Runcible Blog


I went to the annual (actually I think there are two per year) Photographica photo show at Waltham High School today. They probably had more stuff yesterday, but what they did have was generally higher-priced than Ebay. I was looking for possibly three items:

  • Incident light/flash meter. nothing fancy; maybe even analog. But there weren't any that I could afford or justify ($160 for an old Minolta isn't bad, but I didn't want to spend that much).
  • Twin Lens Reflex medium format camera; ideally a Yashicamat 124G, but not necessarily. The 124G's were way too expensive (~$250-$290), and the "generic" TLR's were in pretty bad shape. maybe next time.
  • A usable 35mm rangefinder. Although I won this Russian FED-5 from Ebay, it seems to have gotten lost in the mail. I'm disappointed but still hopeful that it'll arrive eventually. If not, that seller will receive some mighty negative "feedback". Oh no!
  • Anyway, I ended up buying a legendary Canon Canonet QL17 G-III. It's a compact rangefinder with a 40mm f1.7 lens, shutter speeds from 1/4th to 1/500th sec. (w/flash sync at all speeds!), and autoexposure (which unfortunately requires a mercury battery). I'm pretty happy with this very quiet camera (compared with my noisy ZX-M) and hope to try it out soon. Although I'll need a lot more practice to guess accurately the exposure, so far I can guess within 1-1.5 stops in low-light situations (I don't hang out in bright light enough to guess accurately).

    $50 was a little more than I would have liked to pay for the camera considering another vendor had one for $40. Doh! But I'll convince myself that it was a good buy. It'll definitely be my "take anywhere" camera. Even though a Pentax ZX-M isn't that expensive, I like to carry a camera around almost at all times, and the Canonet should fill that role nicely. If the Ukrainian camera shows up, all the better!

    I was somewhat annoyed by the number of dealers at this show. It seemed like there were more dealers buying equipment from each other than there were actual photographers buying stuff. And there the ones who get in early and buy all the good stuff. Oh, and another thing: what good is a Leica that is so expensive that you can't touch it or use it without worrying that it'll break? I wanted to pick up a Leica, maybe even focus it, but a dealer scolded me. If Leicas are so fragile, why would anyone use them? Bah!

    Apparently, the sterotypical ar-teest who wears a beret, a black turtle-neck, a "soul-patch", and carries an old Leica (without a lens cap) does indeed exist in the wild! Wow, I thought they existed only on TV or movies, but I saw one with my own two eyes today! There also was a guy with just the beret -- obviously not yet sophisticated enough to complete the stereotypical image. Well, I learn something new every day.