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In your bag No: 1647 – Alberto Ferrero

Alberto is in Tokyo putting in the final touches of his upcoming book and this is the minimal daily setup to get the job done.

Hello everyone, my name is Alberto. I am Italian and I live in Berlin. Today I am sharing with you what is in my bag:

I usually don’t like to bring too much stuff with me, I prefer to be light and be able to walk all day long without getting my legs wobbling. That’s why I prefer a large fanny pack on my waist and my Leica wrapped around my wrist. Most of the times I shot with my Leica M6 and 35mm Summaron, which I adore. In case of rain or bad weather, I use my Olympus Mju1, as I am not afraid of getting it wet and I can keep hitting the street.

I always bring a small Sunpack flash with me. It’s very light and what I love about it is that it never goes on standby mode, and it is always ready to shoot. I shoot with flash only at night though. If you are wondering why I have stickers in my bag is because I come from a graffiti background. I really think graffiti is for painting what street photography is for photography and this is one of the main reasons why I am a street photographer. I like to get my name out there and I always bring with me stickers of my Berlin’s street photography club, BLNSPC (blnspc.com), to stick around the city.

Berlin

Berlin Street Photography Club was founded in early 2019. It consists of 12 photographers who live in Berlin. We are powered by Safelight Berlin (safelightberlin.com), an online shop for analogue cameras that from May 2019 opened a physical shop in Berlin, also known as “Home of BLNSPC”.

I am currently in Tokyo for 2 months because I am working on a book that I will launch in September 2019. In the photo you see my set up for my everyday work. For this project I am shooting Ilford HP5+ pushed to 1600.

What I love about Tokyo is the people. At first, Japanese people may look very introverted and, especially in the day, they don’t really seem to look for human interactions. My book reveals a contrast between day and night: on one side the rules and the order that society dictates and on the other the absolute craziness of parties and nighttime. If you want updates about my book please follow me on Instagram (link below)

IG: https://www.instagram.com/albertoferrero_/

Website: www.albertoferrero.de

Alberto Ferrero

Thanks for sharing with us your bag shot Alberto. Looking forward to seeing that book!

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com

Send me a high resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500px across. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be featured.
Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.

Cheers
Japancamerahunter

The post In your bag No: 1647 – Alberto Ferrero appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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Photography: Ars-Imago Lab-Box + Monobath Review

Switzerland/Italy based analog photography equipment extraordinaire Ars-Imago caused quite the stir nearly 2 years ago when they announced a kickstarter campaign to produce the Lab-box. The long awaited release of the home developing kit has finally started making its ways to the eager little fingers of its backers.
With film use on the rise yet costs still high and rising, home developing manifested itself for many of us non-1%-ers as the only viable resolution to perpetuate our silver halide and color dye fixes. Now that it’s actually here, does it live up to all the hype and ballyhoo?

Deets

If you don’t even know what the Ars-Imago Lab-box is, it is a plastic box that essentially combines everything you need for a home developing kit: a film tank, agitator, film reel, and other tools, minus the need for a changing bag to load your film. You don’t even need scissors or a can opener!

The Lab-box is a multi-format tank that allows to develop film from start to end, in full day light, bypassing the need to load the rolls in the dark. This daylight loading tank promises to simplify DIY film developing for newbs and pros alike. Since it has a detachable 135 and 120 module, it’s easy to switch between developing 35mm and medium format film when you need to.

I think it’s a cool idea that it has interchangeable modules to swap between 35mm and 120 format. It will certainly save on space for those of us living in tiny boxes they call apartments in the big cities. It’s small enough that if you really wanted to, you could just throw it in a backpack and take it out with you.

Check out the official video below to see it in action.

LAB-BOX, HOW IT WORKS from ars-imago on Vimeo.

Haters will quickly point out “That ain’t nothing new! It’s just a total rip off of the Agfa Rondinax!” Indeed, they are quite similar in design and mechanics and no doubt the Rondinax was the inspiration for the Lab-box. The OG Rondinax was made from the 1930s until the 1970s and designed for 120 and 35 mm film. Clones operating similarly or identically were also made in England in the 1950s (Essex, Kent) and the Soviet Union (Sputnik).

