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A Blast From the Past
Old 05-26-2018   #1
dave lackey
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A Blast From the Past

Have you recently slogged through day after day with no fun? All the technology surrounding you and you just don't have any inspiration for shooting anything?

The last few months have been difficult as we find ourselves house-bound and now we are in the rainy period with the first tropical storm promising another week of dismal weather.

A light bulb went on in my mind... if times are not what I would like, and if I must walk along the shore of the black muddy river, why not sing my own song?... (my apologies to The Grateful Dead)...

My life experiences are unique just like everyone else so why not revisit those periods of time when the joy of photography was at its peak? For me, it was the time when our kids were growing up, and we had vacations that, while modest, were the building blocks of our family bonding.

So, I decided to forego my favorite Nikon F compact bodies this week and return to 1990 when my bride gave me a modest Nikon N4004s for a wedding anniversary gift. I was touched and have cherished that camera, carrying it abroad and using it for years. The slides made from that camera are exquisite.

In the same bag, the F80... a perfect companion.

A smile has returned to my face and I bought some batteries for both cameras. This week will be a blast with a return the 90s! Sure, snobbery aside, these are modest, somewhat crude cameras compared to current gear and everyone has a preference. For me, I have a soft spot for these first AF automatic cameras and I am still blown away by the images I made over the years with them.

It is time to make some more! This year in July is our 47th anniversary. It seems like a fraction of that amount of time. A glorious journey for which I am forever grateful. Enough talk...

How about you?

Do you have a time machine that can put smiles on your face?
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Old 05-26-2018   #2
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I inherited my father's Canonet GIII QL17 ten years ago. I remember him passing it to me to take a few snaps in the 70s when it was his primary camera, showing trust and pride in me when I could work it correctly.


I just bought some HC-110 - time to load up the Canonet and get to work again!
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Old 05-26-2018   #3
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Shows how old I am since I regard those as 'modern cameras'. In fact, almost anything past 1975 I think of as modern.

About the time that almost all shutters came to be electronically controlled, and dead batteries could brick a camera (Or nearly so) I lost interest in 'what's new'.
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Old 05-26-2018   #4
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Haha. I understand. That is the whole point of going back to each period of my life so I can enjoy it for what it was and appreciate it. So many memories that I don't want to exclude regardless of the cars I drove, where I lived or what job I had... I can experience those memories with the cameras and images from those times.

My old Beetle. I miss that car and maybe I will buy another one day even though I prefer air conditioning, automatic transmissions and larger cars these days.

The period of the 90s had some bad times and many good times, the latter I would love to remember. Photography is good at that!
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Old 05-26-2018   #5
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Miss my VW's too. Things I don't miss, growing up in Ohio valley are hot muggy summers, (lived in western Washington now for the last 40 years). It is even getting hotter here. I could shift 40 miles west to the Pacific coast and enjoy 65F in July but don't want to ever move house again.

Camerawise if I go back to my roots in 35mm SLR it will be a Miranda Fv with a 50 f1.9 Soligor. Nice little camera.
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Old 05-26-2018   #6
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Batteries! Never had a problem and still don't even with the numerous old cameras from the eighties and the nineties. They work just fine. Electronics? Not one failure of any of them.. not one.

While I enjoy my 1957 Rolleiflex, the now-gone M3 and several other manual cameras, I have no preference for them because they do not require batteries.
Lately, I just enjoy doing the best I can regardless of which camera and lens and I enjoy every moment.

My only desire now is the next image and enjoying the treasure of photos stored away to view when convenient. It so happens that I am enjoying the 90s right now while I await the next pro bono shoot for another patient at the hospital, an entirely different kind of photo experience!
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Old 05-26-2018   #7
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My aversion to battery dependent cameras is not rational, I know that, but for some reason I just cannot help it.
And that aversion did not stop me from snatching an Olympus OM-4Ti at a second hand store for $35 because it was 'jammed'. Walked home, popped in a couple of SO batteries and, what do you know, camera worked just fine. Yes I love my OM-1, but have no qualms about using the 4Ti either.
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Old 05-26-2018   #8
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^ Shouldn't the Pentax K-1000 be the king of nostalgic SLR's ? They were everywhere . Peter
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Old 05-26-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto-Uno View Post
^ Shouldn't the Pentax K-1000 be the king of nostalgic SLR's ? They were everywhere . Peter
Maybe... never hung out with anyone using them...
Probably should give one a trial walkabout just for fun.
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Old 05-26-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Miss my VW's too. Things I don't miss, growing up in Ohio valley are hot muggy summers, (lived in western Washington now for the last 40 years). It is even getting hotter here. I could shift 40 miles west to the Pacific coast and enjoy 65F in July but don't want to ever move house again.

Camerawise if I go back to my roots in 35mm SLR it will be a Miranda Fv with a 50 f1.9 Soligor. Nice little camera.
Wow, if I could see 65°F year round, I would have to be in heaven. But I don't blame you, not wanting to move.

