how does your camera, lens &c help you ?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, May 22, 2018.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    there are thousands of types of cameras and probably thousands of kinds of lenses.
    but we are drawn to and use a camera+lens that works right/feels right/does what we expect //

    i guess that is why people upgrade or change the camera /lens they use because
    it doesn't fit their aesthetic ..

    how does the "stuff" you use work with the kinds of photographs you make ?
    this could also be darkroom related .. seeing its the print that matters to so many folks ...
    if the first question doesn't work how does your enlarging lens help you get what you want..

    thanks !
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  2. MattKing

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    Each of my three Mamiya medium format systems are really well designed for someone like me who is strongly left handed and has limited dexterity in the right hand.
    Each of my Olympus OM bodies work well for me as well.
     
  3. chip j

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    MY enlarging lenses are to die for! Doesn't matter which lens was used to make the neg, it'll only look like a particular enlarging lens looks.
     
  4. Theo Sulphate

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    Maybe nine months ago I started a project or theme I called "everyday scenes", followed by "too common" -- the idea being to photograph those things that were so familiar to me that I wouldn't've thought them worthy of a photograph. I knew, however, that when I made photos as a very young kid, making photos of just nearly anything, those photos had value later on. This was the basis for my project.

    The camera and lens combination that seemed to fit this project well was my Nikkormat FT2 and a pre-AI 28/3.5 Nikkor-H. I thought the lens was most important because its wide angle gave me the image of the subject as I wanted to remember it. This was an unusual choice for me, since I prefer 35mm to 85mm most of the time. As for the Nikkormat, I enjoyed its simple and straightforward operation, yet I found a need to use all its features, such as the self timer.

    Even in this relatively short time since embarking on these projects, I've found many of the photos worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  5. Ian Grant

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    I'd turn the question around and ask first how do cameras and lenses hinder you, that's how I came to buy one camera which I really enjoy using and I've made may exhibition prints with.

    Like Matt I have a Mamiya MF SLR system, in my case a 645, I found it limiting occasionally because there were no movements and I was losing occasional (landscape) shots because I couln't achieve enough DOF. So I bought a Wista 45DX just over 30 years ago, wonderful camera that I enjoy using, however a change in circumstances 12 years ago and I move abroad, I needed to shoot hand-held where tripods aren't permitted, so I acquired a Crown Graphic - but back to the issue of poor movements much much more necessary with LF than MF. I struggled for a year with the poor movements on the Crown Graphic.

    Then "Eureka" a cheap Graflex Super Graphic was listed on the Forums, and so I bought it - OK it had minor issues but was usable, I had to use a Graflk focus frame/GG screen off a monorail camera initially . Eventually I got the parts to restore it properly.

    So now with a robust camera with sufficient movements for my landscape work and some light weight lenses I have an LF kit that fits a small sports backpack, is very quick and easy to use whether hand-held or on a tripod. Lenses are a 90mm f6.8 Angulon, 150mm CZJ f4.5 T (coated) Tessar and a 203mm f7.7 Ektar

    So back to John's original question, the Super Graic camera and lenses give me the flexibility to help make all the images I visualise, and I can work fast shooting LF hand-held where needed. I guess what also surprised me was how easy hand held LF work is.

    Ian
     
  6. blockend

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    I can forgive my gear anything so long as it's light.
     
  7. guangong

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    From another viewpoint, among the cameras accumulated over the years, my Kiev Contax II seems unwieldy and never used while Contax IIa fits like a glove; Fuji GF670 folder has wonderful viewfinder and takes great pics but camera just doesn’t seem balanced when holding, with 50mm lens Canon P feels clunkier than my other ltm cameras. Cameras that just seem built for my hands: Leica, Leicaflex, Hasselblad and Rolleiflex TLR. And my recently (for me) Medalist, when in case. Almost forget...Minox. Rollei 35.
    Weight in not a problem for me, but I prefer compact. Most of my cameras are old friends.
     
  8. eddie

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    Sometimes mine point in the wrong direction, and press the shutter. I hate when they do that. :wink:
     
  9. TonyB65

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    My Pentax 67 and Super Takumar 105mm F2.4 give me a look I haven't been able to replicate with any other camera/lens combination. This has encouraged me to use this camera/lens combination for most of my medium format shots, and taught me the discipline of shooting one focal length for almost all of the time. This in turn often leads to compositions and shots I wouldn't have considered. Some people might consider the equivalent of 50mm quite narrow and constraining, I haven't found that at all and this combination often feels wider than it actually is.
     
  10. slackercrurster

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    OP...there are a lot of things that go into my camera decisions. Ergonomics and performance are the main things. Back in the 70's I used mainly 4 cams...Nikon F, Leica M3, Hassy SWC and a 4x5 Toyo View. I got rid of the 4 x 5 after a year or so, just did not fit my style of work. When times were tough I had to sell a lot of my gear to live. My last 35mm got stolen and I replaced it with a new $99 Pentax K1000 body and a used $25 lens. This was back in the 1980's.

    The Pentax produced fine and continued to use it for decades.

    Shot with the Pentax K1000 and 50mm - 1982

    [​IMG]

    In 2018, most digital cams will produce decent photots. 35mm neg film equals to about 3 or 4 mp with a P&S, so everything we got on the market in digital is way above that. The problem with modern cams is they are very complex. We used to only worry about focus, shutter and aperture. Nowadays there are a zillion menu choices. For some reason the engineers decided to screw up the cam with a program dial. And some are even worse with having to use the menu to adjust shutter speeds.

    I need easy to carry, compact cameras that can be adjusted without looking at them, just count the clicks...how many of them are like that nowadays?

    The focus has to have manual focus and aperture options. No times for AF issues.

