I tackle the common question in my attempt at creating a driving confessional:

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    Reverend Ron Gunn IMAX

    Hi John,

    Best camera is a very important question!

    As important as having the best knife to prepare a prize-winning sandwich. Would a 23cm Deglon Sabatier be better than a 7.5 inch Victorinox or would a Tsuki Series 8 Santoku Knife trounce both and be capable of spreading as well as cutting? Don’t ask about ingredients or freshness of presentation, if I don’t have the absolute very best knife my sandwich will be ruined!

    Years ago I went to an exhibition at the newly opened Impressions Gallery in York, UK. My friend was a curator and had invited me to an evening talk by the landscape photographer who was exhibiting. There was a good sampling of his work, a great selection of beautifully composed and lit landscapes immaculately printed and displayed. I was intrigued, as a budding photojournalist I was all about “the moment” and yet this guy had spent hours on each picture. I wanted to know how he had selected his “moment”, how he had prepared and visualised, what his thought processes and his philosophy were …

    There were a number of people at the talk. The first question at the Q&A afterwards was the inevitable “What camera do you use?” His answer was slightly surprising – a Mamiya Super Press 23 – which is a 6x9cm roll film rangefinder with a hand grip and a movable back like a view camera for perspective control. I could see most of the audience writing this down and sensed that the camera shops far around York would be empty of Mamiya Super Press 23’s within the next week.

    Eventually, one audience member, braver than the rest, asked WHY the photographer used a Mamiya Super Press 23 for landscapr photography and sat back awaiting the no doubt wise words to be imparted on the subject of essential equipment for landscape photography..

    “Because my car was stolen with my 35mm Pentax gear inside. This was the first half-decent camera I could find within my budget and within walking distance …”

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