The wisdom of the needle

This is a Fujica ST705. Attached to it is Fujinon 55mm lens and going through it is Fujicolor C200 film. Thank goodness for the Fuji corporation. Thank goodness also for simplicity. With the addition of two SR44 batteries (sadly non Fuji) the exposure needle kicks into life – it goes up for overexposed and down for underexposed and if you want a balanced exposure you need a level line equidistant between the “+” and “-” signs. It’s all about taking the picture and nothing else.

Simplicity is a concept that seems to be beyond most camera manufacturers especially at entry-level/enthusiast level. For example, I love my D90. It does everything I want a digital camera to do and does it well. But half the dial is taken up with scene modes that I will never use and I genuinely can’t understand why people who would use them would buy a D90 rather than the more obvious entry level cameras. For another example, my sister wanted a camera in time for the arrival of her second child (he arrived this morning) but instead of camera descriptions being helpful she was met with all manner of complete gobbledygook that doesn’t tell anybody anything. Instead of “focuses quickly, low light capable, takes video and has anti-shake technology” there were lines and lines of incomprehensible technical details. Still, she went with the Fuji as family tradition clearly dictates.

I was taken – as was the infinitely smarter Online Photographer – by the Leica S2. And not just because it costs more than my car. It is a beautiful beast of a camera. And it is also clearly all about the photograph. There is no dial, no command that is superfluous.

But you really shouldn’t have to spend £16,000 to get a camera that takes away everything distracting and leaves you with just the device for taking pictures.

See Mr Fujica large here.

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