My interest in photography waned in 2014 and kept declining. I did not take a single photo with my DSLR in 2016. I was occupied with woodworking, youtube video production, work, and my wedding. I dusted off the DSLR a few months ago at a whim and began shooting again.
In the past years when I was actively shooting, I knew exactly how a scene would photograph through the perspective of my prime lens. I would have already made the photograph in my mind before lifting the camera to my eye. The click of the shutter was a formality and nothing more. I have lost that skill without constant practice and I have to learn it all again.
Shooting with a 35mm film SLR accelerates this learning process. Even though I shoot fewer photos with the Nikon FE, the shot is not accessible immediately after releasing the shutter. This lag forces me to be vigilant and mindful, and learn very quickly to see the world through the perspective of the camera. The pressure really helps.
The Fujifilm X100F is a rangefinder style digital point-and-shoot. You can see the similarities to analog cameras of yesterday. Sitting side by side with the Nikon FE, they could have come from the same factory in Japan a few decades ago. The real charm of the Nikon FE and the Fujifilm X100F is their ability to get out of the way of the shot. A good camera is one you don’t have to think about. A good camera does not come between the photographer’s eye and his photograph. The little Fujifilm promises this.
I see myself shooting with both these cameras in the next few months, and dare I say exclusively these two. They look like close cousins even though enormous canyons of time and technology separate them both.
They will make a fun pair.