Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Have You Been?

I have always enjoyed that feeling I get when a new piece of photography related gear arrives. The discovery, and the experimentation that will shortly follow can occupy me so much that the rest of the world seems to slip away. New gadgets and the new approaches they offer to my photographic endeavors can be very tempting.

Last year, I made quite a few large purchases. For a new camera body, I bought a Canon 50D...a 15 megapixel DSLR to take the main brunt of my work and give my old but trusty Canon XTi a rest.

In addition to that, I bought a Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS, a beast of a zoom lense that has surprised me by taking a lead over my dependable 17-55mm F2.8IS as my primary lense used for portraits. It is an incredible piece of glass!

This year, I thought I'd be taking a year off from gear purchases. Being quite satisfied with my two cameras and lense choices, and also fully rigged with flash units and wireless gizmos to operate them I felt completely at ease with what was in the bag. Well at least until the bug bit!

A few weeks ago I ran across a couple old Kodak Duaflex medium format cameras in an antique store. I always wanted to try my hand at something called "through the viewfinder" photography. This is done by shooting a macro lense equipped modern digital SLR through the viewfinder of a camera with a waist level viewfinder like the Duaflex utilizes. I have seen quite a few very interesting results from this method. I was able to clean both cameras up pretty well and get both of them functional should I ever decide to put a roll of film in them. In the meantime I am searching for a good macro lens!

My first "through the viewfinder" attempt.

But this all got me thinking...and researching...and well...one thing leads to another...and I bought another camera! This one is a true classic. A very sturdy and dependable Yashica Mat 124G medium format film camera. These were popular in the late sixties and through the seventies with any photography enthusiast who wanted to "step-up" to medium format. It's a great looking and very "mechanical" instrument, and the one I purchased only needed new light seals to make it servicable.

I have shot two rolls of film so far, and am waiting to get the first back from the developer. Id like to see them before I proceed, to be sure my exposure strategy is smart. Stay tuned on this though...as I have a very special project that I intend to complete with this old gear!

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