Comrade Tom Tigers
RANTICS

Part 1, Share your thoughts with me....

Thoughts gone astray on Russian cameras
and
Manual Photography


They, some of the so called "professionals" told me that Russian cameras weren't worth the effort. Had poor optics. Bad construction. Poor performance.
"What? A Zenit???? Oh you poor deluded soul.... You must have at least a Nikon or a Canon to get some good shots."
I was laughed at using my Zenit-E. So I did what any normal person would do. I put away my Zenit and bought a Canon instead, I used it for several years. I wanted more so I bought another state of the art Canon.
But, My fellow Comrades and Russian camera users.... I was misled!
There are times when these small computerized marvels of photography sent you up the famous creek without the famous paddle.
Lets talk autofocus. You got to have autofocus, you NEED autofocus. You must buy a camera with autofocus. Well that is what they tell you.
Why?..... Autofocus has left me in the blue on more than one occasion. Autofocus is based on contrastdifferences. Unfortunatly in some cases this is just not possible. Regular readers and people who know me know that I have this thing about airshows. Well... autofocus doesn't seem to like little grey planes in a grey sky. It seems to srew up the computer inside your camera. Just like a green grasshopper, yes you guessed it, sitting in the grass. Autofocus just fails bigtime.... And don't get me started on lightmeters.
Offcourse this doesn't mean that these are bad cameras. And I'm very happy that my Canon can be set to manual.

But a thought occured, if I set the camera to manual or half auto. Why not go back to full manual. After all I had a Zenit. It is fully manual. So I did. I put away my Canon and picked up manual photography again. Dare I say... " I have seen the Light !" Comrades?
No, I musn't. Because the path of manual photography is not an easy one. But it is a rewarding one. You don't just quit using full auto and move to full manual in an instant, No Sir! Now I was forced to use my brain to figure out what to do. That was a change... no more "green zone" no more auto light meter! No more autofocus. Then again, change never comes easy.

But....

Is it worth to walk the path of full manual photography?
Is it worth the time and effort?
And what the heck has it to do with Russian Cameras?
Aren't there any other manual cameras around?
Is this truly the path to photographic enlightenment and good shots?

Good questions Comrades. And I will try to answer them all. But let it be known that I do no longer speak just for myself but also as a member of a vast community, the Proletariat if you will, of people who think the same. People who not only like to use manual cameras, but like Russian cameras aswell.

It is fair to say that there are a lot more manual cameras around. But and this is a big but, what do you do when they break down?
An old Canon AE or a Pentax Spotmatic can set you back a hunderd or even two hundred dollars in repaircosts. So here is a reason to choose for Russian Cameras. They are CHEAP. Do you want to work with Leica but don't have the money? Then buy a Zorki or a Fed. If it breaks down you can either try to repair it yourself or just get a new one.

Are they optically sound?
Yes Comrade.
Are they up to the job?
Yes Comrade.
Granted, they take some getting used to.

But if anything goes wrong then there is the big internet Proletariat to help you.

Are you though enough or for that matter crazy enough to read ....

Part 2, Legend of the FotoSnaiper ?

Copyright © Tom A.H. Piel

All rights reserved