Five years ago, I was made redundant and with the money I got as a payout, I invested £300 in a nice new camera to cheer myself up. The Samsung NX1000 compact is a bit long in the tooth now, compared to modern DSLRs, but at 20mp resolution and with wifi capability, it was just what I needed. It transformed my use of photography almost overnight, as the little pocket digital I had been using for the blog was basically point, shoot and hope for the best. With so many control options and special effects available, I was like a kid in a sweetshop.
|Samsung NX 1000 digital lens|
The standard 50mm lens was interchageable with a 200mm zoom which came with it, but as I researched more into the methodology of photography, I realised I could use old lenses in the camera by means of a 'dumb' adaptor. 'Dumb; as opposed to 'smart' as it would not be electronically connected to the lens to operate autofocus etc. Off I went to ebay and picked up a suitable adaptor for a few quid in China. A few weeks later, during a visit to a toy fair in Doncaster, with Woodsy and Scoop, I picked up a random bag of camera kit for £12 on one of the stalls.
|The Game Changer|
In the bag was an old Zenit E with a Pentacon 50mm lens. Back home I tried it out and was blown away by the degree of control I now had with a manual lens. Shooting an action figure in the garden, I discovered the power of depth of field by having the target focussed, but the background blurred. Rather than rely on the camera to make the decisions about light and depth of field, I could change everything on the go. I was hooked. Following this revelation I found lens attachements and filters galor for macro and polariser work and had a great time experimenting!
Once I got the idea of manual photography, I began to add other lenses to my repetoire such as this old russian Industar. The smaller lens and vintage glass gives the photographs a lovely atmospheric look.
My latest acqisition and the most expensive piece at £75 is a russian 500mm catodioptic mirror lens. Built like a small tank and weighing almost two kilos, it is essentailly a reflector telescope sat on the camera!
The picture quality is stunning, but camera shake is a huge issue. Even with a tripod and remote shutter release, passing traffic will effect the exposure on long distance shots!It does however, allow me to get stunning photos of the moon finally. I just need to be able to fine tune the focus, as a movement of a millimetre can blow the sharpness and lose the detail.
So for me, I may not have a Johnny Seven, but I do have a One Man Army of cameras!
|Moon via Mirror lens|
|Sound of Mull via vintage Industar|
|Totem via Pentacon 50|
|Micronauts via Pentacon|
|Beacon via 400mm Sniper|