Agfa Rondinax vs. Ars-Imago Lab-box

Rondinax tanks and their clones are now only available from such sources as eBay. A quick peek will reveal that 35 mm film tanks (Rondinax 35, Essex 35) can be had for roughly $100 USD and the 120 version(Rondinax 60, Kent 20) fetch higher prices at almost $200 USD. That’s for used plastic that’s anywhere from 40-80 years old. For about $150 USD, a brand new Ars Imago Lab-box that can do both 35mm and 120 film can be had. Though not revolutionary, the Lab-box combining two formats into one unit is a nice revolutionary touch and hits a reasonable price point.

The Lab-Box is designed with multiple options for balancing agitation frequency and chemical waste. As little as 250 ml can fill half of the tank, but will require constant agitation by turning the green crank that rotates the film reel. Alternatively, 500 ml of developer will fill the entire tank and submerge the entire roll, which requires less agitation but obviously requires using more chemicals.

Developing with the Ars-Imago Monobath

The Ars-Imago Lab-Box is also designed to be used with simple all-in-one develop-and-fix chemicals such as Ars-Imago’s own Monobath. Our first go at this will be with this simple solution.

Ars-imago offers this film retriever tool to pull out the lead from film canisters but I found it to be completely useless. After about 15 minutes of trying and many expletives, I had to resort to the tried and true spit trick to get started. Old school rules! If anyone else out there knows a better solution, I’m all ears.

Other than getting the leader pulled out, everything was pretty straightforward and hassle free. There are just a couple things to be careful with. Don’t forget to slip the film under those metal bars, otherwise you won’t be able to cut the film at the end. Also make sure that the clip snaps on to the film well. Otherwise you risk it slipping mid spool onto the developing reel.

Mixing Parts A and B of the Monobath together will yield you 600ml of solution but the Lab-box itself only fits 500ml. I learned that the hard way. So be careful to pour in no more than 500ml if you want to fully submerge the reel to agitate less. I pretty much followed the online demo, agitating for the first minute then 30 secs every minute after.

After the 8 minutes are up, pour out the solution back into a container for reuse and rinse the box thoroughly with water. Take a deep breath and hope something shows up as you pull your film out. Ars-Imago claims the solution can be used up to 15 times.

Sample Images (35mm)

The below images were taken on JCH Streetpan 400, shot normally on a Leica M6 + Summicron 50mm and developed for 8 minutes with the Ars-Imago Monobath in the Lab-box. Scans are from a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i.

  

I did find some weird streaks and scratches on random frames such as in the shots below. The midtones are mild and balanced but shadows appear grainier and has a weird dusty looking layer over it which leads me to think the film was not spooled evenly onto the developing reel.

Sample Images (120)

The below images were taken on JCH Streetpan 400, shot normally on a Pentax67 + Takumar SMC 105mm and developed for 8 minutes with the Ars-Imago Monobath in the Lab-box.

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In your bag No: 1646 – Gregory Rejniak

Gregory is always ready and neatly displays the carefully curated contents of his daily kit.

Hello. I’m Gregory Rejniak. I was born and I’m living in Warsaw, Poland. I’m landscape architect.

I’ve started taking photos about 15 years ago with my dad’s Praktica VLC3. Then was a digital age in my photography journey. Few years back I’ve started to be bored of this perfection of digital photos, so I went back to my roots and buy my first „my own” analog camera. It was Nikon FM2. I still have it. Bumped and scratched but with a lot of history for sure. I love used cameras. I’m always wondering who was using that camera and what kind of photos was taken by it.

My adventure with film photography evolved, I’ve started to develop BW films and make prints on my own. I’ve also started to teach analog photography and darkroom secrets in local Community Center, here in Warsaw.

Now I have three Nikon film cameras: FM2, FA and F90 (aka Tank). I’m still shooting digital but only occasionally, on gigs like concerts and events. I want analog photography to be my passion and pleasure so I don’t want to make money of it. 

Professionally, I’m a landscape architect and graphic designer. Minimalist taste in my job continues in photos. I like clean compositions and spacious locations. My favourite topic is street photography and portraits.

