by Edward Perry

Canon 5D Mark II

This is my trusty workhorse. Rain, shine, sleet or snow this camera pulls its weight in gold.

  • High Resolution – Great for when I am unsure of my composition and have to take a photo immediately. The higher res allows me to crop my composition without high loss in image quality.
  • Live-View – When I can’t physically see through the eye piece I can rely on this to frame my subjects. I can instantly see the adjustments I make to the White Balance in Kelvin. I can check my focus in high detail when I shoot  Macro photography or any precise focusing moments.
  • I love Canon’s user interface – This is a deal maker. The faster and more intuitive I can use something the more I can focus on the shoot.

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Nikon D700

The best camera I’ve ever used in low light environments. It is also the center piece of the best flash network I’ve ever used. The camera is solid. It’s been in all types of weather without issue.

  • Built in intervalometer – no need to carry around an attachment (ie. canon) when I want to create a timelapse.
  • Meta-Data support for non-cpu lenses – meaning it can be programed to interface with old film lenses and write that info on the exif.
  • Flash Commander in the pop-up flash – I’ve left my SU-800 at home a couple times but was saved by this feature to remotely control my flashes.
  • Low Light Sensitivity – I can shoot in more situations than I can with the 5D MII because of its low noise in the higher ISOs.

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Rolleiflex Tessar 75mm f3.5

Shooting with this camera is pure joy. I love knobs, dials, and buttons so for me this has it all. The processed film feels like I’m looking through a window. The detail and color (Fuji Velvia, Astia, and Provia) is astounding.

  • The best camera I have.
  • Scan in a slide and I’ll have over 130mb image to play endlessly in post.
  • Leaf shutter is near silent and creates no vibrations making it easy to capture longer shutter speeds handheld.
  • Sturdy as a tank. I’ve taken it around the world and once dropped it down an escalator

    Here is some collector info:
    Rolleiflex f3.5 Tessar M-X E-V (1737690) TLR Bay I with Original Case, 1954

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Foldex 20 105mm Octvar ~f8

This was my first medium format camera. It had belonged to my grandfather since the late fifties. He also had a flash that went with the camera but I broke it after pretending it was a UFO. Though I grew up with the camera in my room, it wasn’t until after college that I first loaded film into it. When I did it felt complete.

  • Shutter two speeds Time (Bulb) and Interval (~50)
  • Creates a large 6cm x 9cm negative.
  • Smudgy viewfinder – just point and pray.
  • Single lens element that appears to have been made from the bottom of a clear medicine bottle.
  • Can be used to load 120 film onto 620 rolls.
  • User often forgets to advance the film resulting in wonderful double & triple exposures.
  • The camera with the most personality that I have ever used.
  • Made of tough temperature resistant non-recyclable early plastic called Bakelite.

Information on this camera is hard to come by, but I’ve seen three types:
1) 86mm Octvar Lens, metal film advance knobs ~1950-53.
2) Foldex 30, gray top instead of black, Steinheil Munchen 100mm f6.3 Cassar anastigmat type lens in a Vario shutter ~1953.
3) 105mm Octvar, black plastic film advance knobs ~1955.
The Foldex is a flash synced version. Some cameras that are called Rollex and Comet are the exact same camera but are not flash synced. I could be wrong on the dates but it’s the best I could gather from roaming the internets.

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Holga CFN 80mm f8

Its size makes it hard to carry another camera, and if you don’t pay attention it’ll take pictures of what it wants. It makes me feel like it grew up as an only child. Every Holga Lens is different, but they all produce dreamy images through its plastic lens. Which is why this Holga is two Holgas pieced together. The lens, nameplate, back, & flash knob are from my 1st Holga. I broke my first one but wanted to keep the lens.

  • Built-in flash with 4 color gel selectors (Clear, Red, Blue, Yellow)
  • Focus: Portrait (1-2m), Group (2-4m), Trees/Big Group (4-15m), Mountains (infinity). Don’t forget to focus!
  • Aperture: Cloudy (f8), Sunny (f11). These settings tend to reset themselves.
  • Shutter: Bulb, N (1/60). Attention: The shutter release is often pressed by accident.
  • Easy to take symmetrical double exposures because of its square image.
  • Easy to forget to advance film & produce unplanned double exposures.
  • Takes unique worthwhile photos through its plastic lens.

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Eastman Kodak No. 1 Pocket Camera f11 Meniscus Lens, 1926

While I’ve seen most versions of this camera with a sharper anastigmat lens, mine has an older meniscus type lens. I had originally thought the lens was missing its forward element but I did some internetting and found out that it’s a single concave lens element (have you ever seen a concave photo lens?) located behind the aperture and shutter blades. This was pretty common in most Kodak folding cameras of the time, but not so much with the No.1 Pocket Camera (not “vest pocket camera”, yes there is a difference).

  • Produces sharp centered images that increase dramatically with softness towards the edges.
  • Great for taking soft portraits
  • Not so great in producing sharp landscapes, but I use that to my advantage.
  • No.0 Kodex Shutter, Serial No. 27449
  • Shutter Settings: T, B, 1/25, 1/50
  • Aperture Settings: 1 (f11), 2 (f16), 3 (f22), 4 (f32)
  • Large 6cm x 9cm negatives.

This piece also has an octagon engraved nameplate bolted on the front of the folded camera which reads, “Virginia Berner – National City, Calif.” I tried my best (w/o spending money on background checks) to find this person or a descendent but to no avail.

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