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Why Conventional Photography?
While the rest of the world went digital, I've resisted the temptation and
still use film cameras, most of which can be considered vintage. There's
a certain appeal to analog equipment that digicams simply can't convey
anymore. Among the aspects that compel me to stick to vintage analog
When it comes to net results, a used analog camera simply delivers
more bang for the buck than a new digicam.
Let's face it: digicams are real power hogs; mechanical cameras on
the other hand run without batteries! Light meters are an exception
of course, unless you wanna take a gamble with those unreliable selenium
I think this goes for any modern camera. Unless you invest in something really top
notch, build quality will be modest at best (lots of plastic). By contrast, most old
mechanical cameras are really built to last. They ooze quality and their heft
underlines their robustness. Nothing satisfies like the crunchy sound of a vintage
SLR's shutter! :^)
When it comes to photography, I'm pretty much down to earth; all I need are the bare
essentials and I'll take care of the rest myself. For this reason I loathe auto cameras
of any kind, digital or analog. There are situations where autofocus or autoexposure
can be a great help or even absolutely necessary. Generally though, I get pissed off
at a camera that pretends to be smarter than me. I prefer the hands-on approach,
and if a camera denies me that (i.e. no manual override), I get bloody irritated.
Most people consider the lack of film processing an advantage with digicams; you get
your pix in an instant. However, to me there's something rewarding about processing
an actual, physical film. I like the arts-and-crafts feel to darkroom work, and the
satisfaction from knowing that the entire chain from exposure right down to the
processed print or transparency was all my handiwork. For somebody working at a
PC on a daily basis, there can be nothing duller than to vegetate in
front of it even longer while downloading and touching up pix from a
digicam. Darkroom work is a nice way to get away from it all.
Since digicams use no film, nothing goes to waste if you screw up; just toss
it and try again. That's perfectly acceptable for a complete amateur,
but more advanced or even pro photographers who know
photography shouldn't be tempted to operate like this -- and yet some of them do.
This appears to be the emerging trend with digicams; they encourage sloppiness.
Since you can afford to be sloppy, you get sloppy. I know from
experience how film reacts and expose carefully, sometimes bracketing for
safety if I'm in doubt. 90% of the time I'm spot on, even without automation.
That's more sensible than tossing out 90% of those 2377 mostly gratuitous and
mundane shots you snapped with your digicam because they didn't turn out right.
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