I can’t shoot x because I don’t have y and z. Yes that’s zipped around my mind a few times and it’s never healthy.
At the moment it has entered my consciousness a little because this month’s photo club subject is ‘Unposed People’ and suddenly NONE of my cameras are suitable for street photography.
The Trip 35 isn’t accurate enough at focusing.
The Panasonic GF1 doesn’t have a decent viewfinder.
The D40 isn’t discreet enough.
I wouldn’t be able to focus quick enough on my FE.
The FM2n is manual exposure and I’ll miss loads of shots.
The Canon S95 is too slow.
All true statements but also utter bollocks. I ran two rolls of Superia 200 through the Trip on Saturday and it was perfectly acceptable. I’m obviously just looking for excuses.
I would however quite like a rangefinder camera. A Leica is way out of my price range but I would be more than happy with a Voigtlander R4A (*cough* it’s my birthday in June *cough*) and a 35mm lens.
For those that don’t know, a rangefinder camera has a small body, no internal mirror box and uses a focusing method unlike an SLR in that you don’t look through the lens. In the viewfinder there is a small patch in the middle which essentially has two images on top of each other. When you focus with the lens one moves across the other and when they are aligned the image is correctly focused.
Having no mirror box means that the camera can be smaller than an SLR and also allows for a shorter lens to film/sensor distance which in turn makes for smaller lenses.
Rangefinders can be a bit weird if you’re used to SLRs. Composing through a viewfinder which doesn’t show the actual framing of a shot that will appear on the film/sensor is disconcerting. There are frame lines in the viewfinder which give an approximation of your composition but if you use a lens for which there is no frame line, you’ll also need an external viewfinder. You could end up having to look through one finder to compose and one to focus. Not very fast then!
That said, pre-focusing can help for street photography and with a wide lens like a 21mm or 18mm the depth of field would be fairly huge – enough not to worry about focusing too carefully.
If I had the cash I would get a Voigtlander R4A, a 12mm and a 35mm and go shooting. As that would set me back a couple of grand I think I’ll make do with my £49 Olympus Trip!