Why I’m Still Using Pinterest After Abandoning All Other Social Media

I’m not the biggest fan of social media. Briefly, here’s why.

Facebook

Joined around 2009, left in 2010. The more I hear about it, the more glad I am to have left it behind. What scares me even more now is that people don’t seem to feel they can just make the choice any free thinking adult has – to just leave if they don’t like it.

Google+

Love the simple, clean layout and intuitive design and used it extensively around 2014. These days it feels like a wasteland, and I just couldn’t find anything worth following in recent months that was regularly updated. So I left a few weeks ago.

Twitter

This makes me a little sad, because I enjoyed Twitter hugely as a forum for sharing poetry (haiku) and simple links from around 2008-2012, when it looked like this and this. Returning recently I couldn’t bear the saturation of ads and the pictures and videos. For me its original joy was that it only allowed short, text only updates. So I also left a few weeks ago.

Instagram

Really tried to like it, but for me it has two huge flaws for photography. Firstly, I spend most of my online time on a recently rebooted 15″ MacBook. Instagram seems geared to mobile users – you can’t post anything on a laptop or desktop machine. Call me old fashioned but when looking at photos I like them poster – or at least postcard – size, not postage stamp size. Secondly, 90% of comments seem so brief and banal as to be worthless. All likes and no feeling. Gave up on it (again!) maybe a month ago after not using it again in months.

After the collective disappointed of the major sites mentioned above, I’d recently decided I would say goodnight and farewell to all social media.

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I still use Flickr, but mostly for archive purposes, with very little social interaction.

My focus online instead would be purely on writing and sharing here on 35hunter and a small collection of other blogs I visit.

Offline, I’m continuing to study more photography books to educate myself more about the past masters of photograph, in a slower, deeper , calmer way than internet browsing generally encourages.

Then, by chance (or not!) an email arrived in my inbox from Pinterest. 

Now, I can’t remember the last time I had an email from Pinterest, and to give you an idea, when I clicked through, I couldn’t remember my password, username or why I’d joined in the first place. Or that I still had an account!

But the fact the email was headed “18 William Eggleston pins to check out” (a photographer high on my “I know very little of their work but have liked what I’ve seen so far and am intrigued to explore more” list) and contained a selection of intriguing Eggleston photographs.

Once I’d reset my password and logged in again, one of the first “pins” displayed contained a link to an interesting article about Eggleston’s The Democratic Forest series.

Which I “pinned” on a new board called Inspiring Photography.

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This got me thinking about how I had used Pinterest years ago, and how different it feels to other social platforms like the big names mentioned above. 

For me, Pinterest seems a simple and most importantly a useful tool to gather interesting stuff you find on topics you love.

Kind of like bookmarks in your browser, but in a more visual and immediate and fun way.

Plus, there doesn’t feel that pressure to update regularly, or to follow and keep up with what everyone else is doing.

On returning I found I’m following five topics and zero people. And no-one is following me. In other words, currently I’m 100% anti-social on this particular social media platform!

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My next plan is to explore some of those other William Eggleston pins, and see where they lead. Beyond that, to search Pinterest around some other photographers whose names and work have come (or returned again) to my attention recently, like Alfred Stieglitz, Eugene Atget, Paul Strand, Berenice Abbot, Robert Frank and Harry Callahan.

It actually feels quite exciting to have a tool that can help with this continued photographic exploration, at my own pace, and throw up some interesting avenues and diversions along the way. 

Due to how I’ve used other platforms previously, I instinctively started looking for a way to share 35hunter posts on Pinterest, to widen my potential audience.

But I think this would miss the point of what it’s for, and how I can enjoy it.

My fledgling “Inspiring Photography” board is shared publicly so anyone can view or follow it – if they find it. But again, the social side of Pinterest isn’t my focus or reason for using it. Which feels incredibly refreshing.

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How about you – do you use Pinterest? How has it inspired you and/or helped your photography (or indeed anything else you’re interested in)?

