.8 Rokkor built from 4 elements. While a simple design it works very well. With no exposure meter you need to use some other method of determining what settings to use but with that done you can just concentrate on taking pictures.
What does imprinting the date on a film picture have to do with taking pictures with cell phones you may ask and I just assumed you would? Well it illustrates in an orange numerical glow that taking and having a photo means different things to different people. Some might recoil from the notion that their image of a beautiful flower was marred by something so intrusive while another might think didn’t the flowers look nice that year. It’s the same with cell phone pictures some might think why would I want to use an inferior medium to record this moment where someone else might think I’m just glad to have a fragment of this moment that I can remember and share. As technology moves forward the quality of the captured image (I’m not talking art here) has been improving so that there becomes less and less of a compromise in choosing to use a cell phone to record moments. It is after all the camera that many already have with them. Most pictures are taken with the intent of sharing an experience or affirming our existence not to create some deep meaning image that will alter the world, so go ahead and turn the date stamp on that old film camera and add that Instagram filter to that shot, you know you want to.
This is the second part of a single outing where I shot with my new Pentax K-3 giving it a good challenging test in subdued light. The first part can be found here K-3 Sample photos
My mistake its the Big Mini, a great little camera that fits neatly into a camera bag owing to its flat sides without any protuberances when turned off (I had to add that last part when I realized the picture I took of it had it’s lens sticking out). And it’s that lens that makes this camera one to have. I haven’t been disappointed yet when using this camera the exposures have been right on and the image quality great. More Konica Big Mini
This painting has been sitting waiting to be finished for far longer than I care to admit. Now that its done I want to move on to something new and what currently interests me. I have the canvas, I have the paint and I have the image in my mind, time is what I need.
This particular painting is part of an ongoing series of images of cameras and film that I have been doing. It began with “Made in Occupied Japan” which was included in the first Fraser Valley Biennale and from time to time since I have done a painting that fits in the series. Yes I realize in posting these, I am photographing paintings of things that relate to taking photographs that I sometimes use for paintings, but thank you for pointing that out.
Images taken with the Pentax K-3 in challenging light, higher ISO settings and all hand-held. The point being that I would not have been able to capture these images in this way previous to having this camera. It simply is better than anything I’ve ever had before both in image quality and general camera performance. In this situation in the low light of this antique store it’s the ability of the sensor to capture fine details without digital noise interfering that impressed me. That coupled with the shake reduction system that seems improved but is difficult to quantify allowed me to just walk around taking pictures without need of the tripod I had brought.
Even Ricoh have a hard time saying how well the shake reduction works as it depends so much on the method of testing. From their own website they suggust Type: Sensor-Shift Shake Reduction with rotational compensation (3.5EV TBD) so 3.5 stops is the difference between shooting something at ISO 280 vs 3200 that is no small deal and is true for any lens you mount on the K-3.
The Limited Edition Fully Automatic See-Thru 35mm Panoramic Camera… only it isn’t. Clearly it can’t be completely transparent, that wouldn’t work with film now would it? That’s not the only thing though, Ricoh used the term panoramic to refer to setting focus to infinity and the flash off, which isn’t what comes to mind when I think of a panorama. The clear plastic showing the cameras inner workings is the most conspicious thing about it but it’s also a decent camera from the time, though a little chunky.
I recently had occasion to spend two nights in Gatineau Quebec. The window of my room faced towards Ottawa and I used it to take a few pictures with my Pentax K-01 and Pentax Q. I did a little re-arranging of the furniture to make a comfortable chair shaped support for my cameras, and then used a two second timer to prevent camera shake.