My Father’s Day camera lens arrived and has been tested, so I am ready to do some serious photography in Kenya. Thinking about digital photography, it amazing to think about how much the digital revolution has changed photography and how a view things have stayed the same. What has stayed the same for me at least is that I am still shooting with a Nikon and it sort of looks the same as the first one I acquired in 1970. That has more to do with tradition and keeping people who started out with film cameras happy than any necessity as to how cameras should look or how one would design a digital camera from scratch with no concern for tradition. Either way, it is still an SLR (single lens reflex) and still has the same feel. But inside so much has changed.
My first Nikon, an F, did not have a built-in light meter. You used a separate hand-held meter, although you could probably guess the correct exposure for Tri-X Pan 99% of the time. The built-in light meter came first, followed by automatic exposure systems of increasing sophistication; followed, in turn, by automatic focus systems. The lens I just got supports all that plus it has a built-in vibration reduction system. I have no clue how it works, but it is getting harder and harder to take a bad picture.
Lenses have changed too, mainly as a result of computer-aided design, and zooms, which were once considered to be less sharp than fixed focus are the norm. I can now go from very wide angle to extreme telephoto with two lenses. The standard lens is an 18 to 70 mm Nikkor, which is the equivalent (in the minds of us old 35 mm film people) of a 27 mm to 105 mm range. The difference is due to the fact that the old 35 mm film camera lenses projected onto a 24 x 36 mm frame because the first SLR cameras were build around the available 35 mm film that was used to make movies. The projected area for the digital SLRs is a bit smaller so you have to multiply a digital lens’ focal length by 1.5 to get it’s 35 mm equivalent. After 30 years with film, I can only “see” in 35 mm equivalents. My new lens is the equivalent of a 82 mm to 450 mm zoom, so, thanks to modern technology, I have the equivalent of 27 mm to 450 mm lenses in just two lenses.
As far as “film” goes, my one 2GB memory card holds 620 images, even with the camera set to “fine” and “large” which creates the biggest, highest-quality images and, thus, takes up the most space. That is the equivalent of 17 36-exposure rolls of Kodachrome. But, of course, they stopped making Kodachrome, despite Paul Simon’s pleadings to the contrary.
So I guess the bottom line is that I have no excuses to not produce some create stuff in Kenya, assuming the lions and giraffes cooperate, which I’m told they do. I always link my Blog to my facebook page, so I will start creating albums there as soon as I can, hopefully early next week.