U can see my analog photos on Instagram: @grzechowicz 

Here is what’s on the photo:

  • some vintage style bag I bought online. I don’t know the brand
  • my beloved Nikon FA with custom made (by me) wooden grip + Nikkor 50m f1.8 E + „Leica style” lenshood + PeakDesign anchors + red soft release button 
  • Olympus Stylus Epic (Mju II) with pealed off paint
  • some colour films like Kodak Portra 160 and 400
  • black and white classics ILFORD HP5+ (to shoot at night, pushed to 1600 ISO) and Delta 100 for smooth, low grain daylight portraits
  • sunglasses
  • earphones (Beats by DRE for iPhone)
  • iPhone charger
  • heavy duty Lightning cable
  • keys to my apartment, office etc.
  • Parker pen
  • Timex watch
  • Swiss army knife
  • perfume travel atomiser 
  • minimalistic leather wallet / card holder
  • leather coins holder
  • my business cards
  • iPhone 6s
  • Peak Design camera strap (best strap I’ve ever used)
  • old roughed up Moleskine soft cover blank notebook

Hope U like it

Cheers,

Gregory – Grzegorz Rejniak

Thanks for sharing with us your bag shot Gregory. Love the DIY approach to your grip.

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com

Send me a high resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500px across. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be featured.
Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.

Cheers
Japancamerahunter

The post In your bag No: 1646 – Gregory Rejniak appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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HPRC X JCH Limited Edition Hard Case

HPRC And I have teamed up to make a special limited edition hard case for my (and your) precious cameras. I have quite fancied my own hard case for a while and when I got talking to Plaber/HPRC I was able to make it a reality.

I met the lovely people at Plaber/HPRC during Photokina, and was cheeky enough to try and blag a free case. They instead suggested we collaborate on a case that has a touch of the JCH flavour. This is how the HPRC X JCH Limited Edition case was born. It looks great and makes sure your gear and film is as safe as can be. Plus, you can always find your bag at the airport, which is a bonus. I hope you like yours as much as I like mine.
Over to Plaber/HPRC for the official press release:
HPRC and Japan Camera Hunter partner on new limited edition camera case for film photographers

June marks HPRC’s 13th Anniversary. In occasion of this celebration, HPRC is pleased to announce its limited edition partnership with Bellamy Hunt, the camera collector who runs the website Japan Camera Hunter. Based in Tokyo, Hunt focuses on vintage film cameras for photographers around the world and manages his online hub for imaging lovers.

HPRC has recently partnered with JCH to release a limited-edition camera case specially designed for photographers. Thanks to the collaboration with JCH, HPRC has revisited its flagship model, the HPRC2550W, to realize a unique case with the film street photography in mind: the JCH2550W-01.

As the whole HPRC collection, the HPRC2550W x JCH is a waterproof and impact resistant case designed to protect the photography gear inside and to prevent it from any damages. This limited version of the case features the unmistakable touch of JCH: the shell is characterised by his red logo and the interior layout is made with a special double-color foam in red and black that helps keep everything in its proper place.

The case has been designed to hold the Leica MP-6 and its accessories: the perfect solution to keep and transport the photographic stuff. The trolley is well-padded and the easy glide and shock- absorbing wheels allow to move smoothly through streets and airports.

This limited edition case represents the beginning of a successful collaboration between the English photographer and blogger and the Italian company: the two iconic brands collide on this simple but remarkable case, which looks at the photo imaging world with a fresh touch.

Only a limited number of units have been produced worldwide, available exclusively through hprc.it. The HPRC2550W x JCH (JCH2550W-01) will officially be launched on Thursday, June 13, 2019.

About Plaber srl / HPRC Cases

Plaber srl is an Italian manufacturer of advanced protective hard cases, sold under the brand HPRC | High Performance Resin Cases. The HPRC product line is the result of a singular focus to use innovative materials and design to deliver improved solutions for users to protect, transport and access their equipment. This focus on innovation first produced HPRC’s patented TTX01® ultralight hard case shell, and can now be found in every detail of an HPRC case. Innovation, tradition and service are the strategic words for PLABER.

You can swipe one now though their site:

https://www.hprc.it/en/hprc2550w-x-jch-limited-edition_jch2550w01.html

I hope you like it as much as I do.

