I Learn About Ergonomics
28 Aug 2020 12:28AM
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Looking back on my early days of SLR photography I soon learned that people trying to sell you things don’t necessarily understand what it is you need. It’s not that anybody is trying to deceive, but sometimes the details are lost and we can’t double guess what features are important to any one individual. A case in point was my first 135mm lens. I was going to buy a preset lens (no automatic diaphragm, this has to be set manually) and, quite rightly, the saleman pointed out a slightly more expensive lens that had automation and was far more convenient in that respect. However, what he didn’t realise was that the aperture ring and focusing rings worked the opposite way round to my Pentax standard lens, the filter thread was 52mm instead of 49mm and it was a much bigger and heavier lens anyway. These may seem small points, but they slow down working and are basically a nuiscance.
The point being that using them in the same kit potentially causes confusion and may slow us down.
This may be more important for manual focus lenses, but can affect AF systems as well. For example, all the following cameras have on/off switches that surround the shutter release button. This is very efficient when carrying a camera in one hand as we can switch it on with one hand while moving it up to the eye. Our finger is already on the shutter release.
I found the same glitches when using 35mm and medium format. The direction of controls was either Canon/Mamiya or Pentax/Nikon/Bronica. As I couldn’t afford what I wanted I ended up using a wrong handed medium format camera and it bugged me till I eventually had to change it.
Small points maybe, but the devil’s in the detail, so it’s a good reason to handle before we buy. A good thing there are still some camera shops around.