Friday, December 7, 2012

Camera Loyalty?

I don't hear much about which camera is best anymore, especially arguments as I did in the past!  When asked about which camera brand is best, I usually say "They are all good, just buy the one you can afford which has the features you think you will need!"
That is probably a true statement compared to what is available now  with what cameras were 25 or 30 years ago.  Has photography changed in that time, you bet it has!  I'll bet there are people taking pictures now that have never shot a roll of film in their lives!
The digital age is upon us!  Things now are not as they used to be.  I used to think there was alot to know about film....and there was, but nothing compared to this new age of digital in both cameras and computers.  The comparison is about like an old set of encyclopedias being compared to all the sea of information on the web!
Back when film was KING and before digital, your choices were based on brands of film(Kodak, Fuji, Agfa, etc.), types of film(black/white film, color print film, slide film, B/W Infared film, etc.) Speed of film(25 -3200ASA and specialty types) and back then you were at the mercy of what came back to you when you sent a roll of film you had used to take pictures with to a lab to be turned into prints, unless you were anal enough to process your own.  Even if you could be successful in trying to get beautiful prints from print film yourself, you not only needed an enlarger for producing color pictures, you had to take that roll of film and develop it in the dark using chemicals, timers, thermometers, and tongs.  You could literally spend hours and hours after you developed the film when you began to try to make prints.  You had to crop, dodge and expose the photo paper all the while trying to get the filteration using the three filter(Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow) perfect.....and exposure had to be exact as did the temperature of the chemicals.  If one of those variables changed it completely affected the other two.  Trying to print color prints was a real PIA, it was much easier to just send them out.  Black and white was somewhat simpler, but to get Ansel Adams looking prints, you had to be even more anal!  Developing color slide film was a little easier as long as you followed the exact procedure.  AND owning a darkroom(a room for processing film and prints had to be devoid of light!) was just a tip of the iceberg.....owning the RIGHT equipment, paper for prints, the chemicals(some were not good for your health), timers, etc. I think you get the gist of developing your finished pictures from film and what a nightmare it was!  I digress!
So back to Camera Loyalty.  There were quite a few choices of all  the cameras as there are today, maybe not as many models as there are digital cameras(especially the upteen gillion point and shoot models, I never have figured why so many choices when one appears to do all the things the others do......almost confusing to the buying public!).  Now, as then, the big sellers were Japanese made and were some of the same brands you see today: Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax and Yashica.  Then as now there are two basic parts of a camera; the body and the lens.  With film cameras, we said the body was just a "light tight box", today with digital the body houses the sensor(captures the light as did film) and all the electronic components to record the image on a card which your computer will translate into images.
Most of those film camera bodies did pretty much the same thing as long as they had an accurate shutter.  Sooo..... the difference in the various brands actually was in the lens, mainly the glass and the formula for the number of elements used in the design for receiving the light that was transferred to the film.  From the 1920s the best cameras in the world were German cameras, namely Leica, and Rolleiflex, one of the reasons could have been their use of "rare earth" materials used in making the glass for their lenses.  Those lenses produced pictures that had a different look about them(black and white images), these cameras were expensive back then as they are today.  After World War II, the Japanese industrial output seemed to start with cameras.  During the Korean War a photojournalist named David Douglas Duncan started using Nikon lenses on his Leica and got outstanding results which started other photographers using Nikon cameras and lenses.  The Japanese camera market exploded in the 60s and 70s as their R&D started producing and rivaling the German cameras.
The cameras and the lenses got better and better and more and more people could afford cameras that gave excellent results and were more easy to operate.  Your choices were many and many times it boiled down to the quality and the way the pictures looked to you which were taken with the different brands of cameras on the market.
I tried many different brands of cameras and my choice came down to my owning Nikon cameras, I liked the controls but most of all I like the feel to the pictures I got with it.  However today, we use the Canon brand of cameras here at Limestone Lake mainly because of the lenses.  Not saying other camera lenses aren't good, but we love the look we get with the Canon  "L" professional lenses; they give us exceptional sharpness and the glass used in them transfer true and accurate colors which we think are outstanding and to the formula used in the placement and number of glass elements in their design!  Just outstanding!
By saying all the above, with all the cameras on the market, you should be able to get quality photos to record your family regardless of a certain brand which in this day and age of affordable digital cameras.  I do believe it is important to preserve images of your children and it is owed to them to see how they looked when they were children, those times cannot be gone back to, it is sad to say. Preserve and keep a record of your family, it's easy now with the digital age, less expensive and easier than it has ever been.  We enjoy being a part of this process and feel honored when you choose Limestone Lake Photography to give this  opportunity and this is why we wish to give you the best by doing our best for you!  It's fun and we enjoy what we do, we think you will also!

No comments: