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  1. #81
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I must admit, on this thread so far the Konica AiBORG is the most ugly camera I have ever seen. I don't think I could even pick it up, let alone use it.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #82
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    For me, the 8x10 is as transparent as equipment gets when it comes to seeing, setting up, and making a photo.
    I totally agree with this, but I'm okay with cropping the contact print, if the world doesn't fit the frame. Strangely, I find that I sometimes crop 8x10" almost exactly to whole plate on the odd occasions I do crop. Or I might use the half-frame darkslide mask to make two 4x10's on a sheet. That said, 8x10" feels like pure photography to me.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #83
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    When I got into large format in the mid 1980s it was a revelation to me. I started with a Linhof STIV three lens outfit, 90 - 150 - 270. After a year of that, I bought the 8x10 and it was another revelation, using just one lens and making contacts. For me, the 8x10 is as transparent as equipment gets when it comes to seeing, setting up, and making a photo. And, it has to be right the first time, there is no cropping a contact if you want the whole image. If I had to get rid of all my cmaeras but one, I would keep the 8x10. And the 4x5 back. And the Super-Rollex 6x7 roll back. And all the Dagors.
    I think it comes down to what it is that our eyes want to, and are trained to see. The problem I had with view cameras was that I felt I could not see. My wants in photography has a lot more to do with fleeting moments, seeing spatial relationships between static and moving objects, moments that never come back. I could never capture that with an 8x10, at least not as freely as I can with a Leica or even my Hasselblad. That, to me and my pictures, is seeing, to be able to react on an impulse, and that's another reason why even the Holga was useful to me. I don't sing its praises, but you can't deny it's simple and clutter free. Just point it in the general direction you wish to point it, at the right moment, and release the shutter. Repeat, and that's it. Some of my best work is done with a Holga. I just wish the film transport was more reliable.

    And I realize it will not work for you.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #84

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    I LOVE the Nikon F4; the only thing I dislike about it is its dependence on batteries. I prefer to use it with the MB20, but it makes the battery life pretty short. Even so, it's one of my all-time favorite cameras.

    The Nikon MD1 has an optional shutter release button on the front left-hand side that I use a lot. I am right-handed but left-eyed and I have other left-handed tendencies also. Unfortunately my brain is stupid so I'm not ambidextrous.

    I think my most unpleasant experience with any camera was an Argus brick I found in a clothing store. I think the Argus is very adorable and aesthetically pleasing, but definitely NOT a joy to use or even to hold.

  5. #85
    andrew.roos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJSLATER View Post
    I think my most unpleasant experience with any camera was an Argus brick I found in a clothing store. I think the Argus is very adorable and aesthetically pleasing, but definitely NOT a joy to use or even to hold.
    Which goes to show you probably shouldn't purchase your cameras at clothing stores...

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew.roos View Post
    Which goes to show you probably shouldn't purchase your cameras at clothing stores...
    Yeah, well....

    My wife was shopping for clothes at Anthropologie and I was bored. There it was on a little shelf, labeled as a "statement accessory". They even had some (Lomo) 35mm film for sale too, which I didn't buy.


  7. #87
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Wasn't there a camera called a seagull and would that fit into this post?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  8. #88
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Wasn't there a camera called a seagull and would that fit into this post?
    There was (is?) a Chinese TLR called a Seagul. But I think it's more an example of bad build and bad materials than bad design. I've never actually seen one in person though so I could be wrong about that. But if they just copied the classics like the Rollei and Yashicamat the design is quite sound. The execution, however, could leave much to be desired if done poorly. About the best thing I've heard about the Seagull is that it isn't as bad as the Lubitel TLR.

    The discussions of Russian cameras reminds me of a saying in aviation, "If it’s ugly, it’s British. If it’s weird, it’s French. And if it’s ugly and weird, it’s Russian."

  9. #89
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I have the most recent seagull 4a-109, which was their top of the line 4 element taking lens version. It is a pretty much direct copy of a rolli or yashica d but with little ad ons like a hotshoe and split prism focusing.

    The images are decent from it and far from a holga, though I do prefer the taking lens on my much older yashicaflex c. The manufacturing tolerances are lower and you can see it when looking closely, things just aren't ad smooth, from the fit and build, to the focusing, he'll even the split prism is slightly off from horizontal.

    As for the Holga, if you check out the story behind it, and see the interview with the inventor, you can see how its build and design met its every original intention and then some. A simple to manufacture camera and lens, with very few parts, a low cost of production that did not need highly skilled labor to assemble. A camera for the masses in china.

  10. #90
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    The worst camera design to me is one where the interface gets in the way of taking pictures. I have two particular entries for that chamber of horrors, the Maxxum 7000 and the Contax 167MT. Shutter speed control on the 7000 is a pair of up/down buttons that had me so annoyed that I ditched the camera after only a few months. On the 167MT it's a slider switch; I tried using it for almost a year, but I could never remember which way to slide the switch to raise the shutter speed.

    Besides those two, there are some other nits that bother me. The EOS 3 has the most obnoxious mirror slap/shutter/winder noise I've ever heard. The Minolta XE-7 has its power switch just under my right thumb where I was constantly turning the camera off while trying to take a picture. The Photura felt like a cheap plastic tube, and its flash/lens cap, while ingenious in concept, was poorly executed. The Canon New F-1 needing a change of focusing screen to change the metering pattern. Any camera that requires changing a custom function to engage mirror lock-up. The Canon T70 and T80 were just butt-ugly. The Minolta Riva Zoom 105i... words fail me.

    The Nikon F4s is a special case. Its 'silent mode' is beyond ridiculous. It has a vast assortment of interlocks that prevent you from changing anything without stopping what you're doing. Its batteries go in two different locations. Screw-drive AF. The list goes on, and yet it's one of my favorite cameras. I hated having to sell mine, and fully intend to get another when finances improve.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
    followed by the Soiling of the Pants,
    and the Burying of the Idiots.

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