Nov 3, 2022
Vintage cameras and analog film have grown to be unprecedented media darlings within our crowded digital landscape. With a superstar status fueled by insatiable demand amid a limited supply, in this week’s podcast we investigate both the beauty and quirks of these trending tools. Joining us in conversation are photographer / vintage camera buff Bill Bain, and expert camera technician / repair wizard Shlomo Weinberger from B&H Photo’s Used Department. Whether you cut your teeth on old school tech or you’re an analog adopter in the digital age, there’s a topic of interest for everyone, plus plenty of DYI tips to be had, including our favorite—liquid electrical tape! How many of you dedicated camera buffs knew about that?
Guests: Bill Bain and Shlomo Weinberger
Top Shot © Jill Waterman
For more information on our guests and the gear they use, see: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/podcasts/photography/vintage-cameras-with-bill-bain-and-shlomo-weinberger
Guest Bios: Bill Bain has loved photography since his teenage years, when all his earnings went towards buying gear and paying for film and development. During a long career as an engineer, photography was a constant thread—particularly documenting his family and their extensive travels. Now living a post-corporate life in the Canadian Rockies, Bain devotes much of his time to photography. In addition to being fully immersed in digital imaging, he continues to make good use of his extensive collection of vintage cameras, many dating from the early 1900s. Bain’s analog and digital fine-art images have been featured in Black & White magazine, and his photos of Olympic-style wrestlers have been published internationally.
Shlomo Weinberger is a gifted technician who developed a specialty in repairing vintage cameras and lenses over nearly 25 years at B&H Photo. After learning his trade from an old-world technician steeped in the analog age, Weinberger currently operates a special repair shop within B&H Photo’s Used Department, where he patiently inspects, calibrates, lubricates, and otherwise assesses the condition of the cameras and lenses that pass through his hands before they are offered to customers.
Bill Bain’s Website: https://www.bainphotos.com/Film-Photography-page
Bill Bain’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bainphotos/
B&H Photo Used Department: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse/Used-Equipment/ci/2870/N/4294247188
B&H Photo Vintage Film Equipment: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse/Cameras-Photo-Gear/ci/2871/N/4294247179
2:47: Bill Bain’s tips when shopping for a vintage camera
3:30: Inspect the lens for mildew or mold and actuate the shutter
4:45: Making use of vintage lens fungus for creative portraits
6:53: Bain’s preferred vintage camera formats: Folding bellows and box cameras
8:05: Bain’s new vintage camera—60-year-old Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex
9:08: How many cameras are in Bill Bain’s collection?
10:19: Black and white or color film, and various emulsions
12:28: Discontinued film formats and a nod to 2016 podcast—Dick Haviland: Last of the Classic Film Re-Spoolers
13:57: Bain’s DYI modification for unavailable film stocks: Plastic wall anchors!
15:34: Different film sizes and determining if a camera will accept a currently available stock
17:42: 120 format film—the most easily adaptable film format
18:18: The difference between 120- and 220-format film
19:12: 127 film and smaller formats
20:20: DYI tip—Use a cigar cutter to trim readily available films to fit smaller formats
22:54: Vintage cameras with interchangeable lenses vs fixed lens cameras
23:14: The Petzval lens—19th-century classic and Lomography’s 2015 redesign and release
24:00: Bill Bain’s favorite vintage camera—His mother’s Kodak Jiffy 620
25:02: The poor man’s Leica—the Argus C3
26:42: Read the manual! Plus, finding user manuals for vintage cameras online
28:38: Making minor repairs, and when to pass vintage camera repair off to a skilled technician
29:16: DYI camera repair discovery—Liquid Electrical Tape!
32:06: Episode break
34:00: Shlomo Weinberger’s advice when shopping for a vintage camera
34:34: Evaluating lens scratches—front vs rear element, edges vs center of glass
35:05: The most popular vintage cameras in B&H’s Used Department
36:50: The most common vintage camera problem / repair—stuck aperture blades
38:11: Weinberger’s most respected vintage cameras—Leica M3, Hasselblad system, Rolleiflex
35:32: Leica M3 has the best rangefinder—you can shoot with both eyes open
41:44: Weinberger’s weekly workload of vintage cameras and lenses
42:28: Repair quirks to an original Nikon F
43:02: What to look for when repairing a twin lens Rollieflex
44:26: Flash photography with vintage cameras that synchronize at all shutter speeds
44:58: Pro tip for evaluating a twin lens camera—ensure all four sides of the lens board focus straight
46:34: Process for overhauling a vintage camera shutter
48:48: B&H Photo’s used department museum display
50:32: Jeff Berliner’s Petzvel lens collection from the Penumbra Foundation
51:15: Lubrication of vintage cameras—don’t try it yourself!
52:44: Things to know before contacting B&H with a vintage camera inquiry
55:45: How to find Bill Bain online and in social media