When asked, Matthew replied:
1. If you were to choose a favourite film camera from your collection which would it be?
My ‘collection’ consists of a single camera. Actually, I don’t own a digital camera either. The machine in question is a 1953 Rolleiflex 3.5A (MX) sporting a Schneider Xenar taking lens. I suppose it says something that it lives alone at my place, a pretty clear declaration of my intentions. I’ve boiled down the experience of making photographs down to this, and I’m as happy as a clam.
2. How long have you owned this camera?
This camera has been my main squeeze for three years now, and it’s the only camera I’ve owned that doesn’t have me looking for the next acquisition.
3. How did you come to own this camera?
I’m a pretty organized person when it comes to making purchases, and cameras are no exception. I came from the commercial world, and after the business dried up out here on the east coast, I went right back to the drawing board to figure out if and why I wanted to continue taking photos. The TLR came around because of its robust build, easygoing street presence and image quality. I made a vow to avoid system cameras since they always lead to a bagful of accessories and lenses. My TLR kit is simple, portable and I honestly love dragging it around all day when I travel.
4. What things do you enjoy most about this camera?
The best thing about using a Rolleiflex in this day and age are the interested people who can’t help but stop and chat. I’ve written before that it’s like walking around with a puppy. The TLR is disarming, charming and efficient. Street portraits are easy. People of all ages and walks of life smile and some way to know all about it. Showing an interested person how to look through the viewfinder and focus the image always results in a smile.