JCH

The post HPRC X JCH Limited Edition Hard Case appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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In your bag No: 1645 – Tiffany Perez

Tiffany became a born again photographer and these are the analog lovelies she’s acquired since.

Hello! My name is Tiffany Perez and I am a data analyst from Southern California. I consider myself an amateur/hobbyist photographer. I have been shooting film for the past 5 years on and off but really got back into it this past year. I shoot anything and everything but a majority of my photography is what I call “drive-by film shooting” as it is done mostly in my car on the way to work. Living in California, traffic is crazy and I spend most of my time in my car so might as well get something out of my time with some cool photos.

To give you some background, I got into film through an obsession with thrifting. A few years ago, everyone in my area was taking up thrifting, trying to find the best deal. When I visited my local thrift store they had some film cameras available for 50% off. As I was searching around, I happened upon a beat-up Olympus box which held none other than the Olympus XA. The box itself was damaged but the camera itself looked pristine. Looked at the price tag and it was $10. I took advantage of the deal of the day and walked away with my $5 Olympus XA. After taking it home and cleaning it up a bit, I ran a battery through it and found that it worked perfectly. The only problem being that the film counter doesn’t work but that doesn’t prevent me from shooting it at all.

After I starting shooting that little guy, my dad took notice and said I could have his old film camera if I could find it in the garage. I searched and searched and was rewarded with the Nikon F3 with a  50mm f1.4. The AE lock button was missing, but just like the XA, it still worked perfectly. After that, I shot both of them throughout my college years on and off but sadly got caught up in life and drifted away.

Within the past year, I was hit with a bout of depression. After a few ups and downs, I was looking for an outlet to get me back on track. It was then that I found my cameras in the box and was propelled into analog photography once again.

Returning back to the present, my collection has grown since then to allow me a variety of companions in my bag. Speaking of which, let’s get to what you all came here for and that is what I carry in my bag.

Let’s start with the bag itself and the knick-knacks I carry in it.

  • Explorer Tactical Messenger Bag: This is my everyday carry bag. I have a Tenba insert which perfectly fits in the bag and offers extra cushion for my cameras and external batteries. I have added pins to the bag to make it less military and more to my liking.
  • Film case: I sadly don’t have a JCH film case but I made my own version out of the beat up case my XA came in and added some foam and some stickers to the outside. It holds about 10 rolls and I take it everywhere.
  • Business Card holder: I have a small business card holder that I got from an organization I was a member of in college. Surprisingly helpful.
  • Hydro Flask: My sticker adorned water bottle. It is perfect when I decide to go out and shoot.
FINALLY ON TO THE MAIN EVENT!

Let me say that I do not carry all these cameras in my bag at once. I usually take one of the SLRs and then one of the two point and shoots as a side companion. I can honestly say that I rotate throughout these cameras which made it hard to feature only one or two in this article.

  • Nikon F3: My main SLR. It just feels so natural to me to shoot this. Also, being my dad’s camera, I could never imagine selling this guy for any reason. This camera will go to my future children. Love this camera to death.
  • Nikon FM3A: A recent addition, I couldn’t pass up the FM3A when he came up in a bundle on eBay. To my surprise, it is nearly brand new except for a dent on the top. Since I shoot mostly out in the day, the 1/4000 shutter speed is helpful when I want to shoot a wide open on a sunny day. 
  • Nikon F5: This tank of a camera came in a bundle with the FM3A (now you understand why I couldn’t pass the deal up). I don’t currently have any AF lenses for it but it works perfectly fine with my other F mount lenses. Super clean and such a workhorse.
  • Olympus XA: The camera that started it all. Still operates very well despite having it for so long (and dropping it a few times.) This camera usually stays in my bag with whatever SLR I choose to carry around that day. Constant companion.
  • Olympus Pen FT: My half frame beauty. This is the smallest SLR I own and if you haven’t seen one of these cameras before, I highly recommend looking it up. The shots I have gotten with this girl are beyond belief. I only have one lens, the 38mm f1.8 which on a half frame camera is basically like a 55mm on a regular camera. When I want to get creative or want to test out a new film stock, I go to this camera. 72 exposures goes a long way.
  • Olympus Mju/Infinity Stylus: Another thrift store find. I know that the Stylus Epic is currently more popular than this guy but I think he does really well regardless. This is my go out with friend’s, party camera for when I don’t really want to think about everything. I just compose and shoot and it has not steered me wrong yet.

