Recently, I have been quietly picking up stuff from used gear stores & eBay.
Looking at the old stuff that I had collected the last few months left me a conclusion, cameras & lenses has a better built quality in the past than now. You don’t have to agree with me, but let me share what led to this conclusion.
It all started when my Dad gave me his Yashica MG-1. I am not into rangefinder but I took the opportunity to learn how to use it and eventually learnt to appreciate it. The camera looks as if it’s from the showroom as my Dad takes extremely good care of it. Along with this camera, he also handed down 2 other old cams to me – an Olympus M-UII & a Nikon EF200. After trying out all the cameras, I found these cams of yesteryears works well even today. Everything is very much mechanical and the material used was solid. Either it comes in full metal or engineering plastic and the plastics seems to last better than those newer DSLRs made from recycled plastic. (Read your Manual). 🙂
These 3 cams got me venturing & understanding deeper into “film culture”, which I soon followed up with a BlackBird Fly – a plastic TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) camera, a Canon EOS 5, EOS 88, a Minolta Dynax 5, a LubitelII, a Lomo FishEyeII & the latest addition being a Nikon F90X (also known as F90s in US) & a digital Nikon D1X from 2001.
I have spent considerable time with each and every cam above and I found 2 things very interesting, film mechanism are fun to meddle with and old cams has very solid construction. These cams (apart from the BlackBird Fly & Lomo Fisheye which are the remake editions of the actual models) have very simple design and basic function (much lesser functions as compared to the newer digital camera) but hey, they works like the way they should and when handled, these cams feels like they will live forever! They produced excellent film photos!
If by now, you are still not sure about cameras of yesteryears, visit your local used gear dealers and pick up one that’s launched before 2000. A Film SLR is a good way to start. A classic cam in your dry cab also starts conversations.
Lastly, I came to know that the Yashica MG-1 was launched & bought in the year that I was born, on this day in 1975.
My Dad bought it to shoot his first born, that’s me.
*Read my review on Yashica MG-1 in the archive.
On a totally unrelated note, I found this photo on the internet & I would like to share it here.
It’s a 1980s Canon SLR, the famous AE-1 Program – but with a twist.
Check it out.