Do SLR's put you "on the radar"?
I noticed something unusual today. Someone gave me a very nice Nikon n90s + lenses for free so I took it out for a try around town. Now I usually shoot 6x6 folders or small 35mm rangefinders so most people don't even notice my camera. I'm usually as invisible as someone taking pictures with their cellphone. But once I started shooting the big Nikon I noticed that I was getting a lot of looks from other people taking pictures. It was making me uncomfortable with so many people checking out my camera, some people were even watching to see what I was taking pictures of with such a camera. I didn't know if they were judging me or just curious. It does look a lot like a modern DSLR and has a somewhat "professional" look to it I guess, I don't know if that had something to do with it. Never have I experienced this with my usual smaller, older cameras. Does anyone else get this with SLR's?
This happens to me every time I take out my medium format SLR gear. Everybody suddenly stares at the camera and where it's pointed as if they're expecting to see a world class image.
I think people are curious since that is something most people rarely or never see.
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I reckon SLR's are the MOST invisible of any cameras I use - everyone has one and so no-one pays them any regard. Big wooden & brass cameras - that's a whole other story...
Did the N90s come with this lens? I can see that being an attention grabber...
I find that my Film EOS cameras get funny looks while the K1000's go unnoticed.
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My TLRs and 6x9 folders get a lot more attention than my SLRs. Having said that, I will say that something else happens when I use my SLR. So many SLRs are digital now people ask me if they can look at the picture on the screen. Or they'll ask me to "delete" a posed picture they didn't think went well. When I tell them there is no screen and no delete they express surprise or disappointment that it's a film camera. This only happens when I use the N2000, which doesn't have a winding lever. That sort of thing doesn't happen with most of my cameras, just the plastic shelled SLR.
I confess I'm a gear nut within my price range. ;)
Nikon FM2n, FG, FG20, N2000, Nikkormat, Olympus Stylus Epic
Minox 35EL, Voigtlander Bessa-L
Yashica-D TLR 6x6, Seagull TLR 6x6
Agfa Isolette 6x6, Welmy 6x6
Kodak Tourist 6x9 Anaston lens
I brought my 5x7 view camera out to just show it off to a client and ended up lecturing a group of kindergartners on how it works, per request of their teacher.
They seemed real interested in something that old that does the same thing Mommy's Iphone does.
5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
Random 35mm stuff
I get more looks when I shoot my medium format cameras... I really get a lot of varied reactions when I load film.
large digital slrs have pretty much destroyed the concept of "candid photography" in the news business. Bring out one of those monsters and people automatically perform.
Decades ago the dictum of LIFE photographers was that you had to become invisible -- and with a small Leica or Nikon, both very quiet, you could. It is impossible to do so with a massive lensed DSLR, or even a film SLR, and while they do get a lot of different shots than you can with a small rangefinder, the is an intimacy that is lost. LIFE's brilliant photo story by W. Eugene Smith about a day in the life of a country doctor would have been impossible, or at least a lot harder, to shoot by a photographer loaded down with the usual couple of hulking giant lensed cameras.
Of course, very few photographers today are W. Eugene Smith, too. I keep saying, great photography is 5 percent what yu shoot with, 95 percent you.
how much you? The article says that Smith spent several days with the doctor taking pictures with no film in the camera so the doctor could get used to Smith, and he spent several weeks on this one assignment. There is no news publication in the country today that would spend that kind of staff time/money. Maybe a freelancer could do it, I dunno. And then nobody publishes that sort of photo essay any more either, so what does it matter?
Last edited by summicron1; 10-03-2013 at 10:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Summicron, thanks for that link, it is incredible.
I'm starting to buy a photo collection book now and then, and Smith is on the short list.
Back on subject, I find a largish SLR will attract attention depending on where you are. In touristy areas, usually not, in small quiet towns where you're a stranger, you bet. Then, the excellent little Rollei B35 does it's stuff.