That is everything that is in my bag! Thank you for reading. If you want to see my photos or want to chat, you can find me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/tjpiks.

Thanks, everyone! Keep shooting!

Tiffany Perez

The Drive-By Film Shooter

Thanks for sending us your bag shot Tiffany. Definitely jealous of that Nikon trio!

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com

Send me a high resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500px across. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be featured.
Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.

Cheers
Japancamerahunter

The post In your bag No: 1645 – Tiffany Perez appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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Jesse’s Book Review – Life and Work by Sune Jonsson

For those who have been following along, this will be the forth of a series of reviews of Swedish photographers whose books I have reviewed in context of the canon of Swedish photography…albeit loosely. Sune Jonsson Life and Work is precisely that.
The photographer is one of the classicists of Swedish photography along with Gunner Smoliansky leading up to Christer Strömholm the co-founder of Fotoskolan academy, the school in the 60’s that would help define a generation of Swedish photography. The latter of whom I didn’t source a book to review…SO…Jonsson was the pre-Fotoskolan photographer I chose to illustrate Swedish photography before that movement.

Life and Work consists of work from the 50s and 60s in remote northern villages of the Swedish countryside. The world view of Sweden, aside from minimal functional design, in terms of its fauna tends to be misunderstood. Only the northern sections are as arctic as it is typically thought of. Most rarely even venture that far north, so even to Swedes his work may even appear exotic.
As an American, I would say Robert Frank’s images especially of the middle America and the mid-west are viewed as otherworldly to Americans of most major cities and vice-versa. I experienced it when I showed my Nebraska series to Baltimore photographers.

But with that my time in Sweden has been about trying to ascertain a national photo identity. Most street photography in Stockholm lacks just because it is such a modest European city. Most outside would guess it is Germany etc, of course if you know, you would right away know the difference, but as an identity per se it doesn’t really exist in a world perspective.
Through great photography most know Shinjuku, the American west, or UK suburbia. You can attribute a photographer/photo book with those locales if you gave it a second with any basic photography knowledge. But Stockholm….I think anyone would be hard pressed.
But with that I have found the countryside much more unique than the capital with its peculiar Falu red painted country homes stemming from red pigments found in copper mines (that too is functional) and the tiled stoves interiors the home structures are built around. But it is precisely this character and locale that Jonsson captures.

Swedish country homes have impossibly functional symmetrical interiors that often if you open one door will lead through the room to another door perfectly in line. This all then is designed around a chimney system in geometric quadrants. Kitchens tend to look the same with a wider evoked fans and bread ovens. Wood is exposed in every other room, that is aesthetic but certainly unintentional…and more or less this is all captured through the photographer’s lens.

He heightens the geometry reducing these doorway etc into rectangles to frame his subjects. The space in between rooms becomes a play in vanishing points exaggerated by increasingly smaller rectangles.
The way the northern light falls into this homes through traditional window panes is something not film noir-like, but much more classical since most Swedes forgo any curtains what so ever let alone venetian blinds.
In short the interiors are classical and this notion is reconfirmed by anyone who has simply tiptoed around the high points of their art in other mediums as this atmosphere can be seen in the films of Ingmar Bergman or the paintings of Carl Larsson.

There is throughout a good mix of portraiture and land scape. The photos are intimate, never imposing…this isn’t foreigner making his commentary on a people but a man amongst them who just happens to posses a camera, sensitivity, and a lot of skill. Among the four books I reviewed this one would be my favorite offering me what I and perhaps think most enjoy about Sweden…the countryside.

For all of this, the book is modestly priced at around 30 USD and it is a coffee table sized book through and through. There is a nice 20 page essay with over a hundred photographs. Of the four books I reviewed this perhaps is the best buy (I am a photo classicist, excuse my bias), although a Lars Tunjbörk book is a must own by anyone. Will purchase both myself when I get back to Tokyo to save myself the extra luggage…but please enjoy!

