I used to shoot a Nikon D700 professionally as a second camera to a D3, and later a D800. The D3 was the peak of my positive relationship with Nikon, and the D800 was the last Nikon camera I bought before switching to Sony – I never really liked the D800 and though I liked …
(The idea of an ode to my first “real” and favorite camera is inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Odes to Ordinary Things. I love that we can pay allegiance to those beautiful, ordinary items of life.) They say that you can never forget your first: your first love, or, in this case, your first camera. Technically, the Nikon D40 is not my first camera, but my fifth, but it is my first “real” camera, the first one with an interchangeable lens. It’s the camera that I have had the longest, almost 15 years, and for a baker’s dozen of years it was the only camera that I owned. It’s the camera that feels familiar, comforting, and reassuring in my hand. It’s the camera that I reached for this morning as I poured coffee into a mug, pulled on hat and gloves, and grabbed the leash to walk the dog on a gloomy, grey January day.
I remember the immense hype around the Nikon Df just before its release in 2013 – teaser campaigns; leaked specs, mystery mock-ups. Then came a tsunami of derision and disappointment when the Df hit the market. I was one of the disappointed ones; when I saw its bloated form in a camera-shop window I did not even bother to go inside for a closer look.
It was Hamish’s piece on the Plaubel Makina and Agfa 1035 that finally pushed me into typing my thoughts about a camera with a not dissimilar design ethos. I hope it doesn’t trouble any readers to discover it is a digital camera that wasn’t particularly successful and belongs to a camera line that is now discontinued.