Equipment I Use

A careful title here. I own quite a lot of equipment, but regularly use a lot less.

iPhone 11 Pro

No, I can’t believe I’m writing this either, but I use the camera on my phone all the time. I paticularly like it for taking close-up pictures, where the screen gives a really good view of what is going on. It has multiple lenses which go from ultra-wide to a short telephoto. Zooming in anything but the best light, is a waste of time. I usually find it gives an impression of detail- rather than actual detail – which you find out when you pixel peep or print out pictures. But for quick and slick pictures, it works very well.

Sony RX-10

A does-everything camera. I have the original version (which I bought used). A 24-200mm f2.8 lens and a 1″ sensor. This is the first camera I reach for when I want a “real camera” to take a picture. The lens does a good job at all focal lengths, producing the fine detail which the iPhone doesn’t. It works quite well in low-light producing clean images, only let down by the autofocus which is a bit slow. I do look at later versions, which have a longer lens, but they are much more expensive and also quite a bit bigger – which puts me off.

Sony RX-100

A small 1″ sensor compact. I have the first version with the 28-100mm lens. I love almost everything about it except that I have no viewfinder. If I “upgraded” to the latest, I would have the viewfinder but a much less useful 24-70mm lens. So I am stuck with the MK1.

Sony A6000

Why are all my digital cameras Sonys?

I bought the A6000 because I wanted to scan negatives by camera. I could have managed with the 16MP from the NEX6, but I thought 24MP would be better. And my old camera occasionally started and stopped and generally showed signs of old age (I know the feeling) – so I got a replacement. The technology is much better, but the feel is much worse.

And then you have all film cameras (there are a lot):


I always keep coming back to the Rolleiflex. I wish mine had TTL metering. I wish it was a bit faster to work with at times. But, it has the best lens I own (probably) and people in the street like it. With a Nikon, people run to get out of the frame, with a Rolleiflex, you can’t keep them out. It is middle-aged man bait: on holiday in Hong Kong, everywhere it went, men cooed about how beautiful it was.

And did I say the lens was really good?

Nikon S2

The Nikon S cameras were all based on pre-war Contax rangefinder cameras – as opposed to Leica models. This gave them a sort-of bayonet mount and a boxier body type. In use I appreciate the easier film loading and it has a beautiful viewfinder. When using a Contax type of camera, you have to get the grip correect so you don’t block the viewfinder window. The lenses for the S-mount were all of good quality, making sharp, clear pictures and they have hard coatings on the glass which are much more mark resistant than Leica lenses of the period. If you are happy with just a 50mm lens, these are great cameras, but if you want a full system with fast lenses, they can get very expensive (still not Leica money though).

Equipment I Used to Use

Canon 7

I wanted one of these for years and years. In the UK (where I am from), they are not common – and then I moved to SE Asia where you can buy them almost anywhere!

I have a few in various shades of working condition. When I wise up, I will sell my Leicas and just work with these. No fiddly film loading. A metal shutter.

Sony NEX6

This is the oldest of my digital cameras. It follows on from an NEX5 and an NEX5n. I love the size and weight of these cameras and honestly the Sony sensor was better than the Canon sensor I was using at the time. Unlike many people the EVF doesn’t bother me one way or another – as long as I don’t have to use the back of the camera.

The controls on the NEX 6 are much better than previous models – although I miss having a touchscreen. And it has a regular hotshoe rather than some strange smartport thingy.

I have a few lenses and accessories for this one – but mostly use it with a standard zoom – which is isn’t the best – but it is very small and light.

Nikormatt FTN

A really tough, simple to use camera. Probably the cheapest way into “Nikonia”. The focusing is probably the worst thing about it. The best is probably its 1/125th sync speed (Nikon F 1/60th ) and some really nice early non-ai lenses, which weren’t (and aren’t) all that expensive. Try the 85mm f1.8, 55mm f3.5 or the 35mm f2. They really are rather special – just be sure to use a lens hood and keep an eye on flare (which they do rather easily).


I own an M2 and an M4. They are both very satisfying as objects, they feel very solid and fit my hands  – just right. I have a few lenses for them. My favourite is a 5cm collapsible Summicron, a tiny lens dating from 1954.

The thing I don’t like about them is their unreliability. I’ve owned 3 Leicas in 6 years and all of them have needed shutter repairs. Which can get expensive.

Fujica GW690

I don’t use this camera enough. It is simple to use. It has a good lens. That should be enough. Why aren’t my walls covered with beautiful pictures from this picture-taking-machine? The short answer is – I don’t know. I think it is because it is rather bulky – you never forget you’re carrying it. Note to self – “use the Fujica more”.

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