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X-100 reality, bring it back to ground

Started Mar 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
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X-100 reality, bring it back to ground
Mar 25, 2011

One common thread in posts about the X-100 is how innovative it is. Not true. The Leica Ms were innovative, the X-100 is retro.

Go back to the time before the 35mm was around. View cameras were the standard. Press cameras were smaller and quicker and did not require a tripod. You could buy one in 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. The small format was found in the 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 twin lens Rolleis.

Street photography was a challenge. View cameras were out of the question account the need of a tripod. A press camera was useable but as soon as you raised them to your eye to focus it covered your face and you no longer blended with the crowd. The twin lens reflex was better but it was a waist level camera so you had to step away from the crowd to clear the field for your photo.

Along comes the Leica you could hold inobtrusively to your face to make photos in the city. The film was small, the images were grainy. That became the trademark of street photography. Grainy push processed low light images.

Landscape photographers used view cameras, sports photographers had press cameras and smaller twin lens equipment. The 35mm equipment evolved.

Street photographers could change lenses but focusing of longer glass was problematic. Then the reflex mirror and full frame viewfinder evolved. Now the 35mm format could challenge all the camera markets. With the right film emulsions one camera with an assortment of lenses could be used for landscapes, news, sports, portraits and street photos. The Leica innovation brought this about and 35mm SLR camera systems buried the rest of the formats.

The X-100 really has nothing that has not been seen before. It and digital cameras like it will remain a niche market. I am glad it makes so many people excited I wonder how many people it will make really happy.

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Alan, in Montana

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