Monday, February 21, 2011

Olympus OM-1 with 28mm f3.5 lens

This is the same shot as yesterday, only taken on film for comparison.

All these were taken with the Olympus OM-1 and a Olympus G.ZUIKO 28mm f3.5 lens. The 'G' references the number of elements in the lens.

Many of these older buildings along Route 66 will be gone someday.

I was reading one of those interminable film versus digital threads in a forum, with the usual snide comments about how digital cameras and digital imaging is so superior to film. It provoked some thought as to why I enjoy using film cameras so much.

The thread followed a brief description of an alteration to a Yashica Electro 35 that allowed full manual control of the aperture and shutter speed, rather than the aperture priority of the original camera. If you're unfamiliar with the Electro series, you choose the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed according to the amount of light that hits a sensor on the camera front. It's stepless where the camera hack is in discrete intervals. It's also a kludge, with a rotary switch and a bunch of resistors sitting atop the camera.

Put another way, I like my STI equipped Giant, a single speed, and even a fixed gear. The latter two are hardly the cutting edge of bicycle technology, but they're surely a lot of fun!

But why would anyone want to use such an old camera? I've written about this before, and I covered the idea of using technology that was out of my reach back in the day. When I was much younger, I had just one 35mm camera, a Ricoh XR-1 that was a full manual machine with a cast brass body. It was as durable - and heavy - as a tank. I never considered a rangefinder camera, preferring the more 'modern' SLR.

The Yashica Electro changed my way of thinking. The biggest reason is that outstanding lens hanging off the front of the camera. According to some very knowledgeable camera guys, it's equal to more expensive 35mm lenses, and it's vastly superior to most point and shoot digital cameras.

The flea market just west of the traffic circle on Admiral.

Besides, if I accidentally dropped it over the side of a canoe, I wouldn't be out much money and it could be replaced easily.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of the prints from this Yashica. That's happened with just two other cameras: that Nikon N6006 I bought from George last year, and the Rolleicord V - a medium format camera I rarely use anymore.

Another photo from the flea market.

If I carry the Nikon in a crowd, people notice the large, black, 'professional' camera. Yet a small digital point and shoot or any 35mm rangefinder doesn't attract as much attention. Some people are openly dismissive of any film camera, probably thinking the user is some abjectly poor person who can't afford digital. That's fine. It it helps me stay under the radar, I'll take it.

They do notice the large chrome cameras like the Electro or the Konica Auto S2, my other favorite rangefinder. They're big, flashy, and as obviously retro as a set of Cadillac tailfins, yet most people ignore them too.

I liked all the color, even if it was an overcast day.

I'm trying to take more 'people' pictures and the smaller cameras seem to help with that. Yesterday, I used a full roll of film in the Olympus OM-1 and some of those photos are posted here. The Olympus is a tiny, jewel-like SLR and with a 28mm lens, I can take some wide angle shots that include people. They don't seem to realize they're in the viewfinder because the lens isn't pointed in their direction.

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Blogger PM Summer said...

Nice shots, sir. Nice to see you getting your clicks on Routes 66.

8:33 PM  

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