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About equipment, or How I get into color photography

The first pictures on my site (Summer page) was made with cheap, no-name p&s (focus free, exposure free - you know it). It was the first time I shot on color print film. Before 1994 here in Russia it was almost impossible to print good quality color photos - there aren't any Kodak 1-hour labs. You can shoot only B&W and slides. I was very impressed my first result - I've got landscapes as on post cards ! But when I look at them carefully I see that my camera has very poor lens - the corners of photos was dark and unsharp and so on.

Then I start looking for something better, and in January 1996 I purchase
Konica Big Mini HG BM-300. This camera has fairly good optics and some useful features including automatic exposure up to 7(!) seconds, exposure correction +/- 1.5EV and minimal focus distance as close as 0.35 meters. I shot with this camera a lot of good pictures including my 'Moscow at twilight' series. But as I'm getting serious about photography I've found that my camera luck of control over shooting process. You can't focus on what you want, can't set deep of the field, can't change lens. So I see I need SLR.

The first thought was about modern automatic SLR, something like Canon Rebel XS. But it is so expensive (especially good lens for it) and, besides it has a lot of features I never need (including auto focus and auto exposure (-: ). I tried 20-year old my father's Zenit-3M. I shot one roll of film with it and I've got very good pictures, not worse than my modern Konica can make. But after 20 years of using Zenit wasn't perfectly mechanically and it has very limited shutter speed range ( 1/30 - 1/500 sec) and no exposure metering at all.

So at the end I bought Zenit-19. This full manual SLR camera has electronic shutter (1 - 1/1000 sec), DOF preview, TTL match needle metering and universal screw mount. I paid $100 for this camera with 50/f2.0 and another $25 for 135/f3.5 Jupiter (Russian brand) lens. Also I bought set of extension rings. Now I have fun not only looking at my photos, but I like taking photos as well. My new camera has so many dials and wheels to turn :-)

About the film: I'm using mostly Kodak Gold 100 and sometimes Kodak Gold 400. All pictures on my Photo Page were scanned from 4x6'' prints on HP ScanJet IIcx scanner at 200 dpi. Then it were resized to 600x400 pixel (maximal size), 300x200 pixel (medium size) and 150x100 pixel (thumbnail) and converted to JPEG.

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Last updated 23 Apr 1996
All contents copyright © 1996 by Konstantin Voschanov
Comment to author: photo@kphoto.org