Small Tribute to the Manual SLR Camera

Daily Prompt: Going Obsolete

Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most.
Many people have some favoritism towards the technology of their day but 99% of old technology is crap compared to what is available today. To choose a landline telephone over a new model Samsung smartphone is like choosing a phone with down syndrome and mobility issues.

As much as I enjoyed using a manual film SLR camera, it’s dog shit compared to the digital SLR cameras that are on the market. I can try and defend the advantages of a manual film SLR but it wouldn’t even matter because no one cares. Sure, you had to know something about photography and what the numbers on the dials meant but no one cares about how things work as long as it works. With digital SLRs you press a button and if your image sucks you just try it again at no cost. If it still kind of sucks when you look at it when you get home then you can work on it with Photoshop. Because of this technology everyone became a professional wedding photographer. You have to have a pretty small conscience to pass off your 6 month amateur photography skills as professional so that you can photograph someone’s big day for financial gain.

The manual film SLR cameras gave a sense of anticipation and accomplishment to photography. Every shot costed about 25 cents and you never knew if you had a tack sharp image until after you had them developed by the lab. The fact that every shot costed money and you had to know something about photography made you feel more of a photographer because most people who were semi-interested in photography would not bother.

Digital SLR cameras became the demise of my photography. It took so much away from the whole process that it was no longer enjoyable for me. I used to love calculating the exposures in my head, manually focusing the lens until the image became clear and bringing the slides home to my light table for examination with my loupe. When I got a sharp and properly exposed shot, I knew it was all me.

I also think part of becoming disinterested with photography was that I was no longer much better than some schmuck off the street with a digital SLR. I realize that seems like a sad reason but there you go.



2 comments on “Small Tribute to the Manual SLR Camera

  1. I love the sound of the film moving to the next frame… also the smell of film.


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