About and Contact

This is my photography blog, which also has some development articles and reviews of some of the items I’ve bought over the last 10 or so years.sdc10122 e1496849234681 scaled

I’m a software developer by profession, but I’ve been taking pictures since I was about 8 years old. In that time I’ve owned cameras of all types and sizes from 120 roll film thro’ 35 mm SLRs to my current somewhat excessive collection of Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28 mm/A12 50 mm, Canon S95, Sony NEX 6 and Fuji XT1.

I also have a growing collection of vintage film cameras which I’m starting to use more and more and some interesting vintage lenses.

My main subjects are landscapes, family and macro pictures. I always shoot in raw and use Lightroom to post process my digital shots. Although I will often add noise reduction, sharpening and boost colours etc, I don’t like overly ‘processed’ pictures.

As well as photography I’m interested in all things technology related, I used to work in electronic engineering and occasionally have semi-serious attempts to learn the piano. Oh, and I have a guitar.

Any comments about pictures I’ve taken gratefully received.

Anyone who feels they would like to contribute to the running of his site could consider a small donation via the BuyMeACoffee site https://www.buymeacoffee.com/JM2kSm6N9. This will help towards the costs which are currently about £25 per month.


I live at Walsham Close, Stevenage, Hertfordshire but the easiest way to contact me is via email at [email protected]

63 thoughts on “About and Contact

  1. Simon – Lovely photos! You have talent! I just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks for signing up to follow my blog! I hope that you truly enjoy the time you spend on my posts! My best to you – Barb

  2. I like your images, Simon! Thanks very much for following my blog. I’m just recovering from hardware meltdown but am getting there. Hope you’ll enjoy my pictures! Adrian

  3. I like that you’re a dabbler like me. Piano, guitar, composing, painting, gardening, photography, exercising (lol). Sounds like your dabbling is a lot more intense and, like my husband, fed by throwing yourself into researching and hands on learning. I’ll be interested in seeing your topics and works.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog and I like the fresh look/light in your photos. Especially like the candid one of your daughter at the train window.

  5. Great for us that you share the part of you that is a wonderful photographer. Thank you for stopping by bubblemomentpages.

  6. Dear Sinom Hawketts,

    I am a gallery assistant at Agora Gallery, a contemporary fine art gallery in New York. Can I send you some information about our
    gallery and promotional services that you might be interested in?

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind regards,

    Sabrina A. Gilbertson
    Assistant Director / Agora Gallery
    [email protected]
    Phone: 212.226.4151 Ext. 201
    Fax: 212.966.4380

  7. Nice intro Simon. Been browsing a bit and like your photos. Only just got Lightroom 5 myself so am looking forward to discovering all of that. I do agree however on the over processing. MM ????

  8. Just happened to run into your blog. You have got a beautiful space running here. Loved vision and snaps are indeed a revelation. Great work. Keep blogging.

  9. Thanks for stopping by and liking my blog and, in so doing, introducing me to yours. It promises to be a wonderful site to visit and from which I may learn more about what, for me, is a favorite avocation!

  10. So nice to be in contact. Gosh, finding your site was an accident and when I did I was delighted. I owned, used and have sold many of the….hmmm…I wanna use the word “iconic”….cameras you are collecting. I know I am going to enjoy your interest and modern day experiences with these film cameras.
    You’ll notice that although I post weekly to my blog on photography, I don’t discuss cameras other than as tools. Yes I will enjoy your thoughts.

  11. I thought of you and you love of interesting cameras today Simon. A woman brought a Zorki 4 in for repair. The lens was jammed and would not focus and I’ll send it out soon.
    I have seen lots of Russian Zorki 4’s, but this one had a 50th anniversary emblem on it. She just got it after her grandmother in Russia passed away and really wants to shoot with the camera.

  12. Hey Simon. I just read your blog about the Topcon camera/50mm lens. You said the adapter you had wouldn’t accommodate your NEX to the lens. I was curious if you have ever found a solution? I have a Sony a6000, and the same lens (UV Topcor 50mm f2) and was researching on how to mate them up. Thanks!

