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Internets beware: here be chrome & leather

We can finally announce that we have gone online with our own store. Finally Camera Store Barcelona is its own man in the Internets. We will keep our presence in ebay, and I will try to mislead you to our ebay store as often as ever, but now we also have our own thing. Migrating our store has been a lot of effort, but the sight of so much leather & chrome really eased it all a lot.
Of course, I’m inviting you to check our new store out, here at our site. And I’m just inviting you, which is quite mild, because my lawyers told me that installing a plugin that went apeshit and spamming pop-ups would have undesired legal consequences. The consequences will never be the same, said a philosopher. Yes, we are proof that rehab from 4chan works in some cases.
On the serious side now, as you can see, we’ve gone nuts and are offering insane discounts, up to 30 to celebrate we’re in the ‘nets. From now to the 19th, If you want to go and steal a shiny, shiny chromed gizmo from us, now it’s your chance.

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Instant Auto. Take this, other large format cameras.

Look at the finder. Isn't it gorgeous?
Look at the finder. Isn’t it gorgeous?

If there were analog cameras that truly were another breed were the Polaroids. The reasons that they were totally different beasts from the far more common 35mm and medium format cameras lies in the much larger area that the polaroid had to expose; you see, for all effects, the Polas were large format cameras only that its negative (because all Polaroid film involved a negative, and the really clever ones didn’t show it to you) was used only once on a single contact print.

The fact that they were dumbified large format cameras amazes me. Dr. Land, the designer of all Polaroid cameras very much followed the path set up by designers of 6×9 folders that were the rage until the popularisation of the 35mm cinefilm format in the early 1930’s by Leica. If you take a look at the first Polas from the 1950’s, the similarities are obvious. The folding served more purposes than just coolness: it was intended for portability. See, the exposure area being larger meant that the focal distance of the lenses involved had to be in proportion; this made for very large cameras, and here’s where the folding shines: it could be collapsed into the body when not in use and it was much lighter than any other alternative. With time, the designs were more and more simplified in order to cut costs and being able to sell the cameras for cheaper. What you see above, the Type 80, was an involution on the concept: it simply got rid of the bellows and changed it for rigid thermoplastic integrated into the film compartment; with setting operable from the both the body and the fixed lensboard.

Continue reading Instant Auto. Take this, other large format cameras.

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Zeiss my shiny metal ass

Suffer, bitch
Suffer, bitch

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.

Continue reading Zeiss my shiny metal ass

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Shiny seventies

Eeeew. But I like it. I need help.

Let’s leave Zenits apart a little bit now and talk about another immense, glorious, immortal, victory of the USSR in the consumer goods field: the Kiev SLRs. Well, the first generation of them. It is not that the second generation wasn’t an immense, glorious and immortal victory, but I have two hands only, so I can only bash one generation of Soviet victories at a time. 

If you think Zenits are not a nadir of design, here above is a Kiev 15. You can call it whatever you want, I call it butt ugly. But I kinda love ugly cameras, you know.

Continue reading Shiny seventies

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Zenitology: lost chapters

Yes, you're cute
Yes, you’re cute

It looks like Baron I, as enthusiastic as he was about telling you everything about the Zenit 3M, missed one key link in the Zenit ¿evolutionary? line.

For, behold, here’s the Zenit 3, without an M, only 3. I simply assume that the Zenit C, being nothing else than the original Zenit with a flash synch socket (hence the C, which is cyryllic for ‘s’, which in turn stands for synchronised), is the Zenit mark 2, since, AFAIK, there is, officially, no Zenit 2, not even at blueprint stage.  

Continue reading Zenitology: lost chapters

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Chromejutsu

sinarp+mcp+isymmar003-001

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.

Continue reading Chromejutsu

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Measurebate your sensor

Make it RAW
Make it RAW

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.

Continue reading Measurebate your sensor

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Special K

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There are things I will always love about the US. For example, when they have to demolish something big instead of doing the sensible thing they stick a big chunk of dynamite on it and blow it up. I love those chaps. That’s what happened with Kodak’s oldest film facility a few days ago, it was mid-july and them lucky guys at Rochester NY, the holy city of Kodak, were lucky enough to have a second Independence Day fireworks display, with some delay. Boom went the dynamite and with it more than 90 years of filmmaking industry crumbled unelegantly. This was very indicative of the current state of affairs in Kodak nowadays.

Yes, I’m going to bash Kodak. About the title: I didn’t mean the ‘I will love you forever’ kind of special, rather the below 70IQ kind of special.

Continue reading Special K

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The Leica led to the FED, the FED led to the Zorki…

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…and the Zorki led to the Dark Side. Or to the Zenit, which is the same thing for all of us who own one.

We were saying in the last article about Zenits that they basically came from the Leica. Let’s see how.

In the 1930s imports in the Soviet Union were scarce and the official economic doctrine put great emphasis on autarchy, so the great plan of the commies became to produce everything at home… by breaking any patent laws if necessary. Many implements of Soviet manufacture, especially consumer goods were close copies of Western models, and cameras were no exception. Well, as close as the Soviet production model, which clearly didn’t favor quality, allowed.

Continue reading The Leica led to the FED, the FED led to the Zorki…

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In the beginning, there was only Leica…

sinarp+symmar+mcp---24-3-15006

…and God (Oskar Barnack) saw that it was good, but it had no rangefinder, so in the second day He created the Leica II… It was more or less like that.

What? Leica? Barnack? Weren’t we talking about Zenits? Fear not, for everything will become clear… as Lynda Blair said in The Exorcist, in time.

Serious now. Why did I put the Leica here? Because the Leica is a not-so distant relative to the Zenit. Genealogically we could put it all like this: the Zenit comes from the Zorki, which comes from the FED, which in turn comes from the Leica II. In other words, the Zenit is the grandson of the FED, Leica’s Soviet evil twin.

Continue reading In the beginning, there was only Leica…