Please let us know below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

41 thoughts on “Why I’m Still Using Pinterest After Abandoning All Other Social Media”

  1. Kindly skip past this comment to avoid offense to the virtual/socially-active, which I do not intend.

    I knew nothing about Pinterest.

    So I read the entire wikipedia article about it: founders, purposes, investors, evolution, and current state, and took it briefly around the block for a test spin.

    It posits that if one gains an interest in a given topic or thing, one may embark on a journey of sorts, and use this medium as transport to easily and fully explore it. Huh.

    But.
    It presents, to me, as a kind of overcrowded subcontinental railway through an unending series of shopping malls and identity checks, and the same factors that cause revulsion for the more-strictly social media are present here as well. Chiefly, mostly, overwhelmingly – the price of admission, which is to often-involuntarily collaborate in a continual frisking and searching throw one’s pockets and purse for one’s data, habits, and money. In other words, of invasive capitalism, and I firewall against that, at least to the poor paucity of means even possible anymore.

    More preferred would be the quietude of a library, even if it misses the odd nugget of my topic search.

    But I’m a crank, and you can’t go by me.

    1. William, thanks as always for your views.

      I think whilst there are degrees of privacy online, and some sites “harvest” our data more than others, ultimately if we decide to have any kind of account or profile online we’re already open to some targeted advertising and the like.

      I like with Pinterest that there seems to be very little external advertising (I seem to have something about Samsung washing machines pop up now and then!) but I like that it remembers what I search and finds me similar stuff.

      I was looking (strictly for my son you understand) for various Star Wars Lego figures on Pinterest, and the next time I used it I had lots of similar and equally interesting matches come up. It does seem to work rather well at what it does – helping you find stuff you like looking at.

      Something I also like is although it’s mostly single images that are “pinned”, when you click through, more often than not there is an article about the the photographer that is of interest too.

      This breaks that terrible habit of swipe, swipe, swiping through dozens (hundreds!) of tiny photos/posts almost mindlessly, which the likes of Instagram, Twitter and even Flickr, feels like. With Pinterest you find an image, follow the link, then spend ten minutes reading a generally thoughtful and informative article on a certain photographer. I like this experience, it feels like an online version of picking up a magazine of articles you want to read, with pictures to enjoy too. It also feels like something I can pick up whenever I fancy it, not a continuous stream I have to keep up with.

      There are certainly sites I avoid like Facebook, and now Twitter, and Instagram, that seem a) to be tracking us too closely for comfort b) to be completely spoilt by ads and c) to encourage that mindless swiping habit I mentioned above. Even YouTube which does contain much amazing content is so saturated with adverts these days I visit hugely less than I used to. It’s just so invasive!

      My online experience – including Pinterest – is very light on advertising, and this is intentionally so. This is also why I don’t read newspapers or magazines or watch more than an hour or two of telly a week – just the bombardment of advertising. It’s also why I recently decided to pay for a WordPress subscription a couple of months back, so my readers here are spared that invasiveness.

      Anyway, of course I may be being very naive and Pinterest may be tracking me in a far more sinister way, but it doesn’t feel that way, and as I said on the main post, it feels refreshingly different to the other big social media players.

      Thanks for your spin on it!

      1. Ok, ok; a, uh, retraction – a mild, strictly limited retraction, mind, but a back-peddle nonetheless, which may be all someone who’s been sold down the Internet river many times can do.

        Having searched through postings and cautions on Pinterest’s recent track record and current policies, I used your page as a jump-off and within minutes found a vintage B&W photobook on Japanese rural architecture for which I’d been searching for a long time. And that led to many similarly-themed images. Hours later there was sufficient cause to reflect that it can be a pretty effective means of diving the rabbit hole of one’s choice, I ruefully conclude that a little crow-eating, a slice of humble pie was in order.

        So, assuming that sufficient safeguards are in place and prudent practices obtain, one may use Pinterest, even sort-of safely, to boost inspiration, for which thanks are called for, to you for your post and to others commenting positively on it.

        1. William, I think when Pinterest began they came under a lot fire because they weren’t linking back to the source of the images, hence the originators were not getting the credit they deserved and/or their images were being used without permission.

