Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yashica Dreams - tale of two f-stops

I bought my first camera, a 35 mm Yashica rangefinder during the summer of 1968.  I ached for that camera for weeks before purchasing it from one of the many electronics stores that line both sides of Canal Street in New Orleans. 

The Yashica was great and let you do the focusing, set the f-stop and the shutter speed.  Of course, if the printed picture was over or underexposed, or out of focus you had no one to blame but yourself. 

The sturdy Yashica took awesome photos but I soon decided that I couldn’t live another day without a single lens reflex.  Since I couldn’t afford a more expensive brand with interchangeable lenses, I settled for a fixed-lens, Kowa SLR.  It wasn’t as sturdy as the Yashica nor did it take pictures even half as good, but I kept it until it finally locked up on me. 

Gail and I had little money for cameras after we married but I did manage to purchase a Minolta SRT-101 while passing through Japan on the way back to Vietnam from R & R.  The Minolta was another awesome camera that finally, like all SLRs, finally broke because of all its moving parts.  Since the Minolta, I’ve owned many more cameras.  My latest purchase arrived this very day, an old Pentax K1000 with a 50 mm lens. 

No one buys 35 mm SLRs anymore.  Well, except me.  A few years ago, on a surfing trip through eBay, I purchased ten or so SLRs of various makes and models.  I have so many cameras and lenses that I can never use them all, and, well, I’ve now discovered digital photography. 

I have a tiny little Nikon that takes wonderful pictures and movies if I feel like it.  I can download them instantly to my computer and crop, touch-up and doctor any photo to my heart’s content, or delete it completely if I don’t like it. 

Unlike my old Yashica, the Nikon performs all the tasks for me. I barely have to think about it.  I love it, but sometimes, usually, late at night and after quaffing a few strong brews I regret the loss of choice and decision I had back in 1968, but not enough to give up my little Nikon.

All of Eric's books are available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and on his iBook author pages, and his Website.

No comments: