A Case For ExcitementFriday, July 20, 2012
In 1956 an ASARCO (American Smelting & Refining Company) engineer drove around Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico in a brand new white Chrysler Imperial. This was the long land yacht that had those little lights sticking up on the tail fins. I thought this car was the most fantastic car I had ever seen. But then I was 14 years old. I particularly admired its pushbutton TorqueFlite transmission. The engineer (I have forgotten his name) told me I could take the car for a spin in the desert that surrounded the northern Mexico mining town where my mother taught school for the American children of the engineers.
It was a thrill that I will never forget since that Chrysler Imperial was the first car I ever drove. While I would look at a pristine restored Imperial with nostalgia I would know I would not want to drive the ungainly monster. Cars are far better now.
In the late 70s I could not afford the more expensive professional Nikons so I did all my magazine assignments in Vancouver with old Pentaxes. I lusted over those Nikons with their motor drives. In the late 80s I was bean bagged outside the main train station in Buenos Aires and all my equipment was stolen. Back in Vancouver my insurance company had to replace my stolen stuff with equivalent cameras. Most of those Pentaxes were not made so they replaced them with a Nikon F-3 and a couple of Nikon FM-2s. Twenty five years later I still use those Nikons and I even have a Nikon FM (a predecessor of the FM-2). They work just fine with their manual focusing lenses.
My main “battle tank” is my venerable Mamiya RB-67 but the Nikons keep on clicking as mopping up forces.
This last week I noticed that one of my Nikons was difficult to focus. The reason is that the focusing screen on that camera had a smooth ground glass with grids for architecture photography. Why I would have such a screen is beyond me. With my impending photographic dotage my eyes are not what they used to be. Since these cameras have been obsolete for years I had little chance of finding a replacement focusing screen that would cope with my deteriorating eyesight.
Leo’s on Granville Street found me one in tucked away in an obscure drawer. As I was leaving I saw a black metal case that opened up like an accordion case. I immediately thought of my almost 15 granddaughter Rebecca. She could use it as a make up case because of all the adjustable compartments. On my way to her house I called her and told her I had a surprise. But just after I spoke to her I began to regret it. The case was really a good one.
Rebecca looked at the case as if it were a rotting fish. I left with the case.
I am ecstatic. It almost feels as I open it and look at all my equipment neat in its place as if I were driving that Chrysler Imperial for the first time. It is beautiful!
In the case I have my two Nikon FM-2s, one Nikon FM, a 50mm F-1.4, an F-2 35mm, a 24mm F-2.8, a 16mm full frame F-2.8 fisheye, an 85mm F1.4 and a 135mm F-2.8 lens. Over the Nikon FM I have a motor drive. In one of the other compartments I have a Minolta Autometer IV-F. And there is room left for film!
|Fuji Instant FP-3000B Film|
Camera cases and tripods are photographic devices that fit particular needs and after a few years they don’t seem to adapt to one’s needs. My very large soft camera case was useful for many years as I had to walk to locations with it on my shoulder. I don’t do this sort of work anymore. Having the black metal case that I can open in my living room or in the garden is perfect.
With those three Nikons in the case and that F-3 in a drawer I am itching to take many more photographs than I have been taking of late.