Thursday, June 9, 2016

Old Cameras

A few of the cameras that were part of my earlier snapping days. Starting at the top with a Kodak Brownie 127, this was a Christmas or birthday gift from my parents in about 1971. Made from Bakelite it was a very basic machine, no focus or exposure control, just point, click and cross fingers.
The next one is an Asahiflex, it was the first SLR camera with an instant return mirror. The predecessor of the Pentax. I bought it from Nuttalls, a second hand shop in Manchester St, I think it was about $24. I had it on lay buy. The little viewfinder next to the rewind knob is a sports finder. This made it easier to follow a sporting event because the viewfinder that was actually used to focus reversed the image. You had to flip it open to look down into it.
The next is a Nikon F2, this made me feel like a real photographer. I used to feel like a real man with this slung casually over my shoulder. At about this time Paul Simon had a song out called Kodachrome and he mentioned he had a Nikon camera in the lyrics and he used Kodachrome. I was that man/boy.
The last one is a fine piece of German engineering, the Rolleiflex SL66. I fell in love with camera after seeing an advertisement for it an american photography magazine. I hungered for it for many years. It was top of the line in medium format cameras, the equal or better of Hasselblad. It had bellows that gave you movements to help control perspective and depth of field issues, Also you could whip off the lens and put it on back to front and you then had a macro lens. The lens was a Zeiss 80mm Planar, just the thought of it gave me goose bumps. I finally had the opportunity to get my hands on this one in the late 70's. Sadly I now regret I traded in my Rollieflex f2.8 twin lens reflex for it. The SL66 never left my side for about 20 years. It was never a very well camera. It had been badly treated by it's former owners. I was constantly taking it in for repairs. Sadly it hasn't worked for a very long time, the repairs were just getting too expensive.

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