• [Photography] Kodak Retina IIIc

    From Margaerynne@VERT/PALANTIR to All on Tue Jul 4 22:09:33 2023
    So the lady got the urge to take up photography with a vintage camera, and we stumbled across an old Retina IIIc
    in a thrift store.

    Now obviously anyone who knows about it would tell us that's a stupid first pick, and the age will make servicing
    it nearly impossible for a complete beginner. But we didn't have such great advice when we bought it, so now we
    have a probably-broken camera in parts across our table, desperately trying to fix it.

    Personally I want to cut our losses and start with something less finicky, but it seems we're committed now.

    Guess I'll have to play along until we put it back together, and then we can maybe consider something else?

    Synchronet Palantir BBS * palantirbbs.ddns.net * Pensacola, FL
  • From poindexter FORTRAN@VERT/REALITY to Margaerynne on Wed Jul 5 07:10:00 2023
    Margaerynne wrote to All <=-

    So the lady got the urge to take up photography with a vintage camera, and we stumbled across an old Retina IIIc
    in a thrift store.

    I'd recommend a camera that sold a lot of units, as those would have the
    most spares available now. Manual SLRs can take different lenses, are mechanical and so only need a battery for metering, and are a lot of fun
    to shoot with.

    The safest bet there would be a Pentax K1000. They were used in schools
    for years and Pentax sold millions of them. They use Pentax K-mount
    lenses, and lots of companies made compatible bodies and lenses.

    Ricoh XR1 and XR2s are tanks, and can shoot K-mount lenses.

    Now, these are mechanical bodies with no automation. If you want to be
    able to shoot with the camera automatically selecting the exposure, the
    Canon AE-1 and Pentax ME are two common models. Canons suffer from a
    breakdown in shutter lube that sounds like a squeak when the shutter
    closes. That'll require a Clean, Lube and Adjustment at a camera shop
    which could double the price.

    CLAs aren't a bad idea if she's serious about the hobby, it can make a
    40 year old camera feel (and shoot) like it's brand new.

    My go-to shooter is a Canon FTb (similar to the K1000) with a 50/1.8
    lens, and I had it CLAed when I got it - shoots like new!

    Shooting with a 50mm "prime" lens is a lot of fun. It's a natural focal
    length that looks normal compared to your vision's perspective, and they
    tend to be "fast" lenses, meaning that capture a lot of light and make low-light photography easier.

    If I had a higher budget, I'd look at a Nikon FM series.

    If you're looking for a smaller camera, rangefinders are nice. Instead
    of seeing through the lens, they use a secondary viewfinder, along with
    a split-screen inside of the viewfinder. You'll see an area with a
    double-image - turn the focus knob until they become one, and you're in
    focus. The Canon Canonet QL 17 III and QL28 are very popular, as are the Yashica 35 GSN.

    One note about batteries - most of these cameras took Mercury batteries,
    which have a higher voltage and a steadier voltage over time. Mercury
    batteries are not available any more, and you need to fake it with
    silver oxide batteries. It may affect the meter by a stop or two.

    The Pentax and Ricohs I mentioned don't have this problem as they take SR-44/357 batteries which you can find most places, the rangefinders

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