Photos and text copyright by Chris Wormald. Please negotiate a fee before use.
I’ve owned a fair few cameras during the 50+ years that I have been a working photographer – if I still had them all, I could stock a shop.
I thought I would take this opportunity to mention a few that I enjoyed using, and did me well.
In the mid 1970s I used mainly 5×4 format kit MPP mks 7/8 and then a Linhof V, although I always kept 35mm kit as well (mostly Nikon F and F2). I downsized to a Technicardan 6×9 format (the one that folds flat) This was an excellent precision made, camera with 47mm Super Angulon and 100mm Symmar lenses, 2 Super Rolex 6x9s and a polaroid back to check the lighting balance. I would occasionaly use it still, if it had not been stolen from the back of a Volvo estate, a long time ago in Totnes.
I downsized to a Bronica and after using the 6×4.5cm ETRs for a while, I settled, for quite some time, on an SQai 6×6 outfit with a 40mm wide angle +an 80 and 150mm lenses 3 backs plus a polaroid back to check the lighting balance, as a lot of my work then was architectural interiors. I was fond of my set of Elincrom monobloc 500s and found them reliable but expensive on modeling lamps. I still have a Metz 60 CT1, it must be about 30 years old and apart from 2 new batteries it still works.
When my work changed to mainly editorial and travel, I downsized again. First a pair of Nikon F3s with loads of lenses, then Leica R6 and M6. The 28mm Super Angulon perspective control lens was a firm favourite with the 90mm f2 and 35mm f2 for the R body and 21mm, 35mm and 50mm for the M. The f2 35mm Summicron and the M6 is the best body/lens combination that I know of.
Leica lenses were expensive even then, but today require very deep pockets indeed for the new asphericals, but I totally agree that the image quality of Leica lenses is unbeatable. Recent mistakes by Leica connected with their professional digital cameras have undermined my opinion of that company. The noisy M8 and M9, the sensor problems on the M9 and Monochrom have made me wary of owning a camera with a Red Dot. I admire a friend’s (heavy) M240 though.
Playing with a Leica Q in the Mayfair Leica shop delighted me, what a lovely little camera and what a price!
Then Canon brought out the 24mm TSE perspective control wide angle, and because of that, I went to over to Canon, first with EOS1n film bodies loaded with Provia 100 and Velvia 50 until the Canon 5D came out and my digital age was born.
I was blown away with the 5D and until very recently used a Canon 5D mk2 with the 16mm to 35mm L series mk2, the 24mm to 70mm mk2 L series and the 80mm to 300mm DO IS lenses. I used the 24mm TSE mk1 L series professionally for many years but got tired of the chromatic aberrations.
I have also recently used a Panasonic GF1 with the 14mm and 20mm Pancakes and the 45mm Lumix/Elmarit macro lens. I found that the Voightlander optical viewfinders to be useful accessories for the GF1 with the 20mm f1.7 and the 14mm W/A. I sold the GF1 and am now out of Micro Four Thirds completely.
See the pages – “Panasonic GF1” – https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/panasonic-gf1/, and https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/a-sudden-melancholy/ and “Offbeat Bath”, for images taken on the GF1.
I have used the Fuji X100 with it’s fixed 23mm lens (32mm equiv. on 35mm). See the “Fuji X100” page – https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/fuji-x100/, the 2nd “Offbeat Bath” page, to see X100 images and text about this remarkable little camera which I have now sold. Many my most recent India trip images were with the X100 – it is a very good piece of kit.
I replaced it with the FUJI XE1 with the 18-55mm zoom. Use the link to see the new XE1 results.
Recently, I bought a second-hand XE2 body and due to a small legacy, an XT10 body with – 14mm, – 23mm and a 60mm Macro Fujinon lenses. In 35mm terms they represent 21mm, 35mm and 90mm lenses. Most recently, a new X-PRO2 body that I am getting to really love.
I like my Quantum flash with its wireless sync that will shoot all day from its small battery pack and my Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod is well used!
Over the years, I have found Robert White in Bournmouth to be a very reliable equipment dealer, ready to go the extra mile (or 80, on a motorbike to deliver a missing piece of flash gubbins when my shoot started at 7am the next day). THANKS STU!
I was very sad to learn about Robert’s early death.
There have been flirtations along the road, some long and some passing, here are some –
Hasselblad 500cm + 50mm, 80mm, 150mm (unreliable especially the backs)
Olympus E1 and lenses inc 7 to 14mm WA and 14 to 54mm (sensor size too small – lenses and build quality great)
A year or two ago I bought a used Leica M8 body with the 21mm and 28mm lenses (all a bit rough around the edges) – the lenses were wonderful, body – much too noisy at ISOs. greater than 320.
The India 08/09 trip was all shot on the M8.
I sold it.
The Fuji XT10 and X-PRO2 are my new darlings.