Gendered Cameras

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by arigram, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Maybe most cameras are manufactured for right hand users.
    Maybe most rangefinders are made for left eye dominant photographers.

    But are most cameras gender-specific, that is male-oriented?

    The thought crossed my mind when I met Ann at the chatroom and she
    told us that she sold her Hasselblad because it did not fit her hands.
    I joked about the camera being "a man's camera".
    Then Nicole posts at the forums looking for advice on how to get a smaller,
    lighter camera to fit her gentler hands.

    We all are familiar with the great number of women photographers, but do they just put up with the heavier, buklier cameras that boys design for themselves?
    Would that be a problem for new female photographers to get serious into photography and exchange a light compact for a heavier "serious" camera?

    Granted its just a passing maybe silly thought and not a conspiracy theory, but aren't the forums for chit chatting about silly passing thoughts as well?
     
  2. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I think you are right. I believe most camera designers are men (I don't know that, really) and they design what is right for them. It is the same with cars. When they brought a woman into designing cars she suggested making an adjustable "heel rest" so that women can drive comfortably whether they are wearing high heels or shoes without heels. This the boys wouldn't have come up with. Maybe we need to put Ann, Cheryl, Nicole et.al. into Nikon, Canon and others to contribute to designing cams that will fit the smaller hands of girls.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have fairly big hands, and wide palms. Once upon a time when I was considering buying a non-silver-based camera, I went around the shops looking at their offerings. At that time the top "camera" was a sculpted thing with more buttons than you can see at the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace...

    I picked it up, and immidiately put it down again saying to the salesperson "it's amazing that such a technically advanced object can be so impossible to hold comfortably". My fingers are too long to fit around the grip, my palms too wide to fit the grip, and I would have had to amputate half of my index finger to reach the release button.

    It's not just women - there are far too many cameras that simply aren't made for humans! (I'll include the Linhoif Technika III 5x7" in that - a marvel of engineering, but hopeless ergonomics for hand-held shooting. So why fit a rangefinder you can't see through with you right eye?)
     
  4. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    When I look at some of the later Nikons, all about the size of a volume of The Encyclopaedia Britannica, it amazes me anyone would buy a 35mm camera so ridiculously large.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Except that they're 35mm's, people with hands like mine could maybe want them?

    Not really - the ergonomics is awful even for me :smile:
     
  6. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I think you have a point. My wife really prefers her Bronica mounted to a Speed Grip so she can use both hands and have a comfortable grip and thumbwinder with shutter release in the same place. It makes it heavier but works better, even on a tripod.
     
  7. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Size matters :tongue:

    Seriously I like having my rather large Canon EOS Elan 7E equipped with the battery pack to get the best grip whether holding it vertically or horizontally.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I absolutely refuse to use any of those macho pieces of male jewellery with testosterone-infused names like 'Nikon' and, even worse, 'Canon'. These were so clearly designed for the sole purpose of oppressing women that they cannot have any part in a truly egalitarian, liberated society. Pink Mirandas will be the cameras of the future, it's only a matter of time. Right now the best that you can do is to use a nice fluffy angorra ever-ready case to cover your hideous, offensive monster.

    Best,
    Helen

    PS Handy tip for us weak little girls: ask your hubby to drill holes in your camera to reduce the weight and make it easier to fish out from the bottom of your shopping bag. All those bits of glass should be removed as well: they are actually quite dangerous as well as being rather heavy.
     
  9. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Of course they are...I use mine this way...I oppress my wife with it...I will NOT tell you the details here :tongue:
     
  10. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have small hands, yet I feel most comfortable holding a Nikon F5 over an F100. For some reason, the F100, even with its grip attached made me want to drop it (it just repulsed me for some reason). I can't explain that feeling.

    As for the compact cameras, I'm more likely to put my finger over the lens on those tiny (for the most part) things.
     
  11. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I wonder if, like men with big cars, men with big cameras and big lenses, are subconsciously compensating for something... :tongue:
     
  12. 127

    127 Member

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    I've heard stories that the baby Yashica's were particularly popular with women, due to their smaller size. To exploit the market further the 44a produced in a range of colours (as were the vanity kodak VP's of the 1920's). They're nice camera's to handle reguardless - I've got huge hands, but the 44a is one of my favourites.

    Small and pretty colours seems to be as deep in to the female psyche as as designers get!

    My girlfriend is particularly fond of her Pentax A110 for her personal work, so small and cute does count for something. On the other hand she's also got barbie camera (a pink 110 of very dubious quality), which has a matching version for barbie! I think that definatly counts as a camera targeted at the female market ;-)

    Ian
     
  13. 127

    127 Member

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    My girlfriend occasionally works with another female photographer. The other photographer uses a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens - what's SHE compensating for...

    Ian
     
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  15. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    'On the other hand she's also got barbie camera (a pink 110 of very dubious quality), which has a matching version for barbie!'

    Ask her if she'll trade for a lumpish Rolleiflex SL 66SE. If necessary I'll throw up, I mean in, my Barry Manilow LPs.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  17. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    It s coming out time

    I went to my closet and brought out my pink Miranda. Helen, we both feel much better now.
     
  18. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    ...and don't forget that the best little camera in the "plastic toy" division is still the Diana!!!! Heck, I bet the Holga could be classified as female too!!!

    :smile:

    S
     
  19. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi Member

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    Hmmmm. I wonder if Elsa Dorfman uses that beast handheld (?). As I get older and my eyesight gets worse, I seem to be drifting towards bigger cameras. Maybe I am compensating for something(?)
     
  20. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Personally I feel almost all cameras are designed for "little people" (gender non-specific). The only camera in my collection that feels comfortable in my hands is my RB67.

    Sometimes the only thing we're compensating for is having big hands.
     
  21. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    My little CL certainly wasn't designed for the two hams at the ends of my arms.
    Nothing like hefting my Nikon F Photomic.
    "Manly, Yes. But _she_ likes it too. :smile:"
     
  22. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    That's interesting, Neal. I wasn't previously aware that Nikon used Irish Springs behind the pressure plates. Now I know. :wink:
     
  23. mark

    mark Member

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    There is no way a woman would produce either of these crap cameras. Definately a man. We men are notorious for getting a job done in a very hurried and selfish manner then rolling over and going to sleep....But I digress.

    David,
    Obviously you are compensating by whipping that big thing out in public looking like a terrorist taking close ups of some future target. Elsa is alone in her studio with her big one.
     
  24. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    As a small-handed woman, comfort is one of the reasons I love my Pentax PZ1P - it fits my hands perfectly. So does the 645N. I can reach all the controls on both without moving my hands at all, too.
    Every Nikon I've used feels like a brick and my wrist hurts for days after. I always have to move my hands around to find the multiple buttons I have to push while twisting something else.
    I do agree about the Hassie, but I'm keeping mine 'cause of quality - I just suffer the bulk.
     
  25. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Ha! I was wondering if anyone would remember that reference... at least without my phony Irish brogue.:smile:
     
  26. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Well, in this case, it may be a question of Envy, rather than Compensation...


    Hmmmm... that Freud bloke has a lot to answer for...

    Cheers, Bob.