The two cameras in this scan were my first two cameras. The Pentacon-F I purchased from Olden Cameras in New York by mail order for $100 in Austin, Texas in 1958. The second camera, the Asahi Pentax S-3, I bought in1961 at Foto Rudiger on Avenida Venustiano Carranza in Mexico City. I do not remember how much I paid for it.
I used those cameras in Buenos Aires when I was doing my military service in the Argentine Navy from 1965 to 1967.
I met Rosemary in Mexico City in the latter part of December 1967 and we were married on February 8, 1968. All the beautiful photographs of her that I took of her, until we moved with our two daughters, Alexandra and Hilary in 1975 to Vancouver, were snapped with those two single lens reflex cameras. We almost did not move to Vancouver as I was doing very well taking portraits of wealthy Mexican families.
Iconic Photographs of Rosemary some taken by my compadre Andrew Taylor with the two cameras.
In all of my photographic career, my cameras have suffered my brutal handling, but of all of them, today, April 3, 2023, I can assert that they all worked when I bought them,and now they are all, mechanically, in top shape.
I cannot speak for other photographers, but after a short while, any camera I use gives me the confidence that I cannot fail using it in any portrait assignment or photographs of my own family.
I call them my Sword Excalibur. They acquire a magical existence no different to me to what may have been King Arthur’s relationship with Excalibur.
Because of this magical connection I have with my cameras, and particularly with these two, (one of them took the picture of Rosemary in her wedding dress), I find myself in a kind of mystical thought about looking through the viewfinders of the Pentax and the Pentacon. Viewing Rosemary through them is still in my memory. Her image went through the lens on to the film and from there into my brain before I even processed the film.
My mystical question is as follows: Is it possible that in
these two inanimate objects, there is a remnant of that optical process of Rosemary entering the lens and from there onto her latent image on the film? Is this remembering also latent in my mind? By remembering is it developed and processed in me?
I have no idea, although I would like to believe it is so. I am sure of one thing, if these two cameras are my Swords Excaliburs, then my Rosemary is certainly my Guinevere.