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
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
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
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!
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.
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)
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
|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
|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)|
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
|Seagull 6x6 TLR |
|Folding Camera 6x6cm Iloca
|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
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.
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
|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.
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.
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!
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!