I used to think a lot about cameras in college, and every so often the bug bites me again. Lately, I have been lusting for a new camera. I know I don’t need one, and I won’t buy one, but I like to scan the pages of photo magazines at the latest and greatest and peruse the pages of ebay looking for a vintage instrument. Looking at the statistics and information for a camera is way different for me than actually using one. The greatest thing I have learned about what tool to use is what I like to hold the most, what feels best in my hands and what controls do I like most. All cameras are pretty close when it comes to advances in technology, it comes down to what I like to use most. Let me revisit my arsenal of cameras briefly.
The Canon 5D MK I is wonderful but unfortunatly has been recently updated, but the camera I have does everything I want. I like how it isn’t as big as the full fledge professional models, but can produce images close to them. I use it when I want digital and I must admit, I like digital.
The Yashica Mat 124 G is so much fun. I pretty much use only black and white in this bad boy and develop the rolls myself. This camera isn’t fun to lug around, isn’t fast, and the light meter is broken. So, this camera is not good on the fly but takes quality photos suitable for traditional black and white printing. I love that it is completely battery free and 100% mechanical. I like how twin lens reflex cameras focus best out of all the medium format cameras. I lust for a nice Rolleiflex 2.8 Planar.
The Rollei 35 S has a great lens and a tiny little body. This is also an all mechanical machine and batteries are not needed since the light meter is busted on this as well. This makes it a little difficult to shoot when I am out and about, but I am pretty good at guessing exposures. I like the handy carrying case but I do not like the focusing system which is basically guessing (or measuring) how far you are from the subject. I will just never shoot wide open. A small camera comes at a disadvantage but is sure easy to carry around. I lust for a Leica MP.
The Canon Sure Shot A-1 underwater camera is nice but there are lots of things I do not like. I do not like how it is fully automatic and depends completely on a battery. That is OK if the camera is digital, but this is film and I want some mechanical and manual options. It is the only camera I have with a dedicated flash so it works great for parties, but I never seem to get any interesting photos. I like the long carrrying strap but the only thing I really like this camera for is being out in the water. I occasionally get an interesting shot like the one below and it requires fast film. I like how I will never think about controls when using this but I usually don’t like its focusing choices or shutter speeds. This camera has a small niche in my heart.
Byron catching a little one at San O. I am crouching on my board while taking this photo right next to him.
I no longer have my polaroid and I will soon be selling my 4×5 since I never use it.