Will My Pentacon-F End Up In A Shoe Box?Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Do you have film in your camera? Your flash did not fire. You have your lens cap on.
The above are three complications (and there were many more) that might have prevented a photographer from taking pictures in the last century.
In this century the chief culprit of such an event is that scary, “My card was corrupted.” In banking terms something like, “Our computers are down so we cannot help you,” would be an equivalent dénouement.
Yesterday Saturday as I got ready to photograph three men, Art Bergmann, Zippy Pinhead and Randy Rampage wearing, one at a time, my mother’s red shawl I turned on my camera. My camera lit up to advise me, “No card.” I panicked. I then remembered that for the scenario of a corrupted card I had packed an extra one and an extra battery (you never know) in my camera bag. I relaxed and took my photographs.
In that last century I often told young photographers that competition for jobs in magazine and commercial photography was such that if you made a mistake you would never be hired again. I advised them to pack two of everything.
I may have been wrong because on the way to the end of that last century I met up with Horst Wenzel who kept repairing my equipment. Those two extra Mamiyas, that second 140mm lens, that extra Minolta Flashmeter, those three Nikon FM-2 and that Nikon F-3 have been in good shape thank to Wenzel. What does one do with three Mamiyas in this century? They are worthless and mine even more so because they look like they have been used. And they have.
All that, brings me to consider my Pentacon-F with its Zeiss Tessar 50mm f-2.8 lens. I bought it in 1957. I used it lots and well. I now have it on a shelf in my den with a Pentax S-3, a Pentax S-II and a Canon rangefinder camera from the mid 50s. All work well except the Pentacon. It has a sticky shutter.
I asked Wenzel if I should have it repaired knowing I will never use it. He told me, “As soon as you die your relatives will put it in a box or simply throw it away. It would be silly to spend a couple of hundred Dollars to repair it.”
My wife simply said, “We don’t have the money for that.” She simply echoed Wenzel who further added, “Now if you win the lottery you might want to fix that Pentacon.”
I have no idea why it is that something inside me says I should have a camera, that served me well in my early career, repaired and that not to repair it is tantamount to abandoning a faithful companion. Even though it is a metallic object (with a faulty cloth focal plane shutter) with lovely German glass, I should treat it with respect.
Must guilt follow even if my Pentacon-F is an inanimate object?