Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Not the Camera

Okay, I've said this before.
I tell the kids that all the time.
It really isn't the camera, it's the person behind it.
Or is it?
This year with my Photo II class I'm telling the students it is about the camera, what the camera can do.
Learn to use the camera and all the doodads, I tell them, make the shots.
In this case, maybe I was right the first time around.
It really isn't about the camera.
Case in point:

Same shot, two different cameras.
Any difference?
One better than the other?
If I'm not looking at them next to each other I'd take either one.
The cameras?

One camera there is worth about 50x the other one.
One more time:

Crazy non?
Okay now you can tell which one is which based upon the different formats.
The square images are from the Rollei which cost me some big bucks, the other pics are from the Kodak Pony 135 which cost me like 20 bucks with shipping.
The first time I shot the Pony I wasn't too impressed.
A zone focus camera, one you have to set the focus before taking the shot, I didn't really like shooting it and the results were below par.
Probably because of user error combined with a lack of enthusiasm.
The other day I took another look at it, the Pony, and decided to give it a real go and take some real shots to see just what it could do.
I was surprised to say the least:

The Pony 135 was a mid range 35mm camera in Kodak's line way back when.
Way back when meaning the fifties and sixties.
There are about four or five models, each a bit different, the Pony 135 being the first in the line.
Kodak though equipped the Pony with their good lenses and boy does it show!
I expected good results but when I scanned the negatives and saw the pics my mind was like blown!
Yes, it blew my mind!
This camera is crazy good.
In the conditions I was shooting in, mainly strong daylight, this thing rivals any camera I got.
I mean for 20 bucks you can't go wrong!
The Quest for the Pony (QFTP) is on!
It's also given me new respect for Kodaks, which I always thought of as 'consumer' cameras.
Of course I wouldn't take the ole Pony out for a night shoot, the lens just isn't fast enough, but I wouldn't hesitate to take it out on patrol:

It's light, easy to shoot, has a coolness factor that's off the charts, and it takes awesome pictures too.
No more lugging around a thousand dollars worth of glass!
Twenty dollah in my pocket and a twenty dollah camara.
Good to go.
In the case of the Pony, it really isn't about the camera.


Chandra said...

Good points!
I like the photos too.
User Error - Important thing to remember, especially when 'Cook Book Solutions' are dime a dozen.

Peace :)

Steve A said...

It is hard to beat the combination of a good lens and a big negative, especially if "up close" work isn't a major factor.

limom said...

If a large print is required the big negative wins every time.
I think for the most part, most glass will surpass the resolution of the film.