Leica M2 / 12 Cameras 12 Months

12 Cameras 12 Months

It’s been a fun journey so far this round of my 12 Months 12 Cameras project.

I’ve not blog nearly like I was hoping, documenting my journey, but nonetheless, I’ve been shooting away each month with my cameras.

I’ve shot with and have owned a variety of cameras brands over the years, but up until recently I’d never shot with much less held a Leica. It was a little more than a year ago that I acquired a Leica M2. The Leica M2 is a 35mm rangefinder camera with completely all mechanical functions. It’s a fun camera to shoot with. There is a standard Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 lens on the camera.

Leica’s are very unique and well balanced but very simple to use if you know your way around 35mm cameras. There is a little learning curve loading film into the camera, I had to google it and watch a youtube video to load film the first time.

There is no internal light meter in the camera. I generally have my Nikon DSLR or iPhone with me so it’s easy to get the correct exposure on my DSLR and then translate it to my Leica. Years ago I found a really nice light meter for the iPhone APP (Pocket Light Meter) and it seams to be really accurate.  

There was no camera strap with the camera. I did some research on camera straps and decided what I wanted and went to Xenia Shoe and Leather in Xenia and had a camera strap custom made.

I will follow up with some samples after getting images back.

March – 12 Cameras 12 Months

I’ve been delinquent posting on the blog about my camera project. January & February flew by very quickly. I’ll follow up with the Mamiya ZM & the Canonet QL17 G-III.

The Ansco Speedex has been a longtime favorite camera in my collection. There’s several reasons to make it a favorite … the biggest is that the Ansco shoots 120 film, specifically 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 square w 12 images. I like that the camera folds compact for easy storing in a camera bag or jacket pocket. Then finally, the ease of use also makes it a favorite. The Ansco is fully manual with no battery and I do need to use a light meter. I can shoot in nearly any lighting condition even though the shutter speed setting only goes to 1/300th, I can go down to f/32 on the aperture.

It’s such a fun camera to use, I look forward to adding a few examples as soon as I process the film.

January – A Monochrome Day

January Picture – A – Day. Some days are easier to come up with a shot than other days.  I generally purposefully find a shot to shoot in black & white rather than just take a picture and change it later in Photoshop. Since starting in August, I’m going 6 months strong.

A Monochrome a day …


mon·o·chrome  mänəˌkrōm
noun: monochrome; plural noun: monochromes
A photograph or picture developed or executed in black and white or in varying tones of only one color.

I’ve been a life long analog (film) shooter. Ninety percent of the film I shoot is black and white. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated shooting in black and white. There is something about seeing an image and visualizing it in bw. Since moving to shooting digital, I’ve lost some of that sense of visualizing the image in bw. I never lost it but shooting so much in digital (color) it was not part of my daily routine. It’s been about 3-4 years now that I’ve seriously gotten back into shooting bw film.

I’ve had several personal year long projects the last few years where I shoot with my collection of analog cameras with film. In my collection I have many 35mm, several medium format, 2 4×5 Graflex’s and a 5×7 1908 Seneca camera. I won’t go very far without an analog camera.

What I’m doing is not a new thing I know, but I recently combined my love of shooting in bw with my daily routine of shooting with a digital camera. Each and every day I intentionally look for an image to shoot in monochrome, I go into the menu setting on my camera, Photo Shooting Menu, Set Picture Control, MC Monochrome and create the image.

I’ve been hesitant to announce or post this blog, but I’ve been shooting nearly three months straight & I’ve been getting some fun shots. Most of my posts will be on Instagram & Twitter, it’s a little easier BUT here are a few images …


Please let me know your comments on my newest project A Monochrome a day.

Yashica Electro 35 GT – review

Yashica Electro 35 GT

I can’t believe the month of shooting with this rangefinder has come to an end.  It was a fun month of shooting, easy, but fun since the GT is an aperture priority camera.  I’m a big fan of shooting with minimum depth of field but typically with a 35mm SLR camera not a rangefinder.  It was a little harder shooting (trusting my focus) at f/1.7 or f/2 with the Yashica rangefinder.  I put 3 rolls of film through the GT this month, 36exp, 24exp & 32exp.  The first roll was Arista EDU Ultra 400 36exp.  The second roll was an old roll of Kodak 400 24exp and The last roll was bulk rolled Arista EDU Ultra 400, that’s why it was only 32 exposures.

