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Author Topic: A Matter of Character  (Read 35005 times)
Mike D. B.
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« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2013, 10:09:02 AM »
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- Pentax Spotmatic F (my first SLR)
- Leica M3 double stroke with dual range 50/2
- Nikon F2

Still quite pleased with my 5D but it can't compare in character with the above.
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marlon127
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« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2013, 10:24:14 AM »
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X1-Pro definitely has a nostalgic feel to it. But it's really just a quirky digital camera.  Kind of like taking a classic car and updating all but the body with modern technology.  But hey if it makes you feel good why not.  I'm personally a bit more partial to the NEX7 it's just got more stuff that I'd use.  My current loves include the Rx1, Fuji GF70, and Leica M6.
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Misirlou
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« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2013, 10:55:58 AM »
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To me character is the quality in a camera that makes me want to just pick it up and go shooting. Particularly if it's one that encourages me to leave less interesting examples behind. My cameras with character get kept forever, rather than sold when some improved tech comes along.

35mm:
Leica IIf RDST
Bolsey B2
Olympus OM1n

MF:
Rolleiflex C and D
Hasselblad 500
Mamiya Press

LF:
Busch Pressman D
(Favorite lenses are Schneider and Fuji)

Honorable Mention:
Bronica RF645
Polaroid SX70
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2013, 11:31:53 AM »
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I had a Nikon FTn, FM and F3 and would say that any one of them was more enjoyable to use than my Canon 1Ds3 but of the group, my favorite memories are of using the FM with it's motor winder.

In an effort to reclaim those "good old days", I recently acquired an XE-1 and the longer I use it, the more endearing it becomes. It's character comes from it's quality, relative simplicity and Fuji seems to show a genuine interest in improving the system to meet the needs of photographers.

Jim
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bobdales
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« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2013, 11:41:10 AM »
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I remember most fondly my Voigtlander Vitessa L-1.  Loved the lens and all the character you get in one camera with barn doors and a plunger.  The digital world is pretty much plain vanilla computerized picture-taking implements until recently.  The Fujis are tempting.
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NancyP
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« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2013, 12:05:57 PM »
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My first camera: my mother's Bakelite box brownie that she gave me at age 7 after she got a new camera. My father's Minox. Now, Sigma DP2M.

My first film SLR, the Mamiya-Sekor 1000D, and my first and currently only digital SLR, Canon 60D, are too straightforward and mainstream to have character.
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Rob C
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« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2013, 12:23:37 PM »
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Exata Varex IIb camera body. Mine came with Zeiss Jena 50mm f2,8 lens. The selftimer and 130 degree left hand film rewind lever gears when activated sounds very subtle mechanically - like when winding a precision pocket watch. The shape of camera body is somewhat triangular and the shutter button can only be operated using left hand as it is located on front left hand side when in use, however very practical when shooting as i am right handed. Has   built in film cutter!


Had the IIa and then the IIb; the Leica models after the R6 tended towards that same wedgie shape. Hated the release on the side of the lenses, though.

Too good an opportunity for a little self-love to let slip away:

;-)

Rob C
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Mexidea
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« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2013, 12:34:51 PM »
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From what Iīve read in the earlier posts older cameras are generally the favourites - and I couldnīt agree more... Maybe age has something to do with that.
The Nikon D800 I now use is a marvellous machine, but character? Not much.
Neither have the other newer cameras Iīve used ("newer" for me, from 1995 and onwards...), e.g. a Canon 5D I borrowed some time ago to get more pixels than the ones my D200 could provide.
I think Iīll give my vote to my Nikon F which I bought in Amsterdam in 1969, a vote influenced also by the memories attached to it. But it does really have some character on itīs own with itīs squarish and not so ergonomic design.
My second choice would be a Thachihara or Ebony 4x5" folding camera, which I unfortunately donīt have.
A photo of my venerable Nikon F is nostalgically attached...
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Grant Stovel
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« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2013, 01:34:39 PM »
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Perhaps the Fuji has character but one wearing a mask and not so sure of itself.

I am nearing the end of a 4 month odyssey to Italy, Greece Ukraine and France.  The Fuji has not inspired me one little bit.  I was using my Canon 5 D with 24-105 and 16-35 .....but after seeing another photographer having fun with her Olympus OMD.....I bought one and had fun ever since....let alone some of the best travel shots I have ever taken.  alas the 32 pounds of other gear remains shut in my Kata...and the Olympus points the way to FUN.

The Fuji is surely a great camera....but not in my hands.

 
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Harlem22
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« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2013, 02:06:05 PM »
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In the real world there's no perfect camera at all. First off all a camera has to fit to your needs. A sports photographer will never be happy with a Ebony.

But then I believe that flaws become character attributes as soon as you are able to master them well while others don't.

Having said this I really enjoy my X-Pro 1. I wouldn't if my wife could master it Grin
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #50 on: April 18, 2013, 02:33:12 PM »
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and since I like taking at least 24 little pictures every second, my favourite camera of all time was the Bolex: Sweet Swiss clockwork precision.



My first professional outing was to shoot 4 different vehicles converging simultaneously at the centre of a 4-way split screen.

