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Amateur Photographer - - Your Letters -

As one who first de­vel­oped films in the 1940s by a red light in a dish, and got the ARPS in the Seven­ties in por­trait and the­atri­cal pho­tog­ra­phy, I wel­comed your ar­ti­cle on se­cond-hand pur­chases in your is­sue of 22 Septem­ber.

I was se­duced by dig­i­tal for a few years, but now those cam­eras are in a land­fill, and I have re­turned to film. My first pur­chase, a Le­ica M2 on eBay, was ad­ver­tised at £300 ‘for parts and re­pair.’ Three weeks later, hav­ing had a CLA ser­vice, it was back on the road. Leitz glass is costly, but Canon LTM lenses are great, 10% of the price and Ja­panese eBay deal­ers are highly re­li­able in their de­scrip­tions. A 35mm f/1.8, a 50mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.4 (the ‘Ja­panese Sum­milux’ though it ap­peared be­fore that lens) plus an 85mm f/1.9 soon came by air­mail. Le­icas breed in cap­tiv­ity, and an­other M2 soon fol­lowed. For pro­cess­ing I bought a Kin­der­mann tank, and a Leitz Valoy en­larger on eBay. Rewired, and equipped with an EL- Nikkor, it is fan­tas­tic.

For far less than the cost of the new Nikon mir­ror­less cam­era, I now have two M Le­icas, a full set of lenses and an equipped kitchen/ dark­room. The se­cond-hand mar­ket is a golden age for those of us re­turn­ing to RealRaw. The re­lief at be­ing back on film and hav­ing the fun of mono­chrome pho­tog­ra­phy is de­light­ful. No won­der that col­leges teach it. If one must have an SLR, then the Nikon FM at around £100 is the an­swer. It is ro­bust, has a me­ter, and nifty fifty Nikon lenses are eas­ily sourced. Ge­of­frey Rivett

Ge­of­frey rel­ishes his Le­ica M2 and go­ing back to film pho­tog­ra­phy

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