Of all the things I know
I understand almost nothing

zaterdag 26 mei 2012

The 2012 Pentecostal Lecture

For the "Easter Lecture" I just could get 3 1/2 big ones on this table; now I have seven cameras, plus accessoires, 3 flashes - and still room for more.
These are the notorious minis.
Hard to handle, because they are so small, but you can always have them with you. Great performance - except the Hit, alas. It was my first first camera (you know: the Lubitel - oh I've told you) and the one I now own doesn't work. And the Minox35 of course. Leica owners did prefer the Minotar over their 35mm until they discovered the electronics of this seductively beautiful monster.

The last outsider is the Ernemann Liliput. Takes 4X6 sheets, look at the ground-glass (no it's not CTV!) and the pictures this ± 1916 folder delivers (when you don't mind the occasional leak...)
I love it.

The Liliput was disigned for the trenches, small and unbreakable, but not as a "spy"-camera. At that time spy-cameras looked like buttons, watches or umbrellas.
But then came the Minox - the real Minox, I mean. Every spy had them. Great quality: even with 400 ASA Agfa you can read the text, and I made a picture of a "military interesting" object - doesn't it look nice?
Problem: keep your fingers away and the camera steady - it's in the manual!
But, to be honest, that's the only problem with the Minox. Film is still available, and they have that nice daylight-drum, works fine.

With the Minoltas and Киев30 that's another story. There are several problems. First: getting cassettes. Second: getting film. Film is rare, Свема is for those who know (me!) and do not go to Texas! Maybe the best solution: cut your own 45cm 16mm film. Or try and buy a 16mm movie roll (even better: DS8 or Super16, less perforation).

And then comes the real challenge: developing. OMG!
 I own all kinds of 16mm spirals, Lomo, Durst, Polymax, Standard Russian. And it took me months to find the best solution. So stupid.
You have two choises: 20 mins sweating to get the film in the spiral, (scratching it all over the place) or 7 mins hand-developing in the dish. Well, I'm not allergic, so I know what I do: get my hands dirty, no shame in that, hey?

Okay, we can handle that, so: what about quality.
Well, that depends. Pixel-freaks will not be satisfied. Neither will fine-grain high-resolution lovers be. But I am, well, not impressed, but pleased with the results. Of the Minox because it's good, the Ernemann because it still works, and the киев because it's Ucrainian. Both Minoltas are also okay (but not so exciting as my first spy-cam, the simple Minolta16 - although I can't remember ever taking pictures with it).

Of course they aren't "systems". My Minox has in-built filters, look at the 1939 adv. below, later came a flash and a slide projector. For the Minoltas I have two flashes, for cubes and AG1 and I glued a shoe on the Киев, looks cute with the ISI-K, does it not?

Look at the "Mini-Art gallery" above: size doesn't matter when you want to make a good photo (he said with modesty). If you don't mind some work, and like to handle different cameras (not exclusively "the best").

In der Beschränkung zeigt sich der Meister - I like that very much.