This post is based on one I wrote a few years ago. However, in view of the recent shocking news that a huge number of photographers around the world can’t use f6.4, I thought I’d revisit it and bring it up to date… and it goes like this…
Following recent events at planet Leica where they’ve brought out a camera with a zoom lens that’s only f6.4 at the 70mm end, I thought the best way to get around this disaster would be to make my own camera.
However, before I divulge my recipe to you of my delectable delight, I needed get my head around the f6.4 thing. This is what I found out and I have to say…I’m really puzzled.
…I’ve got some lenses with ‘other’ apertures, such as f8, f11, f16 and even f22…why I’ve even heard it said that there used to be a ‘Group f64′ in America.
(Group 64 allegedly consisted of eleven photographers, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, John Paul Edwards, Preston Holder, Consuelo Kanaga, Alma Lavenson, Sonya Noskowiak, Henry Swift, Willard Van Dyke, Brett Weston, and Edward Weston…whoever they are).
However back in the real world, I found out that you can take photographs using these ‘other’ mutant apertures!
It’s amazing! It seems you just need to be a photographer with the merest idea of what you’re doing…there’s a novel idea.
I know you’re thinking I’ve made this rubbish up, but get this…I tried f11 this morning and do you what?…
Yiphee, my lens works at f11. Even now while typing this I feel so emotional, I may…..even… have…….to……stop……typing…….while………….I wipe……..a tear……away……sniff……that’s better……where was I?……oh yes…
…back to my camera recipe..
Having trawled the trolls on the camera forums, I fed everyone’s camera choices and desired specifications into my Nintendo DS and after much groaning, and soul-searching, it computed that the ultimate camera design, based on all the available data, would be…
…a Licen-Canikkor- MK6.4 with a double centrifugelknockometer switch and an integral fu-fu valve…sounds great doesn’t it!
It takes film, clingfilm, super 8 film, glass negatives, plus negatives, minus negatives, digital film, film digital, eight-track, and vinyl too….Retro or what?
It also has a built-in two-legged tripod and you can send it out to take photographs while you’re getting sloshed at the pub…all this in something just the size of a small family car.
It’s even got a removable red dot on the front…you can also leave it in place if you’d sooner cover it with a roll of black gaffer tape…useful when pretending to be a member of the ‘street photographer cult club’ .
It also has a special Henri-Cartier Bresson button for those rare magical moments…now I’ve got your attention!
You can programme it to take the dog for a walk (if you don’t have a dog it’ll even find one for you)
I’ve written to the Ansel Adams trust and asked them if they would send me one of the crappy f64 lenses he pretended to use.
Once this arrives I’m going to put it straight into production. For the body I need a cardboard box…now where did I put my old Hasselblad camera pakaging?
Because of the Hasselblad ‘connection’, and their association with the fake moon landings, I shall call it…Lunar Module 6.4
Even Magnum have ordered one for Martin Parr.
Will it take great photographs?
Well, according to those forums mentioned earlier, it seems that actually taking photographs is not really the priority of most photographers…it’s more a question of having something around your neck, without f6.4, that makes life worth living.