Jesse Freeman is a friend, photographer and movie buff. He has a great knowledge of photography books and classic cinema. He can also be relied upon for decent music recommendations.
You can see more of his work and passions at the following places:

https://www.instagram.com/jesselfreeman/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/imnothinginparticular/

Want to read Jesse’s other great reviews? Then click here to go to the archives.
JCH

The post Jesse’s Book Review – Life and Work by Sune Jonsson appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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Jesse’s Visual Interviews: Murphy Mortician

Check out the beautifully morose poems that are Murphy Mortician’s responses in this week’s edition of Jesse’s Visual Interview.

Q1: Who are you? 

Q2: What is your favorite way to waste money?

Q3: What do you consider the most underrated virtue? 

Q4: When are you happiest? 

Q5: What did your first kiss feel like? 

Q6: Where is home?

Q7: Which body parts (yours or otherwise) do you feel the most affection for? 

Q8: What’s a recurring theme in your life?

Q9: How do you define childhood? 

Q10: What is your favorite time of day?

Q11: Who is your favorite person?

Q12: Which person or place do you miss that only exists in a photo?

Thank you for your responses, Murphy!

Just happened to follow Murphy on IG and related to his story of lingering in a foreign country…mine Japan, his was Iceland. And with that, I appreciate the seemingly cold austerity of his black and white that if you look at the response to question 3 has a beautiful warmth. I love the transient nature of these responses, especially in 5 and 6 that are just beautiful…and the symbolism of birds in flight. Expatriate life. Check his IG below:
https://www.instagram.com/blackstairs/

Website: https://blackstairs.co/

Jesse Freeman is a writer for JapanCameraHunter.com and an accomplished ikebana artist as well. You can see more of his work through his sites:

https://www.instagram.com/jesselfreeman/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/imnothinginparticular/

Want to read Jesse’s other great reviews? Then click here to go to the archives.
JCH

The post Jesse’s Visual Interviews: Murphy Mortician appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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Camera Geekery: Filtr

I love hearing about new film photography businesses, so when I heard about Filtr I had to know more. Whilst most camera sellers focus on the high end gear (I am also guilty of this), not many concentrate on the cheaper cameras.
That is where Filtr steps in, with really appealing price points and a wealth of knowledge. I asked the guys behind Filtr to tell us more about what they are doing.

Filtr

There’s heaps of great sites, podcasts, blogs and shops for those with a great deal of knowledge about analogue cameras.  They’re fantastic for us camera nerds, and an invaluable source of information. 

We’ve spent more hours than we care to confess trawling through them, drooling over pictures, contemplating the advantages of a rangefinder over an SLR, and trying to convince ourselves that yes, we really do need a Nikon F3, just in case the F2 breaks down….and the cat is busy shooting with the Nikon F…..

If you’re looking to buy something specialist, expensive, rare, or all three, then there’s probably never been a better time for you.  If you’re reading this then you’re already on the right site for that sort of thing!

But we felt the analogue world was lacking a decent one stop shop for people looking to get into film photography for the first time, and particularly those whose only experience with photography has been on the phones they’ve grown up with.

And that’s how Filtr was born….

Our goal was simple; create a platform that gave newcomers to film everything they needed to break down that invisible wall stopping them from taking the leap into something new. 

We didn’t want lack of knowledge or lack of funds to be obstacles to those wanting to get into film.

We like to stick to what we know, and what we know is manual focus SLRs; there’s heaps of other great types of cameras out there but we leave that to the experts in their fields.

So our mission was, and is, to stock affordable, easy to use, fully working manual focus SLRs, which have been matched to a lens, fitted with new light seals and batteries, and shipped with two rolls of film; everything you need in one box to set you on your way.  No need to learn the hard way about the difference between stuff like Canon FD and Canon FL lenses, or the different versions of Takumar 55mm lenses that would appear to be the same but aren’t – we do all that for you.

But enough about us.  What do we think beginners should be thinking about when they’re entering the analogue world?

The Different Modes

As tempting as it is to choose your camera based on a brand, or to pick the one that looks nicest (been there, done that!) we think the first and most important thing to consider is what shooting mode(s) your camera will offer.

You can read more about that here.

