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Author Topic: A Matter of Character  (Read 35257 times)
Rifleman
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« Reply #120 on: April 22, 2013, 01:55:39 PM »
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Character? My dream camera is..... No.

Story,

My first full frame digi was a 5D. I loved it. It took interesting pix in most places, had the buttons in the right place for me, particularly the rear thumbwheel, was great in the dark! Super at night.

After some 20,000 shots, I upgraded. 5D mark 2

I never got on with the camera from day one. The controls were "wrong". What I was seeing wasnt happening in the camera. There were tech issues too-the Wft unit and the Gps malfunctioned at odd intervals, usually by destroying the gps ("Its Canons fault-its Garmins fault")

After 40,000 shots, Now I have a 1 Dx.

I still use the 5D. Often with a small or wide prime. Its a nice camera.


It has character.

I sold the mark2

To be fair, I have exhibited prints from all 3, without much technical comment from visitors or peers. Its just that the 5D is a nice camera, that produces pix that I like to see. And so does the 1  Dx, maybe its character will build as I use it more.
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Wayland
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« Reply #121 on: April 22, 2013, 04:22:03 PM »
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Did you ever come across an English photographer called Rob Talbot? He had some success with picture books, one of which I bought, English Landscapes,SBN 0297 83475 4, and then (he) vanished off the radar - at least, I can't find him.

Looking at a lot of television documentaries about Britain, I conclude that the ideal way to enjoy it is by air on a good summer's day. Those endlessly repeated journeys by Portillo on his railway rides illustrate this well: from ground level there's not always a heap to see, but from the air, even an ordinary old railroad track has glamour!

Rob C

I've got one of his books on my shelf but I don't think I've ever met him. (You never know because I've talked to a lot of photographers on location over the years without always getting their name.)

Britain is a highly populated place and the railways tend to go through some of the most crowded places.

The roads take you to some quieter spots but if you really want to find the best spots then you need to get off the beaten track a bit.

That's part of the reason I'm lightening my kit a bit these days.
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Wayland.
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« Reply #122 on: April 22, 2013, 04:44:37 PM »
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I still use the 5D. Often with a small or wide prime. Its a nice camera.

It has character.

Niceness is generally not a term used to describe character. In fact, niceness generally implies a lack of character.
However, the 5D does have a rather upsetting characteristic, and that's banding in the deep shadows.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #123 on: April 22, 2013, 06:45:24 PM »
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and while I am on flights of fancy, check out Chris Hadfield's latest moonrise photo (a very sweet tweet)

He's just posted a video showing how he shoots and what he uses.  Pretty neat hand-holding a 400 f2.8 in microgravity.  

http://nikonrumors.com/2013/04/22/astronaut-chris-hadfield-how-to-take-photos-from-the-iss.aspx/

« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 06:47:46 PM by Peter McLennan » Logged
leeonmaui
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« Reply #124 on: April 22, 2013, 07:22:25 PM »
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that's one photo workshop I would pay to attend!
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Wayland
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« Reply #125 on: April 23, 2013, 03:56:46 AM »
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I think the deposit would be more than I could afford...
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Wayland.
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arcaswissi
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« Reply #126 on: April 23, 2013, 07:06:40 AM »
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Sigma Dp1 - 3 Merrill. The first cameras since I digital time really impressing me. Enough quirks to be characterful Smiley but the quality of the files reminds me good old analog large format. I like them. On my flickr page Ive some recent photos of my Merrills.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcaswissi

The attached photo of Dp3m
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Rob C
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« Reply #127 on: April 23, 2013, 08:58:32 AM »
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Sigma Dp1 - 3 Merrill. The first cameras since I digital time really impressing me. Enough quirks to be characterful Smiley but the quality of the files reminds me good old analog large format. I like them. On my flickr page Ive some recent photos of my Merrills.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcaswissi

The attached photo of Dp3m


I don't care about your camera, but I love your photograph.

