Bob Nuttmann

Nikon, Olympus, DSLRs, Film, Jpeg, Minolta, Kodak, and Voightlander Are Not Dead or Dying.

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The above featured shot is taken with a Minolta 600si and Sigma / Quantaray 50mm 2.8 Macro.  Kodak Ektar 100 film.  Processed by North Coast Photographic Services.

I am tired of listening to or reading from supposed experts telling me the camera, the camera system, or this method of doing things is dying or dead.  None of them are dead unless you stop using them.  The above shot was taken with a Minolta camera from about the year 2003.  Minolta is not making any new cameras but this wonderful model 600 si is still alive and kicking.  The lens is a Sigma / Quantaray 50mm 2.8 Macro.  Quantaray was a Ritz Camera Sigma lens.  Ritz Camera is no longer with us but I like and use this lens all the time.  So not dead.  The film is Kodak.  Film is still used regularly all over the World.  Kodak is one of the biggest suppliers.  Not dead.  And I have organized and stored the file for the shot using JPEG format.  Recently one widely watched you tuber said we (the camera using public) should kill off jpeg.  The World’s most widely used format.  It works fine.  Leave it alone.

Ennis businesses vioght kodak gold
Shot with 1953 German made Voightlander on Kodak Gold 200

The above great shot of part of the town of Ennis MT was on an even older camera.  I have had this camera for 50 years.  It works well and gives beautiful results with superb lenses.  There is nothing electronic in it.  It was made in 1953.  The light meter I use with it is also 1953 and it has no batteries but seems to get the job done.  This was shot on another Kodak film that has been around for a while, Gold 200.

A number of people who are “influencers” have said that DSLRs are dead.  Really, why is that?  I have used mirrored cameras since 1980 and now have several mirrorless cameras.  To me there are advantages and disadvantages to both optical viewfinders and electronic viewfinders.  Photography is a hobby for me and I buy and sell cameras for the fun of it and have curiosity to use new ones and new systems.  To me shooting sports, action, or wildlife is much better with an optical viewfinder.  I am reminded of that whenever I go out to shoot photos of birds.  It is much easier for me to spot and find fast moving subjects when I am looking at the actual subject and not a little TV screen.  And I very much like the fact that an optical viewfinder is always working even when the camera is turned off or just turned on.

All three of the above shots were taken with a DSLR made by Nikon.  Both Nikon and DSLRs are very much alive.  And these were even taken on a crop sensor camera which other camera gurus have said, “No one wants these any more.  They either shoot with a smartphone or a full frame.”  Next time I lug around a 35 oz full frame zoom I will remember that statement and laugh.

One of the advantages of not getting the latest system is that many times the cost of those systems is much less expensive.  For example.  I just sold last week a beautiful condition Minolta AF 50mm f1.4 lens.  I got about $100 for it on eBay.  Or you can buy brand new a Nikon D5600 with a very good kit lens for about $600.  This is with a 24 mega pixel sensor that works well.

Digital sensor advancements for crop and full frame sensors that are the standard 24, 36, 42, and 46 mega pixels have not changed much in the last 4-5 years.  I have looked at the files from three previous 24 mega pixel cameras, the Nikon D5500, D750, and Sony A7iii.  Using a similar quality lens I can’t tell them apart.  I can tell when a fair, good, or excellent lens is used.  The idea that the most beautiful lenses ever made are being made now is not true.  I just sold and shipped a Minolta 100mm 2.8 macro a few days ago.  It was one of the most beautiful lenses I have ever owned and it was made about 1990.  In my opinion is quite a number of instances new 1.4 lenses are a big step back from the ones designed ten or 20 years ago.  The new lenses tend to be huge, heavy, and expensive.

Fort Peck road lamps minolta ektar
Shot with an Olympus OM2n, 50mm f1.8 using Velvia 50 film.  This has almost no post processing.  

There are not that many good camera makers left.  When people who have over a million followers say that they are dead or dying this is just an evil thing to do.  That makes it even harder for them to stay in business.  Saying the public should drive the JPEG out of existence is just plain stupid.  Having a standard like jpeg that is universally used and excepted is the way to go.  The best thing would be to improve and have backward compatible with a newer jpeg.

Mitchell SD (16 of 33)
Shot with a Minolta 600si and 50mm f2.8 using Kodak Ektar film.  
fountain gyser wow 2 oly V50
This shot was with an Olympus OM2n, 50mm f1.8 lens and Fuji Velvia 50.  I also shot digital this day and the film shots came back better.  The colors of the water droplets being hit by the sun are a thing of beauty when seen blown up.  The digital camera did not catch this.  
Lake peck spilway clouds oly V50
Shot with Olympus OM2n and 50mm f1.8 using Velvia 50 film by Fuji
corn palace
Shot with a Minolta 600si and 50mm lens using Kodak Ultramax and inexpensive and great film. I took this same shot with a Nikon D5500 and tried and tried to post edit to get it as good as the film shot.  I could not.  
church in Waterloo IA minolta ektar
Another photo using the Minolta 600si and this time a 24mm Sigma / Quantaray 2.8 macro lens.  Kodak Ultramax 400 film.  
Ennis door voight kodak gold
I really like this shot on my old Voightlander Prominent using a Voightlander 35 mm f3.5 lens – made in Germany Voightlander.  The film is Kodak Gold 200.  
Zion 3 minolta ektar
Another shot with my antique Voightlander but this time with Kodak Ektar film.  Whenever you have red or orange in a shot grab Kodak Ektar.  It gives the best rendition of any film or digital in these colors.  And it does it so easily.  

All of this post so far is about Photography.  Video is another matter.  With video you want a late model mirrorless camera or cell phone with silent motor lenses.  There are a couple of exceptions where DSLRs and rangefinder cameras do a good job of video.  Many movies and some TV is still shot using film and in this case they are most likely using legacy cameras.

My point in all of this is that an image making system is not dead if people are using it and enjoying themselves.  It would be nice if people could be polite and respect that including so called camera gurus.

2 Replies to “Nikon, Olympus, DSLRs, Film, Jpeg, Minolta, Kodak, and Voightlander Are Not Dead or Dying.”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The only ‘deaths’ in photography will be due to an ignorant public (point-n-shoot sales are spiraling into oblivion) and manufacturers on a never-ending quest to sell new equipment (without much regard to actually making it better).

    1. Thanks for your comments Marc. Some camera makers actually do make better products and those are the ones we should buy and then keep and use them for a while. I have to say Apple, Google, and a couple of other phone makers have made giant steps forward in the last couple of years. I have one of the newest iPhone 11 Pros and it is great how well it works. I just upgraded my crop sensor Nikon with the new Z 50. It is a really good camera that is growing on me quickly. And not too expensive. For most people a good smart phone and a Nikon Z 50 with the two inexpensive kit lenses and you would be set. I happen to like using film too but already own the equipment for that and do not plan to change it.

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