The "A" gets an F

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Zoom lovers are the WRONG people to assess a fixed lens camera!

I fully understand why some people love zoom lenses. I don't want to deny you your zooms or judge them harshly or declare them terrible values just because they're large and slow and optically inferior. If you spend enough, you can get them to be reasonably fast and optically quite good, although if you pair them with a decent size sensor, they're still gonna be big. But those are legitimate tradeoffs if you love shooting with them. I want you to enjoy them with every ounce of your being and I don't look down on you for it and don't consider any way of shooting more pure or good or blessed than any other kind.

If you love zooms, you should shoot them - nobody will object! And you should spend whatever amount on them seems reasonable to you! I wouldn't spend much at all on them because I don't enjoy shooting with them, but that has nothing to do with their worth to those who like them!


Some of us just prefer shooting with prime lenses and some prefer a certain focal length enough to prefer shooting with a fixed lens camera. I've shot with enough zooms in my day - and I shot almost EVERYTHING at 28mm when I did. At some point it occurred to me that if I was really that inclined to shoot almost everything at 28mm, maybe the rest of that lens was taking up too much space or light or cost to be worth having. For ME! Not for you, but for ME. To me there's nothing more enjoyable in photography than walking around all day with a small camera with amazing image quality at some focal length in the range of 24-35mm equivalent and seeing and shooting with JUST THAT LENGTH.

These are preferences and choices that work for me. They don't work for everybody - they don't work for you. I GET THAT! Honest, I do. But why is it so hard for some people to realize that other people have different preferences that are just as legitimate for THEM and its really nice to have products available for all of us!

The Nikon A is a niche product. I'm reasonably sure Nikon fully understood that when they decided to make it. So is the Ricoh GR - Ricoh's been making primarily 28mm fixed lens cameras for years and years and years, going back to the film days. They've messed around with zooms and interchangeable lenses (in their case, lens/sensor units), but they've been known for their highly refined fixed lens cameras and they've all been 28mm as far as I know. Fuji seems to be doing quite well with the X100 and X100s. And Sony seems to have done OK with the amazing RX1, with a fixed 35mm lens and a full frame sensor.

YOU shouldn't buy these cameras. But you probably shouldn't judge them either. Its just not your neighborhood. Its like a pickup truck aficionado judging a Ferarri for its load hauling capabilities or a Kentucky Derby jockey judging a quarter-horse for its speed over a mile and a half. It just doesn't compute. You're not the one these are made for and I'd say you're unqualified to judge them.

For me, the RX1 and the Nikon A (or Ricoh GR) are dream cameras - PERFECT cameras. Cameras that seem like they were made specifically for me. To me, they score A+, not F. For me, there's no point to a 7700 - I'd hate it. So I probably shouldn't judge it! Or if I do, I should just judge it against other cameras of its type, in its class, not against a D800 with similar zoom range, for example. It has its place, but its not MY place. The Coolpix A has its place, but its clearly not YOUR place. That's fine, but why talk it down when you don't get the fundamental appeal...


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