Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pentax Spotmatic

A few years ago, people started giving me the old cameras they found in their homes. "Here, I thought you might want this." They guessed I would like them because I love all things photographic. They were right.

So I've built quite a collection of old Brownies and Polaroids and some various point & shoots. I even have a disc camera from the 80s. Remember those? Whoever thought it was a great idea to shoot photographs on film that was smaller than a dime should be shot. And not with a camera.

They resided on the mantel for awhile, and got lots of attention there, until M started making comments about how other people lived in this house, too, and wouldn't it be nice if one of the main focal points of our home reflected the family, not just my hobby. Picky picky. The cameras were moved to the top of my computer armoire (you can see them in the photograph of my workspace from last month), and we haven't had a decent-looking mantel since. Except for Christmas, when we have little lighted houses in fake snow.

I've been meaning to get them all down and give them a good dusting, and possibly arrange them on the mantel again (when M isn't around), but I just haven't gotten to it. A few other things on my plate, I guess you could say.

And then an old colleague popped back into work the other day to say hello to everyone, and she brought me a new old camera. She and her husband recently retired and are preparing to move to Colorado. They're cleaning out their home here in The Lou, and their farmhouse out in the boonies somewhere south of here. That's where they were last weekend when Rick pulled a musty old bag from the top of a long-forgotten closet. "I guess we better just throw this away, huh?" Chris responded, "No! I know someone who will want that!"

So I'm now the proud owner of a heavily used Pentax Spotmatic, complete with three moldy lenses, a camera bag that is in such bad shape Chris had to place the whole thing in a plastic grocery bag to bring it to me, and a metal film canister that was fixed to the strap with black electrical tape.

I brought it home today and shot it, because, well, because I guess I wanted to share it.

Whoever used this camera used it like it was meant to be used: a lot, and hard. Those old cameras have rugged metal bodies and are built like tanks. The edges of all three lenses have slight dings and are no longer perfectly round, which means they were dropped a few times.

O, how I would love to meet the person that owned that camera!


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