Gear Lust

Did I really get over it?
In the past few months there's very little that interests me. I don't go to camera stores and I don't read any reviews. After my Ricoh GR1v broke I was looking for the perfect replacement and just couldn't find it. The Ricoh was great for parties and indoor events. It fit in my jeans pocket and just worked.
Finally I gave up and now resort to disposable Fujifilm cameras for parties.

I don't want to worry about having to test new cameras and get used to new gear. "Right tool for the job" - I get it, but the less I have to think about what to use the better.

Latest digital experience.

Last Sunday I met up with a friend who just bought a SONY A7r ii. 

I haven't been following news and rumor sites for almost two years now. Once in a while I see stuff pop up on youtube or facebook. It seems that manufacturers are releasing the same cameras with minor changes every year if not more often. It's really mind boggling how people keep buying these things. A7r ii is one of the latest and most interesting releases in the digital camera market. So I had a 10 minute go at it.

It feels great in hand and looks pretty neat. My sample had a 55mm 1. something lens on it. The first thing that shocked me was the electronic viewfinder. I picked it up, peaked through it and everything looked like you're looking at a video game version of the world. According to my friend and numerous reviews online, this is the best EVF on the market right now. I guess EVFs have far ways to go if they will ever be a competition to bright DSLR viewfinders. 

Next I had a go at shooting some people on the street passing by while I was sitting outside of Starbucks having a coffee. People passing by were almost always between 2-3 meters away from me. It was a nice sunny day so I set the aperture to f8 and wanted to focus to 2.5 meters... but you can't! the lens doesn't have any focal range markings. You have to either auto focus for every single shot (which obviously makes the shutter lag even worse) or use focus peaking to manually focus. While focus peaking works, but is not easy, you have no idea if you're focus is still spot on after a few shots. The lens has no markings whatsoever. Looking at the lens you have no idea whether the focus wheel has turned or not.

Every time you take a shot the EVF blacks out and takes a short but very noticeable amount of time before you can have a go at your next shot. 3 years ago I owned a Nikon D600, which beats any of these mirrorless cameras by leaps and bounds. The viewfinder was crystal clear, bright and beautiful. Like any SLR it blacks out at the moment you fire a shot, but it's only for the duration of the shutter speed. Almost all lenses for the F mount had focal distance scales marked on them.  It looks like DSLRs will dominate for a long time to come. 

On Consistent Look

I've been trying to settle on one film for a while now and just can't do it.

I used to love the grittiness of black and white film and decided I should shoot it exclusively for a while and see where it takes me. That experiment didn't last very long. While I still love the grain and the whole experience of developing my own film, I soon grew tired of the monotone! I love Michael Kenna's work for example but it's a mystery to me how he can refraining from shooting color film ALWAYS. 

Once summer came I felt I need to pop in some color film. I haven't shot a roll of black and white for 3 months now! 

I really admire people who pick a film and stick with it. I can't do it. What works best for me is actually shooting one thing on one film. 

For example, I used to bring different types of film with me when traveling and it turned out to be the same damn problem I had with lenses and cameras. I just hate having to choose which one to use. The less I bring the happier I am. Furthermore, it also makes my shots more consistent. At least on the level of albums. 

For my California/Seattle trip in April for example I only brought Provia with me. The same thing for my summer vacation in Yamaguchi, Japan. I was away for 10 days and brought only provia film, but two cameras. My Leica and my Holga. Next challenge will be to restrict myself to only one camera at all times. 

I can't see myself however going on a long trip and only bringing the Holga.  


A few things I want to get done or change this year:

  1. Stop looking at my phone while I'm walking. It's actually dangerous and it annoys me when other people do it.  
  2. Stop spamming groups on Flickr. What's the point? Get a few more likes? … then what? 
  3. Stop hoarding film. Just because something is going out of production doesn't mean I need to buy it in bulk. If I never cared about it then why care about it when they announce the end of Velvia 100F?  
  4. Worrying about what film I shoot is about as production for my photography as worrying about the latest digital sensor.  
  5. It's getting warmer here in Tokyo now. I want to shoot more in the summer and worry about the darkroom in the winter. Color negative is a nice thing for the winter as the table top processor gives off a lot of heat.