The Konica® Hexar AF has been on my 2021 shopping list for a few months. I embarrassingly was lusting over it purely for vanity reasons but soon realized there’s more to it than just its exterior sophisticated sleek design. Its extremely minimal yet interestingly complex and the shutter is as silent as a meditation spell that one enters while transcending into a euphoric realm. It’s so silent in fact that there’s been a few frames that were muffled by the subtle street symphony of cars and people in a public space. In a newb-esque manner I had to double check the frame counter because I thought I missed the shot. It’s as if life is in iMax but the camera is on mute. It’s truly zen-like.
Overnighted from Tokyo, the feeling that I got from holding this camera in my hands for the first time can only be expressed as a spiritual experience. I locked into a shooting position, placed my eye to the viewfinder and pressed the luxurious shutter. Not only did I feel like I was transported to a new dimension, the sheer luxurious feel of this camera will mentally catapult you into a new tax bracket. You enter a magical place when the light metering indicators illuminate on the glass as you frame your perfect shot. For me, this is the epitome of a well designed piece of machinery that also embodies the “X” factor, that indescribable hint of moon-dust that gets your blood pumping and imagination flowing in pursuit for capturing compelling photographs. It’s mind-boggling how this camera can be found for under $1,000 on the used market, especially when the lens has a reputation for being an autofocus equivalent to a Leica™ M body with the Leica™ Summicron 35mm F2 lens mounted – with some claiming the Hexar lens is a legitimate Summicron killer.
This Yashica® Electro 35GX was an impulse buy that I had shipped over from Japan. Made in the 70’s, this charming little rangefinder has a very desirable aesthetic that instantly reminded me of how much I love cameras and photography. Holding this manual shooter in my hands today made me feel connected to one of the things that I adore most. I felt romantic about what this camera has seen and whomever has owned it throughout the years. I thought about the places it’s been and how it has impacted peoples lives by freezing moments and creating memories that surpass time. I haven’t even shot with it yet and already know this will permanently stay in my collection purely for how it makes me feel.
I wasn’t in the market for another Yashica® T4 Super D and definitely not willing to pay the hyper inflated price tag of $600-$800 that they’re currently selling at. But, when you come across a great deal it’s mandatory to be quick on the draw and pull the trigger as fast as you can. That’s pretty much how it went down last week when I was doing my bedtime scrolling ritual, aka, looking for deals. I stumbled upon this mint condition T4 for $200 shipped and purchased it faster than my 2G Wifi could handle. Within the first fifteen seconds of this gem being posted for sale I was officially the new owner and I don’t regret a moment of it. My advice to anyone who is lusting over one of these cool-kid shooters is to be patient. Eventually a deal will find you and when it does, be ready to pull that trigger.
I can’t believe we’re already on our third release of cameras. I had this Camera Club concept randomly pop into my mind only a couple of months ago and look how far we’ve already come. It’s astonishing how much positive feedback we’ve been getting in regards to this project by those who purchase a camera from us. Everything from the curation to packaging to how we’re trying to build a community has been such an amazing experience so far. Thank you to everyone who has made a purchase or followed us on the SSCC Instagram.
New shooters available here.
I find it quite interesting how much inspiration I get when we go out shopping for decor. It’s always fun plucking little design elements here and there; such as color, shape, texture or just how things are arranged and put together. I take the fragmented pieces and mentally mosaic it to my own style. There’s literally inspiration and design in every aspect of life if you’re simply willing to look for it.
Sometimes you need to unplug and be in the midst of nature. Just you, your person and a couple of good books. Perhaps you’ll even have an opportunity to write, brainstorm, laugh and remind yourself of just how fortunate you are to be alive. Thats what the girl and I did over the weekend in a very charming little bungalow at the top of Old Topanga Canyon.
The most interesting thing about this experience was the fact that we only live fifteen minutes away from the bungalow but the vibe was as if we traveled for hours. There was no pounding sound of traffic, blaring sirens or the occasional passer-byers. It was as if everything was muted and nature was scoring the soundtrack of our time together. It was truly magical.
The gal and I went on a little stay-cation and when we came back I returned to a bunch of packages. Most of them are for the new SSCC release but a few were for me; one being my new favorite SLR camera. I’ve been on the hunt for a Contax® RTS III for a year or so but I refused to pay asking price. I’ve seen them range from $500 to $700+ depending on the condition and if it comes with a lens or not. I figured I’d implement patients and would eventually find the right one. Well, that time finally came when I was able to haggle this beautiful camera with a 50mm 1.7 Carl Zeiss® lens for $400 shipped from Japan, which is a great deal. I’ve never held or used the RTS III before buying one and the thing that made me lust over the internet for a year was the beautiful design that the Porsche® Industrial Design team was responsible for drawing up in 1990. I must say, it captured my attention on the screen but it surpassed my expectations when it arrived. In short, I fell in love with this camera as soon as I unboxed it but I became obsessed with it after the first press of the shutter. I cant wait to see what I create with this bad boy.
We added a new selection of shooters to the Camera Club.
When I first launched the Camera Club idea I wasn’t sure what direction it would go or if people would even be interested in purchasing cameras from us. For the first release I wasn’t prepared in the slightest and blindly launched the project without an agenda set in place. The only thing I knew was that I wanted people to put down their phones and pick up a point and shoot film camera. When everything sold out, I was a bit surprised but more than anything I was happy that people were about to experience what its like to shoot a roll of film (if they haven’t already).
When it came time to pack the cameras, I pretty much just wrapped them in bubble wrap and sent them off to their new homes. It felt very impersonal and I wasn’t happy about it. Packaging, to me, is one of the most important aspects when setting the tone of a buyers experience. I didn’t want the Camera Club to feel like it was something as mediocre as purchasing an old camera from eBay. I wanted there to be thought and effort behind it so I started experimenting with a few DIY packaging ideas. After a couple of test runs I finally opted for our new rip-top air tight heat sealed bags, which also come boxed for extra protection during the transit segment.
This is just phase two of the SSCC initiative and eventually I’ll roll out all of the ideas that I see in my head.
I try to practice only making things that I actually need. In fact, pretty much everything that I’ve ever released is something that I’ve needed at one point or another on my SS journey (yes, that even includes the condoms and coke-spoon keychains that we put out a few years ago). I’ve used this approach for two reasons. One, I create for myself first, which helps keep me free from becoming a servant to a preconceived monetary agenda. Two, I don’t care if anyone buys the stuff I make because I know my circle and I will use them. Having this mindset makes it extremely rewarding when people outside of my bandwidth acquire SS goods. My products have traveled across the globe many times over again and yet I’ve never once left the country. The thought of that blows my mind and puts a huge smile on my face.
I wrote out a long transparent and heartfelt Instagram post on why I made these coffee mugs and why they mean so much to me. The short version is – this one phrase, this one motto absolutely changed my life. That’s not to say that if you buy this cup you’ll get sober, fix your depression or spiritually and financially become wealthy. No, these mugs are not a cure-all, but they will remind you everyday, every morning, to fight to get what you want and to become who you were always meant to be.