Tag Archives: cameraporn


Interview with a collector – Antony Hands

A special interview with Mr. Antony Hands, creator of Rokkorfiles.com
Here comes the next installment in a series of mini interviews that I shall be doing with collectors, photographers, writers and general people of interest in the photography world.
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Why I do what I do


This is why I do what I do
There are a lot of people who ask me why I do what I do, and the answer is simple…I completely love what I do. Some people want to be an accountant, some people are born to be nurses, but for me I love cameras. But what I love even more than cameras are people. You see, for me this job the main thing is the people. I love going out to the stores and meeting people, I love meeting my customers, I love hearing from all of you. I have been told by a few people that I should have an automated e-mail reply, but I really like taking the time to reply to everyone, it is that personal touch that makes it for me.
But, after all is said and done, I love the gear and I love taking pictures.

Japan is a pretty amazing place when it comes to cameras, and this is one of the reasons why I am here. Where else in the world can you go and visit a store that is completely dedicated to Polaroid cameras? Well, you can here. I visited the wonderful SX70Forever store today and saw something that you are not going to see anywhere else in the world, a store with a massive selection of polaroid cameras and memorabilia. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with old class cabinets and jazz playing on the stereo. It was busy too, with a lot of people coming from all over Tokyo to buy cameras. They have a fantastic selection of used and sometimes unused stock on their shelves.

But this is just one place out of very many. You see there is nowhere quite like Tokyo when it comes to finding cameras. There are more stores than I can possible count. Some of them are huge and very well known, but others are tiny little places tucked into a back alley or side street. I have spent several years trying to find them and build relationships with the owners of these stores. And this is what has given me the chance to do what I do. I can find the things that people want, because I know where to look.

This is just a tiny portion of what is on the shelves in one of the more famous stores in Ginza. The prices are high, but so is the quality. And that is the thing people sometimes don’t understand. Tokyo is not the place to come and find a cheap camera. Aside from the yen being strong, the quality and selection is so high that the stores can charge high prices, as they know that they have the best gear in the world. On this shelf alone you can see lenses that are basically so rare that you cannot find them almost anywhere, especially not in mint condition. But these are all mint.

So really, this is it…this is why I do what I do. I get to go and find all of these items. I get to see the stores, meet the people and most importantly to me, I get to find people something that will make them happy. Because that is what it is all about, you going out and taking pictures. If something that I find you helps you to take more pictures then I have achieved my goal.
I always love to hear from you and love to see your comments. Drop me a line or leave an comment and help me to make what I do even better.

Lens porn Monday is here!

Monday blues? This could be your cure, a bit or lensporn . Ooooh lookee lookee, something lovely for all of you lovely people…

I have decided that as a cure for Monday blues I am going to try and put up some gearporn or general camera geekery every Monday to cheer you up and help you look forward to the next time you go shooting. So here is it, the 1st Monday porn posting.

And what a start we are off to, three absolutely outstanding lenses. I managed to pick these up this weekend from the charming and very talented Mr Patrick Tsai of My Little Dead Dick fame. Patrick decided he needed to sell the lenses and I was more than happy to take them off his hands. I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but I like knowing that the gear I have bought has taken some amazing shots in the past.

So, first up to bat we have the absolutely outstanding Leica Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH E39

Words cannot describe how sharp this lens is, it is ‘radiant’ in its sharpness. This really is a legendary lens and something that I am really excited to finally own. 35mm is pretty much the ideal focal length for me and this lens is as close to the perfect lens as you are going to get. It will fit on all of the Leica cameras since the M3, although you will need an external viewfinder as the M3 doesn’t have the framelines.
Now for the geekery stuff…This lens has 7 elements placed in 5 groups, an 8 blade diaphragm with half clicks from 2.8 up through f16. It fits a 39mm filter and has been the standard for Leica since the 50′s.
I could go on and on, but you can go and read Ken ‘bloody’ Rockwell for the rest.

I scored the silver chrome version, which I think is the prettiest of all of them, although it is actually heavier than the black because of the materials used in the manufacture. Personally, I like the feel of the weight and it balances on the camera nicely.

All of the lenses that I am putting up today are on a black Konica Hexar RF, which is an outstanding camera in its own right, but I shall have to put them on a Leica as soon as I get one.

Next up, possibly the greatest lens of all time….The one…the only…Leica Summicron 50mm f2 E39

Wow, just wow. This is a stunning lens and considered to be the GREATEST 50mm lens of all time! Though I am sure that some Summilux owners would have an issue with me saying that.

his particular one is the silver chrome version from pre-1994, with 6 elements in 4 groups with magenta coating. Again it come with the 39mm filter size. This is the oldest lens design that exists in the Leica armoury so they have had plenty of time to perfect it. If you want to know more give that Rockwell fella a lookup, he does it best.

I cannot wait to to go out shooting with this thing, really excited.

And last, but by no means least…The stunningly pretty Zeiss Biogon 28mm f2.8

This is a pretty enigmatic lens and the name Carl Zeiss is a true photography icon. The basis for this lens is from far back in the photographic mists of time. And they really have done a fine job of making a tack sharp and high quality lens. This particular lens is made by Cosina in Japan, who now manufacture all of the Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses. Compared to the Leica lenses, the quality of the Zeiss is clearly not as good. It is lighter and feels less solid, but the optical quality is almost comparable to most people.

I have not shot with this lens and will be selling it, as I have no real need for a 28mm and I want to keep my Leica pure Leica, but whoever gets this lens will be really happy of that I am sure.
Here is one more just to keep you all happy.

So, there you go. A bit of geekery, perhaps some new information, something to take up 10 minutes of your day and helped you dodge some work. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, drop me a line, I am always happy to hear from you all.