The Yashica Electro 35 GT was released in 1969 with a full black body paint instead of the satin chrome finish like the other Yashica Electro 35’s in the series.
At the time of this post, I have not processed any of the film I shot. I will follow up with a selection of images from each of the 3 rolls.

Yashica Electro 35 GT 1

Clean travel case with strap.

Yashica Electro 35 GT 2

Yashica Electro 35 GT 5

ISO/ASA selector slow & over shutter speed indicator shutter lock

Yashica Electro 35 GT 4

Yashinon-DX 45mm lens f1.7 – f/16 with minimum focus distance at 2.6 ft

Yashica Electro 35 GT 3

Aperture priority f/1.7 – f/16 mechanical self-timer

Yashica Electro 35 GT 7

Battery Check indicator (5.6 volt, currently using a DIY built battery)

Yashica Electro 35 GT 6

Film wind up real  & hot shoe

As a reminder … #12cameras12months is the project I’m currently working on where I I’ve selected 12 cameras from my collection and I shoot with 1 camera every day for a month. I’ve not done so well with my reviews or follow ups … but I have been consistent in shooting every day with my cameras in the project. It has been fun & challenging … shooting with film is always fun! I’m super excited to announce the camera I’ll be shooting in April. April will be fun! Check my Instagram for the reveal!

February / Yashica D – 12 Months 12 Cameras

The Yashica D is a medium square (2 ¼ x 2 ¼) format, film TLR (twin lens Reflex) camera manufactured in the 1970’s. I don’t want to bore you with the details & the in’s & out’s of the camera. A great source to find details about the camera is: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Yashica-D & you check out a Yashica D manual here: http://www.cameramanuals.org/yashica_pdf/yashica_d.pdf

It’s been a fun month shooting with the Yashica D. I shot 3 rolls of film but have yet to process any of the rolls from this month. The camera & leather case is in excellent condition! The camera is fairly easy to use if you know your way around a camera but there is a little learning curve on a TLR. I don’t shoot with TLR’s regularly so the first thing I had to remember every time I wanted to take a picture was to advance the film or else I would double expose the image … and that happened a few times at the beginning.

You cannot be in a hurry when taking pictures with a Yashica TLR because you have to focus through the waist level finder and the image is inverted, so that takes some getting used to. There is not a meter in the Yashica D, so I had two methods of metering, one was to use the meter APP on my iPhone or two, take a picture on my Nikon D4 and transfer the shutter speed and aperture on the Yashica.

I very much enjoyed carrying the camera around and finding the one shot I wanted to take each day as part of my 12 cameras 12 months project. This is a camera I will continue to go back to because (even though I have not processed the film from this month) I know this camera gives quality results!

12 Cameras 12 Months + a few

Here is my collection of cameras I plan to use over the next year. I can say these are pretty much my favorite cameras in my collection. I am not prepared to select my final 12 cameras yet, so I’ve added a few cameras for consideration.


Here is what I have planned to date. I have already shot Aug-Nov., and on the eve of December, I still don’t know what what camera I’m going to use for the month. Other considerations are, I’ll be traveling to Italy in May for 3 weeks, do I want to shoot with a Polaroid or Nikon FE during that time. It’s likely I’ll be traveling in July as well, decisions, decisions! The 35mm SLR’s & 35mm rangefinders are pretty easy to use. While the medium format Yashica D takes more time to create an image and the large format 4×5 takes a considerable amount of time to take a single image & planning as well. I think February will be a good time to use the 4×5 in the studio taking portraits & maybe a few winter exterior shots. I have a few extra cameras on the sideline in case there are problems with the cameras I have selected.

