Ctein and I are working hard on the print sale launch today—Wednesday morning is coming up very fast. I'm shooting for 12 noon, going till next Monday at noon.
So here's one of those post ideas that I will never, ever finish. But still, kinda fun.
—If he were in the prime of his career today and shooting digital, what camera would Ansel Adams be using? Answer: Leica S, with a complete set of lenses and the absolute biggest, sturdiest Gitzo carbon-fiber tripod.
—If she were in the prime of her career today and shooting digital, what camera would Margaret Bourke-White be using? Answer: Canon 1D X—two of 'em, on loan from Canon, where she would be a sponsored Explorer of Light.
—If he were in the prime of his career today and shooting digital, what camera would Henri Cartier-Bresson be using? Answer: black Nikon 1 V1 with only the 18.5mm f/1.8 lens and the markings blacked out with electrical tape.
—If he were in the prime of his career today and shooting digital, what camera would Andy Warhol be using? Answer: Apple iPhone 5c with Shakeit Photo faux-Polaroid app.
—If he were in the prime of his career today and shooting digital, what camera would Galen Rowell be using? Answer: beat-up and bruised Canon Rebel T3i and no more than three mid-level lenses.
Anybody got any more? (I'm waiting with bated breath for Hugh Crawford to weigh in on this one....)
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Hugh Crawford: "Oh the pressure...
Helmut Newton—Hasselblad H4D-40
Diane Arbus—Sony R1
Richard Avedon—Sinar arTec with a Phase One IQ260 Achromatic back
Irving Penn—Sony A7r with Zeiss Sonnar
Julia Margaret Cameron—Sony A7r with a magnifying glass on a paper towel tube
Bill Brandt—Sony A7r with pinhole
Tina Modotti—whatever Edward Weston is using
Lee Miller—whatever Man Ray is using , no make that Robert Capa, no Picasso
Jacques Henri Lartigue—Fujifilm FinePix Real3D
Andy Warhol—Nikon's Coolpix S1000pj, the one with a built-in projector or Polaroid Z2300 that prints instant photo stickers
Harold Edgerton—Vision Research Phantom V
Stanley Kubrick—Hubble space telescope
"(No disrespect intended to Lee Miller, go, be amazed.)"
Chris Vogl: "I thought that Mr. Rowell was a Nikon man."
Mike replies: Oops, you're right, my bad.
David Emerson: "Winogrand: Ricoh GR."
Adam Long: "Myself and my climbing photographer friends have discussed the Galen question long and hard. The reason being, there still isn't a digital equivalent to an FM2 and a couple of primes. We're a lot closer now with Fuji's recent offerings, but they don't fit into a bigger pro system in the way Galen's kit did. If he stuck with Nikon SLRs, I'd guess a D3200 with 16–85mm."
Mike Plews: "AA was shooting Hasselblad V series cameras at the end of his life. My bet would on a digital back for same."
Marcin Wuu: "Karsh would definitely use Phase One's IQ260 Achromatic."
Bob Blakley: "Galen would almost certainly still be using a Nikon; his lifetime collection of lenses would be reason enough. A D5300 would be my guess. And oh how I wish he were still here to answer the question for himself. Gone too soon."
darr: "Berenice Abbott: Alpa cameras (XY, Max and Alpa SWA; possibly Seitz Roundshot as well), with superior lenses. She would invent tools and/or techniques that would create unusual effects on her images, not HDR or other like-minded gimmicks, but effects that would promote her desire to be a 'straight shooter.'"
John Krumm: "Adams would definitely be shooting medium format at least, but from what I remember he also liked his little Contax for candids, so he might have a GX7 when out with friends. I know he looked forward to digital. Perhaps a company, seeking attention, would design an Ansel special, a large format digital. He would use it a few times and then go back to medium format because of size. Thanks to metering improvements his zone system would not exist. Also, due to legions of depressing copycats he would eventually switch to full time concert piano."
sneye: "Some of my own favorites (photographers, that is):
Andre Kertesz—an unassuming, small camera. Perhaps a GX7 or an X-E2.
Larry Burrows—a D700, no doubt.
Mario Giacomelli—hard to say. He never paid much attention to his tools. Maybe an E-P2 with the accessory viewfinder.
Edward Steichen—a 5DIII
Edouard Boubat—a Leica M
Alexander Rodchenko—something truly proletarian, maybe a Sony RX100
Bill Brandt (before the war; I'm not impressed by his later work)—a K-5
Yousuf Karsh—a Leica S
Eugene Smith—a D800E. He wouldn't have been able to resist."