Rob C
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GEOFFREYJAMES
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« Reply #128 on: April 23, 2013, 03:04:20 PM »
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I decided I would become a photographer at 40. Apart from an M4,  which I used for holiday slides,  my only camera was a 1926 KODAK Panoram,  a camera the size of a shoe box,  with a scanning lens,  fixed speed (1/30th) and a fixed aperture (f22).  Roll film for it was no longer made ,  so I began by cutting down 11x14 sheet film into strips of 10 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches.  I had to load the camera in a changing bag,  one at a time.  If you used the camera on a tripod, which I did,  the little prism viewer on the top (which gave you a sense of the vertical "cut" ) was useless  The ends of the scan could be accurately figured out from incised lines on  top of the camera.   Eventually Kodak made me a special order,  with my own yellow boxes.   I should say the man who sold me the camera -- for $275 -- had persuaded some one who knew how grind lenses to take a Berlin Dagor,  reduce the diameter of the elements,  and re-assemble them in the Kodak barrel.  I worked with this primitive machine for about ten years.  I did a book on Italian gardens,  one on the Roman Campagna, and one on strange French gardens just before the revolution.  I submitted contact prints from the Kodak to the Guggenheim Foundation,  and they gave me a fellowship.  and there are prints from the Panoram in a bunch of museums, including MOMA.  I had repair guys in Rome,  London and NY who could repair the camera.  On a good day I could take about ten pictures.  It concentrated the mind,  and, yes,  it had character. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #129 on: April 23, 2013, 03:10:13 PM »
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I decided I would become a photographer at 40. Apart from an M4,  which I used for holiday slides,  my only camera was a 1926 KODAK Panoram,  a camera the size of a shoe box,  with a scanning lens,  fixed speed (1/30th) and a fixed aperture (f22).  Roll film for it was no longer made ,  so I began by cutting down 11x14 sheet film into strips of 10 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches.  I had to load the camera in a changing bag,  one at a time.  If you used the camera on a tripod, which I did,  the little prism viewer on the top (which gave you a sense of the vertical "cut" ) was useless  The ends of the scan could be accurately figured out from incised lines on  top of the camera.   Eventually Kodak made me a special order,  with my own yellow boxes.   I should say the man who sold me the camera -- for $275 -- had persuaded some one who knew how grind lenses to take a Berlin Dagor,  reduce the diameter of the elements,  and re-assemble them in the Kodak barrel.  I worked with this primitive machine for about ten years.  I did a book on Italian gardens,  one on the Roman Campagna, and one on strange French gardens just before the revolution.   I submitted contact prints from the Kodak to the Guggenheim Foundation,  and they gave me a fellowship.  and there are prints from the Panoram in a bunch of museums, including MOMA.  I had repair guys in Rome,  London and NY who could repair the camera.  On a good day I could take about ten pictures.  It concentrated the mind,  and, yes,  it had character. 


And I thought that I was getting old...

Image: Last year at Marienbad?

;-)

Rob C
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #130 on: April 23, 2013, 04:12:35 PM »
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I don't care about your camera, but I love your photograph.

Rob C

Agreed.  Beautiful!
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image66
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« Reply #131 on: April 24, 2013, 04:21:27 PM »
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My camera of character is one that I'm still using after more than two and a half decades. The Olympus OM-2S. Granted, it sees only occasional use since the kit is upgraded to the OM-3Ti and a pair of OM-4T bodies, but it's the one that has kept me shooting film all these years.

Maybe, it's the unique sound? Maybe, it's the viewfinder with the left-side digitized analog display? Maybe, it is the hyper-simplified mode-switch that allows you to effectively have three exposure settings at your fingertip? Maybe, it's the spot-metering mode?

I don't know, but when I just want to walk around with a camera, it's the one I instantly gravitate to. It's so brassed up that I can't use it for client use as it scares people, but it is the one camera that will never be sold.

The new Fuji cameras do have character, but are they lifetime cameras? My Olympus E-1 probably is to some extent, but I haven't seen a single other digital camera that is anything more than the flavor of the year.
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Mike Dunbar
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« Reply #132 on: April 26, 2013, 11:56:00 AM »
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Hello Michael,

Although I did read all the technobabble about the Fujifilm X-E1 I bought one this week on the back of your valuation of it as a photographer.

You were right.

Thanks.
 Smiley
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #133 on: April 26, 2013, 12:50:01 PM »
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For me the most obvious 'camera of character' I've owned(and still do) is my Olympus OM1.
Everything about it was just right and all the controls fell to hand like no other camera I've owned. Anyone that's owned one won't need to be told how wonderful they are.

