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what's the best camera you ever owned?

Discussion in 'photo' started by Rockmeister, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    In retrospect, true, but it came at a time where I was out most days taking a lot of shots, so it tipped the balance to the FF 610. No regrets on image quality!

    Oly trip was my parents camera, which I inherited later and took my first 'serious' shots with. Splendid thing.
  2. albireo

    albireo pfm Member

    For me it would be my Olympus OM2n and my Nikon F100. I thought they both were the peak of two design philosophies and the culmination of years of improvements. Both did little wrong and I think the only reason for them having been forgotten is the transition to digital photography, rather than, arguably, real advancement in camera design.

    I've searched long and hard for their replacement in the digital age, without success. Nikon DX bodies were a compromise of sort - I've had a few and never warmed up to them. Nikon FX bodies were too bulky, expensive and to me simply a step backward in terms of design philosophy compared to the F100. As for the OM2n, having playing with a few OM-D models I thought these were no digital age OM2n. I tried a Fuji X-T10, but wasn't convinced.

    Interestingly, I have now abandoned digital photography, after a 10 years exploration of my options, and gone back to film photography. I've defined a mixed analog/digital workflow that works nicely for me, and I must say I haven't had such fun with photography for ages. There is something to be said about the limits of film as a creative tool: I don't shoot sports, action or kids. I don't want to spend hours tinkering on Photoshop playing with potentially interesting images that might become interesting after a 'facelift'. I don't do videos. I enjoy having 36 chances to get it right (actually 12, as I've now moved to medium format). What I really want, and it sounds I'm not alone in this, is a minimalistic lightbox which will let me take decisions via three variables only: focus, aperture and shutter speed. All the rest is imho not only irrelevant for photographic composition, but in a way even deleterious (but this point would require a different thread).

    The above is an interesting point that fully mirrors my feelings. Somebody suggested that this 'quasi'-luddite way of thinking is correlated with age on this forum. I don't think this is the case. I am younger than the average poster on here, and I know people younger than me who are ditching their big digital cameras and are starting to take photos with old SLR they bought on ebay or at a flea market. These people, unlike me, never tried film photography when it was mainstream. I guess some would call them hipsters, but I feel there is something more to it. Perhaps people are searching for a different photographic experience, one that was common until 25 years ago and has mostly been lost.
    Jonathan and eternumviti like this.
  3. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod


    The Df is a great camera if you're out and about all day. It's Nikon's lightest full-frame DSLR and its battery lasts for many hundreds of shots. The D600/D610 is a great choice, too, so I can see why you have no regrets.

    FWIW, my favourite and possibly best camera is a Nikon FM3a. It's a luverly thing, especially with the 45mm f2.8 pancake lens.


    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Gromit, albireo and Rockmeister like this.
  4. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    I agree. Until you have worked in a darkroom (I exclude colour negative, since this is SO damned hard to get right, and I have TWO certified colour darkroom courses under my belt and never once got a great print...tho it may be just me) I don';t hink you can quite get the 'craft' and the satisfaction it brings. But I AM an old git !
    albireo likes this.
  5. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Film: Contax RX, closely followed by 167MT, 139, though I still have, and love my Rollei 35B.
    Digital: Fuji X-T1 functionally, though the X-E2 and X100 are rather more lovable.

    Cameras I never bonded with - Cannon 300D, 5D
  6. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    Might make a more interesting thread!! Canon 6D would be on my list.

    I'm pretty much a digital lad, having used digital cameras since 1994, my favourites X-T2 and X100F, if I had to choose one it would be the latter, for me beautiful tactile feel, the right size, and they give me the results I want.
  7. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    apologies...feel free to start it going.
  8. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    It was meant in jest, hence the !!

