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Category: Classic Camera Corner


Weird Lens of the Week! Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2

Posted by graham in Classic Camera Corner. No Comments

27th January

The original Petzval lens was designed in 1840 and has been long prized for it’s soft and dreamy effect.

A Russian company called Lomography has brought this classic design back to life with an 85mmm f/2.2 lens available in Nikon or Canon mounts. I’m using a Nikon to NEX adapter on my Sony A7r.

The lens uses waterhouse stops to change the aperture. These are metal plates with various sized holes drilled in them. You slide one with the aperture of your choosing into a slot in the lens barrel . This works fine but if you turn the lens upside down the plate falls out. This was worrisome until I realized that the whole reason I wanted this lens was to get the maximum shallow depth effect, and as I’m shooting wide open I don’t bother to even insert one!

Focus is … Read More »



Weird Lens of the Week! 28mm f/3.3 Som Berthiot

Posted by graham in Classic Camera Corner. No Comments

18th April

One of the coolest things about mirror-less digital cameras is the ability to use classic lenses. These have a distinctly different look and feel than modern optics. Also cool is that we have LOTS of them for sale!

I’m going to attempt to post one lens a week with sample images to show what these things can do.

The fist one is a French lens from 1935- a 28mm f/3.3 Som Berthiot in Leica thread mount.

I used it on my Sony A7r with a $30. adapter (available at Seawood) and found it to be a beautiful optic. It’s 10-blade iris gave it a very creamy bokeh. I loved the low contrast and pastel colors it infused.


So Why Use A 4×5?

Posted by graham in Classic Camera Corner. No Comments

15th July

So you would think that in this day of digital cameras that offer immediate results, have incredible exposure latitude, are compact in size (and take pretty darn good pictures!)  that large format photography would be dead.
Actually, at Seawood we are selling more 4×5 view cameras than ever before!
How is this possible?



Simple Stereo Photography

Posted by graham in Classic Camera Corner. No Comments

1st May

By Graham Law, President, Seawood Photo

I started shooting stereo over twenty years ago because it had no monetary value whatsoever.

I was shooting commercial and stock photos at the time, and had hit a point where photography wasn’t as much fun as it used to be. Before every shot I would wonder if it was a marketable image. I stopped shooting for myself; it was all business.

Then someone gave me an old 3.5 Stereo Realist camera and a battery operated viewer.



Machine Gun Cameras

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1st February

By Graham Law, President, Seawood Photo

We have well over 400 cameras on display at Seawood Photo. Many are odd and interesting, yet by far the ones that elicit the most comments are the machine gun cameras.

We have six of these unusual cameras from the U.S., England, and Japan spanning WWI to the Korean War.  Perched over the camera bar, they look ominously down on the store like they are guarding the store.

While they look like actual guns, they were actually used to train gunners by shooting photos instead of bullets. Crosshairs or reference lines show up on the final photographs, showing the user to see if he actually hit his mark. The cameras were sometimes mounted on aircraft to photograph aerial combat practice, or tripod mounted for … Read More »


The Amazing Rolleiflex TLR

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1st January

By Graham Law, President, Seawood Photo

Every month we have hundreds of used cameras come through Seawood. And even a self-proclaimed camera junkie such as myself gets somewhat jaded looking through the myriad of gear. But every now and then someone opens a bag or a box and I have to catch my breath because inside there’s a ROLLEIFLEX!

There’s something about that marquis that makes it special. Maybe it’s the history of usage by some of the world’s greatest photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Robert Doisneau, Imogen Cunningham, Helmut Newton and such.

Or perhaps it’s just that the cameras themselves are so damn cool! Post-war Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex cameras are as good as cameras get.

While Rollei wasn’t the only manufacturer to build a quality TLR … Read More »


Using the RB Super D Graflex

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1st December

By Graham Law, President, Seawood Photo

There aren’t many large format cameras that that I would describe as spontaneous or hand-holdable. Linhof Technikas, Speed Graphics, Horseman Field cameras and their like are often used unencumbered by a tripod.

All employ an attached rangefinder or frame finder to view an approximation of the image. If you want to use the ground glass to see your actual image you must remove the film holder, focus on an upside down and backwards image, replace the film holder, and hope your subject hasn’t moved and you are pointing your camera in the same place…

Wouldn’t it be cool if someone would invent a Single Lens Reflex 4×5? Well, of course someone did; Graflex started selling their first version of the RB … Read More »


Why We Love Old Cameras

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1st November

by Graham Law, President, Seawood Photo

In this first installment of the Classic Camera Corner, I thought it fitting to discuss why we love old cameras, why they are still viable tools despite technological advances in digital photography, and what to expect from this blog in the future.

Rolleiflex 2.8F

I don’t know when I first became interested in classic cameras; I’m not nostalgic about photography in my youth, and most of the cameras I will discuss here were manufactured well before I was born.

In my work I use the latest high-end digital cameras and strobe equipment, then edit my images in Photoshop just like 98% of the other pro photographers nowadays.  I really do love the new stuff, but when I pick up a Rolleiflex 2.8F, or … Read More »





Classic Camera Corner

Digital cameras are amazing, yet we love old cameras here at Seawood! 

This section of our world is dedicated to those machines, how they work, what you can do with them, and why they are still viable tools despite technological advances in digital photography.

Hope you enjoy it!

Weird Lens of the Week! Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2

The original Petzval lens was designed in 1840 and has been long prized for it’s soft and dreamy effect.

A Russian company called Lomography has...

Weird Lens of the Week! 28mm f/3.3 Som Berthiot

One of the coolest things about mirror-less digital cameras is the ability to use classic lenses. These have a distinctly different look and feel...

So Why Use A 4×5?
So you would think that in this day of digital cameras that offer immediate results, have incredible exposure latitude, are compact in size (and take...