So although my Tumblr stream has been fairly consistent lately, I still feel like I’ve been neglecting Tumblr a little bit. But there is reason for that! I’ve been working on a new film-based photography website called Pdexposures.tv; while it started (and still mostly is) a space for Nate Matos’ Portland, Oregon based photography show (think Digital Rev, but in America and without the “Digital” bit), we have a fortnightly podcast of which I am one of the hosts.
There is, of course, also a flickr group for additional discussion about the shows - both the video one and the podcast.
Please, go check it out. If you like film, you’ve got some time to kill and you don’t mind listening to a Brit swearing at two Yanks, it should be right up your street.
So, Lomography have released this, the special engraved brass La Sardina. And doesn’t it look lovely? I mean, look at it. It’s beautiful. Absolutely stunning.
It’s also £179. Directly converted (because I can’t be arsed to figure out how to check the prices in their other exploitation centers - sorry, shops), that’s $282.98, €213.06 or ¥21,979.11. That is a HELL OF A LOT OF MONEY.
Of course, Lomography charging a batshit insane amount of money for things is not exactly news. But in the interests of creative journalism/internet ranting/embracing my general sense of rage, I thought I’d do a fun experiment to see what that £179 could buy me if I, you know, used my head a bit.
- We start with the big guns (and a bit of a cheat): at the time of writing, if you were to add an extra £20 (and why not), you could buy this “Exc++” Leica III. Which is a beautiful camera made by genius craftsmen that will probably last until the rest of your life. And yes, it may not come with a lens. But I figure that if you’re willing to spend the best part of £200, you won’t mind forking out that extra bit of cash for a cheap Industar off ebay. Speaking of which…
- If you go to eBay right now there is a Canon copy of the aforementioned Leica going for the low, low price of £130. This does leave you with more than enough in your £170 budget to get that Industar, so then you’ll end up with a much more versatile and capable (and just as portable) camera than the La Sardina for less. Isn’t that great?
- And how about this: Fedka, the most reputable seller of Soviet cameras in the world, will not only sell you a Fed 2 for less than Lomography’s charging for their fake sardine can, but you could get a Jupiter 12, a 35mm finder AND a collapsible Industar 22 at the same time - while still staying under that $282.98 budget. That’s a lot of bang for your buck right there.
- Alright, maybe you’re not a rangefinder guy. That’s okay; I understand that idiots do exist in this world, so we need alternatives. And thankfully, the venerable Adorama provides us with many. How about this Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm/1.4 lens for under half the price of the sardine can? That leaves you with about $100 with which you could do anything you like. Maybe you could supplement your new body with this 28/3.5 lens? Or maybe a dedicated TTL flash, to ensure you can match the Sardina’s “Fritz the Blitz” capability? Or maybe get a perfectly respectable Minolta X700 as a backup just because you can?
- Even if you’re locked into buying from Lomography for some bizarre reason, you have much better options, however overpriced they are. For example, this original LC-A is conveniently priced at almost the same price as the Sardina. And for that, you get a pretty decent lens, a light meter, and the same “zone focusing” that Lomography love to hype the shit out of. Hell, you could even buy a ridiculously priced Zenit, an almost-certainly-not-actually-refurbished Zorki 1, or 3-and-abit stupidly overpriced 35mm Holgas. (To be honest, that bit would probably buy you some film. Probably a better deal than trying to convince them to send you half a camera. But if you want half a camera, you might want the front half. Just a thought.)
- And failing all of the above, if you don’t really want the La Sardina for the photography, but just for the hipster points, you could do a lot worse than buying around 10.7 grams of top quality cocaine. Hell, it’d probably last you longer.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really don’t understand who buys these things. Actually, wait, I do. But I can’t agree with it on any level. And while I’m totally for the encouragement of film usage, when I see things like this it just makes me rage (and, as it turns out, spend the best part of an hour researching something I’m not getting paid for, very few people will read, and will probably make some people very, very angry).
Fuck this, I’m going to bed.
Probably one of my favourite photos EVER. Banjos? Christmas? Soviet cameras? TLR? Slide film? Communism? It’s like fuckin’ CATNIP.
Lubitel 2, Fuji Provia 400X.
Reblogging one of my favourite xmas photos to wish everyone a merry xmas. Enjoy the family time, go visit friends, and most importantly, shoot some film!
I spent an hour or two disassembling, cleaning, re-lubing and rebuilding the lens that took this photo today. It was strangely satisfying and engrossing, and I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner; I’d been meaning to do it for almost a year, and because of how stiff it was, it’s largely sat on a shelf. Now I can’t stop playing with it. So… smooth…
Also: I miss Cornwall. That will be all.
Fed 2, Industar 26, Ilford XP2 (and probably a yellow filter).
Shot in Fowey, Cornwall, February 2011.
A selection of silly results. The lesson: don’t push Surveillance P3 to 3600 in Rodinal. It takes too long and isn’t really worth the effort.
Oh, and by too long, I mean one hour and three minutes of standard agitation - not stand. At 20ºC. It was boring as all hell.
Camera is the Fed 2, lenses vary.
It’s my birthday on Monday. (The 12th of December, if anyone wants to keep track. Send me nice things.) I’d not asked for anything from anyone, but then a friend of mine - Adam Simons (go send him abuse and convince him to use Tumblr more) - sent me a link to an eBay auction. For a Kiev 4AM. On my doorstep.
A few emails, a paypal transfer and a car ride later, I found myself sat in my room last night with this:
And so, naturally, I ran around for an hour or two today putting it through it’s paces. And the results… well, see for yourself.
This photo only exists for one reason, and sadly, that sign has been there for years. I don’t know whether the store owners don’t realise or just don’t care.
Fed 5, Jupiter 12, XP2.
I’m pretty certain I won this game.
Fed 5, Jupiter 8, Ilford Surveillance P3. Pushed to 800ISO in Rodinal 1:50; 21mins, 20ºC.