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Thursday, 28 October 2010


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As someone who uses film cameras exclusively and a non-exclusive Leica owner, I have one question. What's a Hasselblad? :)

I find that over time, you end up shooting with equipment that doesn't "fight" with you and move up, down, and around on the prestige front, until you find stuff you like using. As examples, I got rid of a Nikon when I found myself cringing from the sound of the shutter firing. Likewise I traded a Mamiya RZ for a Contax 645. Some of my best pictures were taken with the Mamiya, but picture taking experience was miserable, start to finish. The Contax, in my opinion, was a high water mark in terms of brilliant design that works with you as you photograph.

Take care,

ah.. and i always thought people were laughing at my jokes.. alas my red logo strap

It's funny because it's true! (Pentax owner here.)

I would add, with regards to Nikons: has really strong wrists and large hands. Seriously, every time I've tried a friend's Nikon, I thought either I was going to drop it or break my wrists.

Great link, not to the snarky post on camera brands -- old stuff -- but to Gordon's blog. Check out the review of Zoe Strauss' "America," his selection of a leadin picture, and the comments that follow. I like his attitude and interests and will spend some time there.

I bought "America" from an Amazon collaborative filter referral and liked the book very much. I grew up not far away from her scene, distance-wise, but far away in terms of social setting.


It's the smattering of truth that makes that blog post so entertaining and funny. At least I'm in the Nikon camp, it could be worse haha. Gordon, thanks for the giggles.

Tom Duffy,

My first Nikon was built like a tank; and sounded like one as well; soon traded for a Ducatti motorcycle and Pentax Hv1.

Well, I'm curious as to what that makes me as I have used extensivly, or owned all the brands Gordon mentions, plus some. Hanimex Praktica, Graflex Speed and a Graflex 35 mm. Hasselblad, nope, no Hasselblads. Rollieflex, yes. Yashica, yes. The mind of Minolta, no.

MJ, I' m thrilled to see you use snarky, though it's going to take some effort on your part to pass your "invention" of curmudge as a verb.

It's his blog, he can print what he wants.
Do we have to agree with his printed comments?

Your choice, because as with all things, choice is the predominating factor.

Next up, Gordon should have a go at (sorry, psychologically profile) those who so completely, pathetically subsume their identity into their hobby that they remove 'adult individual' from their CV/resume and insert 'Nikonian', 'Canonista', 'Pentaxian' etc instead.

Olympus user: I don't like or drink beer. (Wine or single malt whiskey or local home-made brandies.) Peruvian underwear is no different from Malaysian, Indonesian or any other cheap manufacturing location. Don't like French cars. (Don't like German ones, either.)


I like British cars. Which are quite rare around here. :)

And I do believe that the photograph is more important than the camera. :)

So, more or less, spot on. :)))

Actually (and setting aside the human urge to Belong), I do wonder why brand loyalty in photography's become such a striking phenomenon. In ye olde film days, one tended to choose and stick with a particular manufacturer for practical reasons (cost, familiarity, etc), but I don't recall gearhead'ism being more than an occasional irritant, usually encountered at parties, when more sensible folk had already moved quietly away from the saddo in the corner.

We're all perfectly aware that any modern dslr/lens from any manufacturer will produce great images which are effectively indistinguishable from those made with rival gear. So what's to argue about? And why? Do we have more leisure time these days? Or is it the fault of the Web, the happy hunting ground of the world's Usually (and rightly) Ignored?

I occasionally read comments on a particular forum for the pure comedy of it (I use Pentax gear, so you can probably guess which one). The usual suspects (who number about 10-15 souls ) constantly agonize about whether they've made the right choice in sticking with the brand for more than 10 minutes (usually there's a bit about how they've been 'betrayed' by not being let into the manufacturer's strategy for the next decade). That's when they're not posting their weekly update on which 3 new lenses they've bought and which they've let go. Sometimes they post photographs, but I'm not convinced. I don't think they bought cameras to take photos with - what's the point? A minute shooting is one that's not spent typing about gear.

It's nice to have a hobby. Me, I like wandering into old churches - usually, with a camera. But if I started banging on and on about Norman Transitional while dissing the Decorated period, I'd hope some kindly passing stranger would call the head hospital. Why do so many camera fetishists imagine that they've something to say that's worth hearing?

Eeek! I own both Olympus and Leica. So what does this make me--a camera snob with a Brand instead of talent, who has no friends? :-(

....And by the way, I really hate North Korean beer....

Jim McDermott,
Why do so many camera fetishists imagine that they've something to say that's worth hearing?
I think it's the result of a deep, underlying doubt that they bought the right camera. "Not the right camera" could mean a lot of things, but I suspect it mostly means they zoomed in to 100% on a photo they liked, and discovered that they didn't catch as much detail as they thought. And so the rumble of doubt begins, that perhaps they'd have gotten less noise with high ISOs on a Pentax k-5, or sharper edges with Leica glass, or more detail with even more megapixels. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt is how technology is sold, and it works.*

I can criticize, because I've been there, and done that. (The existential doubt, not the bragging.) I have to say, one good cure for that is going to the Imaging Resources comparometer, and printing copies of their test images for the cameras you might want. I did that, and if I hadn't labeled them, I was hard pressed to tell the difference between the cameras I could afford at the print sizes I usually use.

*though I suspect Apple uses their products as a solution to FUD instead of trying to create it. Thus the simple product lines. Do you want it to "just work"? Apple. Do you want handholding for extra dough? Applecare/Genius Bar. Do you want the next best thing? Apple every 12 months. Do you want regular product announcements? Apple, every quarter. Do you want the best x money can buy? Apple. Note that I don't actually own any Apple products except for a 5 year old ipod.

Hey! Me & my IIIf resemble that! Of course, I'm miffed that he didn't snark us antique film abusers (Crown Graphic 4 evah, dahling!).

Thanks for the link. Funny stuff :)

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