You know, many of us GAS-afflicted spawn have the fantasy that someday we will sell everything and keep just a system to do our work. Or two. Okay, there’s my Leica rangefinder and my second body plus all the lenses; then, you can’t tell a man to get rid of his two Nikon Fs with differents prisms and lenses from 20 to 300mm; and it would be cruel to take that cutey patooty Leica R6 from him, and of course there is the Viso II for Leica screw bodies with matching Leica IIIa and a ton of Telyts…Geez, I won’t live enough lives to actually use all this stuff but I swear to God that I will riddle with bullets the motherfucker that tries to take one camera from me. It simply isn’t rational. There are chaps who work in an office, act normal all week long but then, when the weekend comes they go watching soccer and go totally apeshit and call the ref things that would make a truck driver blush. Everybody’s got a bug; mine is cameras, and I don’t think it can be cured.
What you see above is a Contax G1 camera body. Well, more exactly, this is the part in which you can verify that it was made in Japan by Kyocera, which, if you didn’t know, at the time when this camera was released was known in the West for making copying machines. The system was a flop. Not because the cameras and the lenses were bad: they weren’t. In fact, the lenses are on par with Leica, which is to say that they’re as good as a photographic lens can be. They failed because there was no market for such a product. Them guys at Kyocera failed to understand why they would totally fail at selling “Contax” cameras made in Japan.
It was because they weren’t Zeiss.
I took the picture above with a Smena, a camera that I kinda like. Lastly I’ve noticed in social media an increase of interest on this Soviet little camera. There are several iterations of it, but most mount the old T-43, which stands for Triplet mark 43 and are totally manual, including manual cocking. Later models have markings for fools, meaning that you are supposed to always keep the iris closed at a fixed f depending on what film sensibility you are using and changing speeds manually depending on light conditions. Of course, you can override the dummy mode and shoot like a real photog, which is what ultimately makes the Smenas nice cameras. They are compact, light, and they have a speed range of 1/15 to 2/250 and f’s from 4.5 to 16, which is all you need to take pictures if you want to, for instance, go hiking. Yes, that was a Barnack pun. Oh, and they have a nice, little, coated lens. Which happens to be the its weakest feature. But it doesn’t matter, cause the lens is just the most important part of a camera. No, the Russians got it right. Ok, ok, I’m being a little unfair here: Smenas were intended to be cheap cameras to be easily made by the millions, which they were, and the lens had to be a cheap one. But, by Krom, why did they had to mount such an atrocious lens on the Smena? I mean, I’ve seen doublets… hell, even plastic meniscuses, do better than the triplet on the Smena. When I say atrocious I’m really being nice. But I like atrocious. Le freak, c’est chic.
Russophobia: Russians say you have a bad case of it whenever you criticize anything Russian or from Russia. They do it as much as Americans say you are anti-them whenever you don’t like something done by their government; well, in the case of Americans you won’t hear it as much just because many of them are so happily ignorant of everything that happens abroad. I myself have been accused of Russophobia sometimes because how I talk about Soviet cameras. What should I do? Saying they’re not bad compared to Japanese cameras? You’d call me a liar with good reason. Truth is I’m much of a russophile and I celebrate Russia and Russian culture as much as I celebrate American, and for one time, I’m not joking. That is not to say that I think that Russian or American governments always exert a good influence over the world, oh no.
I’m more exactly a nostalgic sovietmaniac, in the sense that I collect gizmoes from or related to the old Soviet Union. Again, no nostalgia about the USSR politically.
Yes, this day just ought to come. If you’re one of those bitten by the analog photography bug, I’m sure that you have an idea of what Lomography is. And if you have half a brain, I’m also sure that you know that their marketing is bullshit storytelling for hipsters. Oh, it’s so post-modern. Lomography is a brand that takes a lot of heat for pricing policies, but my beef with them is totally different. The one thing I find obnoxious about them is how they treat their potential customers like we’re retards. There are dozens of lomography products I would buy, but rewarding their communication policy just makes me sick. I mean, sometimes I, children, am a bit condescending on you, my few readers, but I do so because I know you can take a joke and that you will pick me with a grain of salt. Or more than one. I would crap my pants if someone ever took what I write here at face value, and that is the only thing that is for real about my writing.