A second favourite no one else seems to have enjoyed much is the original Polaroid SX70. Quirky, weird and often quite remarkable pictures, if awfully expensive to use. I just hope the impossible project continue to evolve their film for it to the point Polaroid achieved and be worth using regularly again.

All my DSLR cameras Canon EOSs seem rather devoid of that particular appeal of handling, although they deliver great results.
The only digital camera so far I've tried that really has appealing character is the Fuji X-Pro1, which comes close to my other old film favourite, a Minolta CLE outfit I wish I'd never sold.

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FrankG
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« Reply #134 on: April 29, 2013, 01:04:57 PM »
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For me it's a Rolleiflex TLR - hands down !

Waist level viewing, quieter than a whisper (leaf shutter), incredible IQ (xenotar or planar lenses), great handling & so well balanced... I can't say enough....best camera with character I ever owned.
I've had Plaubel, Sinar, Pentax 67, Nikon, Sony, Canon....
I've been on a quest to find the modern digital equivalent to the rollei which obviously doesn't exist...but this thread is a great help in seeing what's out there for me to supplement my dslr with (5D2).
I've tried a sony 5n (loved the flip screen), now have the rx100 (love the pocketability), and have taken many fave pics with both but neither quite 'hit the spot'.
The xpro-1 and the xe-1 are strong contenders (would love a side by side comparison if anyone has a link?) but i hear there's a new Nex7 in the pipeline.....
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Rob C
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« Reply #135 on: April 29, 2013, 02:53:24 PM »
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For me it's a Rolleiflex TLR - hands down !



My first experience with Rollei was via an aunt's Rolleicord Va (she also bought Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and that lit the fires), a works Rolleiflex and, finally, my own second-hand Rolleiflex T with 3.5/75 Tessar, and it wasn't part of the same family - well, I suppose it was, but felt very much the poor relation, the one left off the Christmas lists. By the time I could buy a 'proper' one I'd moved to Hasselblad. Years later, I was temporarily tempted by the Helmut Newton one that was introduced... but far too expensive for what it was - I think it cost about two grand (pounds) then, and a fixed lens didn't make sense when I already had that format well covered.

The Pentax 67... beautifully made but full of problems, the main one being very low synch. and the loading/unloading was always a frightening moment. Mirror/shutter bounce... so, not icon, for me, but memorable. Mine lived on a huge Gitzo.

Rob C
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FrankG
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« Reply #136 on: April 29, 2013, 04:01:01 PM »
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My 6x7 pentax was also welded to a huge heavy Gitzo :-) Great image quality.
The Rollei was also occasionally on a tripod but also very comfortable hand holding.
I guess for everyone, & what this thread is about, it's what 'works for you & your personality & quest', i.e. what kind of pictures you want to make & what the best tool for the job is.
I am trying to replicate the Rollei experience - futile.
So many choices - all are interesting & I wish I could try them all out - the DPM series 1,2 & 3. The Fuji's x100s, xe-1, x-pro1.The Sony rx1 & upcoming nex7n?
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kencameron
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« Reply #137 on: April 29, 2013, 06:47:24 PM »
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My first SLR had character - a Practica. Solid East German engineering to raise hard currency through sales to the capitalists. It went well with my Duffle coat and compensated for my failure to convincingly grow my hair long. My first digital camera had character - a Nikon Coolpix 950, with the rotating lens and sensor unit, an excellent design  which I was sorry to see Nikon abandon. I dropped it into an estuary while climbing out of a kayak. My current Sigma DP2 Merrill has character. The idiot savant of contemporary cameras, challenged in daily life but very good at  its speciality.

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WalterEG
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« Reply #138 on: April 29, 2013, 07:15:12 PM »
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As a school boy I used to lust after a Praktica IVb - I ended up with an Exakta Varex IIa which I loved dearly when I had it.  Traded it on on my first Hasselblad eventually.

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Rhossydd
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« Reply #139 on: April 30, 2013, 02:20:11 AM »
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My first SLR had character - a Practica.
Yes, my first SLR was a Practica too. It did have character, but it's wasn't the sort appealing character that Michael was referring to in the OP!
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