“The dude must be crazy,” I hear you saying. “He’s comparing arguably the finest 35mm SLR ever made to a Kodak meant for someone ready to step up from a box camera.”
Yup. That’s what I’m doing. And we’re going to get down into the details. They might surprise you.
I shot the same scene with both cameras within minutes of each other. A 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor lens was attached to the F2. The Pony, of course, is permanently attached to a 44mm f/3.5 Anaston lens. I shot Fujicolor 200 in both cameras, and sent both rolls of film to the same processor (The Darkroom) at the same time. They went into production on the same day and were scanned on the same scanner at the same resolution.
The comparison isn’t perfect. I didn’t record the apertures and shutter speeds I used. If I had been thinking more clearly, I would have had both cameras in hand and shot from exactly the same spot. But instead, I shot this comparison photo with the F2 near the end of a roll, which I finished shortly after. But I wanted to keep shooting, so I walked back home, loaded the Pony, and walked back to that spot. So the two photos don’t line up perfectly. And because the two lenses’ focal lengths differ, I had to resize the F2 shot down a little in Photoshop so the images would compare.
At maximum resolution, I cropped both photos to about the same area, 640 pixels square. Click on either image to see it at that size. Can you guess which camera produced which image?
The shot from the F2 is first, and the shot from the Pony is second.
I like the F2 shot better. The colors are warmer and more pleasing, there appears to be less grain, and the details are a little crisper.
But the Pony seriously acquits itself in this comparison. Its lens is plenty sharp and the colors are plenty good. Heck, if I want more warmth, I can crank it up in Photoshop.
Kodak had a winner in the Pony line. No wonder they sold a bajillion of them.