We could have been further away from the lifeboat, and been a lot safer. Not thinking about being capsized would have allowed better concentration on getting the shot.
I would have probably got two shots of the actual launch. Rather than just one.
The smaller format would have given a bit more flexibility in shutter speed/aperture choice, so I would have felt happier with a combination suitable for handholding.
I would have been more confident with the focus, as there was no way of way of "seeing whether the lifeboat was in focus. I had to prefocus, on where I thought the lifeboat would look good, and just hit the shutter release when I thought the lifeboat was in the correct position, regardless of what the boat or water was doing.
I could have got some extra shots as the lifeboat sailed past us, in addition to the "hitting the water" shot.
Mamiya RZ67 - a full system. Fantastic, solid workhorse with sublime images on neg or E6 film.
I'm sorry, but I cannot get to grips with the Fuji XT2. I just cannot get it to work. I have had 3 new bodies now, none of them can I get set up to give a reliabe image. The things lock up, they underexpose by 3 stops for no reason (previous and subsequent shots perfect)...focus, just doesn't.....too many bugs and glitches, but when it does work, the result is lovely.
I had a full suite of lenses, including the 37.5mm fisheye - what a chuk of glass that was! 50mm was a beauty too. The 250 APO was my portrait of bike or car lens. I still have some Mamiya publications here. The brochure with the lillies on the cover and many traditional Japanese dress images inside. I was sponsored by Mamiya in those days, after I proved my worth with the RZ - they gave me a 6x6 rangefinder too. The Mamiya 6, which I used with the panoramic insert. That put me onto the Xpan, same thing in a smaller package! Happy days, back when photographers really could make somemoney.
If I look back over it all; the most memorable cameras, my favourite cameras, the ones I would credit as 'best'... I never bought!!
Number 1; Olympus XA2 (Film)
Absolute Number 1, clear winner. Was an 11th birthday present. Diddy little thing, and genuinely point and press easy to use, yet relatively versatile, chucking out 35mm quality images that rivaled almost anything else on the market, and small enough to be in my pocket to be used when chance arose, thing went around the world with me for twenty years, and (replacement) still gets stuck in the pocket now, when even the DSLR is probably left at home. Its just SO pocket-able, so easy to use, and so undemanding. Even the batteries last years; its there, you can take a picture with it, and you aren't 'faffing' trying to find 'settings' or see what you have taken on a tiny back-screen after, or hunting for the cable to see on the 'puter, or looking for the battery charger or wondering if you remembered to charge it before you go out!
Number 2: Olympus OM10 (Film)
Again, a gift never bought. Actually a tough choice, I actually like the Sigma better (also never bought, that was a loft-find!); but that OM10 got the ball rolling, and far as 'getting-in-to' this photography lark with an SLR. More it was so point and press freindly with its electronic Auto-Exposure system, there was little you couldn't do with it, alternatives, and likely very much more expensive, alternatives would.
Number 3: Kodak C763 (Digital)
Yet another 'gift', and I think my 3rd digital camera.
With a built in 35-70 'equivalent' lens, even smaller and pocket-able than the XA2, but with Through-Taking-Lens back-screen composition, and a reasonably long lasting lith-ion rechargeable battery.. it both supported a lot of the claims for digital, that it would do 'anything' a film SLR could, but also highlighted a lot of the niggles with digital, like checking batteries, hunting cables, and Granny squinting at the back-screen asking "Well WHY cant you send me copies of the photos when they are developed?"
Three cameras, I own, I would rate as 'best' but not for any particular technical excellence or capability..... and I didn't pay for any one of them! Being pedantic on that point, that I had to 'buy' them, its actually hard to remember back to which of my cameras I ever did hand over money for!
Most obvious, would have to be the Nikon D3200, I bought, eventually, when the Kodak finally died! There was very little like the Kodak compact on the market as replacement, and with 'entry' level DSLR's falling into the same sort of price range, it was 'in for penny' reasoning that tipped the scales, to actually pry my wallet open... probably THE most expensive camera I have ever handed over cash money for...
Building a kit of lenses around it covering similar range to what I have for film cameras, it REALLY puts a crack in the idea that 'digital is cheap' when I have spent more on digital camera and lenses in the last five years than I have on all my old film cameras, the film to go in them, and even my own dark-room to try and keep processing costs in check, in the thirty odd before! Technically, it undoubtedly the most 'sophisticated' camera in the house.... but?
I have a little Adli action-cam, I did expend real cash money for. Far from the 'best' camera in the house; it's not even as technically sophisticated as some of the simpler compacts; but shows how subjective 'Best' can be... the Nikon may be a much 'better' camera... but I wouldn't try clamping it on the handlebar of my motorbike! For 'that' job the Aldi-Action-Cam is by far and away 'best'.
