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Capturing Colorado: The Cameras

When I came to Colorado in 1983, I brought my trusty Mamyia RB 67, a bulky medium format SLR that shot film the size of a wallet photo (2 1/4"x2 3/4"). I lugged this beast on my back with 4 lenses, from wide to telephoto (50mm,65mm,90mm, and 180mm). On the trail, I could really feel it after 4 hours, on the way up to a lake before the clouds closed in. So I sold the Mamyia and bought a Pentax 645, lighter, and with more lenses - lenses with the superior Asahi optics, from wide to telephoto (35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 75mm, 150mm, and a 2x Teleconverter). As you can guess, I was shooting film the whole time. I finally embraced digital in 2018 and scanned all of my color negatives from the past, with amazing results. Did I get a full frame Canon or Nikon digital body with 36 MegaPixels, and a full assortment of lenses like everybody else? No. I bought a Kodak branded AZ 252 "Bridge" camera with a smaller sensor, but with a greater depth of field from a short zoom lens that could be set at a telephoto position and still maintain focus in the foreground less than two feet away. It  was a solution to a problem that has bedeviled me for years - to get the flowers two feet away and the background mountain in focus, you need a wide angle lens. The wide angle lens pushes the mountain back, making it smaller and less impressive than what I originally saw. The bridge camera, often derided as a more feature-laden point and shot, solved this problem - its zoom lens set at a moderate telephoto position (2x) - is shorter than a full frame digital camera lens that has a wide angle, pushing the background back, making the mountains puny. So with my Kodak, I get a tele perspective with a wide angle foreground, all in focus. I no longer lug a camera bag in my day pack - I just go tourist with the Kodak on my neck, to shoot the Columbine below the tall mountains I see.

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