After a couple of years taking digital photos with my Fuji Finepix S5000, film is like a breath of fresh air. The Finepix was a reasonably priced, entry level-ish camera, but there is pretty limited control, so I'm thinking of that more as a handy point and shoot. Recently I've been taking photos with a Holga 120 SF and a Zero Image pinhole camera, shooting on FUJI CS 120 Reala ISO-100 film. I must admit I'd really chuffed with the results.
Now that I've started looking around a bit, silly as this might sound, Flickr is turning out to be an excellent resource for information! I've joined a few new camera-y groups, like Leica, Rangefinder Cameras, 120 Challenge, and Voigtlander (after I just discovered my dad used to have one, and sold it years ago for $5!! Gah!) Still, without even really knowing what I was learning about, I needed to take a couple of steps back:
What's a rangefinder?
A rangefinder camera is a camera fitted with... a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to judge the focusing distance and take photographs that will be in focus. Most varieties of rangefinder show two images that when coincident give the proper focus distance. (Wikipedia entry)
You can see this to great effect in Heather's Canonet GIII QL17 photos, and while I restrain myself from thinking that I would ever have an eye like hers, I'm definitely interested in the New World of Rangefinders, and what they might offer.
After learning a little more about what I was actually looking at, I started to explore the rather large array of rangefinder options. (As opposed to just going for the Rolls Royce option I discovered the other day: The Leica M series. These puppies can sell for around US $3,000, so... you know, I thought I should perhaps look at a cheaper starting option to learn the ropes with.)
So, a few resources:
- Matt's Classic Cameras (Matt's in San Francisco, probably on Flickr?)
- Stephen Gandy's CameraQuest
- Flickr Groups!
eBay(Watching those Leicas!)