Vintage Camera Review: Leica CL (Leitz Minolta CL, Minolta CLE)

Years ago, I owned a Leica CL when I was getting into photography. Trying to balance an understanding of both film and digital, I toted this around with my old school Olympus E-510 DSLR. They were perfect together for a college student. But then I needed money, and unfortunately had to sell my Leica. Very recently though, I took the plunge before my 30th birthday and bought myself another one. You see, the Leica CL is the same camera as the Minolta CLE and the Leitz Minolta CL.

Some consider it not a true Leica because it wasn’t made in Germany. Instead, the Leica CL was a collaboration between Minolta and Leica. It was a camera that sold very well and perhaps too well. In fact, it’s rumored that sales were so good that they discontinued the camera because it ate into the sales of the Leica M5.

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Vintage Camera Review: Fujifilm GW690 III (6×9 Medium Format)

When Fujifilm announced their medium format digital camera, a whole lot of people really wanted it to be something along the lines of the Fujifilm GW690 III camera–also known as the Texas Leica. This rangefinder camera shoots in the 6×9 format–which is one of the largest formats to use 120 film. For many years it was used by hobbyists, travel photographers, landscape photographers, and even a few portrait shooters. Due to its 90mm lens equivalent, you’re getting around a 38mm f1.2 equivalent when it comes to field of view converted to full frame.

When I purchasef this camera, I genuinely thought it would be the perfect medium format rangefinder for me, doing pretty much everything the Mamiya 7 II is capable of sans interchangeable lenses. But with more experience, I learned that I was wrong.

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How to Shoot Better Street Portraits With Minimal Gear

One of the things many photographers find to be very challenging is shooting street portraits. There are a number of complications: sometimes a photographer doesn’t have the courage to ask someone for a portrait but they have the technical knowledge. But other times, it’s the opposite. Taking portraits of people on the street really isn’t that difficult to do though and once you understand the basics of human psychology you’ll see just how simple it can be.

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Vintage Camera Review: Mamiya RB67 Pro-S (6×7 Format)

A few years ago, I was told that a Hasselblad digital camera was going to kill the 120 format of film. At the time, I was absolutely astounded. For many years, I believed it to a certain point. 645 digital is good; in fact, it’s very good. But very few pieces of work out there have really delivered to me what I feel is that true medium format look. It’s what so many photographers strive for. But if you’re working with a camera like the Mamiya RB67 Pro-S, it’s impossible to not get that look you’re craving. A true workhorse camera for a portrait or landscape photographer, this camera has been in my arsenal for a fair amount of time now and I’ve often considered it to be my crown jewel.

If anything, it’s proven that 645 digital is close to the larger formats of 120 film, but it still isn’t totally there to me.

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The Phoblographer Explains: How TTL Flash Metering Works

One of the biggest things that makes no sense to me as a strobist photographer is why we don’t have any sort of universal TTL flash metering system. Instead of that, every single camera manufacturer has their own for the sake of being able to compete with one another while delivering flashes that essentially all do the same thing. It’s a hassle for photographers moving from one system to another. To understand this and my reasoning, you need to understand how TTL Flash metering works.

And trust me; it’s a whole lot simpler than you think.

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Review: Mint Camera InstantFlex TL70 2.0

Personally speaking, film camera reviews like those of the Mint Camera InstantFlex TL70 are the most fun for great reasons–there is no pixel peeping, no RAW file versatility, none of that stuff that people bitch and complain about in forums. Instead, it’s all about the moment and capturing or creating it. Then there are the lenses, the experience, and knowing that the photo you shoot is a one of a kind.

The Mint Camera InstantFlex TL70 2.0 camera’s biggest upgrade is its brighter viewfinder over the predecessor. This is a proper TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) camera with aperture priority control, exposure compensation, manual focusing, a flash, accessories, and an overall solid build quality. Most importantly for many of us, there are glass elements in the lens. Considering that Instax Mini basically covers a 645 area, this is important.

This can be a tough camera for many of us to learn; but at the same time you’re bound to have fun doing it.

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The Phoblographer Answers: What Metering Mode Should You Generally Use?

One of the most common questions that many photographers ask is what metering mode they should be in. It can be confusing to many people and generally, a lot of photographers tend to get their camera in evaluative mode and shoot it in that without batting an eye and adjusting it according to what the camera’s light meter states.

But here’s a little bit of information that can help you out even more.

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Why Don’t We Have a Universal TTL Flash Standard?

Lots of photographers who are in weddings, photojournalism or even just starting out prefer to use TTL flashes and metering over manual settings. But when they become more advanced, they start to do things manually. Why? Because just like automatic metering, they don’t always trust it. Automatic metering (which is essentially what TTL is) will give you what the flash system thinks you want based on a certain set of parameters.

But like normal exposure settings: metering is metering is metering. F2.8 at ISO 100 and 1/50th is going to soak up the same amount of light no matter what if all given situations are the same. So with that said, why isn’t there a universal standard for TTL flashes yet?

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