Here I introduce you to one of my favorite rangefinders in my collection. This camera never ceases to amaze me with images it produces with little to no effort on my part 😉
Just an FYI about some events coming up where I will be showing my work.
Saturday, April 30, 2011, 10am-7pm Life is Art Fest in Boca Raton, Florida
Friday, May 6, 2011, 6-9pm East Village Uncorked in Pompano Beach, Florida
Come on by, see my work in person and say “Hi!” All the work I sell at events is hand signed by me on the spot and I can even personalize gifts with the name of whomever you are giving it to 😉
Just decided it would be fun to make some videos introducing you to cameras from my collection. I started with my favorite little rangefinder since I’ve been collecting from 2009, “Tina” as I call her, or Minolta Minoltina AL-s. Enjoy!
I am a constant “thrifter” hitting up local thrift stores, antique stores, and the like for neat old vintage cameras. I have found a near mint condition Polaroid SX-70, a Franka Solida, Jr. w/ Voigtlander shutter (I call it “FrankenKamera”), and a cheesy Time Magazine camera, amongst others.
I have decided to make a local Veteran’s thrift store my favorite for donations (my father and all of my brothers are vets) and went to drop off some stuff one day. Guess it was good karma or something cause when I looked in the display case, there was a Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII staring back at me! I asked the gentleman how much and he said $2!!! I was stunned…this camera goes for over $150 or so when in good working order and I had my eye on them for a long time, but the prices were way out of my range.
I asked to see it and the shutter seemed good and it wound normally. It had a dent on a bottom corner, but not enough to interfere with the film door. When I opened it, the pressure plate was loose inside, but I had recently done a repair on my QL17, so knew it wasn’t a big deal to get back into place. I purchased the camera and saw a donation jar on the counter, so I put a few bucks into that since I got an amazing deal.
I decided to put this camera against my Canon Canonet QL17 in a “shootout,” as they are very similar cameras and routinely compared to one another. They are certainly very similar in many ways.
I have the two compared in my set of photos on flickr here:
“Shootout! Canon Canonet QL17 vs. Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/framerkat/sets/72157623805455642/
I seem to be the obsessive compulsive type. I got hooked on rangefinder 35mm cameras back in the 80s using an Olympus XA and in the 90s when I borrowed my Dad’s Olympus 35 (DC?) in New Orleans, LA. Since my foray back into all things film, I have amassed quite the camera collection (in addition to what I already had). Rangefinders seem to be my weakness.
Argus C-3 aka “The Brick” 35mm rangefinder camera
Kodak 35 RF 35mm rangefinder camera
Minolta Minoltina AL-s 35mm rangefinder camera
It all started with a lot of three cameras on eBay. There was the obligatory “Brick” (Argus C-3), a freak of nature called the Kodak 35 RF (rather than redesigning a new model, they just put all the rangefinder gears and gizmos on the OUTSIDE of the body!), and a sweet little Minolta Minoltina AL-s. The Minolta was the one I was after…the other two were “fluff.” She had a fast 40mm f1.8 lens and looked to be very clean. I received the lot and every camera came in it’s “ever ready” case (or “never ready” as they are sometimes known 😉 and was in pristine condition. Yet another testament to purchasing from a seller who knows nothing about cameras and just sells them “as-is.” Think I paid $35 including shipping for the entire lot.
The brick and the 35 rf were kindof painful to use…strange dials to set, uncomfortable to hold and shoot, accidentally hitting the wrong thing instead of the shutter release, etc. But the Minoltina was another story…it just felt at home in my hands, very compact, selenium light meter works very well, and that fast lens sure does soak up some light! I dubbed her “Tina” after falling head over heels for her 😉 Here are some shots from her:
Stay tuned for more “Rangefinder Mania!”