Monday, July 29, 2013

my mid-life crisis

I guess I'm the only one out there that still wishes I were in my 20's or even 30's.  Is that right?  Just me?  Maybe that's why I just bought a Fujifilm X20 camera, above.  I think the camera designers at Fuji knew exactly what they were doing when they came up with a camera that looks painfully similar to the classic Leica M3, below, the camera that I used in the 1980s.  I would like to think that I took some nice photographs, all shot with Tri-X, hand processed and printed, with that rangefinder camera.  In fact there is a folio upstairs in a drawer where I could see some of those photographs.  But I won't look at it tonight, preferring to keep the idea of those "nice" photographs intact.

Buying the X20 was not a rash decision.  I've been looking at the camera for about a year, reading reviews and looking at sample images on the internet.  I wanted a digital camera that was small, well built and with a fair amount of manual control.  After a lot of thought and research, I concluded this was the camera for me.  

I do like the advanced optical viewfinder with real-time data display, and I like the ability to turn off the battery-eating lcd display on the back of the camera.  The lens is the 35 mm equivalent of a 28 to 110 mm lens, which covers about 90+% of what I want to shoot.  There are some nice macro shooting features, and the ability to shoot in full manual mode.

I've been shooting with the camera for about four days now, experimenting here and there.   I've made a few adjustments, turning off the lcd, increasing the sharpness, and increasing the contrast in the shadow areas - all of which were easily done on the menu.  

And I have shot a lot of images of isolated light, because somebody once told me that photography is nothing more that recording light and shadow.  And this camera seems to do that pretty well.

Am I recommending this camera?  Not at all.  Rangefinder cameras are a distinctly different kind of camera.  I like them, alway have.  But even when I was shooting the Leica M3 in the 80s I was the exception - SLR cameras were then, and are now, the norm.  But the rangefinder works for me.  

What gets the negative review on the X20?  Battery life.  But that is the same with all digital cameras.  I just have to deal with it.  Turning off the LCD and a lot of other features - face recognition - will help with that.  But I'll deal with the battery issues as long as I can shoot night shots as 400 iso and a long exposure - kind of like I used to shoot with my old Leica M3.  

Those were the days.....



Curt said...

A well deserved addition to your kit. Looking forward to your photos... they inspire me.

Bill said...

Just looking at it, I never would have guessed that's a digital camera. Pretty neat!

Anonymous said...

Sweet kit, but since according to a midlife crisis is a time for reflection on one's self, are we to see an array of self portraits? :)

Steve said...

I generally prefer to be on the backside of the camera. It's safer there.


Graham Neil said...

20's 30's? I'd settle for 40's or even early 50's.
If I knew then...............

Nice camera though.

Anonymous said...

I still have my Leica M3, and I notice how Fuji and others are trying to present themselves like Leica.

Will have to put the Fujifilm X20 on my Christmas list.

Thanks for the personal "Review".