    1. I started to make a topcon to Nex adapter by using the aperture ring from an old topcon re auto and attaching it to an Nex to Exacta mount adapter. It basically worked but was a bit ‘lashed together’. I’ll finish it one day and write a post on how to make it because I suspect the UV lenses are probably quite good.

      1. Looking forward to reading the review. Yeah, that was the realization i was coming to…i would have to make something myself. Thanks for the reply! Nice pictures.

  13. Morning Simon

    I have a (non working) Ricoh Singlex TLS. it is a black one, very robustly built and nicely brassed. The mirror is sticking in the up position and consequently it won’t fire..

    I have no use for it: would you like for the cost of the postage?

    Best wishes


    1. Hi David – that would be very kind of you and very gratefully received – thanks. If you would like to email me at simon.hawketts at gmail.com and let me know what you want I’ll let you know the address.

  14. I have 5 X Pentax MZ-50 and a ZX-50 with similar wind on / shutter problems. They seem to stick the shutter up after a few shots and then advance several frames.on their own (even with new batteries). A couple were working OK but I’ve lost track of which are good and it’s a bit frustrating losing the second half of a film in them when I haven’t had much luck with my own developing. Would you be interested in giving them all a once over / fixing where necessary and letting me have one or two back once you are finished with them and you can keep the rest ? We could do the postage so I send to you and you send to me ? From what I can tell its related to a plastic cog slipping on a spindle so should be an easy fix.

    Best Regards, Kevin Cooper (yes the one you used to work with) 🙂

    P.S. I also have a boxed zenit photosniper with a couple of bodies one needing a new curtain but I may have a go at that myself as the curtain material is readily available.

    1. Hi Richard – that would be great thanks. I have a poor condition Praktica IV but would appreciate another example. If you want to email me at simon @ simonhawketts.com we can sort out postage. Thanks

  15. Just discovered your blog – we have several similar favorites among the vintage – the Takumars in particular. I also have a small collection of Voigtlander Perkeos, a Balda Baldina, a very olde Kodak Vest Pocket folder, an Exa 1A with both viewfinders (my first SLR), some Zeiss 35mm folders and a 6X9 folder like yours – all in fine working order.

    Am currently shooting on two Sony a65 and an a6300/LA-EL4 (A>E mount adapter) and adapting five Taks, a Mir 1B 37/2.8, a 44-2 and 44M Helios with a soon-to-arrive Zhongi Turbo II focal reducer, along with some Schneider and Rodenstock enlarger and a Leica projector lens. Great fun with a lot of forum coverage by other shooters.

    Will stay in touch with your posts and comments…keep up the good work!

  16. hi Simon
    Good to hear from you, and see your site! I was interested to see your Petriflex V listing was in grey, does that mean you haven’t got one? I bought one in say 1963, still have it, with instruction leaflet. I would be pleased to pass it on. The rest of the old out of use box that are available if of interest contains an EOS500 body (black) , a canon Powershot A700 and a Sony Cybershot dsc-wx80 that was brilliant till it got dirt on the sensor, a few years ago. (Then I had another, a first Nikon coolpix,which got zapped in Mexico in the humidity/aircon, don’t know where that is now) . Plus I have an old gossen sixtar exposure meter, also from the 60s. Still in use are the canon lenses, on an EOS 30D, and I use a nikon D60 for variety, both mainly for aeroplanes, see tinyurl slash nickplanes. But these days all day to day stuff, like telescopes, family, is on a Nikon Coolpix S9600, much lighter!
    mostly retired now, but still blog on processingtalk.info – I see the healthtalk guy occasionally, his mum lives in our village. Best wishes nick

    1. Hi Nick – great to hear from you too! Glad you are still blogging – I guess most of the talk sites are gone now although I see Howard is still working with Buildingtalk. Who edited healthtalk? Was that Jon Severn?

      I’ve often seen your posts on telescopes pop up on Facebook – I had no idea that was an interest of yours! I know Howard was (still is?) interested in photography but I don’t see much from him.

