Pentax Spotmatic ii

My main camera is a Pentax Spotmatic ii, a totally barebones SLR from the early 1970s. I use it for a couple of reasons.

First, it was the camera my dad used when he was young. I inherited his Spotmatic ii after he died and used it some. Unfortunately that camera had seen some hard use and needs a lot of repair. So my current Spotmatic is one I bought.

Second, I like to shoot analog because I get to make all the decisions. The Pentax has a light meter (though I don’t use it), but other than that it’s entirely manual. I like that.

For this camera I have a few different lenses. I usually use a 50mm/1.4 SMC Takumar. I also use a 24mm/3.5, 35mm/3.5, 50mm/4 macro, and a 105mm/2.8. I have a 135mm/3.5 but it gets very little use when I’m shooting handheld. That thing is heavy.

Voigtlander Bessa 66

Another inherited camera. This one came from my maternal grandfather. I don’t know his history with it, but he probably got it in the early 1940s as his first kids were starting to grow up.

This camera shoots 6cm x 6cm negatives on 120 film and doesn’t offer a coupled rangefinder for focusing. Set your exposure, guess at the distance to your subject, set your focus and hope that you got it right.

Moskva V

I like shooting on 120 and I like foldable cameras, but I find focusing the Voigtlander to be stressful. The Moskva V includes a coupled rangefinder and lets me shoot either 6cm x 6cm or 6cm x 9cm negatives. It’s a bit awkward and heavy, but still a fun camera to use.

Development, Scanning, Etc.

For light metering I usually use Lightme. Though I also have a Gossen Luna Pro F meter that works for incident/refracted metering. If I remember to carry it around, which I usually don’t.

I record shots in Logbook, which is made by the same person that makes Lightme. They work pretty well together.

For B&W I develop and make prints at Praxis Photo Arts Center, where I’m a member of their community darkroom. I also use their Epson 750 scanner to digitize negatives.

Color film I develop and scan at Basement Lab, the combo Coffee Shop/Record Store/Photo Lab that surely must be one of a kind.

I sometimes scan negatives at home using a Digitaliza, my digital camera (OM-D E-M5 Mark III), and my M42 Takumar Macro 50mm lens. But this process is pretty slow and fussy.