Photography is a hobby I have greatly enjoyed for as long as I can remember, and
when I was about 13 years old I started taking it seriously. My grandfather, Nick
Van Dyken, helped me learn both the technical and artistic aspects of photography.
He would also loan me a Pentax K1000 from time to time - a camera model I use to
this day. My current Pentax K1000 was a High School graduation gift from grandpa.
I primarily use film because I prefer the look of an image captured on film. Lately
I have shot almost exclusively color film, but I also do traditional Black and White
photography with darkroom processed prints.
Often people ask questions related to equipment. Even though the tools you use are
secondary to the purpose and impact of the art, I do find myself favoring particular
cameras. My Mamiya RZ Pro II is probably the camera I use the most. The image quality
is good enough that it can stand up next to large format, and it has significant
features that make it easier and faster to use than large format. I have a variety
of Mamiya lenses, including the 50mm ULD, 90mm, 127mm f3.5, 180mm, 180mm soft focus,
and the 360mm. For something smaller and much faster, I really enjoy my Nikon F5.
When I have the time, and the patience, and the consent of those I might be traveling
with, I also use a Tachihara 4x5 camera. My 4x5 lenses include: 75mm Schneider
Super Angulon, 90mm Schneider Super Angulon, 150mm Rodenstock APO Sironor S, 180
/ 315 mm Schnieder Symmar, and a Rodenstock 270 Rotellar. By the way, the 4x5 outfit
is much smaller and lighter than lugging around medium format gear. I also have
a number of other cameras, but these are what I use the most.
Although that might seem like an extensive list, digital-plastic-globs have had a
wonderful effect on the used market for film cameras. Well... a wonderful effect
if you are buying - which I was. I bought almost all of my gear used and inherited
some from my Grandfather.
By the way, I don’t despise digital capture in the way some film guys do. A person
can take great photographs with digital capure, and the truth is, if I could justify
the expense and could afford a Nikon D3s, I would be happily using one along with
my other gear.
One last note: for me photography is often related to travels. It’s related to
seeing the world, whether it be the world thousands of miles away or the world outside
your window. Sometimes the journey is more in the mind than down the highway. We
often don’t see the world we live in every day. A great photo can help us to see
our world more clearly.