Fed 2, 4, 5
Zenit 11, 12XP
Olympus OM-1N, OM-2N, OM10, OMG
A bunch of Nikons
Is it important to have a "professional" camera in preference to an amateur model? I like to have a wll built tool in my hands so, generally speaking, yes (and for the obvious snobbish reasons of course). The "compact F" series was not designed as a line of professional cameras. It has the build quality, it lacks the "system" thing. I've got an FM2n, FE2 and FA. The first two have immaculate build; professional quality. The FA feels slightly, I repeat slightly, less robust. Maybe it's the plastic top plate, maybe it's the sound of the shutter. I love all three of them, and wouldn't hand over any of them for a full sized F. Well treated they'll last a lifetime.
I loe y FE and wouldn't get rid of it for any thing. For me the only drawback is the meter is hard to read in a low light situation. I also have an f100 ans an f4. Love them as well but the fe. is just as light and compact as a leica.
I always thought the main requirements for a professional camera were:
Plenty of accessories - interchangeable focussing screens, winders, databacks, interchangeable viewfinders on some models.
However, the lines are a bit blurred. Take the Pentax MV1. I doubt many pros bought them as they only offer aperture priority, 1/100 and B settings and don't even tell you what shutter speed they've selected (you just get a green light if it's 1/60 or higher). Yet it has the connections for a motor winder.
I think it important (for the OP) to realize that the camera used does not make one professional nor does it disqualify anybody's photos from being sold.
A professional camera, in my book, is what ever the professional photographer chooses to use that day. If a photo journalist chooses to use a Canon Powershot, does that diminish the professional standing of the photographer? Obviously, no.
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Differences between the amateur and the professional:
The amateur spends much time dreaming that if only he could afford top of the range equipment, he could start shooting pictures "like a pro."
The professional grabs whatever gear is to hand (rarely the "latest thing") and gets on with the job of shooting pictures. That's how he got to be a pro in the first place.
After 35 years as a pro, some of my best pics. were taken with a Yashicamat, and a couple of Nikon
FM2n's. Many pros preferred the FM2n over the more expensive Nikon bodies because of its 1/250th flash sync., vital for daylight fill-in. Incidentally, I once had a full page spread picture taken with a pocket rangefinder Olympus 35RD.......So stop worrying about the name on the camera, just get on with the job of taking pictures.
It is important to use the best tools available for the job in hand, but at the end of the day, cameras don't take pictures, people do. Give a Brownie 127 to HCB and go out yourself with an M6 and what would you expect to see as the best results?
Here is a nice example taken by HCB at Eaton, but not with a Brownie:-
Last edited by cliveh; 10-07-2012 at 04:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
“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”
Your FE is up to the task as long as you are, but as you are finding out, who cares. It's the picture that matters.
The FE is as capable a camera as any ever made. I find I am the limiting factor in the FE's picture taking ability. If your finding out your having problems, slow down, get a monopod....maybe a tripod and things should techically improve. Composition, my FE's operator is still struggling with it.
Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D
Heck, my girlfriend shoots my FE and recently we developed a roll of 36 exp and EVERY SINGLE ONE WAS PERFECT. My god, that camera is great! Just compose, set the aperture and go. I think you'll take better pictures with it than a 'pro' camera simply based on the fact that the obstacles are removed and you can just focus on your image.
Its really all about the feature set.
In the 80s the FE would give you 125th flash sync (IIRC 250th on the FE2) against the F3's 90th.
The FE was the cheapest body with interchangeable focusing screens but the F3 gave you a removable prism housing and a wider choice of screens.
F3 had mirror lockup, FE didn't.
F3 had a flip up tab on the metering ring to allow use of pre-AI lenses, FE didn't.
F3 had high-eye-point finders, FE didn't.
And most importantly in the news/sports world, F3/MD4 would get you about 6 fps, the FE/MD12 got you 3.5fps, depending on the freshness of your batteries.
There were always stories (prob BS) of F3s being used to bludgeon rodeo bulls into submission and remaining functional. OTHOH I actually saw a still functional FE that a photog had left on on the roof of the car as he sped back toward the office - leaving the camera rolling along the blacktop.
Bottom line, buy the features you'll use and go make pictures.
Image quality is in the lens, the film, and ultimately the operator.