requiem for an old, old friend

I think my camera is dead. It had issues a while ago, the camera shop can’t fix it, so I sent it to Brother-In-Law-#1, and I thought he had it all settled. Well, I just pulled it out to take some test shots for a photo essay I’m supposed to have ready next week, and the shutter speed is screwed. As in, it won’t change the length of time the shutter is open. Which means all photos are either under- or over-exposed. So in essence I have no camera.
I can’t help crying over it. This is, after all, my oldest friend. It took this picture, as well as this, this, and my engagement photos. To take the same person’s potty training pictures, as well as her engagement pictures…well, that’s impressive.
See, this was my grandfather’s camera. My mom got it for me when he died, knowing how much I loved taking pictures with her old camera. I got my love of photos from her, I think. So when I was given two Nikon camera bodies and what seemed like a billion lenses, I was a little overwhelmed, but estatic. I used them, too, shooting roll after roll of film, forcing sisters, brothers, and cats into costumes so I could take their picture.
See, I’ve been using this particular camera since I was fourteen. That’s when I wore out the other camera body, and I got to start playing with the completely manual exposure, fstop, and focus on this one.
See, this camera has my favorite lenses of all time: a 55mm macro, and a 100mm “portrait lens.” I don’t know what it is about that second lens, but it seems incapable of taking an unflattering picture of anyone. I love that lens, and would sleep with it under my pillow if I thought my husband would let me.
See, that camera is as tough as nails. I dropped it on a stone floor, I lugged it to countless children’s seminars, I went everywhere, did everything, and it still ran.
See, it’s older than I am. So I can’t get it worked on anywhere. And I know it better than my own hands. I can change a lens without looking, know how to set exposure, know where all the knobs and buttons and levers are.
See, I don’t have another camera right now. My video camera does not count, because you really can’t do still images well with it. And nowhere in the budget is there room to get another camera. And honestly, the thought of losing my oldest, dearest friend? Makes me cry.
Rest in peace, old friend.

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~ by wildeyedwonder on March 1, 2006.

2 Responses to “requiem for an old, old friend”

  1. darling. if you love it that much. you might want to think about finding a specialty repair shop in a larger city…

    furthermore. i’ve been looking for a good older manual camera to start dabbling about with. any ideas where i could look?

  2. hey laura, long time no see 🙂
    that kind of inspires me to get out my old Nikon FE that Dad gave me a few years ago. He’s had it since the70’s and I just got frustrated with it. Hmmm… maybe I should work up an attatchment so I can be depressed when it bites the dust too, I’d hate to miss out on such an emotional experience… 😉

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