As Photokina approaches and we all start drooling over new cameras, don’t forget that you can enjoy your hobby just as much with the gear you already own. If not, then why is this still your hobby? I have two cameras that can consistently remind me of this: the Minolta Talkman and the Lomo Fisheye.
The Talkman is a 35mm point-n-shoot with a fixed 35mm f/2.8 lens and “autofocus”. Even though I’m a big fan of Minolta, I feel like they’re lying when they put a big “AF” on the front of the Talkman. I’m 99% sure it’s fixed focus. Not having the ability to manual focus is not the same as autofocus. There is, however, a voice that tells you to “check distance” sometimes, but it seems pretty random and the only out of focus shots I’ve ever gotten are with subjects too close to the camera. But none of this matters because the camera TALKS! It says useful things like “too dark, use flash”, or “load film”. Ok, the talking is a gimmick and a product of misguided marketing, but it’s why the camera is fun. A sample:
I’ve already written about the Lomo Fisheye camera before, so I’ll just share a recent shot I took of the monorail in Seattle. The fisheye is fun to use and the fact that you have to wait for the film to be developed to see the results only makes it more fun. Every time I take a picture with it, I get the feeling the shot won’t turn out, so every successful image is a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, the fisheye doesn’t talk.
Get out there and take some pictures with the camera you already have! That doesn’t mean you have to stop drooling, though…