New Toys

So I got some new toys. What, you’re not surprised? Yeah, neither am I.

I almost thought I gave up on 35mm film. I didn’t shoot a lot of it anymore, and granted, other than the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim it just didn’t do anything for me really. The Praktica BX20s is nice, and the Nikon N90s is a fancy and fast beast, but yeah, not that exciting.

But I didn’t want to get up that easy. With a recent affinity for black and white film I started looking in a different direction, to the rangefinder cameras. Obviously the king of the hill is a Leica, but I really should start off easy, and work my way up. Maybe I’ll stop by a Bessa R4 on the way, but for now, let’s start with something about 40 years old, a Canon Canonet QL17. I shot some real cheapo film with it, and while the film itself is far from being a favorite, it only had 12 shots, perfect for shooting a test roll. I’ll have to work on the focussing, but this one turned out okay.

Self with Canonet

It’s a cute little camera, and while it’s quite heavy, it sure comes in handy and is more compact than the Praktica, not to mention the Nikon. Sweet camera too, but yeah, rangefinder focussing is a different school. Not seeing what you get sure makes it more interesting.

Boom, there’s the kicker, things got interesting again.

But! Why not crank it down a notch? There’s another, a smaller infamous rangefinder camera, with a touch of lomo, though just a small one, and it’s a lot cheaper. It’s the Olympus XA, not the XA2, not the XA1, no, it’s the original. I got one off ebay, and I’m very much looking forward to trying it out. It also sports a rangefinder focus.

I’m looking for something that I can take with me in my pocket, the Holga is cool and all, but something more general purpose for the every-day is what I’m looking for. So there, my explanation for the current state of my addiction.

Last but not least, it’s the king (or the queen?) of the Polaroid cameras, a Polaroid 110B converted for pack film. Well, maybe it’s not royal, but it sure looks like it.

Now, I can hear you say that doing the conversion yourself is a fulfilling experience, you should do it yourself, blah blah blah. Sure, I could, but I’m neither capable nor even remotely patient enough to pull that off. Believe me, it’s better that way, for all of us. I’d curse a lot, probably kill this blog, and my Flickr account too.


Ebay once again to the rescue (if until now you haven’t realized that ebay is awesome to get old-ish cameras, there, I just said it), I scored the beauty above. A conversion sets you back around $500 on ebay US, and I got the 110B for a pretty good price. Apart from some focussing issues, this time it’s the camera not me (or is it?), it’s an amazing beast. Sweet lens, fully manual, and huge!


As soon as the sun is really out, it was a little short with us lately, I’ll get down and funky with this bad boy. I still have two expired packs of ID-UV which I’m very much looking forward to shoot


3 thoughts on “New Toys

  1. Ha, so you really tried the cheapo film! Hopefully you will get another nine 35mm-cams, so that it will serve you well as test film 🙂

  2. yay for the canonet! i seriously love it. it’s pretty much become my primary camera over the past year. i also have an olympus om… something or other (i’m not at home now) that was my dad’s but is having some sticky shutter issues. i’m hoping to get it fixed this summer. anyways, i’m really into the rangefinder, which is probably why i haven’t been more motivated to get the olympus looked at. i’m sure you’ll do great things with that little canonet

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