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  • Writer's pictureIgal Schneider

Which camera is right for you?

Shot with Canon EOS 5 and Canon EF 35/1.4 on Fujifilm Superia 200

I remember asking this question myself, when I was looking for my first DSLR. And I remember reading through “holy wars” between the Nikon and the Canon adepts. There were some other manufacturers, that had their devoted users, like Pentax, but their (users) amount was scarce, and I didn’t take them into consideration.

Shot with Canon EOS 5 and Canon EF 35/1.4 on Fujifilm Superia 200

I’m glad I had a friend, who told me “Listen, the right camera for you is the one that is sitting comfortably in your hands. Because no matter how advanced the camera is, if you are not comfortable with it, you will not use it”. I thought it made sense - I actually still do, so I headed to the camera shop to try the cameras in hand. I had enough money for a brand new Nikon d70 body, or a used Canon 300d. I tried them both, the Canon was much better fit, more comfortably sitting in my hand, so it was it.

Shot with Canon EOS 5 and Canon EF 35/1.4 on Fujifilm Superia 200

Today, I love the rangefinder and medium format cameras more, but I still have 35mm film SLRs made by Canon, Nikon, Minolta and Zenit. Each camera gives me different options, such as total weather ignorance by Zenit, or portability of NIKON FG, or automatic film winding by Canon EOS 5. But I prefer rangefinders for their compactness and fun of use.

​Shot with Olympus XA on Fujifilm Superia 200

While some cameras are really fun being pocketable, they usually don’t allow for full manual manual control. Olympus Mju-II is an excellent pocket shooter, but it’s fully automatic. Olympus XA, while being an even more pocketable, offers a rangefinder and is aperture-priority camera. My favourite for a long time was Ricoh 500 RF, with full manual or shutter-priority, excellent bright rangefinder, 40mm f/2.8 lens. I love it so much that, in fact, when we went to Gaspésie for a week of camping, I took it as a main camera. Posts with photos from that trip are coming soon.

​Shot with Olympus XA on Fujifilm Superia 200

Recently, I bought two Leica II/III copies - a Zorki with Industar-22 and a Canon IVSB, which I equipped with another Industar-22. I love both of the cameras, they produce very nice photos, with the lenses being pretty sharp. I also got an Agfa Isolette III, early model, which is a pocketable (fits in my rear jeans pocket), foldable medium format camera. They are my current favourites, being very pocketable, fully manual, with no light metters. So, Sunny 16 is my educated - and almost always exact - guess here, but occasionally, when i’m not sure if I’d measure right, or when using a slide film, I use a Light Meter app on the iPhone to take the correct measurement.

​Shot with Olympus XA on Kodak Portra 400

In the next post I will be talking more about the SLR cameras, and why I considered only this type of cameras as “serious” ones.

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