Letting go of the past

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As a big proponent of Sony and Fuji mirror less cameras, I find myself dumping old dinosaurs left and right into what one day will become the DSLR Tar Pits of the 21st century. There is no denying it. Unless your are totally blind, in denial, drinking the Cool-Aid and needing to justify for yourself why you purchased a big clunky DSLR’s recently, the way of the future, for both pro and consumer users is clearly in the Sony and Fuji realm. With every new generation of an A7 or XT series camera, we get better technology, performance and new lenses which make looking back more and more difficult. However, there are a few dinosaurs that are irreplaceable and modern technology is not competing against. Thus, their existence is justifiable and accepted by many including myself.

Although 95% of my shooting these days is with a Sony digital camera, my Nikon F6 along with the 50mm 1.2 AIS and 28mm 2.8 AIS stay in a dedicated bag which I reach for when I feel the need to better connect with my subjects, capture a look that should be classic, think twice before depressing the shutter release button and have archival properties which will outlast a dead drive or file format change. Sometimes shooting film is just simply more gratifying then shooting digital and the Nikon F6 delivers a unique experience with the older lenses that is difficult to match. Not to mention an infallible metering system that is probably still one of the best you can find on any camera. There are many photographers out there who still use such a mechanical beauty with outstanding results. For a more in depth look at this wonderful camera, I highly recommend visiting the Nikon F6 project at www.nikonf6.net .

Nikon F6


Nikon F6


Other dinosaurs although smaller than your typical SLR which bring you a similar experience but require even more control are the older Leica M cameras. Although their newer digital cameras are somewhat laughable due to their lack of innovation, See http://jorgetorralba.com/2014/11/22/ground-control-to-leica-where-is-your-mojo/ for more on this, their older M film cameras are the cornerstones for most street photographers. Still used regularly with impressive results, the M3, M4, M6 and M7 are still as good today as they were in their introductions.

Leica MP
Leica MP
Leica MP
Leica MP


Even though we love our old cameras, praise their reliability and feel nostalgic about the way it was, we must accept the inevitable progression of technology and embrace it for what it’s worth. Sony and Fuji have managed to give us the tools of tomorrow today while still letting us connect to the past with their designs and functionality. And I say tools of tomorrow today, because the larger companies which hold the majority of the market share like Nikon and Canon are still living in the past while Sony and Fuji are clearly looking ahead. In Nikons defense, they did introduce the Nikon DF but the camera was not well received after much hype and failing to meet consumer expectations.

1 Comment on Letting go of the past

  1. On US aircraft carriers (the last I checked), someone is tasked to shoot the sun with a sextant every day, to determine position. In an age of hyper-precise GPS, what’s the damned point?

    Same as shooting film now and again and maintaining fluency in a discipline long ago forgotten by most everyone.

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