Photo net Two Nikons and a Minolta by Mike Johnston

4 Июн 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz F100

Two Nikons and a Minolta

Over the I’ve seen an amazing of photographs. Not only do I seek out look at magazines, and prowl the but I see a great deal of amateur, and enthusiast photography up close and Over the years, at my various people have regularly me or brought me examples of their to look at and comment on.

The only a thinking person can draw seeing all this work is I’ve said many Cameras don’t take photographers do. I’ve seen work made by all kinds I mean all kinds) of cameras, and seen awful work by all kinds of cameras too, the very best ones. especially the very best

One fellow (he was a doctor, but don’t it against him that he happened to a cliché #151; I’ve some great work by too) sent me some of his family. He was a little mystified as to why weren’t better, because he had in an unobtanium, Gila-monster-skinned M6 (or whatever it was I’ll get three e-mails me I’m a fool because knows the unobtanium M6 has a body of Llama tongue, and that the King Bumptious Commemorative that has the Gila monster and a 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M Type 1. Total cost: than that of a Mercedes-Benz, not by much. The slides he sent nondescript snapshots. I’ve seen better work with point-and-shoots. (Did you there are some pretty photographers out there using You won’t run into them on the but they’re out there.) For starters, weren’t focused very His cover letter asked, Can you these were taken a Leica lens? Answer: no, but I can tell they weren’t by a very skilled photographer. I’ve seen amateur with F5’s and zoom the size of Stinger missile who are almost too self-conscious to raise pride and joys to their They are supremely ready to not pictures.

Counterexamples crop up regularly I got a super portfolio once a single mother out West. As I do, I asked what camera she It was an old Pentax she got at a pawnshop, she said, and she know the number. Whew. Puts us gearheads in our place.

So bear this in mind. The doth not the photographer make.


Now we’re going to ignore all of the foregoing and talk cameras, so you can breathe a sigh of The hard part’s over.

In 1995, I conceived a year-end for Photo Techniques magazine I wrote for the next five called World’s 25 Best in which I presented idiosyncratic capsule reviews of great and ranked them. It was purely a fun designed to boost newsstand which it did.

I think it was in 1999 (or was it 2000?) that I put the F100 at the very top of the list, Uno. I immediately heard by sea, and land from the of F5 owners whose feelings I had Hadn’t I ever used the F5? I know that so-and-so and Well, yes, I did. just that a loaded F5 more than some and if I’m going to spend much money and carry much weight, I want a neg. No offense, though. I many people use and like the F5. just that it reminds me of an cartoon in which Popeye his entire house trying to a fly #151; all that, and all you get is a leetle postage-stamp negative? Seems overkill.

I tried an F100 for three or so a couple of years back, of Nikon USA, and I still it’s about the best camera money can buy. nits are pickable #151; are always pickable #151; but an incredibly well-designed camera a formidable feature set that nails some of the necessary in terms of size, weight, and build quality. And it’s the camera that takes the largest system. (Whoa, Canon fans: the F100 manual-focus Nikkors. Used any FD on your EOS-3 lately?)

afraid I’m not going to into the happy litany of all the myriad features and capabilities. If you that, there are 18 separate listed on and if that’s not to ruin your eyesight, are 243 user reviews at and 200 at My overriding subjective however, was of a camera that disappears after a while. actually, my first impression was of autofocus: with the prime I was using with it, there’s near-instantaneous little zip sound and the is focused. This works so that it just disappears a few days of use #151; you focus and so you stop thinking about There’s nothing to distract attention back to what the is doing. Thom literally wrote the book on the

The Sleeper

I’ve learned to my recently that some people are unacquainted with the sleeper. In the present context it either something that is not successful but becomes so after time has passed, or something is really good despite not well known as such.

A case in point is the Minolta 7.

As you know by now if you’ve been these columns for a while, not the biggest fan of Wunderplastik cameras. I can get remembering the horrible, creaky A2, or the Nikon N70 with its user from engineering hell, or all tiny cookie-cutter entry-level that have all the heft and of the cars, planes, and tanks men of my generation used to put together Testor’s plastic cement we were boys, from marked Monogram or Revell. So I was leaving my friendly local emporium a couple of weeks and a green salesguy held out a 7 with that I’m glow on his face, I’m I dismissed it pretty quickly. Too buttons for me, I said. Later.

it seems like every or two I need to be reminded of the first law of YOU CANNOT GUESS. Things are not as they appear. Familiarity may not contempt, but it is often required to an accurate appraisal. My first impression? Wrong-oh. Although lighter and cheaper than the the Maxxum 7 is, quite simply, candidate for the title of world’s film camera.