Define 'Best'... it's almost impossible, even for pretty specific applications, there's always a compromise.
Old truism was always that the 'best' camera was the one you had closest to hand when you wanted it.... on which basis the old XA2 has proved its worth time over time over the decades... but raises an interesting debate.
Camera I most often have to hand is the one in my mobile phone.... yet, I think I have taken less than a dozen pictures with it in the best part of half a decade! Mostly because it takes three minutes of prodding buttons in obscure menues to work the ruddy thing! The thing doesn't have particularly wonderful pixie resolution, or sensitivity range, and I'm left with swiss-army-knife jack-of-all trades sensation, that the 'phone as an entity may do a lot... but bludger all, particularly well! And have, for umpety decades of not having multi-function electronic gizmo ANYWHERE let alone in my pocket, got in the habbit of carrying something a little less compromised for doing other jobs... like the XA2 compact for taking pictures and an OS Map for working out where I am!
So it is an utterly subjective question, and depends a heck of a lot on what any-one thinks makes any camera 'better' than any other, in any particular situation.
One I get most simple 'pleasure' from, as hinted, is probably that 1972 Sigma Mk1 Richoch clone. Full leaf-blade metal shutter and all metal construction, the thing is a heavy brick to pick up; lenses screw in and off with a very slow, positive action that feels 'sturdy' and takes time, in which you can savor the sensation, like firing the shutter, which almost has a recoil like a gun, and a very mechanical 'Kerr-Chunk as springs and things make it move! It only has three knobs and dials, one for the shutter-speed, one for the aperture, one for the film-speed; similarly they are all metal and move with a distinct 'clunk' between detents and springs and plungers ect; and using film, more time still, to finish the roll, and bring it home, wind it onto a reel, and mix chemicals to develop it, before seeing negative images emerge from the mixture! Its so slow to operate, it makes you slow down, and take your time, and think about what you are doing, whilst you enjoy that 'engagement' of doing things and being involved in the process, not just point and press.
Does this make it 'best'? Does that make it 'better' than the Nikon or Aldi-Cam Electric-Picture-Makers, or even that beloved little 'point and press' XA2? Which, over almost four decades, has been by far and away my 'most used' camera... suggesting its probably the 'best' all rounder... but I never bought it! (or its replacements!) Lol!
How very true. Plus one person's "best" may well be another person's "ugh". The 3 I currenly find myself using more than others are....
Panasonic G9. A camera that finally gets close as makes no difference to a film camera for speed and useability. The EVF is just amazing in my opinion.
Sony A65 with Tamron 16-300. Tough enough (and in my case cheap enough) to take everywhere and takle almost anything. An APS camera that finally challenges the bridge cameras for versatility.
A bit of a cheat here: The Panasonic GM-5 or the Sony HX90. The first seems to me the best digital implementation of the 35mm rangefinder concept (despite not having a rangefinder or an optical finder) while the second is an almost perfect pocket camera.
1. Various Pentax Spotmatics, with which I learnt about light, apertures and exposure, from my dear old Dad who loved buying second hand kit when we lived in Hong Kong (60's/70's)
2. Bronica ETRS, with which I learned to photograph deserts; sadly sold to buy:
3. Nikon D300, my first (and still only) DSLR, which I'm now learning to use properly as I get back into this hobby
But I still prefer film photography, because with 40 years in IT, I don't want to spend so much time in front of a computer without being paid for it!
Welcome to TP, if you have a look at the 'Talk Film and Conventional' section in the Forums list you'll find there's quite a lot of folk that share your liking for film photography, so come and say hello and feel free to join in the fun.
Ricoh GRII - Just hands down my best ever ‘carry everywhere’ camera. APSC size sensor, sharp, top quality lens. It fits in my pocket and is quicker, easier, and far better quality images than mobile. It just feels very natural to use, and can be adapted to most situations.
Fujifilm X-T2 - This thing is powerful, can do a lot of things, and is very well made. No overheating issues, 4K video when I want it, fantastic lens system with lots of quality glass, and the dials are right up my street.
Olympus OM-1 - Quality construction, easy to use, fantastic range of lenses, shutter sounds sexual, and light meter is reliable. It is a great example of a simple camera built to be a workhorse and to work really well.
(I see this a potential flaws, but have the character that I love)
Olympus 35RD - I raise my hand here and say I love this rangefinder. Perfect size vs quality vs fun shooting experience. I always have fun using this camera, and I find the 6 element 40mm F1.7 lens produces images I love. It’s not quite as fancy at the 35SP, but isn’t much bigger than the 35RC and produces nicer results. A personal favourite of mine!