Equipped with a matte box with a three-quarter frame matte - plus a few mm for borders, I carefully rewound the film to the same start point for each of the four exposures. When the workprint came in from the lab, I couldn't believe that it actually worked. From that moment on I loved the Bolex  Kiss

(I still have the Gossen LunaSix Pro meter I used then...alas the camera was never mine)
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Christopher Sanderson
The Luminous-Landscape
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« Reply #51 on: April 18, 2013, 03:03:03 PM »
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While its true that no camera I've come across is perfect the cameras that I own that I feel have character are my M9, my Sigma DP2Merrill and my recently purchased Fuji X100s for similar and not so similar reasons. I've also owned a Canon IDs MkII, a Nikon V1, a Canon Rebel, a Leica X1, a Ricoh GRDII and a Panasonic LC1 none of which had character though most were good cameras. Somehow they were lacking in that je ne sais quoi necessary for character.

The three cams which I feel have character all feel responsive to me and my kind of shooting. It's as though I've bonded with them and they sing my song.

I love that my M9 is brassing and that I can use a lens designed, built and used by someone else in 1950s. I love the look of the files it creates. I love that its digital brain is embedded in a historically significant mechanical body that so many great photographers have used. I love that I don't have to dive into menus on an LCD screen to change settings for my shots. There are plenty of things which annoy me about the camera too.

From the moment i first held my Sigma DP2M it felt goldilocks right, not too big, not too small. It just fit in my hand in such a comfortable way. Within minutes I figured out how to use the thing, it was just logical and simple. And when I saw the files I literally became giddy. Blimey!

The fuji x100s has some of the historical character of the Leica from that wonderful scrolly script on the top plate to dials in just the right places and a view finder that allows me to work appropriately to the situation at hand.  It just feels and works like how I've come to think a camera should feel and work. And the image quality hasn't disappointed. I enjoy using it.

I know that one man's ceiling is another man's floor but the 3 above cams for me are tools I'm keeping.
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massimo.gori
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« Reply #52 on: April 18, 2013, 03:35:09 PM »
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I was waiting for this article, Michael, and I knew that one of these days you had to write it.

One year with the x-pro1, all the four primes, several thousands pictures... And now I am wondering how I could live with a DSLR all the years before.
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WalterEG
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« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2013, 03:59:11 PM »
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and since I like taking at least 24 little pictures every second, my favourite camera of all time was the Bolex: Sweet Swiss clockwork precision.

Chris,

I shared your passion for the Bolex until I got a job in television and thereby began a long and torrid affair with the Arriflex 16 ST.  The Arri was pin registered and so the image was very stable.

Thanks for reminding me that I had a life before stills.  I had almost forgotten entirely.

Walter
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2013, 04:21:59 PM »
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Yes, I too moved on to the Arri 16s, but the electric motor was not nearly as sexy as that Swiss clockwork - and I kept sending those damned mag cores to the lab!
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Christopher Sanderson
The Luminous-Landscape
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« Reply #55 on: April 18, 2013, 04:48:18 PM »
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I hear you Chris, and I probably agree about the clockwork aspect.  Mind you, the Bell & Howell 70DR had a clockwork mechanism that was part of agricultural machinery, but it too had a charm.  I covered a lot of Vietnam moratorium stuff with the Arri back in the day and it might have been that grip arrangement that gave the security in a riot of feeling that you were in some way armed with a weapon of defense.

Crikey, it was the 60s — how long ago was that!
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #56 on: April 18, 2013, 04:54:12 PM »
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...I covered a lot of Vietnam moratorium stuff with the Arri back in the day and it might have been that grip arrangement that gave the security in a riot of feeling that you were in some way armed with a weapon of defense.

exactly! Arri felt like a meaningful Teutonic weapon - whereas the Bolex was covered in fine 'Morocco Leather'  Cheesy - what was that anyway? - camel?
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Christopher Sanderson
The Luminous-Landscape
Rob C
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« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2013, 05:00:45 PM »
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I hear you Chris, and I probably agree about the clockwork aspect.  Mind you, the Bell & Howell 70DR had a clockwork mechanism that was part of agricultural machinery, but it too had a charm.  I covered a lot of Vietnam moratorium stuff with the Arri back in the day and it might have been that grip arrangement that gave the security in a riot of feeling that you were in some way armed with a weapon of defense.

Crikey, it was the 60s — how long ago was that!



For me, that's when real life began; before that was a period of twiddling my thumbs waiting for the time to come. Seems like last year.

Without that decade, nothing in my life would have happened. Which might have been handy for LuLa, though.

Oh well - enjoyed it while it lasted; it can never happen again because all innocence has been lost - everywhere.

Rob C
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michael
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« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2013, 05:12:17 PM »
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The Bolex pic almost brought a tear to my eye. Regrettably never owned one, but used to covet them. Only a Questar telescope provoked similar lust.

Michael
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AFairley
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« Reply #59 on: April 18, 2013, 05:31:28 PM »
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The Bolex pic almost brought a tear to my eye. Regrettably never owned one, but used to covet them. Only a Questar telescope provoked similar lust.

Michael

Arrgh, you had to say Questar.   Grin  Intense teenage lust.... 
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