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Recommended reading

💻 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

Mustang
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 thoughts on “Recommended reading

  1. tbm3fan says:

    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.

    • Andy Umbo says:

      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. Andy Umbo says:

    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….

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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!

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