Camera List:

August 2015 – Olympus 35RC
September 2015 – Rollei B35
October 2015  – Agfa Prontor II
November 2015 – Ricoh 35ZF
12/15  Nikon FE
01/16  Kodak No. 2 Monitor Six-16
02/16  Crown Graphic 4×5
03/16  Yashica D
04/16  Polaroid Spectra ProCam
05/16  Polaroid Land Camera 101 (or similar)
06/16  Yashica G Electro 35
07/16  Pentax K1000

Kodak Signet 40
Lubitel 166B
Minolta 7s
Holga 120S


A New Project … Can’t Wait For 2016

A New Project … Can’t Wait For 2016

12 Cameras 12 Months Project
August 2015 – July 2016

Brace yourselves, a blog without any images!
Over the years I have acquired a decent collection of analog cameras, some have been given to me while others I have bought. In the collection, there are several different kinds of 35mm rangefinder & SLR cameras, an assortment of Polarojd camera’s, a few kinds of medium formats, a 4×5 Crown Graphic and a classic 1903 Seneca 5×7 field camera. I shoot with my analog cameras as much as I can, though it’s not as often as I’d like.

Well, I’m back at it again!  In 2014 I had a photo project 26 Cameras 12 Months where I shot with an analog camera every two weeks. It was a fun photo project, I blogged about it when I could & posted images of the cameras on Instagram, check out #26cameras12months on IG. I’m a sucker for photo a day projects so I thought of starting another even with it being in the middle of the year. It’s August, why wait until the first of the year, right?!

I thought I’d attempt to document the journey again.

From the beginning, my plan was to pick a camera each month, blog about it toward the start of the month (that’s not gone so well yet) shoot at least one shot a day that month. I still hope to post results from the cameras throughout the project. Along with this project, my thought was to journal along the way. Through the years I’ve always journaled but sadly it’s never been very consistent. I thought I’d be able to journal with an app on my iPhone but I’ve never been able to find one I like. I have found it to be somewhat impersonal typing my thoughts into my iPhone. I bought some Field Notes journals, they seem to be a great size that I’ve be able to keep along side my iPhone. I’ve been able to track my photo project with what I shoot each day & camera settings. As well as just journaling as things happen & taking weekly Church sermon notes. Looking back on my past PAD’s I remember the pics & moments in time. As I journal, I hope to add another dimension alongside my 12 cameras 12 months project!

I trust this photo project interests you and you can follow along with my journey.

Family, farming & what it means for 2015

I’ve always appreciated farmers. I grew up around a farming area in northern Ohio and the last 20 years I’ve worked and lived in a farming community. For 2 summers during my high school years I worked picking corn in the early mornings at Sweet’s Corn farm.

Just this week after a weekend family get together, I have a renewed appreciation of farming. We went to my wife’s cousin’s house for a large family gathering. My wife’s cousin’s husband is a farmer, he raises swine. Just after Roxy and I were married in 1991, I was laid off at the photography studio I worked at in Evansville, IN. During that time I was not working over the summer, Steve employed me to work as an extra hand on the farm for a few weeks. It was hard work but I was thankful to be able to make some money!

He has quite the production, it’s very impressive. Not only does he raise swine but he also grows feed for the swine and sells it as well. He is a very busy farmer!

While at the party, I was hoping Steve would take me around the farm and show me his swine. I bring my camera along with me pretty much everywhere I go, and going to the party was no different. It was fun taking a few shots of the swine.

What does all this have to do with 2015? Good question! I’m always taking pictures. 2014 was the year of shooting with a large variety of my analog cameras and documenting it. #26cameras12months I really enjoyed shooting with film and I will continue shooting with film! Over the years I’ve shot a variety Photo A Day projects. I will again shoot a photo a day in 2015. Because of my renewed interest in farming & farmers, I also plan to work on a project called Farmers of Greene County. I thought of photographing Farmers of Cedarville but I did not want to limit it and Greene County has a fairly large farming community.

If you know of any farmers in Greene County Ohio, please contact me and give me their name and any information you have. I am thinking of documenting (photographing) 2 farmers a month.

FOUR Polaroid cameras

Four Polaroid cameras “For Sale” on my Etsy site while they last … don’t miss out!

Polaroid Sun660 Autofocus

Polaroid The Colorpack

Polaroid Sun600 LMS

Polaroid Super Shooter

Join the analog world & get your own Polaroid instant camera.
All the cameras have been tested & work as they should.