But if I did, I would be driving another 62 Beetle only because I can't afford a Microbus!
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Old 05-26-2018   #11
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Oh, cars from the sixties! I always wanted a VW Beetle, but somehow I never got one. I did have a Volvo 544, a Volvo 122S, a Renault R10, and a Renault R16 - all really neat cars. (I would still love to have a Bug, though.)

Photographically, my memories go back to early childhood. I took a photography course in summer school 1961, and the teacher had a Leica and a Rolleiflex. I had a Kodak Duaflex IV, at the time, which I thought was pretty hot stuff. I was absolutely gobsmacked by the Rolleiflex, however, and resolved that I would get one some day. Now I have nine TLRs, including two Rolleiflexes (a T and a 3.5F Planar), but my favorites are actually my Minolta Autocords and my Mamiyas.

My first "serious camera" was a discounted demo-model Yashica TL-Super SLR. I was really impressed with SLRs and how one saw the scene through the taking lens, itself. I was also impressed by TTL metering. I would say I did my freshest, most wide-eyed photography with this camera. I have an old TL-Super that needs repair, but just handling it and looking at it brings back memories.

- Murray
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Old 05-26-2018   #12
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For nostalgia sake, I tend to slip a Nikkormat in my three lens day bag. Then I remember my first car, a '63 Renault Dauphine, and take a long ride to nowhere in particular.


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Old 05-27-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Wow, if I could see 65°F year round, I would have to be in heaven. But I don't blame you, not wanting to move.

But if I did, I would be driving another 62 Beetle only because I can't afford a Microbus!
My first car was a faded red 62 bug. Loved that car even though it needed a new head gasket. After 400 miles +/- it would foul out the #4 plug so I'd pull over & clean, re-gap & I'd be good to go.
Eventually I sold that car to buy a motorcycle & that began a whole new obsession .
Back then, I still had not started shooting with any particular camera but was using several small boxy cameras of that era.
The Nikon F has always been a camera that reminds me of those exciting days after a friend introduced me to his F. It's been a wonderful road of discovery ever since.
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Old 05-27-2018   #14
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^this!^
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Old 05-27-2018   #15
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The Nikon F was my first really good camera (1968) and I'm finding myself looking at them on the KEH site more and more. It feels like it may be time to relive my 20s.
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Old 05-27-2018   #16
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VW's and Scott McKenzie's San Francisco airing on the radio? Count me in. Well, I'm a totally different generation but was exposed to other Generations' culture through music mostly and I do relate more than the average kid.


Had a bad end of the week, with an apathic friday locked in home thanks to howling wind. Not good for rides nor walks outside. So I understand that feeling. Add in a move that comes soon, so I'm in a bit of a poignant-melancholic mood.

As you say relive old times, in the early 2000s I was a small kid and had this phtography project in mind of documenting the whereabouts of my beach town.

So a decade later I got some cheapish 35mm cameras that I would have wished to have as a kid back then. A disposable; Canon AS1/A1 prima whatever (the white weatherproof P&S) and Nikon AF (F80).
Somehow a couple of college break summers ended being "stranded" here more than expected and next month I'm moving "out of state". So his project sort of morphed into a way to document the place.

Color negative in 35mm is perfect, takes the strong seashore light beautifully and is what we'd use a decade plus ago.
Sadly all of this kicked the bucked thanks to saltwaer sray abuse. A Nikon F90 replaced the F80. Wow, what a pro camera. My kid self from the 2000s couldn't imagine getting one of these, now for 20€... Only thing is that It's on the big and heavy side so it competed with the Medium Format. At least, I just burned through my Portra 35mm short date stock.


Just this week I got the scans of 10 rolls 200 days worth of backlog and some of it was exactly this. An ode to the place I grew up.


And yesterday had dinner with a friend and we did a bit of a slideshow, my digital shots from town and his ones from a trip to Iceland.


"Man, you really did document this town a lot. Must have run out of it". So I guess that I achieved what I intended.
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Old 05-27-2018   #17
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Started photography more seriously in 1974 with the purchase of my first "real" camera, the Nikon F meterless prism. (Still have it). Joined a film developing co-op in the basement of an art gallery. The basement was large and was made into two large rooms. We were on one side and a natural foods co-op on the other. Slept many a night down there. Youth, magic and film....ah.
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Old 05-27-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prest_400 View Post
VW's and Scott McKenzie's San Francisco airing on the radio? Count me in. Well, I'm a totally different generation but was exposed to other Generations' culture through music mostly and I do relate more than the average kid.


Had a bad end of the week, with an apathic friday locked in home thanks to howling wind. Not good for rides nor walks outside. So I understand that feeling. Add in a move that comes soon, so I'm in a bit of a poignant-melancholic mood.

As you say relive old times, in the early 2000s I was a small kid and had this phtography project in mind of documenting the whereabouts of my beach town.

So a decade later I got some cheapish 35mm cameras that I would have wished to have as a kid back then. A disposable; Canon AS1/A1 prima whatever (the white weatherproof P&S) and Nikon AF (F80).
Somehow a couple of college break summers ended being "stranded" here more than expected and next month I'm moving "out of state". So his project sort of morphed into a way to document the place.

