Start – the dream that was too good to be true

This message is a tribute to the best SLR the soviets could manufacture.
The start was manufactured between 1959 and 1961 by KMZ. It was intended for the pro market and wasnt a success do to high price.About 80,000 were made.There was a Start 2 prototype with the release on the body and some rumors say TTL metering.
The start has a 1-1/1000 cloth shutter which syncs at 1/30 and a unique bayonet mount which uses a breech lock.The problem that only one lens was made in this mount,the 58/2 Helios 44.It could use m39 lenses via an adapter but you lost diaphragm automation.It doesnt have an automatic mirror return(you cock it and then it goes down).The focusing screen is around 90-92%(compare to the 62) of the much later zenits).It has a removable prism(could be replaced by a waist level magnifyng finder).It has a knife to cut the film inside the camera and in cassete to cassete method.It needs a special leader.The mirror slaps like a bucking bronco.
I got mine from my girlfriend grandfather,broke it and got it fixed by Oleg Khalyavin.I use it rarely and with BW only – the Helios 44 I have looks horrible with slides and color print.The lens is soft and warm.I use it rarely but love to use it for people shots.
The pictures here are old.The girl in the picture is Orly – a girl that served in the army with me(she was an Air Traffic controller and I was the Tower’s technician) with pan F in d76.The light is a lighting tower useed to illuminate hangars.The grave photo is ilford pan 400 in tetenal at a british WW1 graveyard we have in my city

My new Leitz Summitar!

with the zeiss cap I got it and the fed hood I will adapt for it.
Today a lens like that looks as antiquated as a ford T. Made in 1939,uncoated, in old style apperture stops with no clicks,stops down to only 12.5,with no standard filter thread.

I like the way it sits on the zorki,I like the quality of the build that survived 67 years(longer then both my grandfathers),I like the way it states Ernst Leitz Wetzlar,made in Germany – A person,a family a city,a country – not a cold conglomerate spitting items of production lines manned by faceless underpaid third world country employees.

I like the way light reflects unchanged of the uncoated glass-I’ve heard uncoated glass gives bitching mid tones-I will check it.I hope I will like the way the lens performs,it would be unpleasant to ne dissapointed in such a piece of history – I could probably sell it for the price I got it but I would like it to replace the more common(and appreceated by me) Jupiter 8(mine is 1959,coated and spectacular)and
take it’s share of picture among the russian and japanese lenses I own.
I like the way old lenses were special,not uniformly sharp and contrasty(at least in theory) each lens had it’s color,sharpness and bokeh signature,it’s feel and it’s uses.

midaevil Ceasarea;LSD in the sands

The pictures were taken with a pentax k-1000+ 50/2A SMC with medium yellow-green filter on Tmax 100 souped in tetenal.

The one thats looks like an Acid Trip is a statue that enviromentalists made(40 tons of metal; around 1 million US$) which they put in the Negev desert(near my city,Beer Sheba).They call it – Protector of the Negev.I call it – stop eating those mushrooms, damn hippies.

The other photo is of a remaining crusader structure in Ceasarea.

new aquisition

A dream came true today!

I always dreamt of a leica and I got a Summitar 5cm/2(closes down to 12.5) No 523982 Ernst Leitz Wetzlar(focus scale in feet)

It has a small nick on the rear lens.I paid 75$ for it.

I will shoot the 5 remaining shots on a color roll with it and if they are sharp I will shoot a BW with it.


My visit to Rekanati Museum(A private free admision pre columbian art with a decent Dali collection) in Ceasarea a couple of months ago. The museum doesnt allow small children in unless the parents carry them.YES.

Nikon fm2n 28/1.8 sigma aspherical;50/1.4AI fujifilm proplus II 100 iso.
The B&W pics are color scans converted in GIMP.

The antithesis to Led Zepellin-White Dog – SIgma 28/1.8 review

I like the White Dog-it looks sad and dignified(Nikon fm2n 28/1.8 sigma aspherical II with skylight 1A filter;fuji proplus II;)

And now to sigma-
it’s the older version introduced in 1994(the 58mm filter ring).
The lens has pleasant bokeh and moderate distortion,It is tack sharp and focuses as close as 0.2 or 0.3 meters(less than a foot).
It doesnt flare to easy for a fast wide lens(I dont use a hood with it-I dont have it and it’s a bayonet).It has half stops and stops down to 22.

Mechanical build leaves much to be desired – the focus ring is flimsy and the pressure needed to turn it is uneven all the way(tougher in the middle).
Since the lens is AF it’s MF focus travel is short-meaning it’s a hassle to focus in low light – but not impossible.The white painted numbers(dof table,sigma corp name,apperture values)started to wear of so I stuck a peace of transparent tape over them. The outer bayonet ring (needed for the hood which is impossible to find)is made of plastic so I dont know how much mistreatment it would tolerate. It feels a bit heavier and is a bit larger(wider and longer)then the 50/1.4 AI.

My main problem with it is the short focus throw.I am happy I traded the canonet for it,but I would trade it for a nikon 28/2 AI(or any 20 AI) in no time if anyone offered.

I am curious checking it on an AF camera to see how fastaccurate it’s AF is.

new pictures-Nikon fm2n,50/1.4;28/1.8 sigma aspherical II;fuji proplus II

Some pictures from a recent trip.

I am working on the Prague pictures – got about 20-25% done.

I opened a bottle of glanmorangie cellar 13 – its much lighter then the regular glanmorangie 12 years-nice and mellow.

I finished reading Dog Years(Hund Jahre)by Gunter Grass-It is very good,now reading Cat and Mouse by him.

Traded some pop low quality records(Elton John,Whitesnake and some more shit – cleared some room) I inherited from my brother for Jethro Tull,Pink Floyd,King Crimson etc.(good to great condition) I am a happy puppy.
Still have 20-30 classicalopera records I didnt listen too yet.I look forward to that.

Listened to messa choralis by Liszt(some estonian? choir)-I see why the catholics use choral and or organ music – if it’s any good – it’s religious.

war with lebanon

It seems like we are in war with Lebannon.Haifa and the surrounding areas are bombed several times a day and we bombard the shit out of them from the air,ertillery and the sea. Both sides have heavy civilian casualties.CNN,Fox,Sky and the russian news channel blame Israel – which I just cant grasp – we didnt start it – really.I hate it.I really do. I have friends and family in Haifa and I am scared.

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