Recommended Reading 8/14/20

It’s often very easy to select a featured review when it’s written by one of my favorite camera reviewers, Cheyenne Morrison, whose reviews are always incredibly well researched and interesting to read.  Not only does Cheyenne have a knack for digging into a camera’s history like I do, but unlike me, he also is a wonderful photographer and gets some terrific images from his reviews.

This week, Cheyenne’s article on Casual Photophile is for the Sawyer’s Mark IV, a twin lens reflex camera that shoots 4×4 images on 127 film.  Essentially a Japanese copy of the Baby Rolleiflex, the Sawyer’s Mark IV is an attractive, fun, and extremely capable camera.

I’ve never had the pleasure of shooting one myself, but I have shot and reviewed the similar Yashica 44 which I thoroughly enjoyed due to it’s compact size and ease of portability.  While I generally love 6×6 TLRs, they are large, and not as easy to carry around as a “walkabout camera” but 127 TLRs are so much smaller that hand holding them all day is very easy.

The challenge these days of course, is finding good 127 film, but with several modern options like Rerapan, and an uptick in 3D printed film slicers that allow you to cut down 120 roll film to 127 size, the options for shooting cameras like the Mark IV are on the rise!

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

Everyone knows that Kodak made a crap-load of Brownies in the middle of the 20th century and most of these models can be easily found in thrift shops and at garage sales across the US, but for those of you in the UK, you got a different selection of Kodak Brownies exclusively to your island which rarely show up across the pond.  This week’s review on Canny Cameras of one such camera, the Kodak Cresta II is especially interesting to me, not only because it’s an uncommon camera here, but that after writing this review, Alan Duncan sent this exact camera to me for review.  So for the first time ever, I’m recommending that you read a review for a camera that I will actually review myself!

The Olympus OM-2 and Nikon FE are two of the most capable and popular auto exposure cameras of the 1970s, and nearly everyone in our hobby is already aware of how great they are, but has anyone ever thought that maybe one might be better than the other?  This thought ran through the mind of Alex Luyckx and this week, he put the two cameras in a head to head showdown to see if he could pick a winner.  What did he decide?  Or was the outcome the same as King Arthur’s battle with the Black Knight?

My next recommendation is for another classic camera that I have shot before and can attest to it’s quality, the Zeiss-Ikon Contaflex Super.  This week, my friend at Aperture Preview gives us a very thorough review of this wonderful leaf shutter SLR.  These kinds of cameras can sometimes be hit or miss in terms of functionality today, but if you look hard enough and find one in good working condition, I assure you, much like Eric does in his review, that you’ll come away impressed.

When it comes to high dollar/high popularity 35mm cameras, models like the Contax G2 or Leica M6 frequently top most film shooter’s wish lists, but what about popular cameras on the other end of the spectrum?  One that immediately comes to mind is the LOMO LC-A+, a modern re-imagining of the original LC-A from 1984 which itself is based on the Cosina CX-2.  But what is it about these compact wonders that make them so desirable?  This week, Stephen Dowling from kosmofoto takes a long look at a red-bodied LC-A+, and gives us his thoughts.  Maybe I should dust off my CX-2 and finally shoot a roll in it!

Despite what you might think about the Lomographic Society, sometimes their cameras are worth looking into and one of those cameras is the Sprocket Rocket, a mostly plastic, elongated camera that shoots panoramic 105mm wide images on regular 35mm, including over the sprocket holes.  This might not be the look you’re going for, but it certainly is unique and that’s exactly what Alex Vye from 35mmc shares with in his look at this turquoise monstrosity!

When they were under ownership of Kyocera, the Contax lineup of 35mm SLRs have gone largely unnoticed by me, but a recent pickup of a nice looking, but completely inoperational Contax RTS III got me excited for them.  Sadly, that camera was dead, and with prices out of my comfort range (especially with a lens), I’ve avoided RTS cameras, but perhaps in a twist of fate, this week 35mmc drops a review of an earlier RTS and light leaks aside, the camera delivered in spades.  Although I am not always successful, I do try to avoid jumping into new SLRs with lens mounts I’ve never used, and well, I guess I’ll need to start looking for C/Y mount lenses.

What do a Nikon F, a Kodak Premo No.2, and a Canon 7 have in common?  Aside from being cameras, the answer is that Aly’s Vintage Camera Alley did a quick review of these three cameras on a recent photoshoot in a town called Tradition, Florida.  While these might seem like an odd bunch of cameras to take along, I was mostly interested in Aly’s thoughts on the Canon 7 since that’s a camera I loaned to her.  I love the Canon 7 so much that I haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet, so I’m happy to see something about it out there!

Is the Leica M3 the best camera ever?  Some people think so, and this week, Alexander Laurent from EMULSIVE gives you five reasons why he thinks it is.  It’s hard to argue with his logic as I agree the Leica M3 is a fantastic camera, but strangely, he doesn’t mention my absolute favorite attribute of the M3, which is it’s viewfinder.  I guess that coming to a similar conclusion about a camera, even if you have different reasons for it, is still a good thing!

If my recommended reading posts aren’t enough to satisfy your vintage film reading desires, then you’ll definitely want to check out Jim Grey’s 2020 update to his list of Film Photography Blogs You Should Follow.  This years list adds 27 new blogs, bringing the list up to a dizzying 104 entries!  I remember the first time my site appeared on Jim’s list, I was so excited, and while 104 might seem like an excess of blogs all about film photography, it’s a positive sign that our hobby is alive and well!

I don’t have a funny video or excellent music video to share with you this time, as I haven’t had as much time lately to browse the interwebs.  I’ll be sure to try harder next time!

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