leica

Camera timeline & nostalgia trip

A colleague of mine, Edmond Terakopian, put a post on a Facebook groups a few days ago talking about the Nikon FM2 cameras that he has owned for many years. From there lots of people agreed with what he had written and a few others moved the conversation on to some of the kit that they’ve owned through their careers.

Most of the comments were about how good and how reliable the earlier kit was and how bodies and lenses from the 70s, 80s and into the 90s are still working and still able to run out quality pictures. Lots of nostalgia for the way things used to be!

Personally speaking I wouldn’t want to go back the shooting and processing film – even if that meant you could get a complete professional kit (two FM2s, two motor drives, 24mm, 35mm, 85mm and 180mm lenses and two flashes) for under £2,500. I was never as big a fan of the FM2 as so many of my colleagues were. The much more expensive and robust F3P/MD4 combination was my favourite of all of the manual focus film cameras but the arrival of the EOS1N made me realise that auto-focus was the way to go.

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Folio photo #14: Children on a bug hunt, south London, May 1999

©Neil Turner/TSL. May 1999, south London

This picture from a story about children from a local primary school going on a “bug hunt” in Nunhead Cemetery was shot for a special supplement to the TES about the environment. The outdoor lesson was led by Richard ‘Bugman’ Jones, a professional entomologist who undertook a residency at the school. Like a lot of my favourite pictures it doesn’t tell the whole story but it is a ‘moment’ that hopefully makes you want to know more.

I had switched to shooting most of my work digitally the previous year but the Picture Editor working on this section was still keen that we shoot pictures for these glossy extra sections on transparency film. I think that this was the last commission that I ever shot using a Leica M6. The wider shots were definitely on the Leica but I also shot some longer lens pictures using a Canon EOS5 and a fixed 85mm f.18 lens

Geek moment: Leica M6 with 35mm f2 Summicron and Fuji RDP100 transparency film.