    You can do it with a Leica, but I didn't use a Leica to shoot this shot below, I used a Fuji that was made 'Leica like' for the red room shot in Amsterdam. It is candid, taken in very low light in a local where photography is illegal. I would have preferred something smaller, like the mini Oly M43, but they are hell to manually adjust on the fly. (I have a book of these shots, so it is not a fluke.)

    [​IMG]

    I also do a lot of circular fisheye work. The cam has to be able to shoot sharp circular fisheye...that leaves the Fuji out.

    [​IMG]

    I do lot of shots from the hip, the camera has to be able to be shot with one hand easily, no AF lag whether IR flash or not. Much of what I shoot is in the dark or low light. EASY zone focus ability is a must.

    [​IMG]

    Infrared flash photo​

    If you are shooting landscapes and posed work where you can take your time, then almost any cam will do. All I can say is gear is of the utmost importance for what I shoot.

    But it goes way beyond gear. If gear was the answer, the richest photogs would should the best shots...but they don't. The gear is like using the right paint and brushes, they don't make the artist, they just allow the artist to create properly.

    Here is the bottom line with gear...

    If the gear can do it, but you can't...it is your fault.

    If you can do it, but the gear can't...it is the gears fault.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  11. pdeeh

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    Your cameras are clearly not expensive enough
    ...
     
  12. Ko.Fe.

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    M4-2 with Summarit-M 35 2.5.

    M4-2 has been numerous times in service to keep it working for me. It might benefit from more additional service to be in top shape, but...
    I came to M Leica after trying many cameras types and RF cameras. It is only one where film advance feels right, shutter sound is OK and I could select any speed I need with one finger and without looking at camera.
    And it is free of batteries and electronics. And it is easy to load once you finally read the manual. And it just feels right. In hands and on my upper belly. :smile:
    I had working in great shape M3 ELC DS and I had no issues M4-2. I sold them I kept only beaten (for real) M4-2. It has been in so many places with me...

    Summarit-M 35 2.5. Purchased new. It is registered under my name with Leica. I have tried many other 35mm lenses before, including Leitz made.
    This one is simply the best. I could focus it fast with one finger and I could change aperture by one finger as well. It never disappointed me.
    After looking at very first darkroom print I knew it never will.

    My kinds are in observation.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. michael_r

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    I don't understand the question.
     
  14. TheRook

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    For me, choice of equipment is less abut aesthetics but more about practicality. For example, if I'm on a trip that is not primarily based on photography, a compact 35mm camera that won't get in the way will be a better choice than carrying around a large format camera.
     
  15. Vaughn

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    Well, I only contact print, so if I want a bigger print, I need a bigger camera. I need more experience with my 11x14 before I am as comfortable with it as I am with my smaller cameras (Rolleiflex, 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10). My lenses tend to be 'normal', but I do have some variety now.

    I appreciate the directness of going from seeing to the GG to the contact print (alt processes). The camera becomes part of the whole..perhaps I am not there yet with the 11x14, but I have gotten some good results amongst the failures. One of the early successes with the 11x14 (carbon print):
     

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  16. I like Hasselblads because of the large prism viewing screen that eliminates the left right reversal, the sharpness and quality of the Zeiss lenses, the interchangeable film backs and the large negative.
     
  17. George Mann

    George Mann Member

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    All of my negatives begin at about 78MP!
     
  18. OP
    OP
    jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    specific format, lens, lens type, not so much ergonomics although
    i am guessing people might say thoughtul design=better photos ?

    certain camera give you a "look" &c ? or every photograph every camera exactly the same ?
     
  19. Eric Rose

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    I'm a bit of a chameleon in that I adapt to any camera lens combo I take out. Generally whatever lens is on the camera when I go out is the one I use for the day. What I take photos of is determined by this combo.

    When I look back I would have to say that my favourite combo(s) is(are) my Blad + 50mm, Leica + 35mm, Nikon D700 + 24-120 and to round it out my 4x5 and a 135mm. Now that I am using a Panasonic G85 m43 camera for 90% of my work the lens of choice seems to be a 20mm.
     
  20. Ian Grant

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    I was watching a Youtube video of Roger Taylor talking about how Fay Godwin worked a couple of days ago, I've met them both - Roger was one of my tutors 15/16 years ago and I spent 5 days travelling with Fay on a workshop, I bumped into her again not log before she died, in Battle near Hastings.

    Roger mentioned that Fay's camera work was intuitive, an extension of herself. There's nothing magic, it comes with experience and knowing your equipment. In my case it must be subconscious most of the time, I know it's not a reasoned conscious thought at least not something that can be expressed verbally.

    Ian
     
  21. Berkeley Mike

    Berkeley Mike Member
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    The conscious part is working the machine controls but I try to get through that quickly so as not to lose the creative inspiration. My Fujifilm X100T fits the bill; all the manual controls I like, fast focus (auto or manual), light and small. I've gotten quick at custom color balance. A pleasure to carry around with it's slim profile under 1 pound, fixed 23mm.

    It provides me access to images I might not have troubled to take with my other cameras. That is a non-intuitive part: I see something that strikes me, I don't ask questions or struggle with the camera.
     

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  22. jtk

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    The specific camera is, for me, less important than my processing (of film or digital).

    The only camera I've actually liked wasn't a camera, it was the Leica 35mm bright frame viewfinder sitting on top of my Leica IIF.

    That IIF played second fiddle to that viewfinder. I like Rodinal 1+100 nearly as much as I liked that IIF, but not as much as I liked that viewfinder. I have total confidence in two mirrorless digital cameras, but they're really just ghostly participants in my image-making. Got a pair of Pentax MEsupers...lovely little toys but I've yet to do them justice.
     
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