          It seems to preserve links now – the pictures are all clickable, not just free floating on Pinterest – so I believe they addressed these concerns years ago.

          I’m glad you’re getting something from it, and found that intriguing sounding old Japanese book!

          1. Link-back works very well. And it helps that one may use it for research in a limited way: you need not be registered to use it, though of course you will not have a “board” on which to pin new things.

  2. It didn’t seem all that long ago that Verizon’s Oath, purchased the Flickr brand. Sound’s like it’s not making enough money, so getting pasted, pillar to post. I wonder how long before they start charging for various services that are presently free and make it a subscription service only or maybe we’ll get flooded with unwanted advertising.

    1. Martin, I guess we wait and see. I can’t see that SmugMug would want to alienate the huge Flickr user base. Yes it’s not been at its peak for a few years but still has a massive number of images and photographs under its wing. It might give Flickr a new lease of life! I’m not au fait with all the other options, but compared with apps like Instagram, Flickr still has so much more depth and versatility as an image storage and sharing platform. I am a subscriber myself, I think it’s about £25 a year. For unlimited storage and the convenience of the platform I thought was 50p a week seems very reasonable.

    2. Oath bought Yahoo, and I’m guessing they couldn’t pick and choose the parts they wanted. I’m hopeful SmugMug will actually make some real changes at Flickr, but I fear it’s too little too late. Instagram is hard to beat these days!

      1. I didn’t notice any changes with Oath, and didn’t – and still don’t – know who they are/were.

        For me Flickr and Instagram are very different and not really competing services. Flickr is about building an archive or body of work you can organise and access for other purposes (like images in posts on WordPress 🙂 ), the discussion framework (yes, sadly quiet in recent years), the groups and more. Instagram feels much more about sharing the latest picture you’ve taken to try to get as many likes and emoticon dense comments from as many random passing strangers as you can. All on a tiny format where no-one can really see the images properly anyway. As you can see, I don’t really “get” Instagram.

  3. I haven’t used Pinterest in a long time. When I was last on there – must have been a few years ago now! – I felt like I was mindlessly pinning and ‘liking’ other people’s pins. There were so many things I thought I would look at again later, but never would. I guess you could say I have a similar problem with Instagram at the moment…. I’ve decided to admit that ‘likes’ validate my life, and so I have been spending time on Instagram again; I was also missing my friends’ photography and stories! Something about Insta still feels “wrong” though; I much prefer Flickr.

    /rambling

    1. I think as with many things, the tools are there, and we can choose how to use them. I don’t know how to “like” pins, I just save images I like to build a kind of scrapbook of photographs and connected articles I’m enjoying. I might not return to them, so don’t necessarily even need to pin them if I read them there and then. I just like to build/track that trail of learning.

      As I wrote above in response to you Melissa, I just don’t like or get Instagram. It just has too many shortcomings as an image platform for me. https://35hunter.blog/2017/11/22/why-i-use-instagram-sort-of/(I've since abandoned it again!)

      As you may know also, I don’t like the whole concept of likes and have disabled them on my blog here. I feel if you like (in the true sense of the word) something someone else has written or shared, then say so with words, don’t just click and move on. I know this isn’t the conventional or popular approach these days where so much is fleeting and superficial. 🙂

      Thanks for your thoughts, and you weren’t rambling!

  4. The only connection to Pinterest I have now is when they send me an email with extra pins to subjects I am interested in. I look at the page in the email and then delete it. I don’t go off onto any other tangents as have so many other things to do on the computer with my studies and research and personal socialising. Don Fulmer sends his regards as does RObyn GOrdon xoxo susanJOY

    1. Susan, do the emails every have anything you’re interested in? Sounds like they don’t if you don’t then click through to Pinterest, so in that case why not unsubscribe from the emails?

      Do you talk to Don and Robyn via Pinterest? I remember Robyn a few years ago had a huge array of pins and boards!

