Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Aligns of My Hand

As the husband of one lefthander and the father of another, I find it curious that there are virtually no cameras made for southpaws. I suppose any camera's controls can be learned to use with either hand but they're generally designed for righties.

As far as I can determine, only one camera has ever been designed ergonomically to fit the left hand, the Yashica Samurai half-frame series made in the late 1980s. I may be wrong, and if anyone out there knows of another lefty camera please let me know.

There were two versions of the Samurai, one for righties and one for lefties. Ironically the only product shots I can find show the right-handed version.

Yashica Samurai half-frame SLR

If you think the exterior is bizarre, check out the loading mechanism. It would definitely take a full frame brain to figure this thing out.

See what lefties have to deal with on a daily basis? Thank God I'm a righty with my trusty arsenal of righty cameras. Like this one:

Like most rangefinders, the Leica has controls on the right and viewfinder on the left. The idea is that you put your right eye to the viewfinder while your left eye can watch the scene unfold.

But I've never done it that way. I've always been a left-eyed photographer. I close my right eye, smush my nose against the back of the camera and squint with my left through the little window. My cameras tend to brass up on the back plate where my nose rubs. I'm not sure why I use my left eye, if it connects to the right brain or some other reason. It's just the way I do it. Even if I could use my right eye, I'd have to keep the left one closed. I can't concentrate on two things at once.

Now if only I could find my son a left-handed baseball bat...


Dalton said...

Count me in as a left-eye-usin, back-of-the-camera-nose-squisher. Surely there's a market for a rangefinder for the rest of us?

Ellen Rennard said...

Oh wow, no wonder I didn't like using a Leica. I didn't even think of the left-right eye thing or notice my smushed nose, just that it felt awkward. You too Dalton?! Ahh, the left-eyed camera club of cyberspace!

wolf said...

actually my old zeiss-ikon 6x9 is a lefty--try it sometime, it's very frustrating! Not to mention you have to guess focus in meters.