Thursday, 22 May 2014

Five cameras that make you look like a Pro

Just about every man and his dog owns a DSLR camera these days. Aussies have purchased more than ten million new digital cameras in the last three years. Going back twenty years you could recognise the real photographer at the wedding - they were the ones with the big camera, the 20 kg tripod and the shiny pants.

These days every Uncle Harry, Aunty Sally and assorted paparazzi 'rellies' are pointing their DSLRs, compacts and mobile phones at the bride and groom.

Would the real professional photographer please stand up? Its a case of back to the future. If you want to look like a pro, you'd better start carrying a BIG camera that takes .............. wait for it ........


Hasselblad 500CM

Here are my top five cameras to help you look like a pro.

Hasselblad 500CM
The classic! Swede, built like a German tank. The official moon landing camera;  lens as sharp as a  surgeon's scalpel. Takes 120/220 roll film.

Leica M6
Leica M6
The European equivalent of the Porsche (and almost as expensive). Superb German precision. Here is one of the few cameras in the world that will rise in value as it ages. Takes 35mm film.

Rolleiflex TLR
Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex
Another German classic - one lens to look through, another to take the picture. The twin-lens concept suffered a little from parallax error but lens quality is superb and was more affordable than the 'Blad' or Leica. Takes 120/220 film

Sinar 5x4
Sinar 5x4

World class camera and optics with a film size to leave all the other cameras in its wake. Use by supremo architectural and commercial photographers where you spend four hours setting up controlling perspective, image shape and sharpness and then take just one shot! Loads 5"x4" (10.1cmx12.5cm) sheet film.

Fuji 617
Fuji 617
A favourite of the pro landscape brigade the 617 takes an image 6cm high by 17cm long on 120 or 220 roll film.  (You get just three shots on a roll of 120). Fuji were very inventive in developing special filters to compensate for light fall-off at the edges.

Every time you press the shutter on one of these film camera it will cost you - anywhere from $2.50 to $20. (Film guru Roger Garwood suggests its more like 22c to $3 a frame). Do you think that will make you think about exposure and composition. I suspect so. That's the first achievement - you're a thinking photographer. Not too many of them around these days. Most just click, click, click like a cicada on a summer's day.

Camera: Nikon F2 Photomic Head. Film: Kodachrome 50

Besides looking like a pro there is at least one other big advantage - size! The scan from your film could be anywhere from 50MB up to 600MB. Try getting that from your DSLR!

If you have the bug about film cameras - join my next UWA Extension workshop?  Click HERE for details.

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