      1. Dan, the Pinterest emails I get are updates of subjects I am interested in so I like this way of staying in touch with subjects I like. I don’t go to Pinterest otherwise.
        Robyn is on FB and messages me most days. I mostly use FB to stay in touch with friends who like using it like Robyn who posts art there. I also am on a number of groups connected to my interests and with studies and workshops I do.
        You know me I am always making sure that things are relevant to me online and that I don’t waste precious time
        xoxo susanJOY

  5. It seems every social media property has its niche (and its drawbacks, too) — but you’re right that Pinterest is about as pure a platform for visual people as you can get these days. I also love the cross-pollination that occurs among various users’ boards. Hmmm. You have me rethinking my decision to quit Pinterest a couple of years ago!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Heide. I think what appeals most is it’s not about following or likes or the noise and pointlessness I’ve mostly found on other sites. It’s simply a visual research tool, which is fun to use and leads to interesting new images and articles.

  6. Very interesting thoughts, Dan. Social media exhausts me. WordPress gives me more than all the others combined, and that is where I linger longest. Through them I automatically post to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. I only actually visit those sites if someone leaves a comment, which, thankfully, is very rarely!

    I like the way you aim to use Pinterest. I signed up years ago, too, but haven’t posted any pins in a long time. You’re right about how much wonderful stuff is there to explore . . but just thinking about that makes me tired. 😞. 😁

    1. Hi Katherine, thanks for your interesting views.

      Your first paragraph is what I was talking about regarding Facebook in the post – if it’s a chore in any way, why not just leave? Sounds like you almost dread getting comments on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr! Might be interesting to look at your referral rates under your blog stats – my referrals from social sites were so small I didn’t think twice about dropping them.

      I’m shifting the balance with what I do online, trying to do more that’s useful and meaningful interaction (blogging and commenting on blogs) as well as useful research and exploration around photography and related topics.

      Even with this, I have to moderate – see my recent post about slowing down my posting rate here on 35hunter.

      What’s most exhausting for me is all the surface and seemingly pointless following and liking on various social sides, hence why I’ve given them up.

      1. Yes, I should look at the referral rates! Good idea. I’m shifting things quite a bit too in terms of everything online and thinking about it now, I hadn’t made any changes until I read one of you “getting rid of social media” posts! I was playing an online detective game that a friend suggested. It was taking up so much time and energy. It is gone. I’ve stopped notifications for everything on FB apart from one or two friends. And I’ve made modifications to a few other online things in order to put more into blogging and learning. I’ve started a free online theory course at Kent University through FutureLearn. It is called “Politics, Art and Resistance”. I finally feel like I have the energy to take on some more rewarding things than social media. Your writing was the kick up the bum I needed, I think. Thank you, Dan!

        1. Wow Katherine, what progress! Sounds really exciting, well done.

          There feels like such a backlash building against social media now, people really starting to realise how addictive it is and what, largely, a huge waste of time it is, and such an empty experience.

          Plus all the concerns over privacy and data and how much we can (or can’t) trust on social media.

          There’s a guy over here who’s a huge customer rights campaigner and he’s suing Facebook for allowing the use of his image and name to promote schemes he has nothing to do with. Could be a landmark case.

          Oh and something else I just have to ask you about. I thought you lived in Australia, then I’m scroll down your blog and see “Sussex Photohistory”. “Oh there must be a province or area in Australia called Sussex”, I thought. But no, it’s the same county of Sussex in England I’ve lived in all my life! What’s your connection with Sussex??

          1. I used to live in London and what was like another country altogether, Leicester, but I’ve never lived in Sussex. The link was to say thank you to a fellow collector who put in a huge amount of work on my behalf when I asked him for some information about British Photoweigh photobooths. So, yes I’m in Australia.

            Thanks for the encouragement re cutting down on social media. The thing that amazes me is a) how hard it is to decide to do it and b) how little you miss it once it is done! That landmark case sounds very interesting. I imagine it will take forever and cost the poor guy a fortune! I will look out for it in the news.

