Recommended Reading 3/22/19

This week’s featured review is for a very cool camera that I am in the process of shooting as well, the Zeiss-Ikon “Bullseye” Contarex SLR from Japan Camera Hunter.

German manufacturers are well known for making complex machines.  Whether you’re talking about cameras, automobiles, or airplanes, there’s a saying that if something requires 6 parts to function, the Germans will use 12.

The Contarex is probably the most egregious example of over-engineering that I’ve yet to come across.  Holding the camera, it feels more like a solid metal work of art, yet surprisingly works quite well.  Combine that with the Planar 50/2 and you have a very capable tool.

So it was with great fascination that I read Michael Nguyen’s thoughts in his Japan Camera Hunter review.  The review is really well done, with lots of great beauty pics of the camera, and sample images.  I’m going to have to step up my game whenever I finish my review!

Here are more great posts from some of my favorite sites:

I narrowly missed this one last week from Theo at who takes a look at the infamous Polaroid SX-70.  This is another camera I’m in the process of testing, and it’s not been an easy one for me.  As anyone reading this site likely knows, original Polaroid film for their instant cameras stopped production over 10 years ago, so all that we have today is a reverse engineered film produced by a new company, and the results from that film are … well, just read Theo’s review to see for yourself!

I own a Pontiac.  It’s a red Trans Am and it sits in my garage.  And as neat as that car is, it’s not a Pontiac camera.  One thing in common with Pontiac the car maker and Pontiac the camera maker is that both are no longer in business, but that’s where the similarities stop.  This week, James Tocchio reviews the Pontiac Super Lynx I, an absolutely gorgeous French camera produced in very limited numbers shortly after the war.  Very few of these are still out there, and less are in usable condition, but James was lucky enough to find one, so check out his review!

Two weeks, two $1 bargain bin cameras.  Peggy Marsh follows up last week’s look at the Pentax Espio 928M with the very thoughtfully named, Yashica Auto Focus.  I’ve seen these cameras before and the design of the camera was quite off putting.  Of course these early to mid 80s point and shoots often perform better than their appearance suggest, Peggy puts one through it’s paces.  Is this another gem worthy of far more than 100 pennies, or would you be better off melting those pennies down and making a bullet and putting the camera out of it’s misery?

Tying in with Theo’s review of the SX-70, another very interesting Instant Film related article comes from Johnny Martyr, who interviews Baltimore based photographer Brian Henry, whose photography starts with instant film, but further manipulates the images in a darkroom.  These aren’t your every day “Instagram filter” images, these are chemically altered physical images of abandoned hospitals and other urban decay.  The article works as a Q&A which was fascinating to me, but even if you don’t have the time to read it, I strongly recommend at least looking at the images.  They are HAUNTING!

What is the most common type of photograph today?  The selfie.  Millions of selfie stick, arm length, or bathroom mirror selfies are taken by millennials and members of Gen Z every day.  (Okay, maybe not millions, probably billions.)  But of those vain examples of smoochy faces, on occasion a selfie serves a practical purpose, and this week Jim Grey shares with us a few of his.  When you review multiple cameras like Jim and I do, it can sometimes be difficult to remember which cameras were used on the the piles and piles of developed film we accumulate.  Here’s where the bathroom mirror selfie pic comes in handy.  These images can be as creative or as thoughtless as you like, but as long as the camera who took the image is visible, it’s a really easy way to remember which camera captured each roll you have developed.

Click on the above image to see every single property owned by Disney.

$71.3 billion dollars is a lot of money!  Imagine how many cameras you could buy for that?  If cameras aren’t your thing (then why are you here), then perhaps you could just buy Fox, which is what Disney just did.  Apparently it wasn’t enough that Disney already owned Pixar (Toy Story, Cars, Frozen, + more), Lucasfilm (Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises), Marvel (do I really need to list examples), and Disney’s own classic franchises (Cinderella, Snow White, Pinocchio, Lion King, etc), but now you can add the X-Men franchise, the Simpsons, Aliens and Predator franchises, the Avatar franchise (yes its a franchise, theres 4 more movies being made), and countless others.

They also own many of Fox’s television networks, including FX, the National Geographic Channel, and a 60% share of Hulu.  The list is frankly MIND BOGGLING for media consumption and is hard to comprehend what kinds of mash-ups we could see in the coming years.  Imagine a Star Wars spin-off consisting of Buzz Lightyear, Bart Simpson, Elsa, Jack Bauer, Ellen Ripley, Donald Duck, and Howard the Duck!  IT COULD HAPPEN!!!!

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