Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Crafting Camera parts

One thing I have found with older Barnack Leica cameras and the M3 is that sometimes you want to use both a light meter and a finder at the same time.  These cameras and the M3 have finders that don't go wider than 50mm, so I needed an adapter onto a hotshoe that would mount both.  Voigtlander makes and sells a double coldshoe and Bronica make a double hotshoe for their RF645, but both are quite expensive - over $160 - a bit much for what it is.

I had some tripod and flash mount parts in my basement, so I used them and constructed my own.  My metal working skills aren't wonderful, but it does work.  Here it is with the my Leica IIc, Jupiter 35mm lens, Canon 35mm finder and Konica meter.  A brand assortment to say the least!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Mystery man

I shot this with the NEX3 and Voightlander 35mm Nokton.  While it isn't perfectly sharp, the cloud of steam and the crouching man lends a lot of mystery to the shot.  What is he doing?  Why is he there?  Is the whole thing a bit shady?   Dunno, but the photo is cool.

To me, this is true street photography, capturing something behind the scenes that has an essence of mystery

Friday, 24 February 2012


Oh man, the hard drive on my computer crashed.  So this post is by PlayBook.
As I can't readily upload pictures, today's shots are of tulips from the crappy camera that's built in.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Lenses for investment

There’s never been any doubt that buying top quality glass is a good investment.  Even if you buy new, you probably won’t lose a lot over the next few years.

However, I believe there are opportunities for the smart buyer to purchase great lenses that will appreciate over time.  Here’s my tips:

1)      Contax G lenses – Only ever compatible with the excellent Contax G1 and G2 auto focus rangefinders, these Carl Zeiss lenses have now seen a resurgence, and consequent increase in used values.  All the available lenses, but in particular the 45mm f2, the 21mm f2.8, the 28mm f2.8 and the 90mm f2.8 are spectacular. The value of these lenses has already close to doubled in the last couple of years, and my bet is that the trend will continue.

2)      Older Contax RF – While Leica lenses have taken off, older Contax lenses haven’t got going as fast, being worth about 50% of an equivalent Leica lens.

3)      Leica – If there is a sure thing, its the bet that Leica equipment will hold its value.  Like blue chip stocks and prime real estate, the right Leica gear will only appreciate in value.

4)      Pentax 110 lenses – Remarkably these tiny lenses can be used with great effect on micro four thirds cameras.  Buy them up while they are still cheap.

Monday, 20 February 2012

How to buy used camera gear

You want to save some bucks by not buying new, but purchasing used camera gear can be a little daunting.  Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get caught.

1)      Carefully research the appropriate value of what you are looking for.  Use eBay and local on line classifieds as a guide.

2)      Find out from user forums if there are any common problems

3)      Reply to the seller and arrange to meet somewhere like a coffee shop – ie somewhere that is safe, well lit and public.

4)      Ask if the camera comes with a transferable warranty, boxes, receipt of purchase, etc.

5)      Ensure you try it out, so bring your camera or lens along to give it a whirl.  For cameras, check that all the functions operate correctly.  For a lens, check carefully for damage to the elements, that the aperture is working and the focus and zoom rings operate smoothly.

6)      Always ask for a discount, even if the ad said firm, usually you will get something.

7)      When meeting people, be conscious of your surroundings and be safe in whatever you do.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

How to sell used camera gear

Selling your used camera gear is a great way to finance new gear.  Here’s some steps you should to take ensure you get top dollar, yet make it a safe and risk free transaction.

1)      Do some research on the value using eBay and on line classifieds like Craigslist and Kijiji.

2)      Set a price that represents excellent value, given its model and condition.

3)      Do some research into the item itself, such as design and engineering, so you can build value into the item.

4)      Decide which means you are going to sell it.  If the item is fairly common, selling by the local classifieds is usually more cost effective as eBay charge seller fees and fees when you receive payment through PayPal for items.  Rare and unusual pieces are better on eBay as they attract a global audience.

5)      When placing the advertisement, be honest in the description of the item’s condition, but don’t over emphasise potential issues.    Make sure the ad has does not include any personal details except your email.  Ensure the subject line is catchy to attract attention (use caps) and enter as many relevant tags at the bottom of the ad so it catches attention from other searches.  Mark in the ad that only cash payment is acceptable on local meet up and that the price is fair and firm.

6)      When you receive an email, try to get a read on the potential buyer.  Are they reliable?  Do they sound shady?  Never entertain offers over email, always invite the buyer to inspect, then they can make an offer if you wish to entertain that.  The psychology is that if they are willing to take the time to come and inspect, then they are a serious buyer.  Usually about 75% of people buy once they come to take a look.

7)      Ask to meet people at a coffee shop or other safe public place near to your place.  Never invite people to your place, and if you are selling an item worth a significant amount of money ($1000+) take someone with you for additional security.  Also, don’t entertain travelling significant distances to meet.  Ensuring the buyer travels puts the pressure on them not to go to all that trouble to lose a deal.

8)      Know what the item is worth and don’t entertain offers much lower than your advertised price, especially if you have others interested.  If they make an offer too low for you, walk away.

9)      When meeting people, be conscious of your surroundings and be safe in whatever you do.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Is Four Thirds Dead?

With the release of the SLR like Olympus OM-D, it seems to me that the format going forwards will be micro four thirds.  I believe the standard four thirds format, ie the SLR version of four thirds, rather than the mirrorless micro four thirds, will be completely gone in 1-2 years; and the OM-D is a tacit admission of that.  Bye bye Four Thirds, you won’t be missed.