It Ain’t What You Got, It’s What You Do With it.

Today was a crazy day of doctor appointments and other errands so, I’ll just put up this photo of the rig that I’ve been using the most here lately.

I think it makes spectacular photographs, despite being a Canadian/Soviet/Japanese hybrid. I’d even go so far as to say that it makes spectacular LEICA PHOTOGRAPHS (whatever the hell that means-hey, I saw in in a brochure, it must signify something, right?), Even though not a lick of it was manufactured in Germany.

For the record, the camera, made in Canada, was $600.00; the lens, made in the USSR in 1974, was $30.00; and the LTM-to-M adapter, made in Japan, was $75.00 (that’s right, the adapter for the lens cost more than twice the price of the lens- not unlike the $20.00 zipper I once put in an $18.00 vintage dress).

Anyways, I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are some insane bargains out there for folks who are willing to work with stuff that’s off the beaten path a bit and that you can have a world class bit of kit for less money than a Canon Rebel with a crappy kit lens. Film not included. Which is how it used to be for everyone. I guess I’m officially old now.

Well, get of my Soviet-made lawn, ya damn kids!

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8 thoughts on “It Ain’t What You Got, It’s What You Do With it.

  1. You are right – it makes great pictures that have a definite vintage Leica quality. It is good to find a combination that works for you. I’m always curious about those that use meter-less Leicas – do you use a meter or just guesstimate exposures based on “Sunny 16″ and practice, or what?

    • I’ll occasionally use a light meter when things look tricky, but otherwise, I just use the light meter in my head. I almost always shoot ISO 400 film and at this point, my eye is pretty good and sometimes better than a light meter. For stuff at other ISOs, I Sunny-16 it and then check with the meter app on my iPhone if the light changes a lot.

  2. Well, if I was shooting 8×10″ sheet film, I’d probably use the Zone System, too!! Unless money was no object and then I’d go all punk and, um, bracket my best guess. Heheheheh.

    When I first got my M2, which was my first meterless camera, I spent a week or so using the M8 as a Sunny-16 camera, locked down on ISO 320. That way, I got a nice range of data points for exposure in all sorts of different light. Being able to review a photo on the spot and see what the results were for any given exposure was a big confidence booster for me. It turned out that I knew my light pretty well.

  3. That set looks good and is quite a bargain. Well, I’m not so sure about the adapter really. My Summicron-M 50 from 1976 was only about four times as much as your lens+adapter.

    • The adapter, which was purchased from Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest, wasn’t really a bargain I suppose, but still, I got a top-notch 50mm Sonnar for $105, so I’m OK with it.

      Though a Summicron for $400 is one hell of a score!

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