Twenty years ago I had the camera of my dreams – a Nikon F4. It was a beast of a camera – large and heavy. The lenses were even heavier and together they could break anyones back, if worn for a day. Still – this was my dream camera. This was one of those times when I honestly thought that I would never buy a new camera again.
It was the time when digital cameras started to show up on the market. I had read about them in magazines and finally got my first – a compact Minolta Dimage – in 2001. However – I dreamt about a digital back on my F4. What a great thing that would have been.
Now, twenty years later, I realize that the circle is complete. I now have a digital Leica M-D as my main camera. For a while it has been my [new] dream camera, and not long ago I found one on the Internet. The are not easy to find – but finally I was lucky.
My M240 was out – the M-D was in.
I realized that this was exactly what I dreamt of back in the early 2000, when I had my Nikon F4. I never dreamt of a large LCD screen, hundreds of functions, video and features. All I wanted was my F4 and a digital back, so I didn’t have to use film and the slow process around it. And now I have it – in the shape of a Leica M-D type 262.
The M-D has almost exactly the same features that the Nikon F4 had. Shutter speed, aperture, iso-dial, exposure compensation and focus. But that’s about it. The F4 was in fact a little more advanced in some ways; auto focus, program mode and could shoot 10 frames per second (or so…).
I understand that I must be seen as crazy – an over priced digital camera with no functions what so ever. But I must say that it is a joy to use. It is a challenge to shoot with it – just like shooting film. I must do everything by my self and really get all in to the photography.
Why not shoot film instead? Well I still have my film cameras – and use them now and then. Film is fantastic – but sometimes the digital flow is more convenient. Simple as that.
Finally I have bought my last camera. Or not…