Every now and then I like to share some of my latest film related pick-ups with you all. Since I don’t have any film friends to share these things with in person, I look at this like a “hey look what I got today” kind of post. Since you all seemed to enjoy my last recommendation article, I thought I’d make another. Who knows, maybe you’ll like something or maybe you have some of these and can share in my excitement. Let’s get to it.
Due North Leather Camera Strap
I interviewed Mark Rossi (owner of Due North) a while back and really got to learn about how passionate he is for his craft, and the thought he puts into the products he puts out there. I think that is important when you are buying something that is hand crafted. It is also great to support small businesses.
Mark sent me one of his classic leather neck straps to review, but after learning more about him and his craft, I decided to purchase one of his Baron Leather Neck straps with the red trim. I mean look at it. Doesn’t it look like it was made for my Nikon F3?
His leather camera straps are the first film related item on my list because they are high quality. Right off the bat you can feel that they’re really well made. When compared to other leather straps such as the ones from Clever Supply (who I also love and have many of), you can see the leather is different. Due North’s straps are more of a stiff type that need a little more breaking in, while Clever Supply comes very soft already and may wear down a little more quickly.
I would highly recommend checking out Due North Leather if you’re in the market for a leather camera strap. He also offers the Peak Design connectors, as you can see in the photo above. Those offer a great system for quick access. With these on your cameras, you can quickly switch the strap without the pesky split rings that break your fingernails.
Visit Due North Leather and use code: avca for 5% off your next order of $50 or more.
Nikon F Grip
I buy my grips for my Nikon F cameras from Wayne Yung. He is a very knowledgeable and nice guy I met on Facebook. Over the last year, he has taught me many things about lenses and cameras. I consider him a good friend, and highly recommend his camera grips.
All of his grips are made from aluminum alloy with an anodized finish. He makes them for the Nikon F, as well as the F2, FM2, and F3. They’re heavy duty, unlike some of the plastic ones you find out there, so you can be confident it will last.
The grip I have for the Nikon F has one screw on the bottom that fastens into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera. There is an engraved F on the side of the grip that you can fill in with a thin white pen as seen above. The only draw back is that you have to remove the grip each time you want to change out your film because the door on the F slides off. That is not the case with the F2. You can leave it on forever if you like. As for the other models, I am not sure because I don’t have those.
Lens Vice and Filter Wrench
This is kind of an odd film related recommendation, but someone on the Mamiya RB67 Facebook page recommended I buy a vice when I could not get the bent lens filter off of my Mamiya lens. I read that over time, heat can cause the lens to expand leaving a filter stuck in place. To add to that, it looked as if the original owner either dropped it, or went to extremely damaging measures to remove it just making it worse.
After trying other methods of removing the damaged filter ring,(there was no glass, only the ring) I wasn’t confident that this would work. However, Kelsey surprised me when she got it off. With the vice tightened open inside the lens ring, and the wrench wrapped around the outside for grip, she was able to turn the vice enough to finally loosen it.
At first, I didn’t know it worked. Then I turned it myself and it came off. The vice helped to work out some of the dents in the ring. Then with it fastened as tight as possible without hurting the lens, it was able to pry it loose. Note of caution: make sure you remove the lens from the camera before attempting this.
Thank you to whoever recommended this to me. I am so glad my lens is free from that ugly ring. Now I can use filters if I want to and now I am recommending it to you all. It is a good tool of the trade to have on hand.
Read my article about my journey to the Mamiya RB67 Pro SD.
Leaving & Waving by Deanna Dikeman
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up while looking through this photo book. In a way, it is a love letter to Dikeman’s parents that stemmed from family photos she was taking over a 27 year period while visiting her parents.
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She said it turned into a goodbye ritual over time where she’d take a photo of them waving goodbye each time she pulled away from their home. As you go through the pages of this book, you see them age and soon the photos are only of Dikeman’s mother and then just her mother’s home.
The last photo is like a door slamming shut to silence. The weight of knowing what her absence from the photo means rings in your ears. It is a beautiful example of what a photographer can convey simply with photos. No words needed.
It is a beautiful book that I highly recommend. It has also driven me to want to take more photos of my mom as well.
The last film related item on this list may be my favorite photo book at the moment, and that’s saying a lot because I have many photo books. Encampment, Wyoming is a selection of photos from the archive of Lora Webb Nichols. She took photos in 1899 when she received her first camera up until her death in 1962.
As a first hand witness to the early twentieth century, Lora documented life in southern Wyoming, specifically Encampment, Wyoming. Encampment is a small town at the base of the Sierra Madre Mountains and in 1897 until 1908, was a copper mining settlement.
Lora went on to have her own Rocky Mountain Studio where she took portraits and ran her own business through two marriages and many children.
The book also includes entries from her diaries which she started writing when she was thirteen. Together, the diary and photos, paint a revealing story from a small slice of early American history. It also gives us a shining hero, that happens to be female, while she navigates life and success on her own in a time when women didn’t always have the opportunity to live their dream.
I absolutely love these photos, and I think it may remain one of my favorite books for a very long time. The portraits, I think, capture the American spirit. There is humor, grit, and a little sadness in these faces. To me that is what Americans are made of.
I hope that you have enjoyed these film related recommendations. If this is something you like, let me know and I will continue to share the film related items I pick up. Let me know down in the comments if you’re going to buy any of these things. If you already own them, let me know what you think of them. I’d love to talk with you all about it.
Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.