Hong Kong Lucida

A Thinking Street Photography Blog

A Street Photographer’s Camera

I’ve been thinking a bit about the tools we use.

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A street camera is a machine for seeing.

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Frankly, any camera will do. But I prefer film cameras.

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For me, it’s a Leica M6 most of the time, because I need the meter once in a while.

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At other times, it’s a Contax TVS II, a Canon 600D (yes, a digital camera) with legacy lenses, or an Olympus XA 2, just to switch around a bit, to refresh my vision.

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I’m not adverse to using digital. But film cameras do last a long time.

Like my (2001 model) Toyota Corolla, which in Hong Kong, seems to be a mechanic’s favourite car.

It’s forgettable, reliable and replacement parts are easy to find.

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I’ve been reading about self-drive cars and their amazing electronics.

But I wonder how long the electronics would last.

Do we have to replace them the way we replace our tablets/smartphones/laptops?

I’m suspicious of planned (compelled) obsolescence.

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Would a digital camera last more than 3-5 years?

That’s the question I ask whenever I experience that rush of gear envy.

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Thanks for reading!

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2 400

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14 comments on “A Street Photographer’s Camera

  1. photostrunge
    May 28, 2015

    So true…

  2. marsymallows
    May 28, 2015

    I will forever shoot using film, may it be exclusively or not 🙂

  3. marsymallows
    May 28, 2015

    By the way, that is a humongous display/collection of TLRs!!!!

    • eddietay
      May 28, 2015

      Yup – it’s a fantastic setup – they deal with film cameras and lenses only.

      • marsymallows
        May 28, 2015

        Where is this in Hong Kong? Which are the best places to buy film? I know of the store called FilMe.

      • eddietay
        May 28, 2015

        It’s near the street market area of Sham Shui Po. Check out the url in one of the photos. Unfortunately most of the website is in Chinese. The other place to go to is Champagne Court at Tsim Sha Tsui, though it’s pricey there but the stuff is top quality.

      • marsymallows
        May 30, 2015

        Thank you Eddie! This is really helpful!!

      • eddietay
        May 30, 2015

        Welcome!

  4. Jim Grey
    May 28, 2015

    I’m gingerly venturing into street work, overcoming my fears of being noticed and accosted. But when I do it, I shoot my digital Canon S95. I have a hundred film cameras here to choose from, but none of them have the display on the back so I can frame while shooting from the hip. My S95, by the way, has shot probably 20,000 photos since I got it in 2010. It’s been enormously reliable.

    • eddietay
      May 28, 2015

      Yup – the camera has to suit the person behind it. Good choice!

  5. Peter Lam
    May 29, 2015

    I’m convinced that a well-cared for Corolla, especially one of the earlier models, will easily outlast humanity. Great pics. HK is truly a mecca for photo gear.

    • eddietay
      May 29, 2015

      Yup – and I’d say the same of a film Leica camera. Thanks for reading!

  6. Adrian Krucker
    July 5, 2015

    Hi Eddie! Cool post and valuable information. Although mainly shooting digital, I did start out analog. I’m sure analog photography will not disappear, since the cameras last and can be considered high end to this day. I just recently got myself some rolls of film. It brings one back to thinking ‘OK, I got 36 exposures – lets get it right with the first shot!’ Even loading the camera has something magic… which digital cameras don’t have. Film will last. Have a nice week! Adrian

    • eddietay
      July 5, 2015

      Yup – film compels one to be more disciplined. Thanks for reading!

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