I am about to leave on a trip to Europe including a week in Germany and another home with friends and family in the UK.
Of course I want to take photos whilst I am there and of course I want to take a film camera; but which one (or two, or three)?
I was thinking about this yesterday and here is my kit list;
- My Olympus Pen-F digital and two lenses
- Voigtläner Vitomatic II
- A medium format; either Mamiya C330 or Voigtländer Bessa RF
- plus the little pocket Sony DSC-QX10
Really? Four cameras? Do I really need to take them all? I can justify each and every one of them to myself and feel I really do. But then I think maybe I am deluding myself.
In two weeks am I really going to make excellent use of them or am I just going to give my self a dilemma every time I go out as to which one I take; or potentially worse take them all out every time and end up switching between them depending on the shot. All of which leads to missed opportunities, and aching back and a less than marvelous experience.
I’m crap at choosing.
So dare I leave the decision making at home and only take one?… ONE! but then which one?
here are the contenders;
Pen-F – this is a great all rounder and I would not miss a single shot. I love shooting with it and the results are good. But it’s not film and it’s not weather proof (I’m in Germany and England in February).
Vitomatic – It’s a lovely little 35mm range-finder, takes good pictures and reliable. I am comfortable using it in a range of situations, I have used it a few times recently (Chicago and LA). It would be kinda cool to take the German Voigtländer home to Germany. It has only one fixed 50mm lens (don’t think that is a problem). Kinda want to use a different camera though.
C330 – Haven’t used this enough yet and really want to get more familiar with it; it’s a great solid and robust camera; taking a medium format is something I am keen to do. It is quite bulky though… and heavy.
Bessa – I am getting familiar with this and, as it’s a folder, it’s quite a nice compact medium format so might be ideal for travelling. Also, as with the Vitomatic, a German camera in Germany might be nice. It is very old and not sure the weather will be kind to it.
QX10 – it’s just a handy thing to be able to keep in your pocket for touristy or group pictures and better then the phone on it’s own; also great for sharing. It’s slow to use though and I only really use it when I don’t want to carry a ‘real’ camera.
The Pen is easiest but obvious and then I leave film behind. The Vitomatic would be my next go-to but maybe I need to explore one of my others. The C330 would be great, can I lug it about though. The Bessa is a grand old camera, convenient but maybe too fragile for this. The QX-10 is just a handy option and takes up no space so why not? but I wouldn’t take only that as it’s not really a quality shooter.
Part of me thinks; just take a film camera and be daring – but what if…. Also that would mean I can’t post anything here until I get the film back from the developers.
Okay TWO then;
Let try to break this down then. Lets say that the Pen-F is a given as it’s the most flexible and I am so familiar with it, it’s almost instinctive.
I don’t want to risk the Bessa so that leaves the German 35mm RF or the Japanese 120 TLR…
I guess it has to be the Vitomatic. It’s small which, if I am carrying two is more convenient. It’s German. It’s reliable and I am familiar with it.
There will be other opportunities to use the Mamiya I am sure
Okay decision made… right?
[The image above is nothing really to do with this subject (although they could be making their own decision about something), just wanted to share an image – this was taken with the Vitomatic II]