just got a couple of color C41 film rolls for my 'new' canon P rangefinder camera. weird to be calling a 50+ year old camera 'new' but i just got it. its new to me :D
one of the different things about using this old rangefinder, compared to other cameras, is the focusing system. unlike newer rangefinder focusing systems found on SLR cameras (newer as in 1980s etc), which use a split image rangefinder patch, this type of rangefinder superimposes a second image on top of the main image, in ur viewfinder. so instead of lining up two halves of a little square in ur viewfinder, u have to line up two full images. a bit difficult when its dark, but my canon P is in excellent condition, and the rangefinder is really quite bright.
more than the focusing, the hardest part using a canon P is the lack of a light meter. the external one that it usually comes with is dead.. normal for a camera of 50 years. and as i cannot yet afford a good handheld exposure meter, im currently using my DSLR to meter the scene, transfer the settings to the canon P and then shoot. a bit time consuming, and definitely wont do for street shooting.. im looking at getting myself a sekonic L-208 twinmate meter. compact, and reads pretty fast. i'd love to get a voigtlander VC meter II, thats even more compact and even fits on a hotshoe.. and easier to use. but thats double the price!
so sekonic seems to be the way to go. ive shot half the roll already. i'll probably head out tomorrow and shoot the rest, get as much variety as i can.. i.e. landscape with deep DOF, and some still life shots with shallow DOF.. try getting some closeups, maybe.. sky, land.. people..as much as i can fit into this roll.. then its off to the lab for a quick develop and scan.. and i'll post the best ones here (if there are any good enough, that is)
im very excited about using this lens. im expecting some really good shots fro it. its a very high quality lens, a high end canon one, back in its day. buying a lens of this quality from canon now would probably mean shelling out a couple of thousand bucks on an L series lens. lets see how it goes....
(and ive added a pic of this fantastic camera.. plus its dead meter attachment.. doesnt it look shiny and new???)