Okay, now for just a second, pretend you're me. (No, you don't have to be a left-handed freethinking introverted artistic Socialist. Bear with me here.) Let's say you had grown up shooting black-and-white film. Even though you like digital, accept digital, and acknowledge that most of your shooting in the future will be digital, you just have this annoying nagging sentimental attachment to film that you keep wanting to indulge—as an add-on, a secondary thing, a sideline. Which of the following would you get, if you had to limit your choices to only one of these three?
• A Zeiss Ikon rangefinder with a Voigtländer 35mm ƒ/2.5 PII lens. It's quiet, portable, discreet, a pleasure to use, you can use your favorite film with it, and you're very fond of the lens. On the other hand, 35mm doesn't scan all that well, and even excellently crafted prints from 35mm negs aren't seen as too terribly special out in the broad World.
• A cherrywood Wista 45DXII with a Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 150mm ƒ/5.6 lens. Another very pretty and distinctive camera, fun to use; a tiny little lens that's basically the best you've ever tried in any format; but of course you have to use it on a tripod and your favorite film doesn't come in this size. Then again, your scanner has a 4x5 film holder.
• A Pentax 67II with an AE finder and a 105mm ƒ/2.4 lens. Kinda splits the difference. Loud, pretty bulky, but a very nice viewfinder, and it has the diopter adjustment you need to use SLRs, and you can use your favorite film with it. Plus, the bigger neg means some nice opportunities for craft-oriented printmaking.
I'd love to hear any thoughtful opinions. The rest of you, don't make fun of me, please.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON