It Is Harder Than It Looks


It certainly is. The search for the digital press camera, I mean.

I have been bolting and unbolting, shifting clamps and reversing screws for the better part of the week – trying to make a Fujifilm X-100 fulfil the requirements. It nearly does and then nearly doesn’t. It hasn’t cost any money yet, so it is still in the realm of speculation rather than peculation…but there are several things emerging:

  1. When designers make cameras for people they make cameras for right-handed people. And they make cameras for right-handed people who will be taking pictures in the landscape orientation. Everyone else – the lefties and the portraitists or whoever can just bumble along and suffer.
  2. DSCF7380This means that your eye to the eyepiece will either be in the centre of the camera or at the upper left hand side – as viewed from the back. ie. Washington state or North Dakota. You will be expected to mash your nose against the LCD screen for the latter but you can let it escape to the side of the camera for the former.
  3. DSCF7381This in turn means that when you put the camera to the portrait mode – ie. upright instead of flat – it will depend on which of your eyes is dominant as to whether you can still let your nose escape ( left eye dominant… ) or whether you are still going to have your nose mashed ( right eye dominant…). If you have a small Asian nose you are fine. If you have a large German nose you are not. My name is Stein.
  4. The shutter button is down there somewhere. No sexual innuendos, please. You are going to have to press it with your right finger or thumb. Again no innuendos, unless you have dirty pictures to support them.
  5. You can’t support the camera with your right hand whilst prodding around for the shutter button – even if you have a button extender in the shape of a ladybug on it. Not if you are going to support the outfit safely. You need to use your left hand to hold the thing.
  6. Slippery little sucker, isn’t it? Add a flash to the top somewhere and it gets heavier.

Let’s take a break from this for a while. Linhof in their 220 design put the eyepiece on the Washington state edge of the camera but it was in portrait mode to start with and they figured ( correctly ) that most press users wanted it just that way. The German noses of the press people who used it were free to breath while composing and the only danger was they might whack themselves in the beak while operating the film advance lever rapidly. We are fighting a major battle against geometry here. Have at thee, Euclid.


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