Everybody is entitled to their own view and it’s something that’s guaranteed to create debate.

Plenty of people will tell you as a novice you should always shoot ‘manual’ to learn your craft.  We wouldn’t argue with anybody who held that view – one of our first camera was fully manual – the Pentax S1a, since you ask – and for those who have the time to commit to learning the basics a fully manual only camera is a great option.  Due to their simplicity a lot of them tend to last well and be more reliable, and you can pick up a decent manual camera for a good price too.

Others will tell you to get something with fully automatic ‘program’ mode is the way to go for a beginner.  That makes a certain sense too – you’ll be able to start shooting straight away, and learn the more complex stuff as you go, if you fancy doing that and if you have the time.

Personally though, we think somewhere in between those two options is a good bet.  We’d recommend looking at a camera with an aperture priority option, and probably even go as far as saying this – an aperture priority only camera makes the ideal beginners camera.

Here’s why….

Reason One – They’re Easy to Use

Stating the obvious we know, but with Aperture Priority only cameras all you need to do is select your aperture on the lens.  The camera takes care of the shutter speed, and in all bar the most unusual of lighting situations this is going to get your correctly exposed shots.  No going through your prints afterwards and finding you’ve only got it right 3 or 4 times on the whole roll (again, been there, done that!)  and no missing a shot whilst you fiddle with settings.

For a beginner, that is going to be a huge help.  Nothing is going to put you off shooting film quicker than spending £10 on a roll, then another £10 on your prints (or more if they’re black and white) and finding you’ve only got 4 good shots – not many of us will keep shooting film if it is working out at £5 or more per decent print to begin with.

This ease of use also allows you to focus on the composition of the shot, as you’re not being distracted by meter readings, changing settings and so on.  Again, better prints as a result.

Reason Two – They’re Cheap. Very Cheap.

Back in the pre-digital days a lot of people held firm views about Av only cameras. 

Some people thought it was ‘cheating’ and would talk at length about the importance and purity of shooting with manual only cameras.  Others enjoyed looking down their nose a bit at these cheaper cameras and the people that used them, preferring their “professional” level models instead.

Believe it or not, some of these cameras were actually marketed as cameras for women.  Yep, you read that right! Whilst that’s incredible to think by today’s standards, we’re sure this put off a lot of ‘men’s men’ types too.

As a result a lot of these Av only cameras don’t have the reputation that the more expensive manual cameras from the same period enjoy.

The result – they are cheaper to buy today.  A lot cheaper.

Take the Nikon EM…..

A lot of people have in their mind this is a ‘bad’ camera.  With respect, that’s nonsense. 

Sure, it has some plastic parts – something that was a no-no in the 70s – but you can spend thousands on a full frame DSLR these days and it will be covered in plastic.  Construction methods change, and having a bit of plastic here and there on a camera is no big deal by today’s standards.

Other people sneer at it because it is Av Only and will be too basic for them.  So what?!  If you’re a beginner and that’s what works for you, go for it.  It’s the lens that will affect the quality of your image, not the camera, so don’t let the fact a camera doesn’t have a load of features you won’t ever use anyway put you off.

Take advantage of these pre-conceptions people have, rather than letting them work against you – You’ll pay about a quarter of the price you would for a Nikon F2 (maybe even less) and you’ll be able to use all the same lenses on it that you could on an F2, and you’ll have something much easier to use for a novice.

What’s not to like about that?

Great AV Only Cameras

Pretty much every camera company going made an AV only model during their popular spell in the mid 1970s.  In fact, companies like Pentax made various different AV only models, and Canon made shutter priority only ones too, like the EF or the AE-1.

Here’s three of our favourites:

Olympus OM10

You can buy a ‘manual adapter’ for this camera for next to nothing, which will give you the added bonus of being able to shoot in manual mode for when you fancy it.  A lovely compact camera with iconic styling.

Canon AV1

We love so many different AV only cameras its hard to pick a favourite, but if pushed we’d say this was the one for us.  A lovely big bright viewfinder helps, but there’s just something about the way this one looks that gets us feeling all tingly.

Pentax MV

An absolute gem for beginners this one.  We love the all black styling on the body, and it is the very definition of a camera that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.  Shooting film probably doesn’t come any easier than this.

