The Case Of The Disappearing Camera

Nikon F6 product shot courtesy of Nikon USA

Nikon F6 product shot courtesy of Nikon USA


Dirk Rösler from Japanexposures got me thinking about cameras with two recent articles on his site. I don’t think I’m feeling the charm of a camera quite like he does, but I must say he hit the nail on the head in his second article. Getting used to a new camera always disrupts real photo work and leads to a period of fiddling with the gear.
So, what do I appreciate in a camera? What follows is a bit of experience mixed with philosophy, so if you don’t like that, don’t
Road cyclist sometimes rave about a racing bike so good, so finely tuned that it seems to disappear beneath the rider on the road. I had this experience with a Pinarello steel road frame in my active cycling days and let me tell you, it is a weird and beautiful feeling! Endorphins from the excercise play a role here, to be sure.
Likewise, I prefer a camera to get out of my way when I use it. The Nikon F6 is a good example, I don’t have to pay it much attention when I photograph. I already wrote about it’s sensible and exact automation. Add to that a 100 % viewfinder with not too many distractions and you got a camera that disappears when you use it. The only thing interrupting “The Flow” is the blackout of the mirror. A rangefinder would be better in this regard, but worse when actively composing with the edges of the frame. Parallax is always an impediment.
So, for me, a camera that gets out of my way, that disappears is preferable to the latest computer with a lens attached to the front.

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One Response to “The Case Of The Disappearing Camera”

  1. The Camera Without Qualities, a Review « Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] house, a new PX-28 battery and a roll of Tri-X pushed to 1000 in it. The latter, this metaphoric disappearing act, it does even better than the Nikon F6. There are only two things to remember to set on the camera, […]

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