          2. So are you Australian born? Sussex does have a lot of beautiful old churches and other buildings. And of course green countryside.

            I genuinely find it quite scary how people feel they need to be on stuff like Facebook et al.

            I was talking to a fellow parent at our kids school yesterday and she said “did you see that thing on Facebook..” and I replied “No, I’m not on Facebook”. The look she gave me, I might has well have said, no, I don’t have a car, I ride everywhere by camel, or no we don’t live in a house, we live in a yurt in the local woods.

            Really worrying this mass brainwashing that people buy into about what they should be doing/using in their lives, and why more people don’t just say no thanks and opt out.

            Re the lawsuit – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-43860451/martin-lewis-on-facebook-enough-is-enough

            You need to know a bit about Martin Lewis to understand why he’s doing this, essentially his whole career has been about fighting for consumer rights and charities, he has an OBE for it. Watching with interest…

          3. Ha ha, to that fellow parent! Sucked in bad, as we used to say in the 70s in Oz. 😆. I get the same reaction to the fact that I still use an old Nokia mobile which I rarely even turn on, let alone having a smartphone. The amount of pressure I get from people to upgrade and the derision is astonishing. 😒 I have an iPad for use at home and when I am out and about and need help finding anything I just ask the nearest punter and get the directions I need.

            Yes, I am Australian born. My first stint in the UK was with a 2 year under 26 year old work permit, the second I got a job using my National Insurance number and no one asked for a permit (not legal but I paid plenty of tax and won’t be asking for it back in the form of a pension, so I’m unrepentant) and my third time was when I was married to someone who had Right of Abode, so I was allowed that right, too.

            Thanks for the link. I hope Martin has a no win no fee solicitor on his side. He is fighting for all of us as this goes deeper than one man’s frustration.

  7. Thanks, Dan, for sharing your thoughts on these social platforms. I sign up for practically every social site as soon as I hear about them, mostly because I need to advise clients and companies on whether engaging there is worth their time and effort. I joined Facebook and Twitter in 2008. So in ten years, I can report these are not ideal places for creatives to do business. I think of Facebook as a place to talk about cats and cancer (I’ve had both), and Twitter as a place to rant (I rarely do that). I am in several “secret” Facebook groups which are valuable, like one which is for producers so we can ask each other for referrals based on upcoming shoots. I’ve had a love/hate with LinkedIn (I joined in 2004!) but I’m finding their DM tool very helpful for business questions and some groups are good.

    As for Pinterest, I loved their platform from the beginning, and in the early days (I’ve been on since 2012) many of us were discussing and recommending policy changes to management to better accommodate concerns surrounding copyright. At the time, many photographers were concerned that “pinning” someone’s photo without their permission was considered theft. So I stopped pinning to my board of favorite photographs and now use it for kitchen ideas.

    Though the years, I’ve spent hours and hours dissecting these site’s terms of use, working on campaigns to notify users about copyright violation and having proper permission as we tried to police social media. Interesting that a slew of new reverse image technology companies have cropped up to “resolve your copyright infringements” by issuing automatic legal notifications. I guess since assignment and license fees are so low, the new way to make money is to engage a service that enables you to be compensated for the illegal use of your images.

    Oh, and one other site that many seem to have abandoned like Google Plus is StumbleUpon. I love hitting that Stumble button under the photography tag just to see what is served up.

    1. Thanks for your comments and experience. I have to say I would so not like your job of exploring every new social site. So I admire you for being able to do that and give guidance to others so they don’t have to.

      What’s your current perspective re Pinterest – that pinning an image, even with the original site linked when you click, is an infringement?

      On the surface to me it looks like a useful channel to get something you’ve put online noticed.

      I never got into Stumble Upon, I don’t think I’ve ever used it. Reddit is another one I remember hearing a lot about, but again haven’t used it.

      PS/ I tried to visit your blog, as I do for anyone who comments here, but it said “Protected Blog”. So I don’t know how to look at I’m afraid.

