He always had it with him and then he carefully hung it on me. The distance I had to estimate and adjust the lens, then the aperture, which I had to adjust so long, until the pointer of the selenium light meter centered in the middle. Then the click followed. After a picture was also good, the film had only 24 or 36 pictures and should extend the trip over.
For confirmation, my sister gave me her Agfa Isomat Rapid, unfortunately she was stolen from me in the following school trip. She has made joy, if only briefly.
For Christmas, I got an Agfa Pocket, like a Ritsch Ratchet camera, with the film cassettes. Grainy were the pictures, I did not feel right from my parents when they gave me this toy, but dad still had his adox. And when we were traveling together, I also said as a teenager: “Dad, can I go?”
At the age of 18, I earned my own money and met Roland, who also wrote for the Rhein-Zeitung. And took pictures. He sold me his Minolta X 700 SLR to manually focus. With a 28mm, a 35-70mm and a 70-210mm lens and a proper camera bag. So, now I could go on tour, take pictures and, above all, start one thing: gain experience. With bad pictures. No, that was not the camera.
Nevertheless, I sold her after my community service. Professionally it had struck me to Minden, with the first money and the sale of the Minolta, the time was ripe for an autofocus camera with all imaginable motif programs and lenses. A Canon EOS 650 with engine. From 19mm to 300mm everything was there, I had now exchanged my photo bag for a photo backpack and I was still of the opinion that a 400mm film was better than a 100mm film, because it costs more. But who should explain that to me? In any case, the pictures got better, made it in newspapers and in a mail order catalog.
In the next few years, while traveling professionally throughout Europe, I flew with a delegation to Russia, more precisely to Pskov. I did not take much pictures and then one evening Masha, perhaps 10 years old, dreamily in too long jeans and a leather jacket on the shore of a lake in the evening light. With the 300 I took exactly two pictures. I approached so carefully that she did not notice. In the second picture I had one thing above all: my picture of Russia. Although still a few days time, I put the camera aside from now. I had nothing left to miss. I had it, my picture. When I picked it up in the lab, I was not disappointed.
It followed a serious change, I came to Schleswig-Holstein. Only the Leica Minilux, then the Leica R 8 came on the market and as expensive as it was, it should be. 135mm and 50mm focal length without autofocus, no scene programs, the only now discovered by me black and white slide film Agfa Scala and my first black and white laboratory changed my photography. Time and aperture were suddenly understandable to me and terms such as sharpness level and depth of field should be from now on conscious design features.
At the same time I practiced in medium format, with the Rollei 6008 integral and the Rolleiflex 2.8 GX. The one or other exhibition followed, pictures for a travel catalog and an event in which I asked myself the question “why do I actually photograph”? I found no answer and sold everything.
For a few years there was nothing that inspired me, except the previous question. It should take time until I came back to the Leica via a Rolleiflex 2.8 FX. Small and she should be and good. So I decided for the Leica M 7. By now everything was digital, but I stayed with the movie. Til today. And today, the images in the heart, for the albums and magazines, are still created analogously. Not because it costs so much, I leave it, but because it is worth to me personally, I do it.
Which camera is right for me? Forums, tests and magazines want to let us know that they know it. And if you believe their lines without having found out for yourself which one is the right one, you have failed to develop yourself. How should a picture develop there?
Which camera is right for me? The one with whom I make pictures that touch myself. Pictures that I do not want to put away anymore. The ones I always bring out to look at them. Pictures, not for the masses, but for the gallery of my heart.