« TOP Classic: 'The Trough of No Value' | Main | OK, So Show Us Your Favorite »

Friday, 17 February 2017

Comments

I've been scratching my head, even tried doing it literally, and I just can't come up with one.

I've had many favorite cameras, usually, fortunately, one I was using. But a "favorite-ever"?

I can even imagine a next favorite, the E-M5 III I hope will come along, with all the improvements in the E-M1 II, plus a much faster HR Mode and whatever other new trick they can come up with. But I don't imagine it to be favorite forever.

In a way, it's like asking my favorite pair of pliers. I have many, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Each can do useful things that the others can't, so how can I have a favorite?

In another way, it seems part of the Western cultural gestalt, certainly part of my American experience. Growing up, people, and other kids, are always asking what's your favorite color, game, food, and so on.

It's like we want to define, and be defined, based on a simple set of expressed preferences.

I don't get it. The world is full of amazing colors, amazing flavors, amazing places, anazing people, amazing things . . .

I loved my '55 Chevy, '68 BMW, 71 Porsche 911, '76 Audi 5000CS turbo Quattro. I love my 95 Olds convertible and our Sprinter based travel van. They've all been favorites; I don't have to pick one.

Do I like Harriet better than Junia? Rob better than John? All are important to me. And the truth is that all have good and bad qualities that overlap. They are all favorites. I'm surrounded by favorites; what a wonderful life!

We have a friend I dearly love. She's more like family than some family. We seem to be connected by something undefined, but larger than both of us. If I had to live with her for more than a few days visit, one of us would go mad and/or try to kill the other. That just doesn't fit in the simple paradigm of favorites.

I hope this is a fun one for everyone else. Due to dis-ability, I'm sitting it out.

"If you can't be with one favorite, love the one you are with."

470 pixels? I know this template is a little restrictive... maybe it's time for an update?

Oh Mike!
In all my life have never photographed my photographic device, ever! First it would require a second camera which I have often never had the money to purchase and hence own or use. Who photographs their tools as a camera is a tool that is utilized to record images on tinplate/glass/plastic/computer chip (take your choice).

All noted however the current "tool/camera" is me, or what passes as me. My memory records/remembers what my aging eyes see, translate to an image (most of the time) which again retains said image for future reference. Suspect dementia or death or something not foreseen will forever erase said images in a future scenario however the moment of current existence of camera memory is right now as I type this reply. And the camera is me, myself and eye(sic).

Kinda like which of your children do you love the most.

Correct as always Mike - I STRONGLY suggest that you do NOT Google the term "Camera P**n"..... NSFW, and definitely NSF old guys.

I had to turn this assignment over a few times, in order to come up with what I knew I was going to come up with before I began.

Is my favorite camera the one I had the most fun using, the one I did my best work with, the one I most appreciate, or the one I most admire? Is there one camera that could fulfill all those categories?

I had a lot of fun using the Nokia 3650 cameraphone, back when phones that took pictures were called cameraphones, and using one to take pictures a foolish thing to do. In the strictest sense it really isn't a camera, so while it warrants mention, maybe, it's out of consideration.

I did a lot of good work with my first SLR, but as I think back I can't even be sure which camera that was. It was either the Mamiya/Sekor 1000 TL or the Pentax Spotmatic SP. I don't remember which of them I owned first, but I do remember hearing people fiercely advocate the superiority of screw-mount over that new-fangled thing called bayonet mount. Yes, that was still happening in the 1970s. Hard to know what they were on about now. In any event, since I don't remember which was first, I won't include either of them.

I later got a lot of good work done with the Nikon FE, but by that time was wearing eyeglasses, and had to strain to see the whole frame through the viewfinder. Not much fun.

I admire the Leica M3, but the closest I've come to owning one is the Leica M6 - not the same thing, alas.

For me there is only one camera that combines fun, good work, appreciation, and admiration in equal measure, and that is the Nikon F3HP.

Tremendous reliability, zero shutter lag, intuitive controls, and, best of all, a huge, bright, clear, completely uncluttered viewfinder, probably the best viewfinder ever.

I once met a US Air Force lieutenant at a camera show who was buying his seventh F3HP. "Why so many?" I asked. "Because," he replied, "I love this camera so much, I want to make sure I have at least one that works for the rest of my life." This was back when we were mostly shooting film. I wonder what he's using now?

I see the only digital camera I've mentioned isn't even a camera, it's a phone. (I also notice none of them is autofocus.) So let me put in a word - an honorable mention, we'll call it - for my good friend, the Ricoh GR. Life would not be as pleasant without it.

I'm sure I won't be the first to mention this, but when I saw Ger Lawlor's admonition not to google "camera porn" whatever you do, I immediately did what probably we all did and googled it. That's how I found a great Tumblr blog called Camera Porn, which describes itself as "A blog of sexy pictures of things that take sexy pictures of things. No actual porn, though. Sorry." Definitely worth checking out.

I guess I put my reply above under the wrong post. Not sure how I managed that one. Oh, well, at least it won't get lost in the crowd, haha.

It's also interesting that in terms of its user interface and method of use, the Ricoh GR has far more in common with the Nokia 3650 than it does the Nikon F3HP. In fact, they are close enough that the GR could be mistaken for a direct descendant of the 3650, with vastly improved imaging capabilities and the telephony removed.

The Fujifilm X-T cameras harken back to the F3HP, and are obviously similar, but as much as I like the Fujifilm cameras I'm not entirely convinced by them. Probably it's the electronic viewfinder I find lacking. It confers certain advantages, but on the whole can't compare to an optical finder, particularly that found in the F3HP.

The ideal, for me, would be an APS-C sensor in a Nikon F3HP body. Or, the F3HP viewfinder in the X-T body. But we know the former won't happen because no one in authority at Nikon has his head on straight. And we know the latter won't happen because there is far less margin in a proper optical viewfinder.

I always wanted a Kowa 66 (or was that a Kowa 6?) but I never owned one. A friend in art school loaned me a Rollei F with a prism, which I loved, and in the 1980s I put down my 5x7 Prinzdorf (Deardorf knockoff) for a Rollei E with prism. I shot with that for a good decade before moving to digital sometime in 2003.

But the camera I most fondly recall was my Leica C-III (or was that a III-C?). It sits in a drawer, collapsable Summicron attached, and if the day comes when I could have a digital chip installed I'd do it in a heartbeat. I love the way that camera looks, and all Leicas have a "feel" few other cameras do (although my Pentax K1 comes close--even my Leicaphile friend Link agrees on that.)

The comments to this entry are closed.