Missing Digital

I kind of miss digital. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh no, here we go again.” and you’re right. This has happened before. So?

Currently, I own 2 digital cameras; the Fuji X100 and a 10-year-old Canon 1Ds. The X100 is great for having with me and grabbing snaps. The out-of-camera JPEGs are terrific. I love it. The 1Ds was at one time an $8000 monster full-frame brick. I’ve been borrowing it for 6 years or so. Technically, it’s not mine, but realistically it might as well be. Anyway, the 1Ds is getting a bit long in the tooth. The files can look great, and the camera feels good, but it’s a bit slow, sensor is full of dust, the screen is tiny, and it starts to get noisy at ISO 400.

So, what am I missing? Speed and convenience, mostly. Sometimes shooting with meterless, manual focus film cameras is not what I feel like doing. Sometimes. Today, for example. I wanted to go out and take some photos of my dogs. Most days I’m fine grabbing a roll or two and hoping for the best with the rangefinders. Other days, that’s not good enough and I want to just aim and rattle off a dozen frames without thinking too much. The X100 doesn’t do that. The rangefinders don’t do that. The Nikon F6 would be fine, but I’m not fond of burning through film that quickly. And sometimes I simply want to play with the photos now.


Well, what then? Honestly, I’d like a newer 1Ds, but those are still quite expensive. The big upgrade in the 1D series was the Mark III, back in 2007. I’ve been watching prices on the 1D Mark III drop for the past couple of years, and they’ve finally gotten to the sub $1000 area. Found one on Craigslist today and will pick it up on Tuesday. 10 frames per second, 30 frame raw buffer, solid and weatherproof build, crazy-fast autofocus, and a zillion available lenses. Can’t wait.