Advantages of SLR in today's world

Started Nov 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 6,438
Re: Advantages of SLR in today's world

Truer words have never been spoken!  I would throw my FM around my neck with a 100mm on it, with a 35 mm len and extra film in a small bag and head out. Small light weight package that I could carry around all day long - never noticing it was there till I used it.  The FM would sit nicely in my palm where fingers wrapped around the focus ring and aperture ring. The process for focusing and setting exposure was simple, fast and natural.  Since it sit cradled in my hand it was very steady and which all but eliminated issues of camera shake.

What happened to that SLR - more automation happened.  More electronics means more battery power.  Autofocus was the first step.  Batteries are heavy and require space.  In the 70'a the lenses were small and lightweight and non-intursive in the scene.  My FM was as almost as easy to handle and blended in almost as well on the street as my Leica.  Today the large heavy fully electronic zooms  weight a ton and are as large as elephant's leg.  My Maymia 645 is easier to carry around and use on the street than a modern DSLR.  The 645 is a nice camera but it is a medium format for Pete's sake.

If you are willing to just use some of the older lighter smaller primes (which are also very good optically) like the 50 f1.4 AFD, 35 f2.0 etc. or some of the pre AF lenses and if you must have a zoom something like the 35 to 70 2.8, then the D800 is not too bad. Don't get me wrong it is not great. With these lenses you can at least use the aperture ring and not have to mess with the two wheels which I find to be about the worse ergonomics on the entire camera.  At least with these smaller lenses you can rest the camera in your hand cupping the aperture ring with your fingers which is a much more natural way to hold and steady a camera.  There have been a lot of compromises made in the ergonomics of the SLR in order to cram more automation and electronics onboard.

shigzeo ? wrote:

harri manni wrote:

Advantages, lack of EVF, super fast AF, ergonomics, massive selection of lenses.

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//Harri - My blog:

Personally, I find current SLR ergonomics poor. They are build with grip in mind, not rest. Traditional SLRs were basically boxes that rested naturally against a palm. Today, they must be supported mainly by fingers in a fuller grip. Fuller grips have less support because the hand isn't winding around the camera, and there is no natural close to the shape of the palm, so the camera tends to slip downward more often than prior models.


I have a D800, a D200, and an FE. The FE is by far the most natural to hold, never requiring finger/hand gymnastics to reach ISO, shutter changes, or aperture switching. If Nikon brought out an SLR with traditional ergonomics, size, and a traditionally large/bright viewfinder, oh how happy I'd be. The eye is important and as viewfinders get smaller and dimmer, and the camera is made to mould to a hand rather than weight naturally against the palm, ergonomics get poorer and poorer.

Currently, true ergonomics (firm, natural grip, bright/large viewfinder, and lighter weight) have taken a large back step. It's been on since the F4-F5 era where SLRs abandoned traditionally small(ish) bodies with great viewfinders.

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 Truman Prevatt's gear list:Truman Prevatt's gear list
Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-Pro2 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC +12 more
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