    No offence meant
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan pfm Member

    I've been thinking a lot about this phenomenon in general terms lately. There was a very good quote in the documentary (not about photography) 'What the future sounded like' - about the evolution of the synthesizer and the bbc radiophonic workshop - in speaking about the use of computers with music production, that said something to the effect of - 'to allow the options offered by the machine to drive the task at hand is the death of creativity - rather it is IDEAS which must fuel the project' - it's a bad paraphrase - but basically means that dealing with overly complex software offering myriad 'options' and submenus - one is beholden to 'pecking' at and being limited BY the machine ... whereas working in a much simpler optical/chemical process like tradional film photography - the process is no longer 'opaque' but transparent and one can much more easily achieve one's goals ... I think this problem exists wherever one uses 'digital technology'. It can certainly be done - but the process much be made subservient to the intiial goal - and one's ideas must be fully formed before dealing with the computer at all ... I hope this made at least some sense.
    albireo likes this.
  10. MartinC

    MartinC pfm Member

    For film OM1-N and Rollieflex 3.5F Xenar.
  11. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    fine! Grumpy via bad toothache :( apologies to you.
    Mr Perceptive likes this.
  12. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    Yes. Complete sense, but in time, I find there are useful BITS of technology that I can see do improve our ability to capture the image we need. Image stabilisation is faster than a tripod for example, and a boon for nature and sports photographers; focus tracking ditto for the same group. Landscape snappers like me really need none of it, but I am glad of accurate metering with a spot facility, and my eyesight apreciates a well sorted auto focus mechanism.
    Someone upstream suggested Nikons DF, but just look at the menus! Who uses this stuff?
    Jonathan likes this.
  13. Mr Perceptive

    Mr Perceptive Perceptive Member

    Its all part of the digital arms race, but usually you end up using 10% of the features 90% of the time, and vice-versa. Even the Fuji's have very in depth menus now, a long way from the original X100. I think some camera manufacturers need to look at the Leica menu options, just what is needed to take an image, very few menus and very few function buttons.

    I had a play with my original X100 yesterday, two base menu options, Shooting and Setup, I wish I could my later Fuji's into this mode (though there is a MyMenu function to creat your own custom selections)
  14. Robby

    Robby pfm Member

    Makes sense to me too. I think it is far too easy to dig into the menu's on a camera or wait to get the image in Photoshop to solve a problem rather than use our imagination to get the image we want or at least closer to it.

    I realised after a while that I was becoming lazy with my photography and the number of badly composed photos that were not even even straight was getting ridiculous. Get them in photoshop and voila a pretty looking picture but with very little artistic merit.

    A question of shoot first, ask questions later.
    albireo and Jonathan like this.
  15. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    In general, once it’s been set up, the only menu options I usually use are setting ISO and formatting the card. The initial set up can be a pain though.

    Once on holiday I accidentally changed the file format of the Canon DSLR I was using from raw to JPEG and only noticed later in the day. It took me about 15 minutes to find the appropriate menu option to switch it back.
  16. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod


    Given that the someone upstream was probably me, let me just say that when I take pictures I adjust exactly four things directly on my camera using dials rather than menus — focus, aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

    What menus are you referring to?

  17. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    Come on Joe...press the 'menu' button.
    OK you don't have to use them. I run my 610 in either full manual or AP 90% of the time, but every time I pick it up I need to check I didn't knock something, move something, remember to turn off/on auto ISO blah blah. and why have I paid for all tht complex stuff I never use...live view? selfie perfect swinging rear screen? You and I are prehaps experienced snappers, but how do these things help newcomers and learners to direct their energies toward composition, light etc?
    I taught photography for 10 years or so (to 'A' level only but...) and the firstthing you need to do is turn off everything and explain full manual control, and what those things do. Once that is understood and well used, who wants to go backwards and give the machine choices that you should be making?
  18. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod


    Why press a button you don't need to press? The Df can be as easy or as complicated to use as you like. The manual analogue dials on the Df show exactly what setting the user has picked and many of them can be locked, so you never have to worry if the ISO has been accidentally bumped to 25,600 instead of, say, 200.


  19. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    true of almost all digital DLSRs :)
  20. Joe P

    Joe P certified Buffologist / mod

    Apart from Leicas, the X-series Fujis and the Df, which digital camera has manual analogue dials? I don't know of any, though I don't follow the market the way I once did.

    I'd love to have an M-series Leica, but the cost puts it out of reach. (Even their lens caps are stupidly expensive.) The Fujis are wonderful little things. I picked up a used X100 several years ago that I love to pieces. And the Df is the camera of choice for a lot of Nikon fans like me who have a bag full of older AI and AS-S lenses.


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