Bu Chuck Hajdu
Over the years I’ve used just about every possible type of camera to take pictures, everything from 8X10 view cameras using plate film to 16mm Minox sized cameras. There are boxes in the garage with dozens of old film cameras in them that I haven’t used in ages. I doubt if film is even made any longer for most of them.
Since digital cameras replaced film the only thing that has changed for me is the medium I capture images on. Camera types haven’t really changed at all, sensors have replaced film, that’s about it. There are still rangefinder style cameras and there are still SLRs, along with most other formats.
My personal preference has always been for interchangeable lens SLRs. Back in the film days I almost always used Minoltas. My fist SLR was an SR-T101 that I bought in the MEX in Iwakuni, Japan in 1968 and it served me well for many years. I still have many of the lenses I bought for my SLRs and actually use them today on digital cameras.
The biggest change in lenses in the past 40 years is the improvement in zoom lenses. In the ‘60s there were very few zoom lenses at all, almost everything was fixed focal length. That started to change in the ‘70s and now zoom lenses are what most people use.
For many of us fixed focal length lenses are still preferred. Fixed focal length lenses have a number of advantages to me. They are usually smaller and lighter, have better quality edge-to-edge and have larger apertures. The larger apertures mean you can take pictures in lower light without being forced to use flash.
My current favorite lenses are:
For Olympus PEN cameras (very compact and adapters are available for most lenses ever made) - 17mm f/2.8 M. Zuiko and 200mm f/5 Minolta Rokkor
For Pentax dSLRs - 35mm f/2.4 and 100mm f.2.8 Macro Pentax
All of these lenses are wonderful and I prefer using them to any of the excellent zoom lenses that I have.