The relief of being a snapshooter and collector !!


TPF Noob!
Feb 4, 2015
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I have mild but disruptive ASD and he/she/me stuff which confuses and diffuses .

For me , a camera has always been a way of framing/editing/containing a confusing out of phase world .

From 1957 , at 10 years , I was captivated by the magic of a box [ Praktina FX ] which could capture intense Kodacolour 'pictures on the wall ', and by the magic of lenses.
As my hard drive seems to have filled by 1960 and I can't delete and record more appropriate , there is no change !
Nothing really impacts upon me -if it has, it's something from the early years which become definitive.
I recently stumbled upon the Kiev pre-war Contax copy , which along with the Minolta SRT seemed real and solid .
I now have some unique Kiev/Contaxes courtesy of ex-Arsenal guys who made Kievs in Ukraine.

One item is real , so the others-what are they ? Of course i can override intellectually but the essence remains .

In social situations others have accepted me being outside looking in with a camera .
I HAVE to have a camera with me though it was difficult to accept a compact when 35mm film size had been drilled into me ., I now have a delightful Fujifilm XF1 which translates the apertures into 35mm and is like a miniature metal rangefinder - the SLR is never far away however !

My DSLRs are OK but not exceptional - I have a Sony A35 , but often opt for the familiarity of an SLR with the stripped out Sony A290 which I use with a 1997 35-80 Minolta kit lens which is perfect for Architectural details [ I don't do people too much ! ] at a familiar 52-120 .
I am a touch amused by the denigration of such a basic DSLR when my Minolta SRTs were equally simple !!
I am currently considering reviving my Pentax K10d with similar cheap and cheerful 1990s kit 35-80 / 80-200 as my fave Leica Digilux 3 has a Minolta MD mount jammed onto it !!

I can get serious with an inheritance funded Leica M8 and Color Scopar 35 f2.5 in monochrome ,a stunning 'kodaclour biased ' Fed collapsible and gifted Contax mounted/adapted 1959 Jupiter 2 .
However the M8 and the Digilux 3 were the most analogue camera I could find , so more about the experience than any need for quality equipment.

So, not a photograper - but someone whose camera collection and Digi-boxes are a lifeline.

Welcome to TPF, dee!!! Sounds like you've got some good camera friends to keep you company on adventures of the clicking kind. Life would be pretty boring and dreary without idiosyncratic people, cameras, and cars and other mechanicals! The Leica sounds pretty cool. I loooove the look and design of the pre-WWII, such astounding engineering for the time frame, compared with what was on the market back then. I bet the copies and clones of the early Contax are equally interesting.
Thanks Derrel.

I love continuity which the Kontax story echoes - from 1997 with the ASD/Gender Dysphoria breakthrough/trauma , I recycled Dinky Toys into inexpensive ex-USSR cameras - a pair each of Leica II and Leica IIIc.

Then a late Kiev - which hands and eyes combined to make real/solid.
it appears that anything I experienced as a child becomes imprinted , so I probably knew someone with a Leica and Kiev .
With the help of someone in Ukraine I had some scrap Contax cameras rebuilt and re-imagined.
I need 'sameness ' but am fine with minor differences - I now have a ;
Contax II with tan leather and finished in silver [ black paint stripped.
Contax II from parts with late Kiev shutter assembly and back
Contax III restored with working meter from two scrap cameras .
1937 Contax III body with 1957 Kiev 4 meter and controls
1956 Kiev IIIa body + 1957 Kiev 4 top plate .
1951/1952 Kiev II
Mint 1956 Kiev IIa and mint boxed UK TOE import 1979 Kiev 4a .

Too many other Kiev/Fed/Zorki/Zenit etc Minolta SR/SRT and other SLRs picked up cheaply.

I love the thought of what is essentially a new boxed Kiev camera which is a continuation of a several decades encompassing two ideologies , especially as the Kievs were built by people with no experience in engineering !

Incidentally - Kievs were very much maligned due to later poor quality , but an expert in Kievs would always advocate a late user provided that it is thoroughly overhauled and set up properly.
My 1st pair from 'master' Oleg provided many hours of contented snapshooting .
The early Kievs were of equal quality to the Contax and were available only to Party favourites.
According to Oleg , many have been messed with as cameras were used for decades and others just suffered wear similar to an early Contax.

OOPs-gone on a bit 1


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