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View Full Version : What's the most important part of your camera?


benedictjames
04-06-2008, 19:56
For me, if I don't have a finder I can live with, the camera simply ceases to become a camera. Doesn't matter what lens is on front, or the name on it, if the finder sucks, so does my photography!

Through the finder is how I ... well ... 'find' my pictures, as opposed to looking around me with the camera away from my eye first, then framing and shooting. It's the way I've always been with a camera, seeing and interacting with the world I live in through the viewfinder - always.

This is the main reason I got interested in RFs - their bright non-blackout finders, and on mine anyway, no flashing lights! Also their easier MF (I hate autofocus!). My favourite finder is that on my Olympus Auto Eye RF - a nice brightline frame and a dial that shows the aperture on the bottom - perfect! I like a constant reference to what aperture I'm at without having to take the camera away from my eye, and little or nothing else in there to distract me. Could be a BIT brighter, but it's just about perfect.

What's the most important part of your camera ... and why?

tripod
04-06-2008, 20:05
The most important part is the brain and eyes of the person holding it.

benedictjames
04-06-2008, 20:10
OMG :eek:, are some of you guys (ref. to leicasniper here) just standing by waiting to pounce with a comment withing seconds of a poll hitting the list? I literally just uploaded it, refreshed the page right then and ... BINGO ... we have an insanely instant reply! It was so quick, you scared the bejesus out of me thinking the reply came BEFORE I submitted the thread!
BTW, I'm with ya on the feeling ... sometimes. But I'd like people's experiences with this one out of curiosity, as it's a question I just asked myself recently.

Pablito
04-06-2008, 20:17
The name on the front under the tape?????

bmattock
04-06-2008, 20:28
The lens cap.

back alley
04-06-2008, 20:33
i have always enjoyed a well turned rewind crank!

bmattock
04-06-2008, 20:33
i have always enjoyed a well turned rewind crank!

Oh, definitely. And a supple leather case, rrrrrr!

benedictjames
04-06-2008, 20:37
Well this has become a right larf and a harf :D
Was kinda predictable tho, I guess! Hardeehardeehar ...

crawdiddy
04-06-2008, 21:03
What, no tripod socket option?

benedictjames
04-06-2008, 21:18
Dang! I knew I should have put the tripod socket option in :bang:
... and the light seals of course. Where's interslice when you need him?!

projectbluebird
04-06-2008, 22:24
For me, the film. I have some favorites that I use in most formats.
Less talking, more shooting.

Keith
04-06-2008, 22:30
The co-relation between functionality and the price paid has to have the correct balance ... my M8 failed miserably here! :p

shimokita
04-06-2008, 22:44
The lens / optics have the biggest impact for a given setup, so I must go for that reply...

ChrisN
04-06-2008, 22:53
Agree the finder. There are plenty of good to excellent lenses available. But if I can't see clearly what I am rying to capture I can't bond with the camera. I love my M4, OM2n and and LX for this reason especially, and others.

pvdhaar
04-06-2008, 23:09
For me, the most important aspect isn't on the list.. it's the fondling factor, I've no other word for it. If a camera just feels right, it'll be the one that I can just grab and use intuitively. Even if the finder isn't perfect or the lens has some things against it, I make my best pictures with a camera that handles intuitively.

iamzip
04-06-2008, 23:47
The part right behind the viewfinder...

usagisakana
04-06-2008, 23:52
light. without it there would be no point to a camera

George Bonanno
04-07-2008, 00:15
I'd have to say it's "the mojo" happening in front of my camera.

Bobfrance
04-07-2008, 03:05
The nut at the back of the camera.

Sparrow
04-07-2008, 03:32
The nut at the back of the camera.

.................................:D

tvagi
04-07-2008, 04:03
everything is important!
but what's the use of an excellent lens, a bright viewfinder or
a high-tech camera,with no film loaded or with a bad film?!

FallisPhoto
04-07-2008, 16:12
Something not mentioned in your poll: the shutter. The lens? The lens is not necessarily a part of the camera, and on some of them can be changed if you don't like it. The viewfinder? Some cameras (view cameras, pinhole cameras, and etcetera) don't even have viewfinders, but you can still take good photos with them. Film? If you don't like it, you can change it, and it is not (again) part of the camera. The name on the front is utterly inconsequential. If your shutter is malfunctioning though, you're pretty much screwed.

Socke
04-07-2008, 16:24
Hm, I voted viewfinder, but Fallis argument is valid. Bu since I only use 24x36mm film or sensors, I stick to the viewfinder. That's what I see through and thus determines when I release the shutter, which hopefully doesn't fail ;)

rogue_designer
04-07-2008, 16:45
I like a good viewfinder.

Ergonomics are big too. The feel, how seemlessly I can manipulate and hold the camera so it's an extension of me. But that's mostly a function of time, even a bad design can become second hand.