      1. I still shy away from pinning photographs that aren’t promotions on Pinterest. The demarcation for most people is who is hosting the image, and after our discussions, Pinterest made changes to how they serve up images. Still, referral linking is messy, and granting social sites a royalty free license still nags at me. Most people who were fighting terms of use have just moved on. Instagram, once blacklisted by photo associations, is totally embraced as the place to be. Another win for Facebook but is it a win for photographers?

        Pinterest is great for personal visual organization (mood-boarding) and discovery. If you are selling art then it’s a great way to be seen using the right tags, and Pinterest is good for SEO, because ultimately, Pinterest is a search engine.

        Reddit, 4chan, voat are nuanced communities and I don’t recommend trying to use them for business, as any type of self-promotion is seriously frowned upon. I skim these sites to see what is on people’s minds and once in a great while I will discover a photographer who is doing something surprising.

        Yes, blogs through my WordPress profile here are protected and I no longer keep them up. But my website carries my last blog series on Producing Documentary Books here (http://www.jainlemos.com/producing-documentary-books/) and I just launched Photo Ten Five (https://phototenfive.com/) 30 days ago. I basically built the site so I could keep up with everything, and to at last have a place where we don’t have to like or share or swipe. Just skim the headlines (you can sort by 16 categories, too) and click if the subject sounds like something or someone you want to know about. That’s how I found you :-). It’s not “pretty” and that was hard for me at first. But response is positive so far and I hope that it will help unite our changing industry.

        1. I don’t follow with Instagram and Facebook? Why is the fact that Instagram has been so embraced a win for Facebook? Oh I just googled it, Facebook own Instagram?! Goodness I’m glad I’ve abandoned it already, I would’ve stopped using it instantly at discovering that news! As you may have read elsewhere here, I just don’t get all the fuss with Instagram when it’s such a mobile focused app with tiny thumbnail images, even on a large phone or phablet. Don’t photographers want their images to be enjoyed at least on tablet sized screens if not laptops, desktops etc??

          Why don’t you have your WP profile linked to an active blog then – it goes to coffeeshopministries? Why not the phototenfive one? Is phototenfive your own site? I think I marked a mention of 35hunter on there as spam recently as it looked like one of those sites where people just fill it with links and keywords to get traffic! It’s absolutely plastered in ads too! No offence, but I can’t see anyone liking browsing it, it’s the opposite of the kind of clean, simple, visual and ad free online experience I’m coming to value more and more these days.

  8. Oh dear. I’m sorry Photo Ten Five is not a good experience for you so far. I have to make a living for all the work and the banner ads at present are the only income stream… Would be great to have a sponsor who could take the necessity of that away. Again, this is not meant to be anything but a starting point. It’s not a social site, or a visual site or a community or anything of the kind…

    1. Sorry, just can’t see how it would appeal to photographers who are by nature visual.

      We’re in a different place photography wise, I’m very much an amateur who can (and does!) pick and choose exactly when and where I visit online.

      I avoid advertising wherever possible, so any site with lots of it turns me straight off. I like places where I can retreat to and find sanctuary – both offline and on.

      Oh and I love minimalism, so again any site that appears very busy and full I avoid too. My head and eyes just cannot even begin to process and navigate the chaos so I retreat.

      Clearly I’m not your target customer but hopefully my thoughts might be of some help as you develop the site.

      Sorry to sound negative, but I do appreciate your comments here and you obviously have a great knowledge of and diverse experience with a range of social media.

  9. Pinterest is a really useful tool/resource for all kinds of projects. I don’t really think of it as social media though. More like a scrap album, but with the ability to nick things from other people’s scrap albums.

    In other news Dan you asked me a while back to let you know how I was getting on with my return to photography. I’ve been enjoying it. The two Olympi were only brief in residence as I found an old Minolta and a couple of lenses in the Charity a week later for the price of a round down the pub. I preferred it over both of them, so they got sold (proceeds to digicamerafund) and I’ve stuck with the Minolta since. So that’s my camera journey done 🙂 film anyway.

    My last lot of film I got back was of some walks I took during the Beast from the East episode. It wasn’t just snowy her but very foggy too and I was quite pleased with the results.

