Here you will find regular updates on what gear I use and how I use it. I like to explore all kinds of sides to photography and will experiment regularly with modified gear to get the results i like.


Entries in analog (5)


Vivitar IC 101 PANORAMA

Next week I will be traveling to Maui for 5 days bringing ONLY my trusted Vivitar IC 100 panorama and 4 rolls of Kodak TX 400 film. I think that is about as light as it goes in terms of camera gear. I will post a full story once I'm back on the mainland again.


Buying a medium format camera

A while back I bought a used Mamiya RZ67 (with lots of goodies) on eBay and this is how I did it. I had been eyeing a medium format camera for a while and was undecided to the end. Checking the bay frequently I would see cameras such as the Bronica ETR, ETR-S, Mamiya RZ and RB models, Pentax 67 and of course the Hasselblad cameras. Having done some homework I finally decided on the Mamiya RZ67 system since it seemed to be the most logical choice. The Bronica seemed good but I kept hearing different stories about how it was built and the quality of the lenses. The Pentax ranked high but is fundamentally a different camera with no detachable back etc. The Hassy was simply too expensive so the logical choice was the Mamiya RB or RZ systems. The RB was cheaper but also an older model and with it’s 6x4.5 negative area it seemed better to go with the newer RZ67 and get larger negatives at the same time. At any given time you will find three or four of the RZ67’s with varying amounts of gear such as lenses, backs and film for sale. The price usually increase with the number of lenses included but generally start at about $500 (if you Buy Now) with bids starting at $300ish. Having spent time on finding the right camera for my needs I didn't want to get “out-bid” at the last second and decided for the “Buy Now” option. I found a great kit which included the camera body, a 110mm lens, two backs (one 120 and one Polaroid) and about 50 rolls of 120 film, all for $650. The 50 rolls of 120 film alone would cost me about $250 at B&H so it really seemed like a great deal. I also happen to love instant photography so the Polaroid back really sealed the deal for me. Not more than 4 days later I had the package on my door step and the fun began...





Instant gratification

A while back I wrote about how film photography helps slow me down just by the fact that you don't see the results right away, but what if you can't wait to have the film developed? There is a camera for that too, in today's section I write about my latest acquisition, the Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera.

The Automatic 100 was the first of several Polaroid models sharing such innovations as collapsing bellows, automatic exposure and a folding range finder. When it was introduced (in the early to mid 60’s) it used the 7.2cm x 9.5cm Polaroid 100-series packfilm which came both in color and back & white. You might have heard a lot about Polaroid over the past few years and wonder if you can even find such film on the market these days, luckily there are solutions out there. I use the Fujifilm FP 100C and FP 3000B color and black & white film readily available from the Film Photography Project store or other locations. With a price of about $8.00 to $12.00 for a 10 pack of film it is not the cheapest way to shoot, but it sure is one of the more fun ways. This camera is just a fun thing to bring to a party or along for a trip.

These days with smart phone camera apps. no-one is used to holding a real print in their hands and there certainly is something special about that. So where can I find such a photographic gem? I would suggest checking out the Film Photography Project store at

You can also check out my instant photography section here or read about my first experience with the Automatic 100 at the FPP website

Have fun and keep shooting film!



Digging for gold...

In my last post I mentioned ebay as a great way to find old film photography equipment and camera gear so this time I wanted to share a nugget of gold I dug up a while back. Please meet the Mamiya ZE Quartz Timed Automatic Exposure Camera, the coolest camera money can buy... ( at least in 1980...).

Sporting a quartz-controlled focal-plane metal shutter and a center-weighted photo diode the Mamiya Z series was the last of the 35mm cameras produced by Mamiya. But even as this format was going away Mamiya showed innovation by introducing an electronic coupling system to let the lens communicate with the camera body. This was a risky move since it would render lots of older glass (lenses) useless. Following a bankruptcy in the mid 80’s by the only distributor of Mamiya the 35mm format cameras ended production. This did not mean the end of Mamiya but since the late 80’s Mamiya only distribute high-end medium format cameras. So how much did this baby set me back you ask? A whooping $55.00 including two lenses, a 50mm f1.7 and a 75-150mm f3.8. And all of this in MINT condition, how could you go wrong?!?

 one night in Reno... (Mamiya ZE, Kodak T-Max 400)

Here are some super tips on Mamiya cameras and history. (Awesome site by Ron Herron)




Shooting film in a digital world

Why would anyone use film in today's digital world of facebook, flickr and other on-line oriented media?

Well, perhaps for the same reason musicians still play on acoustic instruments. The invention of a new medium will not necessarily spell doom for another. There is still something magical about holding a print in your hands or looking at great photography in a gallery.

Personally I enjoy the special look of a photo taken with film. I am sure you can obtain the same “feel” with a little work in photoshop but that is not where I want to spend my time. I like to use different kinds of film, filters and exposures to get the shot right the first time. I learned to shoot on digital and I still think this is a great way to discover photography. You can take hundreds of photos in a day while trying out new things and if you don't like them you delete them and try again, but instead of sifting through thousands of mediocre RAW files I try to use the right tool for the job. I shoot film as often as I can but I also use my digital rig and even my Blackberry camera (check out my photos at As the old saying goes “the best camera is the one you have with you” and I ALWAYS carry my phone... =)  photo taken with my Blackberry Bold

 The development and innovation of film have by no means been standing still over the last 10 years. Film making is still alive and well in today’s digital media world and the products out there are some of the best ever, some are even designed to fit your hybrid media workflow. Sure, production has been scaled back but film photography is still a viable and not too expensive option to digital.

But is it really that expensive?

Take this for example, you can spend about $1,200 today and get a good digital camera like the Canon EOS 60D or the Nikon D90 but how will these cameras match against the competition in 3 to 4 years? That doesn't mean that they are bad cameras but in an ever changing digital world the next model with all the “must have” features is always around the corner. You can find a great film camera such as the Canon EOS 630 on eBay for under $20 and load it up with tons of great and ever developing film products. This camera might be from the early 90’s but the film you shoot with it will continue to evolve in the future and better products are being released every year. Try that with your 60D in 2020... ;-)

If you want to discover more about film photography I highly recommend the following sites and pod-casts.