equipment
home galleries articles equipment links contact

 

History:
Sometimes things get clearer, when you know whats on the way to come to some decision. The historical way of someone more often can help to weight his statements. If you have time you are invited...
Klick here to read more about my photographic history
.

My current equipment:
I use several equipment to do my photography. My first and till now the most used system is my Minolta manual focus equipment. The best lenses in this line (Rokkors) are capable of producing tag sharp high contrasty pictures that can compete with the best lenses available today. In my opinion they are most often even better despite their age of about 30 years now.
Klick here to visit my current 35mm  Minolta manual focus SLR system page.

There can be circumstances that you want to get even more picture quality then the fine Rokkor lenses can give to you on the little 35mm film. The limiting factor is more film size than the lenses. So my first try in the direction towards a bigger film format was a Seagull 6x6 TLR camera wich I ordered 1980.
But this camera really doesn't convince me to take it instead of my Minolta 35mm system. There is no visible improvement because of the cheap unsharp lens. I own this camera till now but didn't use it for years now.
My second aproach towards better picture quality was a Hasselblad 500CM with its highly praised Carl Zeiss Oberkochen glass. And yes, from the first film roll on I got what I not even had imagined. The four main lenses (Distagon 1:4 50mm, Planar 2.8 80mm, Planar 3.5 100mm and Sonnar 1:5.6 150mm) I use, perform even better than expected. Till now I never had a camera that could produce pictures really comparable to the Hasselblad Zeiss glass. I soon understood why so many pro's use this glass.
When there is dream weather out there and I go for a photo walk with my dog then my decission is clear. The Hasselblad is with us!

Klick here to visit my_Hasselblad 6x6 cm SLR system page
.

I heared and read many things from the net and therefore a friend of mine (a TLR collector) decided to give the Minolta Autocord a trial because many in the net were convinced that a Autocord is able to deliver picture quality comparable if not even better to the well known top performing Rolleiflexes. The first roll shows that the picture quality was much better than my Seagull and also slightly better than a Pentagon SIX with a 2.8 80mm Biometar. But the Hasselblad Zeiss Glass still is my favorite. Its sharpness from center to edge is unbeaten and especially the other picture characteristics like bokeh are unreached. Zeiss glass pictures have something certain you can hardly explain. Despite this the Autocord takes tag sharp pictures stopped down to 8 or 11 and brings clear advantages concerning picture quality over all 35mm cameras and that's what we want to see if using medium format. Also the handling (film loading, focusing and so on) of the Autocord fits perfect to me.
Klick here to visit my Minolta Autocord TLR page
.

There are occasions where you need a carriable, small and light camera. It was very hard to find one that was also able to fullfill my requirements for picture quality. In the beginning of the 1980's I got it. My companion for skiing, cycling and motorbike tours from that time on gives picture quality like the top SLR lenses. It was a
Rollei 35SE. It has a Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens 2.8 40mm which I think is unbeaten in its class. (See for example Galleries - Top 10 - Thannheimer Tal)
Klick here to visit my Rollei 35SE page
.

All the others:
I really tried, used and tested many others:
Minolta 7000 AF System with new Minolta AF 1:1.7 50mm and AF 1:4 70-210mm
Canon AE1 with a newFD 1:1.8 50mm lens 
(not a bad camera, but in many ways not comparable to the fine Minolta XE's or XD's)
Contax D with a Carl Zeiss Jena 2.8 50mm Tessar (inherited from my grandpa)
Yashica 42mm Mount SLR with lenses 35mm 50mm and 135mm
also usable on the Contax
Revueflex with Revuenon 1.9 50mm M42 (a very sharp Yashica lens but it has terrible distortion)
Meier Optik Görlitz 2.8 50mm (optically a terrible lens)
Aus Jena 2.8 50mm (also far away from the best lenses!)
Voigtländer Vitoret with Color Skopar 2.8 50mm
Seagull 6x6 TLR 
Folding Camera 6x6cm Iloca Reporter
Canon AF 35 with 1:2.8 38mm lens (for my wife) optically clear behind the Rollei 35SE with its Sonnar 
Olympus µ(mju-1) with 35mm lens (for my sun) also optically not comparable to the Rollei 35SE with its Sonnar
And many, many others...

Not a single one of all the 35mm-film lenses I tried and tested visibly beats the old Rokkors!

The only lens lines that in summary stay on paar with the best old Rokkors are the Leica and Carl Zeiss for Rollei lines! Leica-R glass indeed not seldom is Minolta Rokkor glass.

 

Digital cameras:
What can I tell you about my relationship to digital photography. As engineer I was very interested in the upcoming technology. I myself have practical experience with the following digital cameras for the last years:

Casio QV 3000EX with Canon Lens 1:2.0-2.5 7-21mm (now the camera my wife uses most)
Epson PhotoPC 3000Z same lens and sensor as the Casio (now my ebay camera and also used by my children).  
Canon Powershot G2 (I use sometimes at work)
Canon Digital Ixus 400
Canon EOS-1 Ds (I had the opportunity to test this camera together with a Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM, a Canon EF 17-40mm 1:4L USM and a Canon EF 100mm 1:2.8 Macro USM for a weekend from my dealer)
Canon Powershot G5
Olympus 5060 (sometimes I used this camera from my father)
Olympus 8080 (my current workhorse for most of my digital tasks) Klick here to visit my Olympus C-8080Wide Zoom page.

So I'm in the boat since 2000, the year the first cameras with the high praised 3 Megapixels Sony sensor got available.

Why not a Minolta digicam? All tests showed that the Minolta A2 or Minolta A200 lenses are not at the same quality level with the Olympus! And that's the simple reason! I for all the decades choosed my Photography equipment by lens quality comparisons and always drove well this way!

The DSLR's IMHO have the problem with dust on the sensor. You should not change lenses as often like me with my analog Minolta bodies. The risk to get dirt on the sensor is not to be underestimated. Therefore I for myself decided to stay with the best lens available in the 8 Megapixel prosumer category, a Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom. The lens in the Olympus is a technical masterpiece and outresolves all competitors in the tests:
15 lenses in 13 groups, 3 of which are ED-glass and 2 aspherical.

The Olympus C-8080WZ camera with this lens beats clear the 6 MPixel DSLR's like the Canon 10D or 300D with its 18-55mm Zoom concerning sharpness and resolution.

But even this ultra modern digicam is far away from the picture quality my Hasselblad is able to deliver concerning sharpness, contrast and the overall picture composition! Many pros have decided for themselfs that digital delivers enough quality for their requirements but not me!

Also Digital photography is in many other ways different from analog film photography:
The picture composition of a digicam is more "clinical clear", a way that can look unusual and unnatural to us.
Color reproduction of some films (for example velvia) may in some way be not perfect, but simply looks fantastic. Also you have the choice from many emulsions to get the effects you want.
Due to the usual smaller sensor size the depth of field has clearly much increased. For some tasks this is a clear advantage for digital, but for many compositions in photography the possibility to separate the main object against an unsharp background is essential!

So in my opinion the analog film is in some way more capable of delivering art work in photography! That's why I will continue to use it for the next years, not for all tasks, but for my fine art photography!