What makes a good portrait? Can we really expect a single image to reveal a person’s character? Or even a side of their character? And does the quality of the image matter – do we need to see every wrinkle and skin blemish? Can black and white still do the business?
Once upon the time I were shooting my first real camera, Nikon D40, and passing by a local photo shop, had seen the diminutive Sony NEX 5. I was hooked on the mirrorless miniaturization mantra of the time, and got one. The problem though was lenses: there were not many! Especially a cheap 35mm equivalent (24mm) was missing. That started my dive into the legacy lenses world, and ultimately film photography. That’s also how I met the Pentax 110 system, which by chance, included also the smallest 24mm lens I’m aware of. It’s build around the world-smallest SLR (pictured above with 70mm lens).
A bit of background, I’ve been taking photos for more than 50 years starting with Prakticas (models FXII, IV and V) using a Prakticamat for many years, then a Chinon Memotron. I moved to Nikon in the late 1970’s early 1980s and stayed with Nikon until about 1997. I was however getting frustrated with the complexity of models such as the F90 that seemed to get in the way of my picture taking. I then tried a Leica M6 and was so impressed with how it put me in touch with my subjects. Since then I’ve gathered lots more Leica M’s and R’s but I kept all my previous cameras. I’ve then added lots more marques and models; I have an understanding wife!
Earlier this year (2018), I finally woke up to the reality of Nikon being the most natural camera platform for me. The Nikon grip felt right and various Nikon cameras were the ones least in the way of photographing. This set me on a browsing expedition and, a few weeks later, unpacking a Nikon F4S purchased from B&H Photo.