This is the 1959 Ilford Sporti. A medium format camera that uses 120 film and is very simple but quite elegant in design. I have sometimes been asked, “What is the best camera to make a start in vintage film photography?”. My honest answer is any camera, as it really depends on so many things. But if you’re on a budget and you’d like to try medium format, you really can’t go wrong with the Sporti.
It has very few controls and the ones it does have, they have made very plain as to what effect they are going to have on your final image. But the best bit, is that currently, it is very easy to find one for less than £10. Enjoy the video below and please consider subscribing for more vintage film cameras.
This is the Mamiya/Sekor 528TL. Known in the US as a Sears Auto 35TL, it’s a 35mm SLR, but an unusual one. The lens, a 48mm f2.8, is fixed and cannot be changed. But it does have a light meter, an automatic aperture setting and lovely shutter sound. Unfortunately, mine is not working, but I hope you enjoy the video anyway.
This is the Canon Sure Shot Multi Tele from 1988. A point and shoot 35mm camera that has some very nice features. Also known as the Autoboy Tele 6 in Japan and the Prima Tele in Europe. It is a fully automatic autofocus camera offering full-frame (24x36mm) and half-frame (17x24mm) formats and two focal lengths. A 35mm f/3.5 lens and a 60mm f/5.6 telephoto lens are built-in and with an optional teleconverter which when connected, the 60mm lens becomes a 75mm lens (110mm for half-frame format).
Sadly mine appears to be faulty and so I am on the look out for a replacement. I keep this one for its aesthetic appeal in the meantime. Enjoy the video and don’t forget to subscribe for more content like this.
My latest video features the Halina 3000. Made in 1974, it’s a 35mm viewfinder camera. The camera has a battery-free selenium light meter. But this only gives a reading and doesn’t control the exposure automatically. The 3000 has two “siblings” which don’t have any metering. The 1000 and the 2000.
You can pick these up on the likes of eBay for very little outlay and so give it a try. You might find it grows on you.
The Canomatic M70 was introduced by Canon in 1970 for use with 126 film. For all intents and purposes, it is a point & shoot camera. The 40mm f2.8 lens is surrounded by a selenium powered meter. This provides a programmed auto exposure (f2.8 at 1/30 sec to f13 at 1/800 sec). Mine needs some TLC but thought you’d like to take a look anyway.
My plan will be to strip it down and give it a good clean. I then hope to purchase an adaptor so that I can try using 35mm film in it. This is because 126 film is no longer available.
Camera lenses can be a confusing subject and so I thought that a “lenses for beginners”, an introduction to lenses might be useful. There are way too many types of lens to cover in one video. I therefore concentrate on just two types. Prime lenses and zoom lenses. I explain the meaning of the terms focal length, aperture and depth of field.
Perhaps if this proves popular, I can produce a part two a some time in the future. But for now I hope that this will demystify things a little for the photographic beginner. Please let me know in the comments.
Back to basics with a camera that, apart from an exposure, check is mostly manual. However, the Yashica FX-3, launched in 1979, is a great camera to use and produces some lovely results. It’s a compact and light 35mm SLR. It was later replaced with similar models, but the basic FX-3 was very popular at the time.
My version of this camera was in a little bit of a poor state. The black leather was torn and was peeling away from the body. So I decided to reskin it with some fresh leather. I chose red, and although I didn’t make a perfect job of it, I am very pleased with how it looks now. Watch the video to find out more.
Part of the joy of photography for me, is the ability to experiment with the exposure settings. To create something and to be artistic. This is why I usually stay clear of cameras that take that experimentation away from us. However, if I’m going to break that self-imposed rule, then the Pentax A3 is a fine camera to start with.
Not only can this SLR operate in Aperture Priority mode, but with the right type of lens, it can be fully automatic. Leaving the photographer to deal with composition and focus only. In addition, it even features a powered film wind. Despite all this, I actually think its a nice camera, but more for a collector than a photographer perhaps.
This is my 1980 Olympus XA2 point & shoot 35mm camera. This type of camera is often dismissed as trivial. However, it is compact in size. It produces some great, pin sharp images. It is quite tough and long lasting. All in all, I think the XA2 is a great tool for the beginner, or the street photographer.
I use this one regularly and it is great for grabbing that quick shot. Where setup and preparation are not possible and it performs really well. In this video, I take you through its operation and features.
Over the last few days I have been making some updates to the site. Some SEO stuff to keep up with Google’s policies. I have also added a new page that showcases my vintage camera collection. This in turn means I could remove some large photos off the home page, which were causing it to load a little slowly. Finally I have added some localisation information, again for the benefit of some search engines.
I’m afraid that a lot of this won’t be noticed by most of you, but hopefully it will help to make the site a bit more visible. In the meantime, I have about eight more YouTube videos in various stages of production, so look out for those soon. Please help me get to 100 subscribers if you haven’t already.