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Monday, December 10

Herd thinning update

Well, the drive to reduce my photographic gear to manageable proportions is well under way and it's been a lot harder than I'd imagined. I've sold about £2000 worth of film and digital gear so far and it's been a wrench. I listed the film cameras that were candidates for the chop in this post and there were quite a few lenses as well along with my Pentax K10D and a few DA Limited lenses.

The digital gear, aside from my Nikon D700 outfit, has gone along with a few film cameras and some lenses. I've still got a fair bit to get through and it's becoming more difficult as I sold off those items I was happier to part with first.

Checking everything out thoroughly revealed a few new problems and solved a few long-standing ones as well. My Olympus OM2SP, which I hadn't used, has a knackered aperture gizmo. That's a wee metal "brush" that is attached to a ring that sits within the shutter speed dial (if you're familiar with OM system cameras) and sweeps along a metal strip to pass aperture information to the camera. At some stage, the brush has become splayed out so it doesn't make proper contact. The camera still works OK in manual mode just without a meter. It doesn't look like this brush can be fixed so I'll need to buy a replacement part if they're still available (unlikely and probably not cost-effective) or cannibalise one from another broken OM2SP. The OM40 has a meter problem that I haven't been able to diagnose yet.

However, I managed to get the Konica T3 and Minolta XD7 and XE-7 working properly. The T3 had a pre-fire issue which meant that the shutter sometimes fired automatically just as the film advance lever reached the furthest part of its travel. The XD7 had a bad electrical contact that gave it a difficult to diagnose, intermittent fault and the XE-7 had dirty contacts on a wee circuit board that handles aperture info. All three are now working beautifully and, it has to be said, are a joy to play with.

I've still got quite a lot of stuff to sell but already my cluttered darkroom is looking slightly less so. I might even decide to sell my Leitz V35 enlarger. I'd always hankered after one of these but, if I'm being honest with myself, I just don't have the bench room for two enlargers. The Durst L1200 is a big machine and it has a transformer that's about the size of a concrete building block. There's only about ten inches between enlarger baseboards and I've no room to put all the bits and pieces associated with enlarging. The transformer spends most of its time sitting on the V35 baseboard with an analyser/timer sitting on top of it. The Durst can handle everything from 35mm to 5x4 so the V35 is a bit of a luxury.

I bought most of this photography and darkroom gear when the market for film equipment had bottomed out so I'm doing OK out of it but it's still sad to see cameras and lenses that I'd always admired but could never afford when they were new leaving the house.


Al Denholm said...

I had a similar dilemma not long ago Bruce, and parted with some camera gear and my Durst F60,kept my Durst M370,which I can convert to medium format if I so desire,but like you said,not nice seeing gear go out the door,but when needs must in the space saving department..and much like yourself,I'm starting to view unused camera gear as potential film and paper stock.

morris 1800 said...

hello bruce it is tough 'culling'a camera collection. I have what I like to think of as complimentry collection across the different formats. ie leica IIIf with 15mm super wide lens for the impossible shots with nikon f301 and 35-105mm zoom for most everday challenges. Or in medium format rolleicord V (light,quiet,unobtrusive) with Mamiya c330(very heavy) with 3 lenses and paremender for close up work.Each camera providing attributes "I cannot possibly live without as I advise my wife as I unwrap the latest Ebay parcel". The bottom line is I have in recent times purchased all those cameras I used to dream of owning as an hardup student in the 1970's. They are exceptions to my rules as I did purchase a topcon IC1 with 50mm and 135mm(25 pounds)lenses,an identical setup I sold to pay for my wedding car from the Co-op in 1977 for a princely sum of 40 pounds. Nostalgia often overides common sense.....