2008-10-23

Somebody stop me!

Holy hell! Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse my camera buying obsession has gone up a notch. It started about a week ago when I was out taking photos with my Bronica. I noticed that it wasn't as lightweight and portable as I would like. I bought the Bronica specifically because it was smaller than the Mamiya RZ67. I'm now thinking that I want something smaller and less conspicuous for street photo. I'm seriously considering buying a rangefinder camera. I've been researching rangefinders for the last few days. The choices are absolutely staggering. Rangefinder cameras seem to be a whole different world. The world of medium format SLRs was quite straightforward. There are only a few manufacturers and the cameras from different manufacturers are all fairly similar. The world of rangefinders is completely different. Not only is the technology different, it uses different terminology. There are manufacturers that I'm not familiar with, like Leica and Voigtlander. This is going to be fun!

I guess my first decision is whether to go 35mm or medium format. I like the compactness of the 35mm, but I also like large 6x7 negatives. The Voigtlander Bessa R3M/R4M seems like it might be a good choice. They're affordable and compact. I'm intrigued by the 1:1 viewfinder on the R3M, but I like to do most of my shooting in wide angle, so the R4M might be a better choice for me. In 6x7 there's the Mamiya 7ii and several Fuji cameras, but they're very expensive.

Why am I looking for a rangefinder when my project really doesn't need one? Because I'm finding that I really enjoy film photography, and I want to explore as many different aspects of film photography as I can. The rangefinder is not for the project. I'm looking for a rangefinder for it's own sake.

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