Recommended reading

22 comments on Recommended reading
1 minute

💻 Have you ever owned something so nice and expensive that you were afraid to use it lest you damage it? Shawn Granton ponders this relative to expensive bicycles. Read Beausage and Special Bikes

Minolta Maxxum 5, 35-70mm f/4 Maxxum AF Zoom, Tura 125 @EI 100 (x/1-04), HC-110 B, 2022

💻 From the Improbable Pets department, the Vintage Everyday blog shows photographs of long-ago Hollywood celebrities and their pet cheetahs. Read 15 Amazing Photographs of Old Celebrities Posing With Their Pet Cheetahs

📷 arh reviews a leaf-shutter, fixed-lens 35mm SLR, the Kowa SE. It looks for all the world like any other SLR! Read Photography Quintessance with a Kowa SE

📷 It’s a pseudo-TLR, but it sure is pretty. That might be because it was designed by Raymond Loewy! Mike Eckman gives the long-form review of this camera. Read Ansco Anscoflex II (1954)

📷Alex Luyckx reviews a Russian film, Tasma NK-II. It is extremely silvery, a characteristic I like very much in black-and-white films. Read Film Review Blog No. 89 — Tasma NK-II

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22 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. tbm3fan Avatar

    First off I wouldn’t pay 2-3K for a bike unless I was a professional racer. For normal 20, 30, 40 mile rides my 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer and 1983 Univega Viva Touring are way more than adequate bikes for such a task and more so.Although the Sports Tourer is never out of my sight since it’s red color makes it stand out and people on a ride go “is that a Schwinn?” while the Univega flies under the wire.

    1. Andy Umbo Avatar
      Andy Umbo

      TBM, ditto…I hesitate to say I “built bikes”, back in the 1970s, when I didn’t braze any frames, but packaged components to customize rider experience. All of us outliers. BUT, the flooding of doctors and lawyers into the sport, and the subsequent “showing and boasting”, about 3000 to 4000 dollar bikes and the proliferation of “bikes clubs of the wealthy”, all riding around my neighborhood with cutely monogrammed riding togs, all since the 2000s, has pretty much wrecked it for me. Viva la Tres Speed! And damn the sneers from the wealthy…

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      Right now there appears to be a choice: crap bikes from Walmart for $100-200 or decent bikes for $700-1500. Where are the middle tier choices?

      1. Kodachromeguy Avatar

        I thought decent bikes were $2500 plus?

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Good God I hope not. When I was a teenager in the 80s a good everyday bike was $250, and an okay one was $125. I had a $125 AMF Roadmaster 3-speed and it was super hardy. I couldn’t kill it. $250 in 1982 is equivalent to about $775 today.

        2. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          I live in Trek country, southwestern Wisconsin, and I swear to God it wasn’t that long ago when you could get a very nicely built, bottom of the line, Trek for about $275.00

        3. Jim Grey Avatar

          After a quick search this is the Trek I’d probably gravitate toward despite its 21 gears – 14 more than I will ever need. About $600. That’s not terrible.

        4. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          Jim, that’s a hell of a nice bike! Put a 5-7 speed internal hub on that, and I’m in!

  2. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Gotta say, that Russian film looks like everything I liked about some of the 1970s Eastern European stuff! Too bad I won’t be getting any, although I hear many photo suppliers from there saying they do not back the Putin regime….

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yeah, that’s a growing issue with getting these Russian films.

      1. Kodachromeguy Avatar

        The article was a bit confusing. Is this brand new Tasma film or is it old stock that is being cut and packaged in 35mm cartridges?

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          It’s new stock. Might not be fully fresh, I don’t know, but it’s not old stock long expired.

    2. tbm3fan Avatar

      Being a Russian product means I will never buy it since I am more inclined to see the Russian economy crushed for what they have done.

  3. Kodachromeguy Avatar

    I sometimes read the same comment about a Leica, Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, whatever, that it is too valuable to use because it might be scraped or dinged. IT WAS MEANT TO BE USED! Why buy it if you aren’t going to photograph with it? Obviously, I have a different philosophy about cameras or bicycles. But I’ll admit, old clunker things enter their most valuable phase of life because you don’t care what happens to them.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m the same way about classic cars that never get driven.

    2. Jerome Avatar

      I agree. When I began buying cameras, I tried to find the nicest copies at the best prices. Then noticed I was reluctant to use them for fear of scratching or damaging them. Now, I buy items that are known to work and enjoy using them. I won’t buy anything that would break my heart to lose because I could not afford to replace it. Life is too short to fret over things.

      1. Jim Grey Avatar

        I prefer to own cameras that show use, but don’t look used up, for the same reason.

  4. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    Some of the celebrities with big cats for pets were wearing leopard-skin clothes. That’s a bit hard to look at.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The whole thing was pretty ridiculous.

  5. brandib1977 Avatar

    I have seen the photo of Katherine Hepburn with her cheetah but didn’t realize it was part of a bigger trend. Nor did I know that cheetahs are safer to keep around humans. Interesting.

    As for being afraid to use nice things, I bought myself a necklace for Christmas last year (a black cat pendant that looks like Scout). It’s the most expensive piece of jewelry I own and has never been worn because I would be horrified if it were lost or damaged. Sigh.

    My friend who lives in Wyoming almost exclusively buys her quality bikes used. She’s about four hours from Denver where biking is a big deal – both for regular daily travel and for recreation and there’s a robust resell market. This year she found an expensive gravel bike at a Goodwill on our vacation in Colorado. It was $17. Another $20 at the same store provided a decent bike rack. The bike she has raced with was a Craigslist find for under $500. There’s a great bike shop in Chillicothe where they rehab used bikes- once a minor part of their business that became a necessity during Covid when supply chain issues made it hard for the small shops to get in new stock.

    Another thought provoking roundup, Jim!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m ready for a brand new bike. I haven’t owned one since about 1990. I want one that I can ride for the rest of my riding life. However, I’ve had pretty good luck with used bikes in the past, as evidenced by my old Schwinn.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Best of luck finding just the right one!

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