A camera is a tool. It enables us to preserve a memory in the form of an image, sometimes with sound included. We use a camera to help us communicate an idea or an emotion, as well as to spread the word about something that matters to us.
A camera can take the form of a compact point-and-shoot, a medium or large format apparatus, or even a mobile phone or a DIY pinhole camera.
I don’t care for the latest technology or using expensive brand-name equipment. I just need to be comfortable using it. That said, how I would take a photo or approach a subject depends on the camera in my hands.
For instance, if I’m using my phone, I take several shots of the same scene and am quick to edit the preferred pictures with VSCO Cam. When I’m using an analog rangefinder, I deliberate, take less photos and spend more time on each shot. If I’m using a Lomo, I feel like I should be more creative and take photos from angles that I might not normally do (and sometimes end up with odd images). When I used to shoot with a digital SLR, I would have an unreal sense of confidence and feel self-possessed by the hefty chunk of metal and glass in my hands. Taking pictures with the Fuji x100 has been a pleasure and I love its handsome body as much as the beautiful pictures that come out of it – I should use it more.
Recently I had the the chance to try out a Yashica T5 for a week as part of a #TravelingYashica initiative started by Hamish Gill where the camera is passed around the world to different persons. I read about it somewhere online, signed up for it and probably waited for almost a year before it arrived at my desk in Brussels.
The Yashica T5 has a ‘superscope’, a cool feature and second viewfinder that lets you takes photos from waist-level. It also comes in handy for overhead shots as it works like a periscope. I had fun taking photos using the superscope though it often felt like I was spying on other people!
The shutter button on the Yashica T5 is more sensitive than what I’m used to. As a result, my initial shots on the first roll of film were unintended.
The quality of the pictures is good in general. I was surprised to see how well some photos taken in low light turned out. Several images were overexposed but it may have been due to my inexperience with the camera and incorrectly locking in the exposure.
Overall, it was great to have the chance to use the camera. But I still do not understand the hype around the Yashica T5 and its predecessor. Ultimately, it is the person who makes the photos. Wouldn’t you agree?