The camera in your hands is always the best one. You can’t very well capture the moment with the fancy camera you left at home because it’s too large to carry. I like to carry a small camera — just in case.
I was taking a break at the other end of the arcade when I saw the person standing there all alone. I liked the perspective and my instincts took over. My little Olympus Stylus Epic was out of my pocket ready to shoot in seconds. I’m glad the lens is a no zoom 35mm f2.8. It was a gloomy day but I had plenty of light. A zoom would have ruined the perspective.
I put the viewfinder (yes, remember those little windows where you frame your shots?) to my eye and pulled the trigger. The stylus is fully automatic. The only control you have is flash off and a spot meter if you want. And it’s a pain to use in a vertical orientation so I had to crop from the full 35mm image.
Some of my best shots have been taken with this little camera. I haven’t been using it lately because it sets the ISO automatically from the DX code on the film cartridge and I rate my Tri-X at 1600 instead of the 400 box speed. Ah! Now I know how to trick the camera by changing the DX code with a razor blade. I have an almost done roll of Ilford HP5 loaded now. I must finish and process the film to see how well my trickery worked.
I can shoot a couple dozen rolls with one small lithium battery and the sensor (35mm flim) is the same size as the sensor in the $2,400 Nikon D700. My Stylus fits in my shirt pocket, is ready to shoot instantly, cost me $90 in 2001 and it came with a free, 4 element, high quality 35mm f2.8 glass lens. What’s not to like.
When I decided I needed to get back into photography in 2001 I wasn’t sure which SLR I wanted. I couldn’t wait so I bought the Stylus and have never regretted that purchase. A few weeks later I “happened” to stop in my local used camera dealer and the rest is history. He had lots of Nikon stuff, I bought a low end FG and a cheap 50mm lens.
I tried macro work with the FG and it worked but… Then one day when I was day dreaming about getting an F3 I saw one on eBay for $290 and bought it now. I love that camera. I collected some decent lenses, another body or two and some other goodies. I was addicted to NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome). But that day when I shot this picture, all my heavy artillery was sitting at home. Good thing I always carried my little Stylus.
Drop on by The Monochrome Weekend, especially if you are a monochrome maniac. There’s lots of links to some great monochrome photography.