But is it a digital Hexar AF?

me, at baked and wired

What’s there to say about a camera that you can sling over your shoulder, take everywhere, and nearly forget about? The Hexar AF was like this. Mercifully too big to be stuck in a pocket, but just right for hanging from a diagonally worn strap, for riding in that spot in your back just below the tail end of your ribs. Somewhat quirky handling. Sometimes frustrating focussing errors due to parallax and an indiscriminate focussing spot, issues only partially overcome by switching to EVF mode. No real spot meter though, or at least not one that I’ve been able to find, although I’m still discovering things. Great lens.

I like it.

looking up

But I haven’t taken that many pictures with it yet. Not entirely the camera’s fault. Once I’d decided that it was competent, and that it wouldn’t annoy me, I found myself buying the glass negative carrier for my Coolscan 9000. The X100 calmed what had been a nagging fear that photography was pretty much going to suck for me once film was gone. It won’t. It won’t be the same, but it will still be fun. And knowing that has given me permission the continue fiddling while Rochester burns. I’ll continue playing with the X100, but there’s pile of film in the cabinet and freshly cleaned Mamiya waiting.


5 Replies to “But is it a digital Hexar AF?”

  1. Sounds real nice but i need more information.

  2. Matt, awesome.
    I’m sure there will be further random comments and reflections as time allows and you get a chance to dabble a bit more.

    “…it was competent…it wouldn’t annoy me..” is high praise indeed coming from someone who, like many of us, just find something missing when it’s not film.

    I’m looking for that thing that will make me not miss film if exists and never being a sensationalist feel like we are closer and closer to the end of an era. Where film will either be prohibitively expensive or just not available. Hoping I’m wrong. 🙂
    There’s a Hexar AF that I want to buy but, but, well I’m sure you can appreciate the weighing of that expense-although anteing up for a glass carrier…perhaps you’re still bullish on film. 🙂

    I hope so.

    Love the blog. Keep it coming.

  3. I shared your feelings about the demise of film – I still have them. The probable death of Kodak exacerbates that unease. I enjoy using my Nikon D1X and D200, but it somehow is not just the same – illogical and emotional, I suppose, but real.

    I keep telling myself the image is the thing, not the apparatus. And it is. But the smell of hypo, the solidity of a Nikon or a Leica in your hands, the relative simplicity and comprehensibility of the mechanical and chemical process – at least for me, that adds a lot to the enjoyment of photography.

    I often take my digital cameras now, rather than the film boxes. I enjoy the digitals, especially the D200, and the experience of making the images. I can survive on that, faute de mieux. I just hope someone keeps making film for a couple more decades….

    Your site, and a couple of others, keep my spirits up.

  4. Hey amazing post thanks a ton keep up the excellent job

  5. I bought an X100 six months ago, and sold my Hexar a few weeks later. I think the Hexar still wins in two ways: durability and focus speed. The X100 doesn’t quite have that ‘take it anywhere, knock it around’ feel, and I can’t imagine mine will still be working in 15 years. The buttons on the rear are already starting to lose their stenciling. The Hexar has faster focus acquisition, especially in low light. On the other hand, it has trouble focusing through glass or mist. Note that the X100’s AF spot can be enlarged or reduced. A larger spot in weak light and a smaller in good light seems the way to go.

    The X100 has a spot meter, under the AE button, but not a ‘real’ one, I guess. Anyway, this is now my anywhere camera. I don’t miss developing film. Or scanning.

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