      Best wishes

  17. Hi Simon,
    Besides my Leica iiif, a Samsung ECX, a couple of Konicas a T and a T3 and lenses, I have just acquired an Agfa Ambit Silette with a 35mm f4 Ambion. The focusing was stiff and the aperture ring partially locked. So am most interested in your experience with a similar camera. I have loosened the two balky rings on the lens. The shutter seems to work. The advance level is a bit hard to turn but I will put in a roll of Poundland Vista and see what transpires. Hope for good news.
    How is your Ambi?
    Thanks for your great site

  18. Hi,
    Just thought I’d mention that the Voigtlander Vito came out first in 1939 – then it was discontinued while the country was otherwise engaged – and re-issued in a different format (taking perforated as opposed to unperforated film) in 1947. I have a 1939 version with quite a few “issues”!

  19. Hello, Simon.
    I am not as practical as you are but I don’t mind “having a go” at fixing some minor camera problems. I am currently finding it difficult to resist buying compact point and shoot film camera that I see in thrift stores, here in the US. I have just acquired a Nikon L35AF, for $4 (they only asked for 25c but I knew it was worth more than that so I told them so),
    It has two minor problems: one is the battery compartment door can open unexpectedly. It’s a design fault: I have read about others having this issue. So far I have wedged it close with a broken tooth pick. Not very elegant but it seems to have doe the trick.
    The second fault is that there are some hairs in the viewfinder. I am wary of opening it up, eve though there are only 3 tiny screws that need to be loosened to get off the top plate. Do you have any advice?

    1. Hi Roy – I have sometimes managed to move small specks of dirt with a puffer pushed up against any joints in the case where air could get through. I guess there are not likely to be that sort of joint on a point & shoot but it’s worth having a look.

  20. Hi Simon: I’ve just acquired a type 4 Ilford Sportsman 300 (which is a rebadged Dacora Dignette), and a Boots Pacemaker CM (which is a rebadged Regula Sprintic C). The Ilford seems fine. Not sure about the Pacemaker because it requires an obscure meter battery. Anyway, if you’d like them I’d be happy to send them to you for absolutely nothing … not even postage.

    1. Hi John

      That is remarkably kind of you, but I’d have to insist that I reimburse you for the postage. If you email me at simon @ simonhawketts.com I’ll send you the address and we can sort out the postage. Thanks v much !

  21. Actually – that Pacemaker needs a battery for something (?), but the selenium meter (silly me!) is working. I’ve also got a metal lens hood for the Sportsman to throw in (I mean pack very carefully).

  22. I’ve found your website a wonderful resource. I’m currently attempting to repair the Petri Flex 7 which belonged to my father, who died a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, when I click onto your two Petri repair articles the content and images no longer show – I wondered if there might be another way of viewing them (for example, do you have them hosted somewhere like Flickr?). A wonderful and really informative blog – thank you for sharing this wealth of information.

    1. Hi David
      I hadn’t realised that there was a problem on the site until you sent this comment so thanks for letting me know! A troublesome plugin had stopped all the content being visible but I’ve fixed that now and the images and text are back on the site – hope they help you and thanks again for taking the trouble to let me know.

  23. Hi Simon, being a Pentax fanatic and finding your website since I’m trying to weigh out if I have to lay my hands into owning a Ricoh GXR 50mm macro lens the second time, I guess I need just another soul to confess my addiction to used photography equipment online who share similar weakness as I am… It’s good to know that you are from Hertfordshire ( I’m based in Bournemouth).

  24. Hi Simon, I’ve got quite a few of the cameras you have in your collection in my own personal collection, and I enjoy reading your reviews finding them informative and insightful. I recently acquired a beautiful condition canon FTB al in perfect working condition for £ 17.00 . I just wondered what your thoughts were on this particular model, and if you had one in your collection? It’s very similar to the Minolta SRT 101 in many respects in build, size, weight, and handling. I ran a film through it and the results are excellent and the canon FD 50mm 1.8 is a gem of a lens. Again, I’d love to know your personal thoughts on this model, as I find it a fantastic camera, especially as they are so cheap right now. Many thanks, Dean.

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