Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee: Fresh Point of View

For the last ten years, almost all of my photography has been digital color photography.  Starting with Nikon SLR cameras and lenses and after a couple of years, moving over to Epson rangefinder equipment.

The Nikon cameras/lenses are measured in pounds.  The Nikon equipment includes some fifteen lenses and two film along with two digital bodies.  A lot of stuff and a load to carry around. About the only times I have used the Nikon tools are for action/sports and projects that require very large prints.  In the last ten years maybe five times!

The Epson digital rangefinder cameras are somewhat smaller and lighter.  The lenses, smaller and lighter than the Nikon's, are also used on my 35mm Leica film camera bodies.  The Leica cameras have seen little use as they tend to be saved for black and white film work. Both the Epson and Leica cameras/lenses are not automatic focusing.  Rather the photographer has to focus first and then exposure follows.  They are not too useful for fast action/sports.  Also, they do not accept zoom lenses.

The equipment most often used these days would be the Panasonic micro four thirds digital cameras and lenses. With three zoom lenses and two camera bodies, I can cover a larger range - 18mm to 400mm - more then with either the Nikon or the Epson systems.  In addition the Panasonic equipment is measured in ounces rather than pounds and fits into a small camera bag. 

Almost all of my earlier photography was black and white.  Starting with medium format - 6x9, 6x7 - and working with film.  Later on, added 4x5 and 5x7 cameras and lenses.  The large format - 4x5, 5x7 - equipment has not seen the light of day for fifteen years.  Too good to sell and too heavy to use!

Last week pulled out of hiding the large and medium format cameras and lenses.  These were only used for black and white photography.  While not quite ready to give up on large format, decided  the 6x7 medium format needed to change. 

With two Pentax 6x7 SLR camera bodies - in case one failed - and twelve lenses plus assorted meters, viewfinders, etc., two large camera bags were filled to the brim.  To carry two bags very far is not a good choice and even one would be a challenge.

 Now I have had most of this Pentax stuff for over 20 years. In the last five years I have used it only twice and one time was as a test to see if it still worked. With a deep breath, the two bags and a big cup of coffee, off to a local camera store.

Earlier this year, made a promise to do more black and white photography.  Finding 35mm equipment not up to my large print standards and right now the 4x5 not easy to carry, medium format is the selected size.  Need to find cameras and lenses that are smaller, lighter, and can be carried with some ease. 

With a great deal of looking, lifting and holding settled on Mamiya 7 II system.  Traded in the Pentax and left with a Mamiya 7 II rangefinder body and two lenses - 43mm and 65mm.  These lenses are close to the 35mm format 21mm and 35mm lenses.  Almost all my photographs in the last couple of years have been in the range of 21 and 35mm.  Only two lenses and one body.  A nice, useful, light, load.

Example of the 65mm lens:

                                                                 Richmond, Indiana.

Example of 43mm lens:

                          Richmond, Indiana.

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