EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHERS

What Camera Do You Use?


Carol large

© DAVID J. CAROL 2014


The other day I was asked what equipment I use and why. I constantly get the same question "What camera do you use?". The question is usually followed by, "What should I buy?". I say figure out your budget and I'll let you know what you should look at. 

I'm not a camera buff, but I definitely have equipment preferences that work best for me. For my commercial work I don't find the equipment as important to the outcome of the work, but for my personal photography it surely does. 

For my personal work I only use rangefinder film cameras with wide angle lenses. I work with Leica M6s and M4s and occasionally a Hasselblad X-Pan with a 30mm lens. I would say that 98% of my photographs are taken with either the Leitz 21mm asph. or 24mm asph. lens. The problem for me with SLRs is that they only allow you to see thru the lens which means you cant see whats going on outside the frame while shooting. With rangefinders you look through a window with frame lines. This allows me to see whats happening inside and outside of the frame at the same time. I need to see everything at once and then frame what I think is the "picture". 

I use film because I love the look and texture of grain. The other thing I love about film is not seeing what I've shot until a week or two later. An issue I have with shooting digitally is that you can see your photos right away. When most people shoot they  have some sort of expectations of what the picture will be. If we can see the photo right away I think our expectations are often not met. If you don't see the picture for a week or two your expectations are forgotten and you can just see the image for the first time in a more "pure" and unprejudiced way. 

I must say, at the end of the day, the camera that usually works best is the one you have with you. Figure out what you like and stick with it for a while. The most important thing about the camera is to have it with you and ready to be used.

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