Recommended Reading 4/5/19

Another historical lens article by Cheyenne Morrison, and another post of the week.  I gotta hand it to James Tocchio, owner of Casual Photophile for convincing Cheyenne to write these highly detailed and fascinating historical lens articles for him as these things are right up my alley.

Cheyenne goes back to the start, talking about the earliest retrofocus lenses, and how designs like the Flektogon came to be.  There is info about the different variations of this lens through the years, and of course, some sample images.

Whether you are interested in history, technical specs, or simple photographic glory, this article has it all!

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

I like how this article is called “Yet Another Leica M6 Review”, as if there’s Leica M6s growing on trees!  Joe Monat from 35mmc gives us his take on this legendary camera from the geniuses in Wetzlar.  The M6 was the last of the mechanical Leica Ms and only required power for the built in meter.  It was in production from 1984 to 1998 and remains a popular choice for those wanting a classic mechanical German rangefinder, with modern metering.

There have been some cameras with unfortunate names, but this week Theo from Photothinking takes a look at the poorly named Rank Mamiya, a mechanical 35mm rangefinder from the 1960s.  Sporting a very typical feature set of others from the era and a run of the mill 40mm f/2.8 lens, on paper, there’s not much to get excited about, but Theo shot his anyway, and got some outstanding results!  I love reviews like these of cameras that often get no love from collectors, yet in the right hands, are still quite capable!

Jim Grey from Down the Road has been revisiting many of his earlier reviews, adding new information and new sample images to freshen them up.  This week, he updated his review of the Kodak Pony 135 with some new sample images from a photo session in 2011.  Although the Pony 135 isn’t one I’ve come across, I do have the nearly identical Pony 828 somewhere in my queue that has perpetually been in draft status.  Maybe Jim’s review will motivate me to finish my own review.  His original review (with updates) can be found here.

This week Sherry Christensen from EMULSIVE shares her thoughts on the “not a film project” Frugal Film Project, in which photographers all over the world were challenged to shoot a single roll of film that you found locally in any camera in your collection that you paid less than $50 (including shipping and tax) for.  Shoot the roll, get it developed and submit it to the site to be included in next months posting.  What I like about challenges like these, is they usually are a test of the photographer, not the camera.  We all say “cameras are just tools” over and over, yet for those of us with GAS, we keep longing after the latest and greatest, but when it comes down to it, all you need is some film, a light tight box, and a lens.

This post was published a mere hour after last week’s Recommended Reading, but I still wanted to include it.  Alan from Canny Cameras went “where no man has gone before” and bought a Lomography adapter to mount a Diana F lens to a Nikon SLR and shared his thoughts on it.  His write up is entertaining and informative.  The images he got using the adapter are actually better than you’d think, but therein lies the problem…

Not really photography related, but 35hunter shares his thoughts on how blogs are different from social media.  I saw an article recently (I can’t remember where) that posed the question whether blogs are dead, and as a blogger myself, I believe that they are alive and well.  The best blogs are personal spaces where readers and authors can connect and share a common interest.  Social media is a wasteland of chaos and misinformation, with a mere sprinkling of good content here and there.  This is a short read, but at the very least sparks a conversation that I’d like to dive further into.

I found this piece on the history of Tivo and how it got started 20 years ago to be fascinating.  I worked for an electronics retailer when the Tivo first came out, and I’ll admit that even for me, it was a tough sell to convince people to buy this piece of hardware that came with a recurring monthly charge that was “like a VCR, but without tape”.  I never actually owned a Tivo, but I did buy into their biggest competitor at the time, the ReplayTV, and it only took a couple days after owning it to see what the DVR revolution would change how we watch TV.  And it did!

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