Let’s play a game. What is Baron I’s favorite thing to write about? If you said cameras, you’re wrong: as much as I love boasting about my cameras, Baron I’s favorite subject is Baron I. We’re going to leave Zenits aside for a minute and talk about how all this madness began.
First of all, you should know that Baron I has a secret personality. Much like Superman, I was born Baron I and I’m Baron I most of the time, but I conceal my camera superpowers below a much less awe-inspiring facade, just for not having to deal with nubile female groupies all the time. Let’s call this persona “Citizen I”. I must confess that sometimes I enjoy leaving my blue blood at home and mixing with the common rabble as Citizen I. Even though, my inherent, sheer, aristocratic aura spills out of me all day long, so it’s a struggle.
Now that I am complaining about trends, I can tell you something else that pisses me off besides gear reviewers calling us idiots for looking at their work.
Now there are those who say that gear doesn’t matter, that you can take perfect pictures without a Leica or five grand lens.
In fact, this trend goes back many years ago. There is an urban legend about photojournalist Ernst Haas saying ‘Leica, schmeica, the camera doesn’t make a difference’ to a couple of leicaphiles trying to coax a statement about Leica being inherently superior to other brands from him. This is still the trend this days. Both things, I mean: leicaphiles and leica-schmeicas.
There are some guys who are even more shameless than Baron I, by veiledly asking for free samples for reviews. Baron I is true and asks directly: buy me a Leica MP and make me happy. No subliminal trickery here: Baron I is so much alpha that he goes superliminal: buy it to me.
This above is the Leica-à-la-carte of my dreams: an MP, glossy black paint, because black is the new chrome; and vulkanite cover, because vulkanite is eternal. Well, not that eternal, but truer to the original. Oh, black paint, you age so gently.
I recently spotted an obnoxious trend in gear review sites. Even more than trying to promote my store at the first chance, which I would never do. Geez, even more stupid than asking for five bucks for printing one copy of what’s in a blog like this guy.
I mean, why all those guys,
who make sure that you have who make MONEY by being sure that you have access to all the specs of any given camera call you an idiot for wanting to know? Isn’t that stupid? I mean, calling your readers, those who ultimately are to blame for you being paid, idiots for caring about the info you give is the most idiotic, stupid, suicide move you can do.
OK, so this is supposed to be the intro to this blog. First of all, let me apologize in advance for my English. I’m not a native English speaker and you’ll be seeing a lot of strange and bad English here, for sure.
Why are we here? About you: you might have just googled one of the cameras here in my blog and misclicked in, or followed a wrong link somewhere. Well, it doesn’t matter. Come in, come in.
About my purpose… well, I have to say it’s quite a nefarious one. I won’t lie to you, cause I want to sell you classic cameras, and they cause addiction. You don’t believe me? We’ll see. Well, I thought about writing something bombastic here about my love of photography and cameras and all, but, people, I don’t take you for dumb. I mean, it’s true, I love photography and cameras and all (well, it’s a problem more than love, I got a camera problem. Big one), but, above all, I want to sell my cameras, so I made this blog to show them to you.
Some people around me had the big idea that if I bought so many cameras, It would be great marketing trying to show them to you as I see them. So they want to instill my camera disease (GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome, we’ll talk further about that) into you. That is the nefarious part.
So what you will be seeing here in this blog is, short and simple, the ravings of a lunatic, pathetically trying to sell you cameras. Expensive ones. Yes, we have cheaper cameras too, but you should definitely buy the expensive ones.
About selling and buying, yes, your guess is right: this blog has a twin Ebay store, Camera Store Barcelona, where you’ll be able to find most of the stuff we’ll be discussing here. It’s Camera Store because we don’t sell pianos and Barcelona because it’s catchy. Well and I live there too. Nice place.