As you may recall, I haven’t photographed often recently, certainly nothing like as much as two or three years ago.
So I decided to take a look through my remaining cameras and see what I still had. And, not surprisingly really, I came across a few purchases I’d forgotten about.
Here are three –
1. An ND8 filter for my Lumix FZ38
I really like this old CCD sensor bridge camera from 2009, and in many ways it is the ideal balance between a compact and a DSLR. My favourite mode to shoot with is “film grain” which defaults to ISO1600 and black and white, giving a grainy, film-like look to the images.
Because with this setting you’re also in Program mode, and have no control over the shutter speed or aperture, and because it uses ISO1600, in anything like half decent light, the aperture closes up, and often even the faster shutter speed and smallest aperture aren’t enough to prevent overexposure.
So I thought about how I could control this, whilst retaining the look I like in this film grain mode. An ND filter seemed like a good solution. The ND8 will reduce the number of stops by three, in effect giving the same aperture and shutter speed settings as if I was shooting at ISO200.
In very bright light, this means I can still use the camera in film grain mode without the shutter speed and aperture maxing out.
In average to lower natural light, it means the camera should drop the aperture towards its widest, meaning a more shallow depth of field, something I nearly always want in my photos too.
2. Pentax Q M42 adapter
I adore the little Pentax Q, it is essentially a DSLR in miniature, with all the control that suggests, along with interchangeable lenses. I’ve written about the Q numerous times before here on 35hunter.
However, my favourite interchangeable lens mount is M42. I mean, Asahi Takumars alone would make that the case, but add in lenses like the Zeiss Flektogon 35/2.4, Helios 44 series and Jupiter-37A and nothing else comes close.
As the Q is a tiny camera, it naturally has a pretty tiny sensor (1/2.3″), the crop factor compared with 35mm film is 5.53. This means that if you use a lens designed for 35mm cameras, their field of view gets magnified by the same factor.
A 55mm M42 lens on the Pentax Q, like the Takumar 55/1.8, becomes the equivalent of around 300mm field of view, and my Jupiter-37A’s 135mm equates to nearly 750mm!
The first lens I plan to try is the widest I have in M42, the Flektogon 35/2.4, which will be like looking through a 194mm lens. Still very long compared with what I’m used, but at least I’ve used a 200mm lens before and it won’t be completely alien.
The handling should be interesting too as even a relatively compact lens like the Flektogon will be huge when Frankensteined on the front of the tiny Q.
3. FujiFilm FinePix E900
Both have had their quirks in use, and with a little nurturing and understanding, both have also given me pictures well above what I had hoped for.
The E900 I picked up on eBay over two years and it cost me just over £10.
What appealed was the baby DLSR shape with a decent rubberised grip (front and rear), 9MP Super CCD sensor and 32-128mm f/2.8 lens.
The latter seems a very sensible range that most of the time I will use at its default widest 32mm – partway between the 35mm I generally favour in compact cameras and 28mm which I usually find too wide.
Even fully zoomed in, 128mm is still a focal length I have some experience with (mostly via 135mm film lenses) and not anywhere the crazy range of many later compacts (eg the Lumix FZ38 mentioned above is 27-486mm!).
What I’ve also enjoyed with the other two FujiFilms I’ve had is the F-mode which has colour settings that supposedly emulate FujiFilm film emulsions. There’s a default colour mode, then an “F-Chrome” mode to look like FujiFilm slide film, and an “F-B&W” mode for black and white shots.
I look forward to experimenting with this potential little gem in the coming weeks, along with the Q and M42 adapter, and the ND8 filter on the Lumix.
How about you? Which cameras, lenses or other gear is gathering dust in your collection that you’ve forgotten about?
As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking.
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