It’s been a real busy busy photography couple of months. It’s also been very hard on the wallet :) First off we have the mighty mighty mighty Mamiya 7 with the standard 80mm F4 lens, otherwise known as a “Leica on steriods”. I don’t care what you think you know but this is the best medium format camera you can get. The lenses on the 6/7/7ii are some of the best in the whole industry. Ultra sharp and just a complete joy. The camera weighs a tonne from all the glass, but who cares when you get such amazing quality from it. It’s not the easiest camera when it comes to shooting street, but that’ more down to the 6×7 format. I’m finding that you have to be very careful about how you compose your photos, but saying that, I’ve also found it’s made my 35mm photos better. This is a brilliant camera, I very much doubt it can be topped in terms of quality.
My Olympus XA arrived this week. This camera is pretty old but as far as compacts go, it’s one of the best. They used to say that when the pros went on holiday they took the Olympus XA with them and they weren’t wrong. The quality is fantastic and it’s absolutly tiny. The focusing patch had grown very dull so I did a cheap hack by placing some black tape over the center of that main window. The frame counter is stuck on S constantly, but that’s not such a problem as when a roll is over it’s pretty quick to load in another.
35mm to me seems like the perfect lens for 35mm cameras, and I managed to pick up a cheap Canon 35mm F3.5 for the old AV-1. £10 but seems to be in perfect condition. With the Mamiya 7 and Olympus XA both being rangefinders, I don’t know if I’ll ever really use the SLRs again. The EOS30 will always come out for “people events”, but if I manage to get a good flash that works with the 7, I don’t know if that will always be the case. For a while now too, I’ve considered the Mamiya 7 + Olumpus XA to be the perfect traveling duo. An ultra compact, fast 35mm rangefinder and a larger super high quality medium format rangefinder. Life just doesn’t get much better.