8 March 2009

A CCD is not Film

I would like to combine my old Single Reflex Lens camera, offered for sale in the year of my birth, with my digital camera. This hopeful merger could be part of larger project of owning fewer things and having everything in my orbit glitter with greatness, purpose and my generalised comfort and familiarity. Both of these devices have great advantages over each other as they are separately. This greatness would be the culmination of the diminution of flaws, without the expenditure of resources I do not have access to.

Cameras are dark boxes which take impressions from the world which falls on their sensitive regions these impressions are saved via a nice, predictable procedure of rolling plastic sheets of photosensitive substrate or digital file harvesting and storage. A digital camera like the one I have, can adjust in ways to “be different kinds of film”, and also judge distances, strike a bright light, make a rudimentary moving picture show, and other adjustments. It uses a little battery to do all of this work. The digital crop I reap is a good one, getting those files made is a sad show of blobby buttons, limited control over things I care about and a general mushiness. The flexible core of a digital camera is the charge-coupled device (CCD), which unlike the photosensitive crystals floating on the sheet of plastic has limitations in relation to its power draw, design and manufacture, where as film is limited to the quality and quantity of photosensitive materials and of course, the cost in producing images from the film.

The activity of being a camera is what my SLR does best. Adjusting the aperture and focus is the kind of activity I want to be engaged in on a picture making day and it offers these adjustments to me easily. The shutter and film advance are and solid and fast. It is just that film is an expensive, boring pain.

I would like to remove the back of my SLR and lock on the CCD when the film would sit. I would like to freeze much of the CCD’s flexibility and treat it like 400 ISO film. Giving the work of the focus and aperture and shutter speed back to the SLR. The CCD can collect the data, managed by the lens, throw it to the XD card and call it a day. The digital camera can loose the following; focus measure device, the flash, and lens and body. That stuff is no good to this picture maker. Pictures to follow of this proposed project.


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