Author Archives : Theo

Kiev 30 - Spy the grain

Kiev 30 – Spy the grain


The Kiev 30 is a camera that inspires day dreams of cloak and dagger spy games.  It belongs to the subminiature class of cameras, which are specifically designed to be as small as possible.  In reality, if they were ever used for international espionage they had to be small to stay discreet.  You’re not going to get away with breaking…

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Kiev 30 - Spy Camera film loading

Loading a subminiature spy camera – the Kiev 30


The day has come, you have been recruited by a secret agency and given a mission to capture a photograph of the evil organisation’s plans, preparing to take over the world.  The leader of which is likely to have a fluffy cat.  To expose them and stop them in their tracks, the world is depending on you. But wait, the…

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Kiev 4 – The Non-Clone


The Kiev 4 is a beautiful, silent and graceful camera.  It has a classic rangefinder design which just makes you want to pick it up and start shooting with it.  Paired up with the well regarded Jupiter 8M Contax mount lens, it forms a formidable team. Especially with a very accurate focus, achieved through one of the widest available rangefinder…

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BelOMO Agat 18K – Plastic Fantastic


The BelOMO Agat 18K is a bit of an oddity.  It is a camera that by all intents and purposes sells itself as a toy camera, but has functionality which even some “better” made cameras lack.  When you first pick it up is feels very light and is considered one of, if not, the lightest film cameras that use 35mm…

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Combinations – Zorki 4 and Redscaled Film


Shooting with the Red October theme is one thing, shooting a Soviet Zorki 4 camera with redscale film is a combination that doesn’t get any more red.  This ensures that the tool is red (aka Soviet), but also the result (aesthetically). The thought of this came through a suggestion from a friend on the yearly Red October theme that is…

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Redscale Film – Reverse It!


The apocalypse will eventually come one day and when it is photographed it will be in redscale.  Why wouldn’t it be?  Artists would be aiming at a realistic look, and nothing does that better than urban decay in red. This article is also part of the Red October theme being posted this month, where I am shooting with Soviet cameras…

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Kodak Retina IIa – Coat Pocket Rocket


The Kodak Retina is a camera that holds a certain amount of mystique.  It was made by a company that by the 1930s was more focussed on manufacturing film and generally created cameras to support that and the multiple formats they were introducing.  Kodak never seemed to aim for or achieve anything above a second tier camera manufacturer, but the…

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Minolta 110 Zoom SLR – The flat wonder


To try out 110 film there are only a few higher quality options, with the Minolta 110 Zoom SLR being one of them.  This is very distinctive looking camera, possibly designed to resemble an original Cylon Raider!  What it does show is that Minolta, in their heyday, was very progressive and not afraid to try new ideas. 110 film is…

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Nikon Lite.Touch 140 Zoom ED AF

Nikon Lite.Touch 140 Zoom – A little bit of luxury


Everyone loves a little bit of luxury.  The finer things in life.  Not that surprising we then have a camera with gold trimmings like the Nikon Lite.Touch 140 Zoom ED AF.  A camera that gives the feeling you are using something with leather seats and a top class gold finish.  That is if you ignore the fact the camera body…

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Combinations – Fuji GSW690iii and Kodak Ektar


Fish and Chips.  Kermit and Miss Piggy.  Cheese and crackers.  All classic combinations.  Just like these, photography has its great combinations.  A camera with a particular lens, a camera with a specific emulsion, an emulsion with certain development and so on.  Welcome to a new series.  Rather than a review of photographic equipment or emulsions, this series will concentrate on…

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Jupiter 8 – A giant amongst the stars


Sonnar at a budget price.  Those are the thoughts when purchasing a Jupiter 8 lens.  A lens design which has become quite a “must have” for a photographer, but can be out of reach in many cases.  This is where the wonderful Jupiter 8 (ЮПИТЕР-8) comes in, with a very useable L39 Leica Thread Mount or Contax bayonet mount, both…

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Werra 2 – Oh Carl, Werra art thou?


Beautiful.  Clean Lines. Minimalist.  These are all words uttered about the Carl Zeiss Werra cameras. Cameras with a top plate that only house a shutter release and an exposure value display, sitting within a smooth metal finish that would have made Steve Jobs proud.  Only, the Werra 2 covered in this review was produced decades before Apple computers, yet alone the iPhone…

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