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F2 vs digital

To me, the F2 is like a Rolls Royce and digital is like an electric motor bike. Both have their uses. The F2 gives me the greatest pleasure, but digital lets me see instantly what I've taken and reshoot in a different mode if necessary. There is no choice for one and not the other. I need both to be happy, the more the merrier : )

I am in a fortunate position to communicate with many F2 users, from college students to professional photographers. Below is a reply from Lucio Garofalo, a professional photographer, why he is still using F2s.

Happy shooting,


Consider the following :-

Dust: I often work in environments that could cover the sensor no matter what kind of shaking system the camera is equipped with. Try concrete powder or lime in your eyes as I have and you'll understand what I mean. The 5000 + Euro D3 does not even have the shaking system because, in the end, it's an amateur feature.

Cold : I was on the Alps last week reporting on some equipment for snow removal. In the morning it was -12 Celsius. My assignment also included video so I carried along my Canon XL1 video camera. Batteries that suppose to last 5 hours, lasted 1 and half. My F2s never stopped working. There was an amateur photographer with D70 near by, his camera back screen was giving him funny rendition of the pictures and he got very insecure. By the way, that is IHTSI (I have to see immediately) syndrome that comes along with digital photography. If you do not see, you do not believe it's there; hence tons of batteries and the computer to download images as soon as possible.

In Tunnels where gas is detected : All machines have to be equipped with explosion-proof devices on board. No electronic devices are allowed inside, including digital cameras. I've worked in such environments with my all-mechanical F2s.

Time : I'm not a sports journalist, I do not work for newspapers but for monthly magazines. When I come back from assignment I drop rolls at the lab and go home to listen to interview recordings or to look to my notes for writing the article. The next day I pick proofs and negs and I can edit the images and scan only the one I'm interested. I do not have to sit in front of a computer converting Raw files in to Tiffs or Jpegs. Often construction companies ask for prints so I do not have to prepare files for that either. I just give the lab the negs.

Film : Colour film has never been as good as these days. I use Fuji Reala 100, 160, 400, 800 and Superia 1600 ASA. Great exposure latitude, extremely fine grain can be process even in supermarkets anywhere across the world in less than 15 minutes.

B&W : BW coming out from digital is depressing when you look at prints.

F2 is a masterpiece of mechanics and reliability only comparable to twin lenses Rolleiflexes (I own two and use them). Leica are great too but very delicate in comparison

So why switch to digital?

Lucios web site is

All Lucios 35mm images are taken with F2s I repaired/serviced.