I'm 64 on Thursday and due to medical issues I've lost 150 lbs and much of my muscle. So, the downsizing issue is a current thing for me. I tried to carry my MF Bronica ETRS kit to shoot the hospital and decided in quick fashion the kit had to be emptied. I first decided on a single lens, then dumped the metered prism and speedgrip for the WL finder and a handheld meter. Only the back on the camera and a couple of rolls of flm instead of multiple preloaded backs. In stripped trim, it works but still heavier than I'd like as towards the end of the day it becomes heavy.
Then compared it to the Rolleiflex T and the T is much lighter. It needs a cla so I've not used it but it obviously is a realistic and practical alternative.
Found a Asahi S1a with a couple of lenses and thought maybe a well built 35mm slr would work. This model does not have a built in meter so it with the handheld was taken out for a dry run for a day to see if too heavy. It weighs more then the Rollei and less than the Bronica in stripped form. No go, better than the Bronica but still was too tiring to carry for 8 hours. Frustrating to say the least. But all is not lost for me as there is the Leica CL with the 40 and 90mm lenses. As i do not use the 90mm as much as I probably should, I left it home and afte 8 hours I did not feel the camera at all so, it is my standard today. Someone suggested I again try an M6 but the heft ain't light and not a whole lot lighter than the Asahi so the M series is out but the earlier Barnacks ar smaller and lighter and could be a good compromise.
Also have a Canon AF35 (first model) that is plastic, fully automatic and has auto advance and AF. Noisy as heck but the glass is very decent. It weighs almost nothing compared even to the CL so it was considered by not ready to downsize quite that much. Lastly, the 1/2 frame Konica. Auto everything and thin. Easily slips into a shirt pocket and not much thinker or heavier than many of those small digitals that only have a lcd screen. I've yet to load it but used it for some years and surprisingly good. Plus 2x the number of exposures per 35mm cassette. It will be probably the last film camera I carry as it is so small and light. Until then, the Leica CL with the 40mm will do the job. I will keep the T but suspect it will remain a shelf queen as the Leica is smaller and lighter.
I do have a dslr (yuck) but it is heavy so, my son who has claimed possession can keep it.
My friend who's retired was cleaning his basement and found dark room equipment he was going to disgard. I contacted a local college's professor where they teach photography and asked if they could use it. The professor gave me the name of a student who could. So my friend was able to "donate" his equipment to the student who hopefully is finding good use for it.
Brian L, I had at one time a Pentax 1000. Had a simple meter in it and was very light, wish I kept it but gave it to a young fellow who was a Travel journalist.
My thoughts are with you as you face medical issues.
Using that CL is a solid idea and a worthy unit to downsize too. Your an inspiration to others in that you find you rise above the age and health issues and yet still cling to your passion. (I know when I am told I'm an inspiration I usuayy respond poorly, but please know I mean it)
Hope to see some of your work.
Had a heart attack 3 years ago and it took me two years to get back on my feet and stop worrying about when I was going to die.
Five years ago I sold my Mamiya RB 67 and lens because I could no longer hand hold it because of Arthritis; should have traded it for an RB 67 pros S, anyway big mistake.
I now shoot 5 x 7 and have a Toyo 4x5 View that I refuse to give up because I might need it someday.
I also shoot with a Canon Digital when doing wildlife.
Your options are these: Go live everyday to it's fulliest or just give up.
The only cameras i sell now are those that I have restored.
I'll be turning 50. As we age, do we work smarter but not harder?
Thank you for your kind thoughts. Maybe at some time I'll finally go somewhat to the dark side and buy a scanner a learn what to do with it. I'll need one that can handle 6x6 and down to 9.5 for my Minox negatives. I think I may have some 6x9 from many years ago, can not remember if they were saved or not.
I was lucky to get the CL, almost an accident and think it about as practical and igh end as needed my past, current and future needs. If I did not already have the MF, I'd probably had never gone back to it with the Bronica. The CL and Rolleiflex would cover probably 99+% of what I did and the Yashica FX-3 the balance.
As for my passion, film is the only thing for me even if due too the health issues I fanally move to start using my Minox C again to save weight.
Very enlightening and sobering thread. I'm 38 and typically like to carry a light MF kit, but don't mind a 4x5 pack if I'm out for serious shooting (which unfortunately has been less lately). Your posts make me think hard about getting more in before the wheels start to fall off.
ROL, I disagree with your post even though I believe it was very honest and well put. The consumer may not care, but art shouldn't separate the ends from the means. I think this will always resonate with some portion of the population, young or old. Aside from that, whether film is "boutique" or "alternative" doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is whether it sticks around and remains a relevant and valued artistic medium. I'm confident it will, as it's too beautiful, both in process and product, not to.
All the best,
Here is a similar example of the OP. My wife (forever 24 years old :cool:) is a recognized world class birder. She is an author on Warblers and really knows her stuff. On Tuesday of this week I gave her a brand new pair of Leica 10X32 Ultravid HD binoculars. These things are sweet. They are 19.9 ounces.
Prior to this I had given her a pair of Leica 8x50 Ultrivid Binoculars, a couple of years back. These are killer binos in any light, but scream at low light in dense brush late in the evening and early mornings. They weigh 2.2 pounds. Much bigger and heavier.
The new binos are about half or less the size of the 8x50s and certainly far less in weight. She can carry these about her neck all day (yesterday was the first day) without fatigue. Easier to hand hold, or stay on point as they say for long lengths of time. They are so bright (new HD versions) that there is light loss but it is very acceptable.
This is much like the dilemma that I, you and others face as we age it seems. Lighter is better when the wheels begin to fall off (love that phrase, thanks Leo) So just another reminder why I started the OP, I certainly am not 24 forever and would like to willingly lighten my collection of bigger heavier cameras and still enjoy the best of photography. I am learning a lot from otherís experiences with this.
Blatant plug here:
This Sunday is World Pinhole Day. Get out and shoot some pinhole photography on Sunday.