John Gunn Camera Shop

As you may have noticed I have never written a post about any camera shops or labs I visited. There are many reasons behind this starting from the fact that most of them are quite uninteresting and ending with my intention to not make advertisements on the blog (apart from the ones WordPress kindly places here and there).

But today, I am here to write about a quite special shop which cannot be farther from uninteresting. As for my other rule. I guess it was just naive and idealistic. I am writing camera and lens reviews and giving out my opinion about film stocks. Why not deal with shops as well? After all we film shooters are all in the same boat, we need services which are more and more scare every day. From now If there is a place I can recommend to the community, I will share it.

Mr John Gunn from John Gunn Camera Shop (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 800, Epson V700

Mr John Gunn from John Gunn Camera Shop (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 800, Epson V700

Why is John Gunn Camera Shop is special?

This is a small camera shop and lab in the heart of Dublin specialized itself on film photography materials and development services. It is a family business which occupies (as far as I know) three generations of the Gunn family.

“We pride ourselves on providing our customers with top quality products and first hand access to a wealth of Photographic knowledge gathered over the last 40 years.”

I had only 2 weeks in Dublin and since I have not had a chance to travel a long time ago, I was very much inspired by the new environment. I was shooting a roll after another and I was really eager to see my photos as soon as possible. I could not wait until I get home. Normally I need to wait a week for the development and spend about 2-3 nights of scanning. Thankfully I was pointed to the right direction and I have received one of the best service I ever had with my film.

They developed and scanned my negatives within 1 day. No scratches or dust on the films whatsoever, cut to stripes nicely and the scans were wonderful.  I had so much disappointment when I asked scans at various labs, mainly because of the unbelievable levels of file compression. I even wrote about my struggle  some time ago: scanner crisis.  But finally these scans were satisfying.

Guinness (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 800, Epson V700

Guinness (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 400

After work (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 400

After work (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 400

But quick and precise work would not be enough to make me write this post. What really caught me was the treatment I have received. When I made a complement to Mr John Gunn about his shop, you could really see the pride and gratitude on his and on his daughters faces. This shop really means a lot to them, that is for sure. When I left he said goodbye and added a God Bless you at the end. It was really a lovely experience.

Oh and the shop is alive. There are other film photographers coming continuously, which was really good to see. In Graz, we have nice shops, but the feeling that film is still around and very much alive cannot be witnessed that obviously.

Gentleman from a pub (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 800, Epson V700

Gentleman from a pub (Dublin 2015), Leica M2, Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 @ f/2, Fuji Xtra 400

All in all, I have visited John Gunn Camera Shop 3 times and I am glad I did. If you are in Dublin, it is a safe lab to go. I will definitely stop by if I ever have a chance again to visit the city.  Their website can be found here.

Being a tourist

It is not easy to be a tourist. Visiting popular places has the obvious disadvantage  that they are already photographed from every possible angles at every possible time of the year.

So what can a photographer do who is short on time and cannot afford the luxury of deeply explore his travel location.
In other words should one leave the camera at home when going to a family afternoon visiting a hipped touristic site? Some would say yes. Just enjoy the time with the family and do not break the flow with those annoying stops to stare through the viewfinder. There is no way to take new, refreshing original photos any more. There is even a camera called Camera Restricta which checks online how many publicly available photographs have been made on a certain GPS location.

Viewfinder Camera Restricta

If the count exceeds a limit, the camera denies to take any more pictures. While this camera offers a really extreme solution to the issue, it is certainly raises the awareness that we should approach spectacles with care. After all no one wants to create the 10 000th identical photo about that waterfall.

In my opinion it is absolutely possible to take outstanding photos at locations which are considered completely exhausted as photographic resources. It is challenging indeed, but challenges are there to accept and conquer them.

My challenge

This is what I have tried to do lately. I was sent to a business trip to Dublin and of course I tried to get the most out of it. Due to the packed by work nature of my travel, I had not much time for exploring, but I had a weekend and a few afternoons to work with. So I teamed up with my college and friend and picked some quite touristic places to visit. So we went to Glendalough, an extraordinary place with beautiful mixture of nature and early medieval architecture. We had a great time and we were truly amazed by the wonders of this place, but as expected there is quite highly developed tourism involved here.

I was terrified when I realized that people were taking literally thousands of pictures just under that few hours we spent there.

But after the initial hesitation I have started to shoot and tried to make up a set of rules I applied to make a difference.

Forest at Glendalough

Think with a head of a tourist

I tried to picture what is the easiest shoot you one could get. This is what most people are up to. It is also a good idea to step back a little and watch what locations others choose. After I have mapped the patterns, I have picked a little bit different, harder to reach so to speak less trivial spot and angle. Many times just a few meter what you need for a significantly better shoot.



Use something special

According to a popular saying, your camera does not really matter. I agree on that a talented photographer can take stunning images with just about anything. On the other hand a bad photograph is not any better just because it was taken with some exotic gear.

But the reality is not that all black and white. In the age of mass produced digital cameras, smartphones and even smartphone cameras, a good old film camera can really shine out.


This is not the primary reason, why I shoot film, but it is great fun to see how much people are surprised because of the image quality and (I hope) cinematic look of my pictures.

Focus on the details

The world is full with neat little details. Many sees only the big picture. Want to squeeze somehow the Eiffel Tower into the frame. But sometimes details are just more interesting. Better still often there is no indication whatsoever about their origin. Therefore it is always a good idea to have a camera in the bag no matter how touristy is the place to be visited. There is always the chance for a nice rusty road sign lurking at the next corner.

