Click Bait

Click Bait

The open and shut case for the digital camera.

Look up the history of the Leica cameras – it is one of the most documented devices in all of photography. It came along to give a new way of working, just at a time when there were more and more ways of writing about it and publishing the results. Leica themselves did ( and does… ) a magnificent job of publicizing their product and even the people who will never be able to afford the cameras and lenses can benefit by reading the literature.

Well, Leica also scored a publicity coup in the shutter mechanism of the Leica M3 35mm rangefinder camera. It has one of the most distinctive sounds in the photo world – put any of the mechanical film bodies on 1/8 th of a second, trigger it for a half-dozen times, and tell me that you are not hooked for life. Ka chink ka zuzz. The fact that it is a very quiet ka chink meant that for a long time it was the only camera that was allowed to be used in some US courtrooms or in other areas that required solemnity and silence. That’s a salable law!

Note that at the same time you could trigger the focal plane shutter on a Speed Graphic or a Bronica S2 and deafen a fighter pilot.

Okay, wind forward to the mid 70’s when Olympus made one of their 35mm cameras with an electric shutter. We sold ’em in Wizard photos, but we never heard them. Even with your ear to the body, you could not hear the shutter blades open and close.

Now? Well you can still get a decent sort of a clatter out of a DSLR or a mirror-less camera if you put it onto high-speed shooting. You’ll turn heads in a quiet environment. The people with leaf shutter cameras and some of the mirror-less can turn off most of the sound and use the electronic shutter option – thus avoiding all noise. They’ll need to see that their cameras turn off other features like AF assist lights and flashes if they want to be in court, but the noise has been tamed.

The really interesting  thing is the ability to add a shutter sound, once you have removed the natural one. Several of my picture boxes allow me to choose a suitable shutter sound to mimic what I am supposed to remember. ( Hint: they fail. I remember the Speed Graphic…) But all I can get are clicks and scrunches. No-one gives me the Leica 1/8 th electronically.

I want more. If I can get the Königratzer March as a ring tone on my Samsung I should be able to get a frog, doorbell, or destroyer siren on my camera when I press the shutter button. And equally startling sounds for anything else that is set electronically. Imagine the fun you could have with a menu button that would allow you to make rude biological noises whilst covering a wedding. The reception hours can be very long and it would while away the time wonderfully.


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