Rolleiflex (Zeisss F3.5 Plannar) - This camera I love taking on trips where I have no expectations, but want to just having fun shooting an old camera. I recently went on a trip to Hastings, and thoroughly enjoyed shooting this piece of art!
Olympus OM-D E-M1 MKII - An odd choice for me here, as I don’t actually shoot much photography with it. However, I have recently moved over to this for shooting all my videos, and it gives me some great results.
Righty-ho, I'm going to do the classic internet fora thing of not answering the question asked, but answer a slightly different one.
"Top three most interesting cameras I have regularly used." (During my time as a staff press photographer I rarely bought any gear.)
Kodak DCS 520:
I was lucky enough to be one of the first few people in the UK to shoot daily with this £17,000 (price converted with current inflation), game changing, franken-camera. It was an unholy union of a 35mm SLR film camera with a 2-megapixel digital back grafted on; but for the first time in a functional, reasonably non-prototype-esque way. It was challenging to use, but a fun experiment at the cutting edge of shooting digitally and transmitting images via mobile phone. It was a massive relief when it was replaced a few years later with the Canon EOS-1D, Canon's first 'real' professional DSLR.
(I still have a DCS 520 somewhere in my loft.)
This was a special 'P'ress version of the classic Nikon F3. I never understood why it didn't become the standard version as many of it's unique features would've been useful to other photographers (hotshoe on the titanium pentaprism, additional weather-sealing, easier to operate with gloves, easier to read dials & windows etc.). Not sure I would've liked using the standard F3.
Widelux F8 35mm:
Admittedly I didn't use this camera frequently. But due to it's unconventional design of the lens swivelling from side to side to capture a 140 degree view, it was fun to use and always a talking point. However, it was an enormous pain in the backside to print the abnormally dimensioned negatives.
Many thanks for indulging my quick trip down memory lane - cheers!
1. Fuji XPro2 or maybe XPro1
2. Fuji XPro1 or maybe XPro2
3. Canon 7D ii
Now I’ve had XT1/2/10, X100/S/T, XE1/2s from Fuji too, but just find the XPro style and handling to my liking.
I’ve also have the 7D, 6D, 700D, 60D but the IQ on the 7D ii was superb even when compared to the 6D.’its speed however from a canon stand point was on another level!
I cant forget the m43 that I’ve had over the years including many different Pens, EM10/10ii, EM5/5ii, EM1, Panasonic GH4, GX7, G5, G3 and numerous others.
I’ve found my calling with the Fuji kit, especially the XPro 1 and 2. I regret selling the XPro1 more than anything but the XPro2 lives on and I wouldn’t be without it now. If the XPro3 came out it would have to offer something truly special to get me to move as I find the pro2 to be lightning quick and packed with features with more than enough resolution to keep me happy for a few more years to come.
Of all the cameras mentioned above I will have to give an honourable mention to the EM5 for paving the way for what a quality m43 camera is all about and to the GH4 for proving that sensor size isn’t everything even if the body it’s self was large enough to fit something bigger in!
D3100 as was my 1st
D7200 as that got me a lot more interested and was a good improvement on the D7000's now just used with the wider lenses still undecided to replace with FF
D500 my mostly go to camera now great for wildlife has relegated the D7200 to 2nd body just used as and when now.
In first place D4 simply because its built like a tank and I cant seem to get a bad shot out of it.
Second place goes to the one and only D700 as these are probably Nikons best camera ever.
Third place goes to the legendary D2X as far as DX is concerned its the daddy.
1. Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens. My first SLR for my 19th birthday. I had used one at college during my "Wednesday afternoon activity" photography unit while I was doing my Electronics BTEC. I chose Photography mainly because I fancied a girl that was doing it. This led to a short lived relationship when I was 16 with a few interesting experiences in the darkroom developing the bulk loaded B&W stock and more relevantly a longer lasting relationship with photography. I still have this camera/lens languishing in the loft.
2. Nikon E885. My first digital camera. Quite a novelty for me as an inveterate life-long gadget-monkey. I documented the pregnancy and birth of our first born with it and for a compact digital camera it at least had some manual control available which I had become used to with the Pentax.
3. Canon 5Dmk2 with 24-105. I have to preface this by saying that I currently own a 5Dmk4, previously a 5Dmk3, 40D and 350D. While the mk4 and mk4 are demonstrably better technically the 5Dmk2/24-105 combo was the camera that wowed me the most in a single change. The colours. the ISO performance, it sort of took me back the Pentax days. It was a big outlay for me at the time but many a happy memory captured when the kids were young and I had a less stressful day job with more time (and less money to spend on hobbies). While the mk3 was a worthy upgrade in terms of AF, it never impressed me as much as the mk2 did initially. The mk4 is a belter and i love it, better in every respect. However, I still burn a candle for that first FF DSLR experience...
