I grew up in an era when digital meant “relating to fingers or toes”, personal computers were the stuff of Star Trek, and cameras recorded their images on something called celluloid. I’ve long had a fascination with photography, and when my parents presented me with my first camera and a large, very stout aluminum tripod for my 18th Christmas, I was delighted. I quickly set about snapping away gleefully – or as much as my part-time job allowed me to buy film and developing, at least. I never really delved into the nuances of photography, but trusted the old Praktica’s light meter to get it right. The concept of exposure compensation was a foreign concept to me, but I still managed to capture some decent images from time to time. I used that camera for 20 years, never giving in to GAS. I was happy. Fast forward over 40 years, and I’m recording images with an Olympus E-M10 II and a Panasonic GX85 these days, mostly with native lenses. I’ve always loved exploring, and my camera purchases in the past few years have bounced between Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, and Fuji, always searching out good deals on gently used equipment. I enjoy variety, and I’ve passed many cameras and lenses on to other buyers when I’ve been ready for a change. That included quite a few older manual focus lenses of various mounts. A couple of those old lenses I’ve kept, however, and one of those is a Flektogon 35mm f/2.4, whose rendering on my old Pracktica is beautiful. I also used it on my old Pentax K-30, but I never gelled very well with that camera on either attempt at owning one. Despite my preference for smaller cameras, I’ve had an itch to try another DSLR in Pentax K mount, but I didn’t want another heavy beast. This was to be a low key, knock-about fun camera. After much reading, it sounded like Pentax’s *ist D, their first DSLR, might be the ticket, with its low advertised weight of under 500g without batteries. Prices on eBay and Amazon were much higher than I wanted to spend however, so I kept looking. After many searches, I finally found a listing on KEH for only $65, and it was graded at EX. Knowing KEH usually rates items lower than I would, I surmised that an EX grade camera was probably in near mint condition, so I ordered it. I pulled into my driveway this afternoon to find a small box at my door. Lifting the box, my first thought was “Is there anything in this box?”. Upon opening the box and carefully unwinding the very generous bubble wrapping, I found myself holding a cosmetically mint condition mini DSLR. Why was I so pleased to have in my hands a 6.1 MP camera from 2003? Dunno, but I felt like I’d just uncovered a treasure. I mounted the Flek via its M42-PK adapter, and popped in a set of freshly charged Eneloop AA cells and a 16 MP Compact Flash card (Gotta thank Amazon for that one – I doubt I’d find one around here.) Having previewed the manual from Ricoh’s web site, I pressed MENU while turning on the camera, and discovered the firmware was already updated to the most recent. I spent about 10 minutes tweaking the settings to my liking, then took the camera and my dog out for his afternoon walk. There’s still something very satisfying to me about manual focus with an old lens – even when I occasionally miss the focus, like in the first image where I somehow got the leaves in focus and missed on the flowers. I guess it just harkens back to my days with that first SLR. I used green button metering with the center-weighted pattern. All images were at 200 ISO and f/5.6. The camera and lens balances very well together, and the weight isn’t much more than one of my micro 4/3 cameras. Fun times!