Recommended reading

💻 Daniel Miessler advises us to associate with people who never give up. Read Associate With Grinders

High-powered cornfield
Olympus OM-2n, 35-70mm f/4 S.Zuiko Auto-Zoom, Kodak T-Max 400, Adox HR-DEV 1+30, 2020

💻 Until about 10 years ago, in Detroit there stood a three-story-tall cast-iron stove that wasn’t actually made of iron, but rather of wood. Don Friedman explains why it wouldn’t have worked to make it out of iron. Read Scale Problems Again

📷 Alex Luyckx bought a wee bottle of Adox HR-DEV developer and developed all sorts of black-and-white film in it. Even though this developer was meant for Adox HR-50 film, he got good results with every film he tried. Read Developer Review Blog No. 19 — Adox HR-DEV

📷 I’ve wanted to try the Minolta XD11 for a long time. J Carter did recently, and it was love at first click. Read VMLP 13: The Minolta XD11 — A Love Story…

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17 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. Daniel’s piece speaks to me. I like to surround myself with resilient people and to read books about them as well. Not only do they show us how to live and to thrive no matter what, they have the power to inspire and effect meaningful change in others.

    I think it’s important to pay attention to those who we admire and to learn as much as we can from their habits and attitudes. Thanks for sharing!!

    • I agree. I often wonder if it’s a sign of my socioeconomic class. Are people who come from money more likely to associate with people of money and power? It sure seems like it.

      • I think humans are naturally drawn to people who are like ourselves so that certainly makes sense. I like to think it’s partly because people like us have a natural curiosity about the world around us. People who think they already know everything worth knowing about the world and the people in it tend to associate with people for appearances rather than substance. I speak from experience here as I just described someone from work. Sigh.

        • Andy Umbo says:

          Coming from (originally) two cities that had highly differentiated work forces, I think that people appreciate others that can add to and improved their own experiences. Having moved to Washington DC, and working a lot in northern California, I can say I really felt “at home” with the people I was moving among and working with; it was a revelation; compared to spending a lot of time “treading water” in the exchange of ideas from my original two “home” cities.

          Having been raised in a family of educated and autodidactic people (i.e. your learning doesn’t stop at college graduation), it was weird in the primarily blue collar cities of my youth to meet what I referred to as a lot of “reverse snobbery” associated with information exchange and education. It’s one thing to be “high-hatted” by the rich and educated, another to be “high-hatted” by the meager and uneducated because you aren’t like them! It was a joy to live in cities with a lot of educated people working in a lot of professional level employment. Sociology is different everywhere, and I learned when I started moving around, that the assumption that you have to “make do” with the environment you are used to from your home town is absolutely false.

          There is the old “trope” about how it’s difficult to soar with the eagles when you’re spending a lot of time in and among the turkeys. A lot of people leave their home towns and states to improve their “eagle-to-turkey” ratio!

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    Interesting to read about the Minolta XD-11. I’m not a Minolta person, but have to say there is a ton of love for not only the XD-11, but Minolta 70’s-80’s era lenses. I know a few people that adapt Minolta lenses to their M4/3rd’s cameras, and refer to then as their “secret weapon”, since people haven’t seemed to catch on to the quality, and are usually buying Pentax and Olympus!

  3. Jim, thanks for the mention!

    My reaction to the XD11 surprised me. When I set out to do the Vintage Minolta Love Project (VMLP), I was mostly interested in AF cameras.

    Since you have an Olympus SLR, the XD11 will likely feel familiar is some ways. By all means, get an XD11! But, get one soon because the prices on eBay have increased considerably over the last six months.

    • Andy Umbo says:

      From the WWW:

      “The camera was developed by Minolta in conjunction with Leica, and the body became the basis for the Leica R4, and later, as the chassis for the the Leica R5, R6 and R7. Leica introduced a more advanced metering system into the body (including spot metering), but most of the other features of the camera are evident in both bodies.”

      Sounds like a chance to get an “almost Leica” on the cheap!

      • For better or worse, I’ve never understood the Leica mystique. Many years ago, I borrowed my father-in-law’s Leica model from the 60s for a week, and did not care for the experience. To each his own…

        • Andy Umbo says:

          Jerome, you got me! My entire professional career was shooting 4 X 5 and 8 X 10 sheet film, and Hasselblad 120 on people/annual report. Never made money with any 35mm. I’ll be the first to say that I appreciate the quality of the mechanical camera bodies, but for many years, though the lenses were just “OK”. I always thought there was a lot of wishful thinking: when you pay 2000 bucks for a lens, it better be better than a 400 dollar Nikon equivalent, but for a lot of years, maybe not…

  4. Andy, we are in complete agreement. I find it amazing that Leica could take the Minolta 24mm 2.8, 35-70mm 3.5, and 70-210mm f4, tweak them, then sell them for four times as much. Even more amazing is that people comparing the two somehow see huge differences between the Minolta and Leica models. I’m good with my Minoltas.

    As I venture further into photography, I am becoming more intrigued buy large format. I have a Yashica 124 and Pentax 645, and I find them to produce spectacular results. I cannot help but think that the many waterfalls that are within a fews hours of my home would look good on a 4 x 5 negative.

    • Andy Umbo says:

      Jerome, I recommend whole-heartedly getting involved in 4X5 sheet film, especially for landscape and nature. Less money than you think! The Yashica 120’s are nice, as well as the Pentax 120, but I’ll tell you, I curated a 90 year old guys photo collection, and his sheet film stuff from his early career were fantastic. When he later got into 120 and then 35mm, it’s like the ability to shoot a lot, made him churn out a lot of garbage. I don’t know if he tossed out the 4X5’s that weren’t that great, and we were left with the cream, or when he got into smaller formats, he just started banging it off. I’m in my 60’s, with a Deardorf and a lot of 120 stuff, and I’m thinking of knocking it all down to 4X5 sheet film!

      • My budget requires I sell a few items first. Fortunately, prices for film cameras are increasing fast. So, I’ll be able to sell higher than I bought.

  5. I’ve had my XD-11 for about a year now. I thought I had paid too much but now I see the prices and I’m happy I didn’t wait. I think it’s time I wrote a “ user experience” report on the XD-11.

    • Yep, the days of cheap XDs has passed. I guess the word has gotten out. You should write a report, this is an excellent camera that is worth owning. The upside to higher prices is the those buying them are likely to treasure them.

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