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03-31-2010, 09:19 AM   #1

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,095
Hello from Frankfurt am Main

Welcome to all of you!

I am trying to make another start into Photography - after a pause of more than 20 years; before that time, it was an important part of my life also for more than 20 years.

Something about my background:
Mathematics and Electrical Engeneering studies without final degree; now working since 25+ years internationally for quality control/Metrology of machinery parts of any kind; mainly writing software, manuals, doing instructions for applications, and solving customer problems concerning inspection/quality control in production, mainly for automotive and aviation industry.
For the last 17 years as self-employed. Since a couple of years not frequently working anymore because of health problems, probably retiring soon.

I started with an "Agfa Clack" when I was 11 years old, followed by an "Agfa Silette II" when I was 15. As a student I step by step bought East German SLR equipment, which - in West Germany - was very cheap. So I had an Exa500 and a VX1000 with different viewfinder systems, and a couple of East German lenses (Zeiss/Jena and Meyer/Görlitz). These cameras where not bad, and when I changed to K-Bayonet, it was mainly because I increasingly hated to carry (and use) seperate light meters - times had changed. Inspite of my much trained ability to take action pictures by guessing the correct metering - the drop-out was astonishingly small, even with slides.

However, with the small budget of a student, I sold all my SLR equipment and bought a Porst (it actually was a Cosina), which had aperture priority, and was really a good camera. Just the sharpness of the 1:2.0/50 lens was not really better than the east german lenses, so I sold it and changed to a Pentax SMC-M 1:2.0/50. This one turned out to be fantastically sharp, at least compared with my former glass(es). It was in 1981, and I still own it! Then I sold my Porst/Cosina and bought a used Pentax ME Super body, and from then on, it was Pentax only. At that time, I was slowly quitting landscape/nature as a target and changing to an absolute party photograph - most likely because my social life had changed. I did not really earn money by that, but for several years it became a routine to get invited to parties I would never have been without my reputation (to produce pictures which made you feel you were part of the happening).

This ended when I was working for an international company, and travelling a lot (mostly Europe and South East Asia, South Africa) and one would think this to be a very good opportunity to take pictures of places most other people won't get to - the contrary happened. Now I had the money to buy the best equipment, but no time anymore. The job ment car/plane/hotels/factories, and nearly no time for any kind of private life. I sold most of the equipment, because I had stopped using it.

During that time, I also did not stay up-to-date with the last technical improvements (this changed later when the first digital cameras were offered, because of my professional background, I think). Nevertheless, when a department store near my home closed their camera department and sold their remaining items 50-70% down, I bought a Z10 with the kit lens (a 28-80mm zoom). I hated the viewfinder and the way to initiate what they called "manual mode", and the optical quality of the "power"-zoom was not up to what I knew as Pentax standard. However, I kept it in my car as an emergency. About the lens: much later a had a FA of the same specification (the lightweight without "power") which is really good; it seems to be another optical design.

Now-a-days I have more time (and much less money), and thought about slowly starting again. I closely followed discussion about the new digital (camera) revolution. Experts had repeatedly calculated, that to match the resolution (not the dynamic range!) of a good film camera (100 ASA film) would need a FF sensor with about 12 MP, and I decided to wait till DSLRs were up to that standard. In the end, I could not wait, and decided to buy a new K200D (€ 399) and, seperately, a new SMC-DA 1:3.5-5.6/18-55 (the kit lens, first version, € 42), both in an internet shop.

Occationally still in use are now:
ME Super, Super A, SFXn, Z20, K200D
Lenses: SMC-A 1:1.4/50, SMC-M 1:2/50, SMC-A 1:2.8/28, SMC-FA 3.5-5.6/28-80, SMC-DA 1:3.5-5.6/18-55(kit), Tokina AT-X 1:2.8/35-70 (KA), Tokina SD 1:4-5.6/70-210 (KA), Vivitar 2x Telekonverter (K)
Flashes: only very old ones; this won't change soon, as I am very satisfied with these!
Metz 32 CT-7, Metz 36 CT-3, Regula Variant 742-2 SCA
What I badly miss is flash TTL-metering with my K200D (specially when digitizing slides with an auto-bellow; for copying slides in the old days, I just used a flash with an extension cable and pointed it from some distance to the camera - the TTL-metering of my Super-A would take care for the rest!)

Some none-SLRs, of which I presently use only the Optio:
digital: Fuji Finepix A340, Pentax Optio 60
Film: Minox BL, Minox 35 PL, Yashica T3 (with a very sharp Zeiss T* Tessar lens and a second/mirror viewfinder to be looked at from top)

Not mentioned some older (cheaper non-SLR film cameras) things which I presently don't use; after laying still for several years, shutters, aperture and electric contacts may not be in working condition anymore.

What do I think of my K200D? Guess yourself after you had a look at my wish-list for a camera suiting me (no beginner would buy such camera, so it would probably not sell well)!

Size as a ME/Super A (could be built even now, for some millionaires)
FF sensor 14 MP (this would match the resolution of a film SLR with a good 64 ASA film, more could not be satisfied even by 1rst class lenses)
Dynamic range like a 64 ASA slides film (presently probably the toughest point)
Minimum controls matching the Super A, added program shift: just program (with shift),Av,Tv,manual,Ev shift; no need of "Scene related" settings
TTL flash control
Very bright, sharp, and big viewfinder with manual focus help features

More things (one should not stop dreaming):
Changable viewfinder system (LX like)
I would not need life-view, but if it has got it, it must be possible to turn the display so you can look form the top!
Wired or wireless computer control possible (for everything you can do manually!), for this you would indeed need lifeview (transmitted to an external display or computer).

03-31-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
Wow, I can't believe I read all of that!

Welcome to the forum. Please post some pix of your home town. Was there two years ago but not for too long.
03-31-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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03-31-2010, 12:24 PM   #4
volley's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Germany
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,403
Welcome, looking forward to your contribution!
Grüße aus Springe/Hannover

04-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
Inactive Account

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,549
That was a big one. I've got the K200D myself and it's a fine little tool.

Welcome in.
04-08-2010, 09:28 AM   #6
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noquarter15's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 201
Welcome! wow you have some good gear

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