Life find it's way

I have to admit that this photo with the fern was not taken at Glendolugh, but in Galway. However this is my favorite detail photo from this roll.

People makes things interesting

All humans are addicted to the look of other humans. Why not exploit this property of the mind and compose someone into the frame. It does not work at all times, but chances are that a handful of these photos will be the best ones. At least this is the case many times with me.


I am really bad at photographing people without their acknowledgment. I am not just bad at it, but also I prefer not to do it. That is why I asked these girls for this picture.

This is my quick guide for myself. I hope some of you will find it interesting. If you have something to add, or just like to comment, I would be happy to read your opinion.


Paul, Dan and Miran

At the beginning of this year I have given away a few lenses and cameras. Among others Paul and Dan received a camera. MIran on the other hand got a 135mm lens and all three of them sent me a self portrait taken with their “new” cameras/lens.




Paul is a UK based professional photographer who has a strong focus on family photography. Check out his site, it really is lovely. He has got a Fed 3 with a 50mm lens. The camera was not fully functional, still he has got some nice results, so we can see his mighty beard.




Dan is a teacher from Canada who is now starting again with film photography using the Practika MTL-3 camera I sent him. His self portrait is remarkable in my opinion because he managed to frame and focus so close perfectly. His flickr profile can be found here.



Miran is a really nice guy from Slovenia who is also a long time follower of the blog and he received a 135mm f/2.8 Pentacon lens. He has chosen another approach of taking a self portrait using a tripod and the self timer and pre-focusing the lens.  To see Miran’s blog, follow this link.

Anyway, it was really nice to get in touch with them and actually with all of you who wrote me. These portraits just made the whole thing a little bit more personal. It is also interesting to see that each of you used a different approach to make these photos and they are quite different in style and mood as well. But the most important for me is that it you gave a good use of the old gear.



The Jakominiplatz is one of the most important public transport centers of Graz. Tram lines meet here as well as it is the starting point of many local and medium distance bus lines. It is indeed a very busy, sometimes seemingly chaotic, ever changing colorful place. So many interesting and not to mention very different people are mixed here in this relatively small parcel of space that the Jakominiplatz is truly is a photographic goldmine. The combination of the crowd with the wide variety of heavy vehicles and infrastructure makes it an ideal location for street photography, portraiture or even abstract architectural shoots.

I am one of the daily passengers. Sometimes I pass by more than once a day and of course I always have some kind (mostly different) camera with me. It was inevitable that eventually I will end up with a nice collection of images taken here using a wide range of equipment under different light conditions and in many distinct styles.

I have captured the greenish mist of  winter nights painted by the army of mercury street lamps on heavily expired film as well as using a digital pinhole camera, I have played with the strong shadows cast by the pylons and with the perspectives of the tracks in strong back-light. I have taken sneaky street photos with a digital compact and I toke some nice medium format portraits here. I find it fascinating that every time I pass by here something is different and there is always a new perspective to explore. In addition it is really fun to see how much impact the particular camera/lens has on the end result even under otherwise similar circumstances.

I think that at the end of the day I found myself in an experiment which I have not planned through or intended to do at the beginning at all. An experiment to prove that the photographer’s choice of the tool does matter even though this is not the only factor. Furthermore to show how much inspiration can be found in ordinary places which we visit every single day and therefore tend to ignore. I hope that my pictures will encourage some of you to explore your own Jakominiplatz.

Camera giveaway


Thank you Everybody!

All these things have found a new home in a remarkably short time. I am really pleased that how many different yet equally film photography enthusiastic people were interested in this little action of mine. This means that we have a living community and this blog has some impact as this post attracted attention from all around the world.

I think it was very good idea to gift these cameras and get in touch with you.  It was a nice experience and I may do something similar in the future.


Another new year and another fresh start. As a part of this philosophy I decided (after some encouragement from my wife) that I shrink my camera collection to a manageable size and so I sort out many things that I not use.

Everything you see in this post is free to take, you only need to pay the cost of the shipping (note that I live in Austria). Most of these items have some problems, but who knows maybe some of you can get them fixed or find a better use of them than me.

How to contact with me

If you were interested in any of the listed items, just send me an e-mail through the contact form or on facebook. Don’t forget to tell me where you live so I can calculate the post cost,

Praktica MTL3 + 50 f/1.8 + case

The camera works, shutter speeds are distinguishable and the meter also works. I have never put a roll of film through this camera though. The lens is nice, clean and smooth.



Canonet QL17

Cosmetically in excellent condition with a nice clean lens behind a protective filter. But mechanically stuck (cannot advance, cannot release).


Fed3 + 50mm f/2.8 lens + leather case

Works, but shutter speeds are very inaccurate. The lens is clean, but lubricants dried out. I think this camera can be brought back to life and in any case looks great on a bookshelf.


Fed5 + 50mm f/2.8 lens + leather case

The camera works, shutter speeds are distinguishable. I have used this camera and wrote a post about it which can be found here. The lens on the picture belongs to the Fed3. This Fed5 has it’s own black lens, I just need to find it.


Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 lens

The lens is in a very good condition, however the aperture cannot be stopped down more than f/4. It is a typical problem of these lenses and can be fixed. Besides I only used this wide open.


DSC02753There will be more gear as I browse through my hidden stashes, so stay tuned.