This is my photography blog, written by a vintage camera collector and amateur photographer with pictures, reviews and repair information on cameras from many different manufacturers.

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’ 35mm to my current Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28mm/A12 50mm, Canon S95 and recently acquired Sony NEX 6.

In addition to the Pentax I have a

  • Tamron 10-24mm Super wide angle lens
  • Tamron 90mm 1:1 macro
  • Tamron 70-300mm macro zoom
  • Sigma 18-125 HSM standard zoom
  • Pentax 18-55 WR zoom
  • Metz 58 af2 flash

I also have a growing collection of vintage film cameras  which I’m starting to use more and more, some interesting russian prime lenses and a growing collection of M42 mount prime lenses which I’m using far more than any of my modern autofocus 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.


48 thoughts on “About

  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 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.

  3. 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
    Phone: 212.226.4151 Ext. 201
    Fax: 212.966.4380

  4. 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 🍀

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

    • 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.

      • 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.

  10. 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


    • 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.

  11. 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.

    • 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

  12. 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!

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