Color negative in 35mm is perfect, takes the strong seashore light beautifully and is what we'd use a decade plus ago.
Sadly all of this kicked the bucked thanks to saltwaer sray abuse. A Nikon F90 replaced the F80. Wow, what a pro camera. My kid self from the 2000s couldn't imagine getting one of these, now for 20€... Only thing is that It's on the big and heavy side so it competed with the Medium Format. At least, I just burned through my Portra 35mm short date stock.


Just this week I got the scans of 10 rolls 200 days worth of backlog and some of it was exactly this. An ode to the place I grew up.


And yesterday had dinner with a friend and we did a bit of a slideshow, my digital shots from town and his ones from a trip to Iceland.


"Man, you really did document this town a lot. Must have run out of it". So I guess that I achieved what I intended.
Great story! Add in The Grateful Dead and I'm with you!!!
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Old 05-27-2018   #19
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Another camera I used in the 70’s, didn’t have for a long time, and came back to was my Olympus Pen F
Took about 5 years but build up a small collection of Pen primes, 20mm to 150mm, plus adaptors for OM, M42, and ‘T’ Mounts that will cover almost any other focal length.
The original Pen F is such a sweet little reflex about the same size as a Leica screwmount body. Put the tiny 25mm f4 on it, set to f11 @ 1/250 on a sunny day and leave at infinity. No focusing, just frame and shoot, everything from 5 feet out will be sharp enough for a small print.
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Old 05-27-2018   #20
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Interestingly, the 35mm cameras I used during my most memorable "formative" photography years,
namely Ricoh 500G, Canon AE-1 and Nikon FTn Photomic, are camera models I don't currently have,
and I have no particular desire to own and use them again. FWIW I do now own a Nikon F2 w/DP-1.

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Old 05-27-2018   #21
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The only "blast from the past" I own is a Nikon F3HP. A camera that would take me back much further would be a Pentax Spotmatic. There are all sorts of cameras of different marques for different time periods in my life.

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Old 05-29-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto-Uno View Post
^ Shouldn't the Pentax K-1000 be the king of nostalgic SLR's ? They were everywhere . Peter
Youngster!

My first SLR was a Yashica TL Super, bought late 1970 or early 71. Battery was only for light meter, but I had been using the film data sheet for quite a while anyway.
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Old 05-29-2018   #23
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For when I really don't want to deal with anything, do any processing or whatever, I just grab a Polaroid SX-70 and go make photographs. One pack in it and I have eight great opportunities to see the magic happen before my eyes. I can dally over shooting through that pack for a week and more...

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Old 05-29-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMur12 View Post
Oh, cars from the sixties! I always wanted a VW Beetle, but somehow I never got one. I did have a Volvo 544, a Volvo 122S, a Renault R10, and a Renault R16 - all really neat cars. (I would still love to have a Bug, though.)

Photographically, my memories go back to early childhood. I took a photography course in summer school 1961, and the teacher had a Leica and a Rolleiflex. I had a Kodak Duaflex IV, at the time, which I thought was pretty hot stuff. I was absolutely gobsmacked by the Rolleiflex, however, and resolved that I would get one some day. Now I have nine TLRs, including two Rolleiflexes (a T and a 3.5F Planar), but my favorites are actually my Minolta Autocords and my Mamiyas.

My first "serious camera" was a discounted demo-model Yashica TL-Super SLR. I was really impressed with SLRs and how one saw the scene through the taking lens, itself. I was also impressed by TTL metering. I would say I did my freshest, most wide-eyed photography with this camera. I have an old TL-Super that needs repair, but just handling it and looking at it brings back memories.

- Murray
See my post above. I bought it on my second time in Vietnam. I wanted one of them modern cameras, and I knew the name from a movie camera I had had. I really didn't use it much until I got to Korea in 1974. Then I got back into photography with a passion. Actually good cameras and great lenses. Those old Yashinon lenses never tended to get the credit they deserved, just like the Fujinon lenses.

A while back I acquired a TL Electro X ITS. Somehow I just like the feel of it.
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Old 05-29-2018   #25
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Dave - maybe you are getting closer to what you want to do at retirement? I have the same problem, but with a little more time to decide. My wife want me to get a good digital and lenses. That is an attractive offer, but honestly, I would then be tempted to jump for a full frame, and those are expensive. I might opt for a less expensive digital, as long as I have some control over aperture and shutter speed. I could just as easily be happy with my Fujica ST 901 and 9 lenses. Or my Contax 167mt and three zoom lenses from 18mm to 150mm. Nice kit. It would fit easier into a small camper as well. Let's see, then there is the 4x5 Cambo, and where in the world would I put the 4x5 Super Chromega enlarger?

Now see what you have started?

You know, I really might end up with a small digital that has controls as well as everything auto. I think at my age I might be satisfied with that and GIMP.
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