Comrade Tom Tigers

Part 4, Pure Manual photography

Is it just me or have photographers become lazy over the years?
People just buy a camera that does everything, it focusses automaticly, it chooses the right speed and aperture for you. Heck, it evens follows your eye and focusses on what you are looking at!
Modern cameras have programs for Sport, Portrait, Landscape and more.
You just press the button and off you go another shot made.
What happened?
I even noticed that people are looking in disgust to the humble manual camera.
"I has no batteries. I have to do everything." they complain....
Like DUH... that is why it is manual... Smartass....

I call for a return to Honest and Pure photography with no automatics to disturb the creative process. A lightmeter? Allright, so that has electronics. But use a handheld. or an uncoupled meter. Take more than one reading, use a greycard and make up your own mind.
Then you determine the light. You control the light.
Don't let the camera control you, that is wrong!
You bought the damn thing! You should control it!
If you think that you need more light, then open up that lens!
Even if it goes wrong, you can say I've done that, I've learned from it.
You can't say that with an automatic program.

Be gone evil doers with your automatic film inlay, autofocus and autometering, thou has spoilt photography under the frase "We want to make photography accesible to the masses"

Well, if the masses wanted it then why do they keep buying throwaway cameras.
And those cheap auto ones....

The Zenit is pure photography, it does not need automatics. And I am not just talking Zenit here! I am talking about all the great manual cameras. Exakta, Pentax Spotmatic, Zorki, Leica, Zeis, Contax, just to name a few of the greatest of cameras during the golden days of photography. I'm not talking about Canon or Nikon, the have gone commercial to much during the eighties and nineties of the 20th century.

So lets return to the Zenit, the E type, legendary of all cameras. Where was I. Ah, Yes. The Zenit is pure photography, it does not need automatics.
  • No auto depth field preview,
  • No auto film inlay
  • No Auto aperture
  • No auto speed
  • No Auto anything

Because we are not affraid to use our brains!

We do not hide behind "I'm concentrating on the composition"
Or "I have no time to figure it all out." Or the LUDRICOUS "My shots must be perfect!"
Let me laugh in silence on that last remark...
I thaught that the photographer made the shots. I didn't know there is a camera around that makes YOUR perfect shots. Oh Yes. It's tiny Microbrain computer might think so. In it's little electronic world every shot is perfect according to it's program.

Is the Zenit a..
Light camera? HAH!
Small camera? HAH!

No way, Russian Camera not small, Russian Camera not light. Russian Camera BIG and HEAVY. Now that is workmanship. You can just feel it. Way better than that plastic stuff they are turning out nowadays.
Ergonomics? We do'n need no stienking Ergonomics.
Just another hypeword. If you can hold the camera you can use the camera. Handgrip? Why? You have the Ever Ready Real Leather Case! You don't need more! Why should you need more! Your camera is stored inside strong leather. With a delightfull smell I might add. Doesn't everybody love the smell of leather?

Be Gone plastic cameras with your autofocus that doesn't work half of the time. Be gone with your malfuntioning batteries.
Your stupid menusystems and hard to read manuals.
Why does my plastic camera not work in rain?

More famous cryouts of the "automatic" photographer..
  • "Whoops, I can't take no more pictures my lensmotor has shortcircuited."
  • "Whoops sand in the camera, it's dead now...."
  • "Batteries Batteries, I forgot my spare batteries."
  • "What do you mean you don't have the Lithium Ion Triple power C12Z568Y battery in your photostore?"
  • "I left the camera on... batteries are dead."
  • "Love that motorwinder, click, oh oh, run out of film."
  • "Whoops, I left my camera on what is that clicking sound coming from my fotocase? Hey? my film is all black?"
But my Zenit still works! It still works in the rain. It works in the mud. It works in the storms. Heck it even works in the desert when I'm blasted with sand and I didn't want to be there in the first place. Just dust out the sand and it IS working.

And after almost 30 years my Zenit still works....
My Zorki hasn't given up on me... and it's from 1955.
And my FED.... just keeps on going...
Heck, even my dad's good old Exakta still clicks away.
My lenses don't quit focussing because of a bit of rain, heck they don't even care about rain.

Manual Photography should be recognized as a sport of it's own. with it's own handicaps.
Famous cryouts of manual photography are...

  • "AHH, I forgot to turn my depth of field preview on my helios"
  • "Dang! I forgot to take of the lenscap of my zorki rangefinder"
  • "Oh my god, I laid the film in wrong no shots made"
  • "No No NO! I turned my speeddial and forgot to cock the shutter"
  • "Oh dear I forgot my lightmeter, why are all my shots almost white?"
  • "How the heck do I rewind the film again?"
  • "I set up everything, right settings good composition, dang... clouds"
  • "Why do people run away when I try to shoot them with my Photosniper?"

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

Part 5, On Ebay no one can hear you scream... ?

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