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Big Little Film Digital

December 8th, 2009

Canon 5D Mark II, Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Leica M7

L to R: Canon 5D Mark II, Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Leica M7

About six months ago, I decided I was going to realize the dream of exquisite image making, and I ordered the much lauded digital photo and video breakthrough camera, the Canon 5D Mark II. As a multimedia designer, I justified the purchase as one that would be beneficial to my work; I could now produce the imagery and video that I needed for my web projects.

Well, I’ve used the camera for paying gigs a few times, but the real value of the purchase has been in the reminder of how damn satisfying it is to take photos with a beautiful camera — the weight, the shutter click, the control, the image quality. I’d been hobbling along with little digital point-n-shoots for years, capturing memories more than making images, really. My nifty pop-up Polaroid SX-70 and my old Pentax 35mm SLR had long been sitting on the shelf, relegated to being objects of curiosity — remnants of an earlier era.

Now, however, with my new digital friend egging me on, my inner photographer has been reawakened, and the desire to geek out on camera gear is growing stronger. Now I want a little classic Leica in my jacket pocket, I want to snap some gorgeous style photos with a Polaroid modded Mamiya, I want to hang a red bulb in the bathroom and develop black and white pics all day long. Well, maybe not the last bit.

Actually, now that I think about it, venturing back into the world of film is a bit like opening a black hole of gear, shutter release hesitation, and endless incremental expense.

So, perhaps I’ll just be satisfied to look forward to the next firmware update for the Mark II, and will hold off on stockpiling film cartridges in my crisper for just a bit longer. But, man, I gotta stay away from Craigslist, or who knows what might end up in mail on its way to my door.

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