The lens is important, but provided the camera can mount a range of lenses (LTM/M) whatever, then that's adjustable. But if the camera interferes with seeing well then all is lost.

The name is ridiculous. I suspect that the OP put that in there for humor.

benedictjames
04-07-2008, 17:33
In answer to FallisPhoto, perhaps another way to ask this question is as follows ...
Assuming that you are out with a camera that was given to you, and had only that one, and you were to be asked which of the parts I've chosen in the list (including whatever film HAPPENED to be in it) would you sacrifice the quality/usability of LAST, in order to acheive what YOU want photographically?

For example, is the lens that happened to be on that camera at that time the most important to your objectives, i.e. sharpness, contrast, later enlargability etc.? Or is it the specific type of film you use that could possibly define your work more than anything else, like say Tri-X? Or is it the usability of the viewfinder (assuming of course the camera has one in the first place!) that is the one over-riding thing that must be right FIRST in order to facilitate your photographic objectives and allow you to work the way you do in that regard?

Yes, you could list a whole lot of other things like the shutter in a camera etc. because it is obviously a part of the camera too, but I wanted to stick here with what I think are the three most obvious ones that - depending on their type/standard etc. - are the very things that facilitate both your vision and the characteristics of your end result, for YOU as a photographer, personally. I don't mean to open up issues regarding whether the film, or the lens or whatever else, can be deemed a part of the camera or not.

I put the last 'name on it' option there both as a bit of humour and for the fact that there are people I know that will ONLY EVER shoot with a specific brand, perhaps for psychological reasons. Therefore, they can't BE photographers at all without their beloved 'Nikon', 'Leica' etc, because perhaps they cannot be 'in the(ir) zone', so to speak, while they are shooting unless they KNOW IN THEIR MINDS FIRST that it's a 'Nikon' or whatever in their hands.

I think it's just a very nice simple question and an important one as it helps me to very efficiently shortlist some possible cameras I might plan on acquiring and using in the future. And I was curious to see what proportion of people (ballpark figure is fine for me) might be of the same mind in terms of their camera's viewfinder usability being the most important thing on their camera that allows them to acheive their photographic objectives more than anything else.

charjohncarter
04-07-2008, 17:54
Film: the other stuff isn't important to me. I hope this cheap, cheap 6x6 proves good, have you ever seen one?

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2267/2396720263_f99630aff6.jpg

Athos6
04-07-2008, 18:08
I chose the name, only because wrist strap wasn't available. :)

aad
04-07-2008, 18:44
The most important part is what's in front of the camera.Everything else is details.

benedictjames
04-07-2008, 19:18
Some great answers here, I must say! :D
Keep 'em coming!

Judging by a lot of responses, I should really have put as a 5th option "other (please explain)", so it's pretty cool that people are doing that themselves! :cool:

Later, somebody can collate all the funniest responses and put up a new poll to vote for the best line from this one!

FallisPhoto
04-08-2008, 13:45
In answer to FallisPhoto, perhaps another way to ask this question is as follows ...
Assuming that you are out with a camera that was given to you, and had only that one, and you were to be asked which of the parts I've chosen in the list (including whatever film HAPPENED to be in it) would you sacrifice the quality/usability of LAST, in order to acheive what YOU want photographically?

For example, is the lens that happened to be on that camera at that time the most important to your objectives, i.e. sharpness, contrast, later enlargability etc.? Or is it the specific type of film you use that could possibly define your work more than anything else, like say Tri-X? Or is it the usability of the viewfinder (assuming of course the camera has one in the first place!) that is the one over-riding thing that must be right FIRST in order to facilitate your photographic objectives and allow you to work the way you do in that regard?

Yes, you could list a whole lot of other things like the shutter in a camera etc. because it is obviously a part of the camera too, but I wanted to stick here with what I think are the three most obvious ones that - depending on their type/standard etc. - are the very things that facilitate both your vision and the characteristics of your end result, for YOU as a photographer, personally. I don't mean to open up issues regarding whether the film, or the lens or whatever else, can be deemed a part of the camera or not.

I put the last 'name on it' option there both as a bit of humour and for the fact that there are people I know that will ONLY EVER shoot with a specific brand, perhaps for psychological reasons. Therefore, they can't BE photographers at all without their beloved 'Nikon', 'Leica' etc, because perhaps they cannot be 'in the(ir) zone', so to speak, while they are shooting unless they KNOW IN THEIR MINDS FIRST that it's a 'Nikon' or whatever in their hands.

I think it's just a very nice simple question and an important one as it helps me to very efficiently shortlist some possible cameras I might plan on acquiring and using in the future. And I was curious to see what proportion of people (ballpark figure is fine for me) might be of the same mind in terms of their camera's viewfinder usability being the most important thing on their camera that allows them to acheive their photographic objectives more than anything else.