    Now can anyone recommend a decent developer that can provide decent hi res scans, doesn’t cost the earth and who doesn’t like to eat breakfast when handling my negs? because this last lot I used seem to have got crumbs all over everything.

    1. Hi Tony, thanks for your comments, yes an online scrapbook is a good way of describing it. I see it as social media because it has those elements of being able to follow people, be followed, leave comments, share “pins” and boards and so on. It’s not purely a tool for an individual in isolation, if you don’t want it to be. What I really like though is you can ignore all these social tools and just use it to find beautiful images and connected articles, which is how I’m using it.

      Re the cameras, which Minolta and lenses have you acquired? Sounds like you’re very happy with them!

      Regarding processing, try Hamish’s 35mmc blog – http://www.35mmc.com and see what he recommends. I seem to recall he mentions AG Photo Lab pretty often, though I haven’t used them myself – http://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/

      I just used to use my local supermarket lab (Asda) or sometimes a camera shop in the next town called Park Cameras. Asda did just as good a job, and much cheaper.

  10. It’s an X-300 with the standard MD 50mm f/1.7 and a Sigma Super Wide 24mm f/2.8. I know you had some reliability issues with the MInolta bodies, but so far no issues and delving into it, most of the issues with them are to do with a single failing capacitor, which looks like a 5 minute/50p fix if it ever should cause a problem.

    It handles well. does everything I need, the auto exposure is accurate (in 5 films developed so far, I’ve not had a bad exposure yet), and the real clincher is the focus screen. Compared to either Olympus and a Pentax ME I had a brief play with, it’s brighter and the focus really snaps into place. Not that any of those others were especially bad, they weren’t, but whatever Minolta did with the focus screen on their last series of manual focus cameras is a notch above. And cost me £15 🙂

    I’ll check that out for recommendations. I’ve managed to retrieve most of the good shots in post, but there are white speckles everywhere and in some cases big fat white blobs. They really did make a pigs ear of it.

    It’s been a pleasure really and I’ve learned, or relearned perhaps, a lot and (white speckles aside) I’m very happy with my results so far. If nothing else my hit rate has been 2 or 3 times better than with the superzoom digi compact. it really does force you to think before you shoot.

  11. Tony, yes, if it wasn’t for the reliability issues I would have likely stuck with Minolta. I had an X-700 which I liked but didn’t love (seemed to have too many features) and then got an X-300 which for me had exactly the right balance of simplicity and control. And the Minolta lenses are fantastic – both the older manual ones and the AF series. They’ve been as good as anything I’ve used, in honesty. But alas I went through three X300 bodies in as many weeks and just lost trust in them. Shame because they’ve so much going for them and as you say the viewfinders are fantastic. I got one body plus an MD 50/1.7 for £15, like you.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/danjamesphotography/26271641772

    Why do you think you’re hit rate is higher – purely because you’re taking more time to make sure the shot is worth taking before firing the shutter?

    Oh and I’ve had that Sigma in a couple of mounts and been very happy with the performance,

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/danjamesphotography/16743182790

    Just a shame the aperture ring is so flimsy and plasticky and horrible, at least the ones I’ve had. It’s such a joy to return to Minolta/Pentax lenses afterwards!

  12. Yes, that’s I thnk that’s why.. I think that consciously knowing that I only have a limited number of shots and incidentally that each one will cost me real money, forces me to assess each potential shot in a way you don’t need to with digital. You find yourself asking the question – Is this shot worth taking and what if anything can I do to make it better? a lot more often.

    So far, touch wood, no problems with the Minolta, but I’ve looked into what a repair involves and if it comes to it, so long as you know one end of a soldering iron from another (which happily I do), it’s a simple fix, which once done should last decades.

  13. Yes, it’s what they do when that capacitor goes. it’s accessible directly under the bottom plate. replace it and they invariably come back to life (well apparently anyway). The X-700 looks to be a bit more faff as it has two caps that can fail and one is under the top plate. A bit trickier to get to.

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