So, if you’re considering dipping your toe into the film photography world, why not consider an Av only camera….

You can check out what Filter has to offer on their site www.filtrfilmcameras.co.uk and their instagram

JCH

The post Camera Geekery: Filtr appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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On Being an Amateur

One of the biggest challenges for the amateur artist is the stigma of the word “amateur.” After all, the second definition of that very word from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “one lacking in experience and competence…” I as well as many of my friends and family have this same stigma about professional vs amateur.

When I started my undergraduate studies in violin, I was so excited to learn from teachers with such good resumes and to attend a school with a reputable name. Excited to become a professional, excited to be known as a “good” violinist.
To put it simply, I thought I made it in the classical music world. I’ve survived three years entrenched in computer science, violin performance, and photography so far, and have seen professionals and amateurs alike from all. Perhaps the most consistent thing I’ve discovered across the board is that being an amateur in no way means that you’re less skilled.

I struggled with this bias over the past year, especially when fortune offered me a way into the gallery world of photography right when I was hit hard with the downsides of the professional music scene. I had the chance to forge a path in photography that I never imagined when I started. However, I decided to forgo this opportunity, because I came to terms with the fact that becoming a professional isn’t what makes someone good at an art.

Experience

In fact, from my experiences so far in the professional music world versus the amateur photography world, I often find myself envious and appreciative of the freedoms that amateurs can enjoy. After all, being a professional isn’t about being good, it’s about getting paid. Getting gigs or gallery spots doesn’t mean being the best, it means being good enough and having the right connections and opportunities.
In amateur photography, there’s no competition for jobs, there are no restrictions placed on your style, nor are there limits on the type of work you can do. Especially with the advancement of the internet, you can find resources and take your education at your own pace. You can make it as rigorous or casual as you’d like. You can focus on the art as oppose to how to focus on using the art to remain financially stable. Quite simply, amateurs don’t have to answer to anyone.

Final word

So, as a final word for all the amateurs in the art world from someone who’s had to walk in both professional and amateur art worlds, know that artistic work is equally valuable whether it’s done for money or for fun. It doesn’t have to be paid for to be good, and even if it’s done just for yourself, if it’s done out of the love of the art and the love to learn, then it’s never for nothing.

-Patrick McBride

Comments, observations and feedback are always welcome. As usual, treat others in the way you would want to be treated and be respectful.
Thanks.
JCH

The post On Being an Amateur by Patrick McBride appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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In your bag No: 1644 – Jorge Carmigniani

These are the preferred tools of the trade for Jorge when he’s light stalking along the equator.

My name is Jorge Carmigniani, I’m a photographer based in Ecuador. My main interest is in documentary photography. My work develops around nature, mostly.

I try to find authentic manifestations of identity in everyday subjects. I don’t call myself a Travel Photographer, although is really easy to be one in this country.  You can travel from corner to corner in one day. It gives you the idea of how small and biodiverse we are. I live in Guayaquil, a port city within a gulf so there are a lot of vivid landscapes around here.

The urban development is notorious and yet precarious, I focus on rescuing that relationship we often despise and I try to connect it with some conservation values. The city is also surrounded by mangrove, humid forests among others ecosystems that are threatened by landlords, population growth and mine exploitation.

I explore these areas from time to time, you don’t want to encounter a stranger in those places, trust me. I choose film because complements my vision, I also shoot digital when I feel cheap.

This is my film setup:

  • Nikon fm2n
  • Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 ais
  • Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 ais
  • Nikkor 200mm f/4 ais
  • A sample of my favorite film and a rechargeable cartridge
  • My messenger bag
  • Victorinox Knife
  • Coin purse
  • Keys

My website:

http://jorgecarmigniani.com

IG:

https://instagram.com/whatisntnature/

Thank you Bellamy for supporting the film community!

Jorge Carmigniani

Thanks for sending us your bag shot Jorge. Haha “I shoot digital when I feel cheap” :)

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com

Send me a high resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500px across. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be featured.
Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.

Cheers
Japancamerahunter

The post In your bag No: 1644 -Jorge Carmigniani appeared first on Japan Camera Hunter.

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