Although nothing terribly appealing it at first blush, it turns out just a blast to shoot For fun factor, it ranks about as as any Wunderplastik camera I can name. Two of the reasons: it has the brightest, cleanest you have ever laid on, and it has wonderful, superfast, super-positive Minolta claims that the 7’s autofocus is the world’s I’m not in a position to dispute or that claim, but let’s say I can believe it.

Yeah, it has lots of However, Minolta’s engineers are they have actually the camera pretty easy to use making excuses for the fact they went ahead and the thing with pretty every nifty bell and you can name as well as a generous you never heard of before. is not the box for people who get off on Spartan simplicity, let’s face it, lots of like cool features and can read instruction manuals.

But the overall impression I get of the Maxxum 7 is the like a good dog, it begs to be taken out for exercise. very pleasing to use. or out, the finder is so clean and I found myself enjoying at stuff through it. And just you think you’re up to speed on all it can do, discover another really little capability it has. Go throw some sticks for it to #151; the Maxxum 7 will run you drop. Really nice especially if you keep in mind quip I made in the last about the instruction manual. miss trying this one

Poor Little Limp-Along

all I’ve said so far, can possibly be said in favor of the Nikon N80? In what way it be trounced by its bigger brother or the expensive Maxxum?

Mercedes-Benz F100

I’ve got to up front that if the Maxxum 7 is a car, the N80 is a Honda Accord. The N80 is darker, smaller, duller, and Its nicely implemented ergonomics almost basic when down from the Minolta.

And of the online reviews for this are truly hoot-worthy. In the last of my print newsletter, The 37th . I wrote a rant called Internet Camera Reviews: A for Idiots in which I took off some of the more entertaining of this new literary genre. virtually all of those foibles are on the poor N80 somewhere or other on the Some people complain the N80 is too expensive. For them, some advice: shut up; is not. go on and on about how the N80 isn’t an F100. for them: that’s why Nikon both. Some deride the N80 for being made of plastic, for not more rugged and he-man. All I can say is, if you had a he-man wallet, then you be stuck with such a camera, eh boys? [Muttley

I’m probably the only guy in the who actually likes the build of the It’s got a friendly, grippy that feels good to me. I it light but still adequately It feels like what it is: a tool to take pictures If you happen to be one of those who feel not quite rugged enough, #151; go wear it out. (I now hear from 18 people who got that didn’t work or in the field. Ah, the price of making

What the baby Nikon’s got to is this: it’s got the smoothest, shutter this side of an RF. I if the N80 would even measure as quieter than the Maxxum 7, itself is on the quiet side, but I can you that the N80 is subjectively a lot quieter the noise is softer, less less obtrusive. Then shutter vibration. Although few actually vibrate in your when the N80’s mirror you just can’t feel a This inspires confidence, at in my small brain. It pleases me, time. Finally, if you like light cameras, which I do, the N80 is comfortable. It fits like a pair of jeans.

So, no, the N80 is not a candidate for 35mm ever made. It have more shutter lag the F100, it does have a lower-mag finder than the 7, and it won’t impress your But that can be a good thing, It’s unobtrusive, handy to easy to use, and quiet and when it goes off. it’s special because nothing special: it will do most everything you want no fuss or distractions and without a lot of training and memorization.

In short, put a light prime on thing and you’ve got one heck of a little street shooter.

you can actually shoot pictures, is. Maybe those who can’t compensate by getting that jewel that’s been from a single billet of alloy by wizened Chinese of the type that used to half a generation carving one figurine. You know, the one with the Coelacanth-skin body covering.

keep in mind, though, The doth not.

#151; Johnston

Next week: The and lows of the EOS-10D .

Please this column by subscribing to The Frame . Mike Johnston’s newsletter for photographers.

(C) Copyright Mike Johnston

Mercedes-Benz F100
Mercedes-Benz F100

Mercedes-Benz F100
Mercedes-Benz F100


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