|The camera that changed my world (the most)
||[Jan. 7th, 2014|11:28 am]
Medium.com asked me to write about the camera that I miss the most. And while I miss my Leicas, in the sense that I don't use them and I liked to use them, they aren't the camera that changed things the most for me. Without this camera I would be somewhere else today -- it would probably still be a great place, but it would be a different place.
While looking to see if this article had gone up I came across a fight on rec.photo.equipment.35mm that I'd gotten into in 1999 by saying (after getting this camera) that film was dead. It's really interesting now to go back and read all the reasons people had back then about how digital would never catch on and all the comparisons to failed formats like 110 and Kodak Disc.
But anyway, read the article and let me know your thoughts.
Clickenzee to read the article!
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The company for which I worked used a Sony Mavica for catalog, website and user-manual photos; my personal camera then was a Pentax 35mm. I liked the ability to make photos without a darkroom at work and I almost bought the 950 when it came out but ended up waiting a bit and getting the 990 - just a touch smaller and 3.3 megapixel resolution but essentially the same design, flash sync and all. It was a good camera, and I eventually passed it on to a (then) grad student who I think is still using it to document her research.
The Mavica showed me there was somehting to consider in digital, but the Coolpix re-ignited my photography.
2014-01-07 07:04 pm (UTC)
I had a 950, 990 and the final version of the line, a 4500, and I took a lot of pictures with all three. The Macro was wonderful, as was the fish-eye attachment. Somewhere along the line I also picked up 6x and an 8x monoculars that allowed me to pull in some credible distance shots.
I can even credit the focus lag for inspiring me to finally buy a good digital camera (D2H) that took some great pictures at concerts and auto races (and pretty much everywhere else I used it), but the smaller Nikons produced more shots with unexpected beauty.
I know where the 4500 is, unused in several years, and the other two are also in storage, awaiting a reason to experiment...
2014-01-07 07:56 pm (UTC)
I started digital photography with a Coolpix 900; that's what I took this userpic's photo with. (I was demonstrating it to a fellow attendee at a tech conference, so I used a piece of vendor swag and put it on my copy of the proceedings.)
I doubt we'll ever see the complete death of film, since there will always be some who prefer it, but for all intents and purposes, it has entirely fallen away from general use. It's simply easier and cheaper to shoot digital and "develop" it in PhotoShop or whatever program, and the speed of doing this is immensely valuable, as you said. I'll never get rid of my trusty and much-prized Nikon FM, but I don't know that I'll use it much. My darkroom equipment has sat idle for many, many years, and much of it will be donated or something soon. I was, and still am in some ways, resistant to digital, but I could clearly see that it would rapidly supplant film, and it did, even faster than I thought it would.
I donated all my film equipment* to the photography department at the University of Tennessee. They still use film for some things, and want students to have the opportunity to work some with it.
*this still feels like heresy. I haven't used it in over a decade. I've got enough wrong with me that I shouldn't risk exposure to dark room chemicals. I have a hand tremor and a tendency to drop things at random. It's OK that I did this. I'm helping students. Yeah. This still feels like heresy.
this is why i still have my mother's looms packed away in my spare room. i know they would go to good use at the university city arts league.
It does feel a little like heresy, and digital does not have that permanence that film negatives and photo paper have. But once I went to digital, I did not go back.
I think I had the Coolpix 900 - my grandfather gave it to me when he upgraded to the newer shinier digital camera that he could fight with. It died a horrible death after a disagreement with batteries, and I miss it terribly.
The first digital I got was a Canon S1 (?). It had a built in zoom, and they made a waterproof case for it, which for me was a big deal (I was occasionally crewing on a small tallship, and I wanted something that I could use on the boat). The poor thing died a terrible death, but there was a recall so Canon replaced it with what was then current. I still use it as a back-up camera.
But I love film. And I love using a darkroom. Haven't had the opportunity in the last couple of years, but I still have all my gear.