Old Camera + New Film = New Camera

I ran across this guy's Flickr photostream in some random clicking today.I think his photographs are extremely interesting and attractive. Great stuff and worth a look for just about anyone into any sort of photography but especially if you are into documentary/art. This guy absolutely knows what the hell he is doing in terms of taking photographs.

Here's the punchline and the rationale for the title of the post. The page I linked to are just the images shot/tagged with a Canonet Q17 G-III. For those of you that have no idea what this is let me give you a brief run down. It is a 1970's fixed lens - fixed focal length - 35mm film rangefinder. I have one a lot like it - my very very first camera - the Ricoh G-500. Think Fuji X100 only "full frame FX" and you need to load beautifully designed and manufactured film cassettes into it every 36 pictures.

These cameras and ones very similar can be had for a song on eBay but that is not the point - these cameras are very very simple and very very cheap antiques - load some newer emulsions into them like Kodak Ektar 100 or Kodak Portra and take even better pictures than they did almost 40 years ago with better hit rates due to improved latitude - better color - sharper - less grain - etc.

If someone gave me an X100 would I take it? Yes. Have I spent my money on one? NO. Same with the Leica M9. After having been through countless digital cameras (yes I still own and use some of them) from the D2h and D2x to the Hasselblad H2 with Leaf back and everything in between, I have always had a gee-whiz ain't this fantastic reaction - and then reality sets in when I find myself longing for the next version that will be more like what I already had with my film cameras…. Either handling wise or some certain characteristic having to do with image quality, or something. I can tell you from the ONE X100 I handled it's fatal flaw in my mind was the fiddly focusing and the DX frame - DX is too small to render the image they way I like it too look w/ respect to DOF at any given perspective in the range of focal length's that I like to shoot. I swear I would rather something more like the Canonet and spend 1000+ on film at this point. It would give me more joy, most likely better images, and I would feel no need to solve it's issues and short comings by upgrading to the X200.


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