Distillation and Simplification

After a recent visit from my father, I was reminded that I once again need to do some trimming and thinning. Let’s start with the camera horde.

I started my film fixation with Minolta and Fuji SLRs (then even a few rangefinders), but it wasn’t long before I got on to Nikons. Now I have an assortment of all sorts so what should I do? Do I keep a core kit of one brand? Or just save one or two top models from each brand? Or perhaps just start at the bottom and eliminate the lower end models?

When faced which such a fork in the road I would like to do a bit of projecting – look into the future and see where I would like to be.


Since I do not see myself (or anyone else for that matter) making a living shooting only 35mm film, this will continue to be a hobby. I think as a hobbyist, I can divide my camera needs per the type of shooting I can possibly do.

For high technical landscape shooting or very low light photography, I will have the Nikon F2 with the mirror lock up and 10s mechanical shutter. It’s too heavy for everyday use, but very solid and dependable on a tripod.

For everyday shooting I will have the Nikon FM2n or Minolta X-700. I have a wide angle (24-28mm) and a normal (50mm) lens for both systems so I have my general photography needs met.

For pure stealth, I have the Fujica 35-SE rangefinder (it’s darn near silent!). It’s not the lightest and oh so pretty that I don’t think I will take it with me too often. It is currently my dedicated car camera, ready for action when I see something interesting.

For nostalgia, I will keep the Minolta SRT303b and the Fujica ST801 as they were my first cameras. They are highly usable and I am sure I will load them with film once in a while.

Finally, I will keep the Nikon FE (collection) and the two Fujica rangefinders with stuck shutters (can’t removed the rear lens assembly, bummer…). This is mostly because I don’t think I will be able to sell them for their true value.

So… On the chopping block

Canon AE-1 with 50mm F1.8 – Target $50 CAD

Minolta X-700 with 50mm F2 – Target $80 CAD

Revue Auto S22 Rangefinder – Target $30 CAD

Nikon FM body – Target $80 CAD

Nikkormat FTn body – Target $80 CAD

Expect to see these bad boys on kijiji soon!

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