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The Value of Older Cameras: A Journey Towards Artistic Growth

Updated: May 18

ZEISS Biogon 28 f2.8

The Value of Older Cameras: A Journey Towards Artistic Growth

In my ongoing deliberation over acquiring a new camera, I've come to realize that the process itself can be time-consuming and distract me from my true purpose—creating art. It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that a new camera or equipment will magically make us better photographers or filmmakers. However, a recent conversation with my friend Lawrence sparked a revelation that changed my perspective.

Walking the vibrant streets of Sydney, I shared with Lawrence how the Leica M9, a camera released in 2009, has made me a better photographer when using a much newer model—the Sony A7RIII. This realization prompted me to delve deeper into understanding how this outcome occurred.

Embracing the Limitations

The Leica M9, despite being slower and lacking autofocus, in-body stabilization, and video functions compared to the newer Sony model, possesses a unique charm. I've also experienced similar challenges with my original Sony A7—a camera known for its sluggishness, audible shutter, and absence of modern features. However, it compensates with its remarkable sensor, capable of producing captivating images when I invest the effort.

The image featured in this post was captured with the Sony A7, utilizing the iconic 90s ZEISS 28mm Biogon lens from the Contax G system. This combination is slow, methodical and requires patience. The Contax G lenses weren’t designed with a conventional helicoid and require that the lens adapter is designed with this in mind.

The Power of User Involvement

The central point to grasp is that these older cameras demand more from their users. They necessitate a higher level of involvement, pushing photographers to overcome limitations and tap into their creativity. Consequently, when we eventually transition to newer camera models, the growth we've achieved through these older tools manifests itself dramatically.


Remember, improvement in photography is a gradual journey that demands patience, dedication, and a willingness to embrace challenges. While newer cameras offer advanced features, older models provide an opportunity for growth through user involvement. Embrace the process, push your creative boundaries, and witness the transformative impact when you eventually transition to newer cameras. Let the fusion of technology and artistic expression elevate your craft.

YouTube Channel that I suggest about older cameras


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