Nikomat FTN, Nikkor-P 105mm f/2.5, Nikon Y44 light yellow filter, Ilford HP5 Plus

My Uncle was asking a while back if I had heard about the Fujifilm FinePix X100.  It is perhaps the spearhead of a recent resurgence of “retro” styled digital cameras.  Of course, Leica has never strayed from their design aesthetic as well as traditional function with their digital cameras.  But the X100 does not require you to take out a second mortgage on your home to afford it so we may see more mid-range photo enthusiast pick it up, or the Olympus PEN EP-3 or rumored retro Canon PowerShot.

Is there a resurgence in classic camera interest behind these releases?  Are the camera manufacturers trying to appeal to those of us still clinging on to our film cameras?

I have to admit all of the above mentioned cameras have some appeal to me, despite some of their claims seeming false.  (The X100 is referred to as a “rangefinder” even though the focus-assist is digital, as is its manual focus control which has no mechanical linkage to the lens.)

My Uncle also pointed out an interesting opinion article by Froma Harrop where she speaks of this trend away from the high-tech and towards the high-hip and high-touch.  It really hit home with me, as I personally feel the exact sentiment she makes reference to about needing to escape high-tech.

I work with a computer all day, use a smart phone for all sorts of tasks, and am constantly swapping out my digital gear year-after year.  When I want to have fun with photography I get a big kick out of using a 40 year old camera which still works pretty much as good as the day it was made to take shots like the above.

But don’t worry, I am not crazy enough to try sticking my beloved manual Nikkors onto my phone using this abomination just to get better looking Hipstamatic shots.  (Thanks for that lead, Sharon.)  I may live in both high-tech and old-school worlds, but I don’t plan on mixing them up quite like that!

Written by Bubble Level

Jamie Zucek lives in California and enjoys film and digital photography, collecting and shooting vintage and modern cameras whenever he can.

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