About me and the motivation for this website.

Update: 01.20.2017

Years ago I owned a Mamiya RB67 Pro 6x7 camera, a very beautiful medium format camera. Because this camera did not contain any equipment to measure the exposure value, a separate exposure meter was needed. I choose for a Gossen Lunasix 3 at that time and used this meter for many years. I sold this camera in 1986 because I rarely used it the last years. I also owned a Canon A1 and used this one much more than the Mamiya camera. The Canon was equipped with a very good measuring system so a separate exposure meter was not longer needed and I stored it away. During a holiday in Australia, my Canon A1 dropped in a little creek (in a 4 year drought period!) and went completely under water. After picking it up out of the creek it was not functioning anymore. Coming home I have send it to a repair shop but the A1 was beyond repair. I put it aside and went out to buy a new Canon EOS 5, this camera I used for many years until the digital age.

For whatever reason I saved this A1 body and years later, long after I switched from analog photography to Digital photography I found the A1 body again, took it apart and had a very good look at it. I felt a pity this beautiful mechanical and electronic techniques went lost due to the digital wave. I decided that I want to own a working Canon A1 again and started a search on the Internet. I was really surprised how many people were selling their analog equipment for fancy prices because they want to switch to digital. I thought now is the time to start a collection of the A-series of Canon camera's and one lead to another...

During a survey on 'Marktplaats', a Dutch advertisement website, I saw an add for a very nice Elinchrom studio flash set for sale and decided to  buy this set. The set came in a case with 3 monobloc flash units and inside the case was also a Lunasix F flash exposure meter in very good shape. This meter triggered my memory and I remembered that I still own a Lunasix 3 meter stored away somewhere. After a little search party I found this meter again and also here one lead to another and my collection of exposure meters was born.

Medium format camera's were very expensive stuff to buy. But because of the digital age, people where selling also their analog medium format equipment for unbelievable low prices, so this was for me a reason to look around for a nice and proper working Zenza Bronica 4.5 x 6 camera set.
My rule is that all this kind of equipment must be in a proper functional order maybe with little minor repairs.

Photographic equipment normally is accompanied by a some kind user manual or user guide. Most meters I bought failed this manual and it is very hard to find a proper manual on the Internet without paying far to much money to those people selling manuals. In my vision money sharks! My believe is that these manuals should be for free for the user and this all together set me off to start this website about the equipment, the manuals and other related information.

I came in contact with photography on the age of about 10 when I was allowed to use my sisters camera to take pictures during a holiday. I shoot some rolls of film with this Kodak 6 x 9 box camera. some time later I was present in the darkroom of a photo hobby club and learned to make B&W prints and enlargements. I was thrilled and lost to photography. At the age of 12 I saved enough money to buy me a second hand Ilford Sportsman 135 camera which I used for many years. During my time in the air force,  I bought a Zenith E SLR but the shutter of this camera refused any more service after a year or so. I dropped this camera in the dustbin and went out for a proper camera. I decided for an Canon FT QL with a 50 mm lens and I used this camera for many years (the daughter (22 of age) of my brother in law is still using it). The next camera was the Canon A1 with several lenses and motor drive and after the A1 came the Canon EOS 5. The digital age was coming and my first step was a Canon Powershot 600 digital camera. Not comparable to the EOS 5 in quality and soon I bought me a Olympus E10. Canon could not offer me a camera that would fit my needs within my budget so I left Canon. The biggest disadvantage of the E10 was the lack of interchangeable lenses. So after 4 years using the E10, I switched again and now I choose for Nikon. First the D70 (a disappointment) than the D200 and after that the D300. The remarkable thing is that I still use al 3 of my Nikons for different jobs. For instance, all picture of the equipment on this site where made with the D70.

During my years in the service, I was allowed to use the darkroom that was located on the air force base. I used it for developing my films and making prints of a number of festivities that were held at the air force camp and with the money I earned, I was able to extend my photo gear in this way.

After the service I found a job in a wholesale photo lab and worked there in the production for about 2.5 years. Around 1972 I went back to my original job, electronic engineer. So I took the job that came available as a mechanical / electronic engineer in the same wholesale lab. I followed many trainings at the factories of the main wholesale lab equipment manufacturers like Kodak, Agfa, Gretag, Systel, Pako and others. My responsibility was the repair and improvement of all kind of photographic equipment used in the lab, this was a perfect combination of my work and my hobby. Later on I went over to the IT dept. as network manager and as service engineer in the production support dept.  My specialty is in the combination of computer techniques and photo equipment hardware and software. Now in 2010 I am retired but still are very busy with my hobby photography and extending this website.

In about 40 years I have seen many changes in photo equipment and workflows. One of the most advanced changes in analog photographic printing techniques was the use of computers in production like the Kodak 2610 computerized printer. Another milestone is off coarse the switch from analog to digital photography. I was very lucky to experience this all and also be at the beginning of the conversion from analog to digital wholesale photo lab. in 2010 I retired from a lifetime working in photography.


Copyright E. van der Aa 2010, All rights reserved. Updated jan 5 2017