Well, given only the choices here, I guess I'd go with the lens. I could bracket like hell and eventually get the thing aimed in the right direction, so it is possible to take good photos with a lousy viewfinder, although it would be a pita. I could try different developers until I found one that would give me acceptable results with a film I didn't really like. As I said earlier, the brand name is utterly inconsequential to me (I have absolutely no brand loyalty). If I had a bad lens, there may not be a whole lot I could do about it though (there are some exceptions to that last though -- For instance, a few years back I installed a dialset shutter and lens from an old junked Bessa on a Foldex 20 and -- with a little tinkering -- it worked).

On the other hand, I was once given a Quantaray zoom lens, for my Pentax K-1000, as a gift (from a well-meaning, but clueless, relative). Well, it sucked, as Quantarays often will, so I tuned it up a bit, like this: http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/kironlens.html That made it a little better, but not enough. Currently that lens sits in a drawer and I don't guess I've used it in over five years; that's how long ago I attempted to fix it. There just isn't any situation I can think of where a dim lens that won't focus properly is going to be of any use to me. I keep thinking one day I'm going to take it apart to make loupes.

chippy
04-08-2008, 17:51
I think it's just a very nice simple question and an important one as it helps me to very efficiently shortlist some possible cameras I might plan on acquiring and using in the future. And I was curious to see what proportion of people (ballpark figure is fine for me) might be of the same mind in terms of their camera's viewfinder usability being the most important thing on their camera that allows them to acheive their photographic objectives more than anything else.

this clarifacation makes the question a little more simple...but only a little!

before this my first thoughts were the lens as the body is just the light box behind the lens...but then i thought it depends on what i want, if i need a particular feature then the body is most important e.g. a view camera with movable standards or many other features many different typs of rangefinders have and on an on it went .....just too difficult to answer which is why some folk are using humour in reply i feel (it cracked me up the one about the kind of screws used! LOL)

but if the camera body is already selected and it is a model with fixed lens then i choose one that has the best lens in its available offering fitted. if it has interchangeable lens capability and a rangefinder camera then the viewfinder has a lot to do with a final choice given the restraints of the choices.

actually this is still running me around in circles...i still havnt voted as its too hard for me to choose!

chippy
04-08-2008, 18:18
actually now i have voted..i chose the name on the front....that way i reasonably sure i will get all i need from the camera. lieca, haslleblad, ebony, and the list goes on...and dont forget the old Welta ;-)

TatianaShe
04-08-2008, 20:16
My eyes. -)

Bob Michaels
04-08-2008, 20:40
The brain of the person making the thing work. Without that, it's just pieces and parts.

All those optics, mechanics, and electronics take a far distant back seat to the brain, eye, and soul of the user.

Roger Hicks
04-09-2008, 15:04
Shutter release.

Better a single-use camera that takes a picture when I want, than an auto-everything camera that takes it too late.

As a friend said of a Nikon digicompact, "There's no way I'd try to photograph the girls with it [his daughters were 5 and 8 at the time] because by the time it took the picture they'd be wearing make-up and going out with boys."

Cheers,

R.

benedictjames
04-09-2008, 16:04
So true Roger!

I'm principally a film shooter, and with RFs now more than SLRs, and I've never had the 'pleasure' of shutter releases that don't actually release when you need them to. So I've perhaps unwittingly underestimated the importance of that as a camera part - the characteristics of which might completely handicap your photography if it's the one thing that's not right for your shooting needs.

So shutter SPEED might be considered too in that regard: if you were say a photographer who does dusk seascapes (with the blurry water etc.), if you didn't have a shutter that went to seconds you'd be pretty much doomed. Or if you needed to do a lot of fill flash outdoors, an SLR with a max. sync. speed of only 1/60th sec. might cramp you style a bit!

gregg
04-09-2008, 16:06
None of the above.

I would have to say the base plate. Without them I'm afraid images on my M6 bodies would be terribly overexposed. :angel:

shg005
04-09-2008, 20:20
None of the above.
1) My brain - "What I want to say"
2) My eyes - "How I going to say this one"
Camera, lens, shuffter are only tools and nothing more.

FallisPhoto
04-22-2008, 09:21
actually now i have voted..i chose the name on the front....that way i reasonably sure i will get all i need from the camera. lieca, haslleblad, ebony, and the list goes on...and dont forget the old Welta ;-)

Yeah, but some of those companies made several entirely different kinds of cameras.

payasam
04-22-2008, 10:19
A well designed camera is akin to an organic whole in which every part has a role to play. My M2 has no self-timer, which is acceptable; and I expect I could live without the frame preview lever and the film reminder. All else is essential.

Bill58
04-22-2008, 18:46
The idiot behind the camera--me!!!