Tuesday, 11 February 2020

An Alternative For Light Carry

The Pumpkin Pile 
Nikon FE, Nikkor-H 28mm f3.5, Fuji Superia 400

I've been pondering what's the best light carry option for me. I realized that I had a potential option sitting right next to me.

What is it? My Nikon FE. It's fairly small, reasonably light (590g), gorgeous viewfinder, obvious controls.

So I took it to work today. I'm reminded why I still like shooting manual focus film SLR's, They're still the nicest cameras to shoot for me. Simple, direct, obvious controls, nothing unexpected, ideal size and I love the experience.

The downside, and it pains me to say this, is it's film. Now I was a film hold-on for a good decade after most everybody had switched, but these days I'm pretty set on digital, largely due to the workflow advantages. I like being able to take a shot and get it out on Instagram in seconds. Film slows that down, a lot. And that's even though I do develop my own B&W film.

So what does that mean for me? Not sure, I'll still shoot film on occasion, as I do still enjoy shooting it, but I think at this point film is a niche for me, not a daily shooter. That's a big change to admit for a guy who shot significant amounts of film through 2012, and at a lower rate through the end of 2017. Oh, and I'm still looking for the right light carry camera.

Honestly, I'd kill if somebody made an F mount digital body that was basically an FE or FM. The Epson R-D1 or the Leica MD would be the model. Good sensor, classic viewfinder (95% is fine, as long as it's big) controls for ISO, shutter speed and maybe WB, RAW only and a small display or gauge for card space & battery. maybe add Aperture Priority and exposure comp/AE lock. That's it, that's all. Use a small battery like an EN-EL14 and I'd even be happy with microSD, although SD is preferred. Really, this is what the Df should have been, rather than a D600-ish with a new top/front.

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