My real name is Pete; on here and on Flickr I'm Dustin McAmera. I live in Leeds, in England.
I was promoted to be one of the admins here. If you're here in search of an admin, to ask something about CW, or complain about something, feel free to talk to me about it (best to do it next door on my Talk page).
I have more cameras than I can do justice to as a user (a few dozen), but I resist the idea that I'm a collector. That said, the pleasure of using the cameras is sometimes just as important to me as the photographs. My oldest cameras are from the 1920s, but I like to try to write about earlier stuff, just because it's under-represented here.
My own cameras include several that I feel guilty for owning, because they're so good, and I use them so little: in particular my Century Graphic, my Mamiya 645 Pro and my Ensign Reflex. I notice that since I started editing on here, that problem is worse. This year's new purchases are an Agfa Standard 208 (9x12 cm) and a Calumet CC-401 4x5-inch monorail.
On the other hand, the community of old-camera-owners on the web generates excuses for using them. Quite a few of my cameras are for 127 film, and I usually do something for 127 Days (12 July and 27 January). 2012 was the centenary year of Kodak's introduction of the 127 film size, and I think I did quite a good effort for the summer day. Although I've taken pictures for 127 Day since about 2005, I didn't know until 2012 that Summer 127 Day is also George Eastman's birthday; I'm glad we mark that.
I usually observe Take Your Box Camera to Work Day in February and Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day in April, too. Taking my box camera to work wasn't strictly possible this year - I've changed my job (reluctantly) to one which doesn't really tolerate such eccentricities. Instead, I took my cameras around town after work, and again the following day to get some proper daylight. A good session, but I made pictures of street corners, not of a workplace. I usually go out for Pinhole Day too, a little later in the spring.
I've had a bit of a lull in my own photography, but these are the latest uploads to my Flickr account:
For all its faults, there isn't anything else as good as Flickr.
Other camera-related sites I go to include these:
- PhotographyToday.net; set up as a replacement for the NelsonFoto forum after Craig Nelson died, and the future of that site looked uncertain. Discussion forum for a few dozen, mostly American, photographers.
- The NelsonFoto forum; the forerunner of the PhotographyToday.net site. Still going at the time of writing, but not so active since Mr Nelson died. It too has a mostly-American membership. It has boards for discussion of various aspects of photography, including tech stuff about the cameras, but is mostly a forum for people to show their pictures. I think it had its origins in a walkout-in-disgust from photo.net. Having not-too-many contributors gave it a strong personality and the feel of a club.
- Photo.net, especially the 'classic manual cameras' board, but I also check the medium and large format boards, and a couple more. The site as a whole is dominated by digital users, some areas of it are sometimes argumentative and snobbish, and my ad-blocker has to work overtime. Nevertheless, it's a useful source of information.
- I just registered at the Large Format Photography forum. It's quite big; more than 30,000 registered users; which isn't always a good sign, but I found some useful and interesting stuff posted.
- The listings for past auctions at Westlicht in Vienna: a good place to see good pictures of some cameras that you may never see anywhere else. I have often used these pictures to check details of cameras for articles in the wiki.
A vague to-do list
These are things I hope to do some work on. I see this has turned into a list of routine maintenance jobs, rather than than exciting camera articles to write. Feel free to comment on these, especially if you think any of them is a really bad idea. (This isn't an invitation for anyone to insert jobs for me to do: I hate that! .. If you know enough to write one of these ideas up before I get to it, go ahead, of course.)
Continue blocking 'Silent Users': wiki accounts that have never made any edits:done up to date! I could make the 'Silent User notice' text into a Template, which would make each page quite a lot smaller.did that.
- Investigate these users: people I didn't block
(see also my other list of accounts to check back on)
- I'm very slowly going through the 'A' category, adding year-categories where I can. When I finish those, I guess I'll move on to 'B'...
- There are still a lot of links to the old medfmt.8k.com site (included some interesting articles, and archive of old bulletin-board discussions back into the 1990s). The whole site is long-dead. Even archives at Internet Archive are hard to use. Some of the saved versions aren't complete; some are faithful archives of a lot of 'site-suspended' notices for a month when I guess they hadn't paid their bill. Some of the pages are good enough that it's worth finding a good archive version (seems mostly there at 8 May 2006; in other cases I'm either commenting-out or deleting the links.
- When I come across ISBNs in articles, I'm putting nowiki tags round them. By default the wiki turns an ISBN into a clickable link which sends you to a short list of searches on booksellers' websites.
Another dead site we may have several links to is Japan Family Camera, which gave a 404 error in one case I checked. It's an infoseek site; not sure of the URL.No - still exists, at http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~RD2H-ARI/, not infoseek, but the page I found missing really isn't at that new site.
- Finish adding patents to the links at Autographic
- Start the list of patents at the (currently pretty pathetic) page on Carpentier
- Follow through with my threat to re-structure the categories to do with plates, and get rid of the ugly phrase 'film plate'; I note that some plate sizes (and probably film sizes) are not served by cats: 8x10in for example.
There is an old list of jobs that were never done, commented out here.
- Look up the Minolta A5, and try to add to its page. McK says two Japanese versions and one American one. Examples we show have either a simple folding rewind crank and 1/1000 sec shutter, or a more finished crank and only a 1/500 sec shutter. There's also one (at Flickr I think) with the advance lever coming out of the back, and a transparent widnow for the frame-counter, instead of the open dial. McK also shows a 1966 model.