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pdcawley (485)

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Journal of pdcawley (485)

Thursday September 19, 2002
04:54 AM

Digital Schmigital. (or, why my parents are stars)

[ #7828 ]

Once upon a time I had a Wista Technical Field Camera (contains Engrish), and a very fine piece of kit it was. However, having spent far too long 'between jobs', I had to sell it last year. And boy have I missed it.

The weird thing is, I never really took that many photos with it, you don't with a large format camera. But I can say that I was proud of every photo I did take with it. There's something about the slowness (and the costs per exposure come to that) of working with large format that makes you consider carefully and visualize all your shots. Plus, when your camera rig weighs as much as mine did, you tend to leave it in the car until you're sure of the shot you want.

After a year of wishing I still had the camera (I'd kept a 150mm lens, for old times' sake, but pretty much everything else got sold), and thinking that I'd probably have been better off selling my 35mm rig, I mentioned this to my parents. So, on my Birthday last Sunday I got a b'day card with the magic phrase 'IOU 1 camera' in it. I now have an Ebony 45S on order from Robert White and I'm so excited.

Weirdly, it's also got me thinking about the whole 35mm versus Digital thing. I still think real film is better than digital for 'considered' work, but you relinquish so much control with 35mm. One of the important tools of black and white photography and visualization is the 'Zone System', developed by Ansel Adams. To use the system to its best advantage you (potentially) need to develop each negative differently; with 35mm, unless you make every exposure in the same lighting conditions, you really can't do that. For me, this pretty much pushes 35mm towards being used for 'record' work and informal portraiture, which is where the immediacy of digital really shines through.

So, time to start saving the pennies for a D100 and the very lovely 17-35/2.8 AFS lens that Nikon do. I think I've just had a passion reignited.

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