Me with my first proper camera, a Chinon, which I believe was a Curry's own brand. Both taken in 1977 - can anyone recognise the guy standing on my left - he was in a couple of well known TV programs and has written a book, maybe 2.
The Chinon took my only ever 'Hold the front page' picture, but I don't have a copy of it here.
As for this picture - man, it makes me sad to think how much I've aged...
This has to be the best camera as it got me into photography.
Next was a Nikon F2, which I used for the Grunwicks riots - anyone remember them ? Arthur Scargill and the massed miners protesting outside a photo printing lab where Asian women were being exploited. It wasn't my camera, sadly, but man it was such a solid piece of machinery that did its job without fuss, and survived so much battering. Sadly I don't have any pictures of it.
Finally, my old OMD, which spent so many years rattling around loose in a bag full of lenses on my motorbike, at rowdy gigs and loaded with a very fast and grainy B/W film that we knew as surveillance film and would expose at 6400 by setting the OMD to 1600, then under-exposing by 2 stops - can anyone remember what it was called ? This is the sort of result.
I think these were my favourite cameras of all time, but my first digital, the Canon D300 is also high on my list, as was the ridiculously heavy and bulky Mamiya RB67, which I bought planning to take it on long walks in the wilderness of southern Spain in the heat of summer. Not sure I thought that through very well...
Pentax Optio 550. My first ever digital camera. Only 5mp, but back in 2003, this was enough. There was something magical about the way it handled light, that no other point and shoot I've had since has been able to match. My only gripe was that the video was truly dreadful. I didn't have processing software, so I never shot in RAW, but I'd love to have another just to see what could be achieved in LR. I was truly gutted when my daughter dropped this - especially as I couldn't get another at the time. Having said all of that, I've just gone and looked to see if I could pick one up on ebay and stumbled across some test images and they look poor, so...
Canon 600d - pretty much the entry level DSLR at the time, but it rekindled my love for photography - and I'd not had a 'proper' camera for 20 years, so it was long overdue. I like to think I've produced some decent stuff with it over the years.
Canon 80d - my first real step up. Not had it that long yet, and I'm still learning, but so far, I like it.
I suppose if I took the really long view, it would be the first camera that was given to me by my father - an AGFA with metal cartridges. I look back and wonder at his impulse as it is probably the only present I remember. In terms of what I can do with them, The three I have now: Canon 1DX2, 5D4 and an Oly - all due to the wicked Test and Wow. I use the IDX2 for sport and BIF - it’s a beast! 5D4 when travelling and Oly comes along too - the live bulb function is terrific for long exposure seascapes.
Nikon D1X - my first DSLR. I fell in love with it, despite the battery issues. When it worked, it produced beautiful images and always felt like it was built to take on the world and capture it all through the view finder.
Canon EOS 1D MkIII - a total bargain, I love how it's built and how it goes about it's business. Loud, heavy and a pig to use - when I am on a shoot, everyone borrows my Nikon's but no body ever wants a go with the Canon
Nikon D810 - I was a little indifferent to this camera when I first got it. I couldn't really see why or how I would fall in love with it. After the first photoshoot... things changed. I love how it gets on with the job and never gets in the way of working with models etc. It just does it's thing and disappears into the background and when I review the images, I am always amazed at how good they look. Brilliant piece of kit.
In that order. I didn’t think I needed to upgrade the other 2 til I tried the 750. While the D700 did everything the D3 would, the viewfinder was just so gosh darn nice in the D3 it tipped the scale for me.
Honourable mention, Contax G1. Not technically anywhere near my “best camera” by a long shot but I really loved shooting it. I need one back in my life, shame they’ve almost doubled in price since I sold mine
Nikon D3000 my first SLR great camera that got me into the hobby. And spent many hours just taking photos adjusting settings to see how it affected the final photo.
Panasonic G80 my current camera. Has put the fun back into photography after having a D300 then D7000 which I found became too heavy and cumbersome to want to take out all the time.
And lastly I have an Olmypus tough compact camera, which might not be an SLR etc but it has always been a great waterproof camera that's been on every holiday I have had for the last 6 odd years and captured some great memories for me.
Zeiss Ikon Nettar - Small, portable, cheap medium format camera with an amazingly sharp lens for a 1950s triplet. My favourite camera
Nikon FE - My favourite 35mm system, in black (with brassing, obvs)
Panasonic G1/2/3 - Revolutionary at the time, and I still like the G3 now. Always recommend the G3 for someone looking to get into photography as you can pick them up for dirt cheap second hand now.