For long I found myself happy and challenged with smaller cameras. My style and my kind of photography really worked very well with these cameras (or at least I thought so). The compactness and the quality of the files was enough and workable. But, and this is a big but, it is not enough anymore. At times my current camera drove and still does drive me mad. I don’t like the image files, the lack of detail, the excessive blue noise, and the tougher post processing. I miss shallow depth of field and fast prime lenses.
I would still prefer a small camera, but I don’t think there is no real option available. Oh yeah, what about the DP1? Yes, the prices are dropping and the image quality is superb. But I am still restricted to only one focal length. And a DP2 will set me back another 900 Euro. And that annoyes me when I still have some really good M42 lenses that cost almost nothing.
Although I would love to have a rangefinder camera, I made up my mind and will choose a dSLR instead. So now I am checking for prices of used cameras and see what would work best for me and what camera would work best with my M42 lenses. I have a 35mm f2.8, 50mm f2.8, 58mm f2.0 and 135mm f2.8 at home. Maybe I look for an additional wide angle lens for landscapes (20mm or even wider) and a fast 28mm lens for general purposes. Although some cameras will have restrictions with the metering system, I reduced my selection to cameras like the Canon 20D, Fujifilm S3Pro, Nikon D70s, Pentax K10D or Sigma SD14 with a preference for the Canon or the Sigma (despite the 1.6 and 1.7 cropfactor). A refurbished or second hand Canon 5D is still too expensive for me although I would love to have a full frame camera. But we can’t have it all and the nice thing about these older lenses that they will work fine on both cropped and full frame sensors.
I have no immediate intention to do so now, but this is what I am planning to do so for this year. I will of course keep my Ricoh besides me. I like to have a small camera in the bag.
All photographs by Wouter Brandsma