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Why I sold my D600

furbs

San Francisco, US
32 posts

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furbs Registered since 30th Jan 2013
Wed 10-Jul-13 03:06 PM

Let me preface this by saying that it isn't a knock on the D600, but rather my own experience, shared in the hopes of perhaps finding some kindred spirits.

It wasn't the dust, as you might suspect. I actually had very few dust problems with the D600, and greatly enjoyed the images it produced. I had been using Nikon SLRs for about 15 years, and it was the best SLR I'd been fortunate to own.

I just found that the camera got in the way of too many pictures. I mostly shoot candid subjects, and it had always been a challenge to capture people "in the moment" with a DSLR and big lenses. People in public are also in the habit of steering clear of DSLRs when I whip them out, making street photography - another of my passions - even more challenging. Cameraphones and point-and-shoots are less intimidating, though they always felt lacking in speed and image quality, let alone the disappointing tactile experience of shooting.

About a month ago I picked up a near-mint Leica M4 for about half the price I paid for my D600. I have to say, the shooting experience has been night-and-day. Now I never feel like the camera is getting in my way and I get shots that simply weren't possible with the D600. This is mostly due to the M4's inconspicuous size, quiet shutter, and absence of mirror slap. Using lenses with focus tabs allows me to focus by feel before the camera reaches my eye, and it's only at my eye for a split second as I frame the shot.

Of course, since it's a fully-manual interchangeable-lens camera, I can shoot more deliberately with it as well. It's been wonderful to return to film, and I find it much less expensive than I'd thought - about $0.14 per shot with Tri-X and $0.25 per shot with Portra when developed at home, which is also far easier than I'd thought.

As someone with the luxury of shooting photos apart from the dictates of clients' timeframes, the M4 really hits a sweet spot for me. Probably the most noticeable difference now that I've sold the D600 is that photography is a joy again, and every time I touch my camera it nearly screams at me to shoot with it. Others have noticed as well, and more people have asked me to take their picture than ever did with the D600.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Whether it's switching to rangefinders, or film, or even compact digitals like the Fuji X series, I'm noticing that I'm not alone in this trend nowadays.

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