Addiction vs. Fetish

Posted on July 23, 2011


Like my friend Sam, I love cameras. If there was any doubt after this post, for some reason one day I got on eBay and decided to pick up a few more cameras. The excuse was I developed a bunch of film for my friend Kalyx,  and she had a bunch of blank shots that could only be explained by camera failure. With film cameras essentially free, I picked up two more Canons which cost more to ship than to buy.

Canon 750 and Canon EOS Elan

Frankly, I bought a little too fast. The one on the left, still new in the box, was a Canon 750, when I thought I was buying an EOS Elan. The EOS was the first camera I bought from Bernard when I had to shoot some articles and get a little more serious about my gear.  He sold it to me when he first went digital. I’ve bought about of them since. The first one wore out, the second burned up, I gave one to my sister, and another to my friend Beth.  The 750 is just too primitive to really shoot with. It’s an EOS, which means the lenses will autofocus, but it doesn’t have enough modes on it. If I can shoot entirely manual, it will become my new pinhole camera and Beth can have her Elan back. If not, it goes into the lamp pile. The flash, also new in the box, probably made the whole deal worthwhile.

But no, that wasn’t enough, last night my friend Dave called me from his neighbor’s garage sale and I popped onto the Ducati and bought an Olympus OM-1 with a 28-70 and 70-205mm lens, 2 camera bags, and flash for $25. Added in really nice tripod for $10 more. The Olympus is totally manual, but so is the Mamiya. The glass is Vivitar, but the 28-70mm goes to f2.8, which is pretty sweet. This is a classic camera and a great loaner/gift camera, especially since it came with a nice manual and book.  From the link above:

Hold a Olympus camera in your hand, and probably you will appreciate the camera more. Both inside and out, the construction of the OM-1 bears witness to a no-nonsense engineering approach with an innovative but highly analytical concept of how the 35 SLR should perform. Most of the controls are positioned and scaled for improved accessibility despite the marked reduction in the camera’s overall size, and are designed to operate just as easily with whatever system configuration. 

Olympus OM-1

I don’t want to be a collector. Collectors don’t use the things they own. I may have a lot of Mamiya gear, but I use that camera almost every day.  I don’t want my hobby to become a fetish, I see too many fly fishers who have succumbed to that. I have no real need for it, but at one time this was the camera for journalists, and probably more pro images were published from this camera than any on earth. It was, and still is a cult camera. It’s enough to say I owned it, push a little film through it, and maybe teach somebody a little photography with it. It’s enough to say that this camera’s useful life is not over.

I actually had a dream last night that this camera came with a magic wand.

Anybody interested, just let me know.

Posted in: Gear, Photography