These reviews are based on my actual usage and
piece of equipment, regardless of how good or bad it is, can be used to
create outstanding photographs for magazine covers, winning photo
contests and hanging in art galleries. The
quality of a lens or camera has almost nothing do with the creativity
of images it can be used to produce. You
probably already have all the equipment you need, if you'd just learn to
make the best of it. Better gear will not make you any better photos.
Observe more, shoot more is the
way to better images, not more cameras.
Bought this camera (with Nikon 50mm f1.4 normal lens) in 1984.
Excellent rugged camera all these years. It developed a shutter jam
once, but that I think was due to non-service of FM2 for so long. Later
I have purchased a Tamron 28-200mm AF zoom and again the combination is
great if not the ultimate. Yes, you should take the photograph, not the
camera. Once the basics of photography are clear, this camera is an
extension of your senses, believe me. Never ever lets me grope for the
right switches and buttons that are found in today's auto focus SLR
If you can get one today, buy it. You will be pleasantly surprised by
its feel and comfort of use. Rugged construction, simple to use, TTL
centre-weighted meter is accurate, never misses , use neutral spots in
frame for metering for accurate exposure. I feel you can mess up this
camera by NOT using it rather than using it for extended periods of
If you're moving from 35mm SLR, as I did in 1996, this is a different
experience. I decided to go with Hasselblad for a number of reasons.
First, as a step up from 35mm, the 645 format didn't excite me, the
difference in negative size didn't seem worth the effort. Secondly, I
love the square neg. I do a lot of portraits and the square format works
perfectly - plenty of room for environmental features to tell you
something about the subject. Also, people are so used to seeing
rectangular images from 35mm that you've got their attention right away
with a square image.
This is my first Medium format camera, and I love it. I have used 35
mm cameras for past 12 years, but this camera surprised me the most. It
is not a high tech machine but strong in basics. The camera provides
perfect fundamentals to support your imaginations. Slow down, get the
best frame of view and make the picture you want. This may not be 100%
true, but this camera is for people who concentrate on quality of image,
it may not satisfy someone shoots action photos only. Price, it is not
that bad. The purchase of Hasselblads, my 'camera for life', financially
damaging my bank account. I've added a couple of lenses, 50mm
and120mm, and that should keep me going for the foreseeable
future. Composition in the
wonderfully bright waist level viewfinder allows you to carefully think
about what's in the image and why though the process does take some time
if you want to do this right. Separate metering takes even longer, but
then, good photographs are not made in a hurry.
Lens quality is very fine, and for most purposes, a single 80mm lens
does the job. You can use the camera hand-held (best and most flexibly
done with 400 ISO film; image quality at this speed is not a problem
with MF because magnification is lower than 35mm). Best news comes with
the processed images. When you get the exposure right (this takes some
practice if you're new to hand-held meters), it's spectacularly true,
sharp, vivid, and lifelike. For best results, choose the film carefully;
I've had luck with Ektachrome E100S. You can see the difference between Kodak and
Fuji film here; the Kodak 100 is smooth and subtle, the Fuji is crisp
Don't think twice about the 501CM kit (with film back and lens) for
around $3,500. Expensive? Not if you plan to keep the camera for a
decade or more. the construction quality and many decades-old models
currently in use suggest that this is a reasonable expectation.
Overall, this is not a camera for everybody. But if you're prepared to
slow down a bit and think about the basics of exposure and composition,
a 501 with a couple of lenses and a handheld meter will deliver results
that make the effort all worth while.
LEICA M6 .58 TTL
2001 I bought the Leica M6 .58 TTL because I wanted to see what the
great mystic was about "Leica." I bought only three lenses for
it so far, the 28mm f/2 Summicron ASPH, the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux and the 90mm f/2.0 APO Summicron.
These are the first three lenses I have ever bought that I put
protective filters on. When I finally bought it, I was in shock. I
thought this to be my worst mistake ever. When you're not used to this
camera, you think it is slippery, slow, indirect, imprecise, dull. The
first few films were terrible. I have two manual cameras, even
without built-in light meters, so manual photography is no problem for
me. but in the beginning you tend to cover up all the necessary windows
with your fingers, especially in portrait, you miss the focus quite
often, you forget the lens cap, you have to take the eye away from the
finder to check speed or aperture and so on. In short: it is not such a
pleasure to use it in the beginning. and you always remember, that you
just paid SIN $10,000 for that!
After a while you sort to like it. you learn how to hold it, you
become very quick in focusing, you just know which settings you have
set, you remember the lens cap, you start to appreciate the unique
qualities that only a rangefinder can give you. you can take pictures
handheld with amazingly slow speeds, you focus in low light pretty accurately,
you take pictures in places where you wouldn't have before, as the
camera is so quiet.
Being a rangefinder (without a mirror) I'm very careful to keep the
lens cap on until I'm ready to fire. The thing is silky smooth, a
precise camera. I virtually NEVER use the flash. The camera is
wonderfully compact, with the 28mm Summicron ASPH you have a tiny
package. As a compact, it goes with me many times when my Hassy 501C
sits at home. This is the piece that comes along in the hostile
environments, and where battery issues are non-issues. I'm not obsessed
with keeping this camera unscarred, I use it every day. Bottom line, if
I could have only one camera, it would be the M6.
A word about the film loading: I really enjoy it. I can't understand
how people could have problems with it. how inept can you be? never had
a problem from first day on, it makes the camera even more special.
Price? Ridiculously expensive, perfectly crafted, first class design,
very quiet, excellent lenses. Anyway, like property if you buy right you
sell right and Leica seems to hold it's value. Value is in the beholder.
This camera seems to be created for B&W photography. The lens
quality speaks through the prints. If quality is not your bag then
Leica's probably not for you. It's not a camera for every one. People
who are more comfortable with a SLR that does every thing for them may
find this system awkward, bit like a manual car if you are an auto
2002 I bought this camera to use as a digital
Polaroid to check exposure. This is a go anywhere 4 megapixel. The C-40Z
is well designed. It's small, light and the sliding lens cover is well
engineered and for carrying in a pocket. A full range of manual controls
including aperture, shutter priority and even full manual, make this
camera a obvious choice as digital Polaroid. Beside the scene
modes, there is a 'My Mode' option which can be used to pre-program
camera settings to your personal preference.
Performance was relatively good, auto focus, lag and
shot to shot times were all good. The only wait would be for initial
startup. Overall image
quality was good, vivid colours, good metering and a fairly good tonal
balance. There were however a few problems. I struggled with the C-40Z's
overall rating, looking at it from a portability / features /
functionality and usability point of view it deserves the Recommended
rating. HOWEVER the image quality cannot be compared to the image
quality scann from a film.
FILM OR DIGITAL?
In Dec 2002, digital camera development come to a stage that I have
to seriously consider the investment all these years I have put into
photography. SLR-type Digital camera now have full frame coverage as
conventional 35mm film SLR camera, that mean a 24mm X 36mm size CCD or
CMOS sensor. Some even compare the sharpness and potential enlargement
size with the medium format camera. the are more advantages of using
digital camera compare to film camera. also no doubt that a lot of
professional photographer still shoot on film, but their post production
process also involve scanning the film into digital file for further
There is no single camera that can do