The view from the castle at Kylemore Abbey
Canon PowerShot S95
This time, in color.
I think it happens to most camera collectors: the time when you decide to pare the collection down to just the ones you’re likely to keep using. I’ve been slowly giving away and selling all of my other cameras.
I want to slowly invest in having my remaining cameras restored and, as needed, repaired. I realized early on that I don’t enjoy camera repair. I’m willing to do some work myself, but only if it’s straightforward and doesn’t involve major disassembly. For example, my 1930s Certo Super Sport Dolly has broken part in the focusing mechanism. A replacement part is on the way, and as part of the repair I’ll have to recalibrate its focus. I have good instructions and the process seems relatively straightforward, so I’ll give it a go. Still, I tend to procrastinate this kind of work. Fresh light seals have been sitting here waiting to go into my Canon Canonet QL17 G-III for four years now.
My Nikon F2A works well mechanically, but the meter inside its DP-11 head reacts erratically. I’d like to have it cleaned, lubed, and adjusted (CLA’d), and have that meter repaired. And I know just who I’ll have do it: Sover Wong, the world’s foremost F2 expert. My other F2 has been “Soverized.” It works like brand new, and should for decades to come.
I enjoy my Pentax ES II, but it blows through batteries like our government blows through tax revenue. Reader J.R. Smith recently sent his to Eric Hendrickson for a CLA. Eric has repaired Pentax cameras almost as long as I’ve been alive. Perhaps he can fix the battery problem. I might also send him my Spotmatic SP as it is mighty stiff.
In exchange for some cameras he wanted from my collection, reader Derek Wong made one working Yashica Lynx 14e out of two broken ones I owned. It works pretty well, though its meter is a full stop off. Fixing that probably requires parts Derek didn’t have on hand. So I’ll send it to Mark Hama, who worked in the Yashica factory years ago and repairs Yashicas today. When I bought my Yashica-12 last year, it was fresh from a Mark Hama CLA. It works like new.
I’ll take my time getting these cameras repaired and restored, as I’m hyperfocused on making sure money is there to pay for my two sons’ college educations (one’s at Purdue now; the other will head to college next fall). But send them off I will, sooner or later.
Do you know of other people who do good work repairing cameras? I wouldn’t mind having several other of my cameras CLA’d, such as my Minolta SR-T 101, my Kodak Retina IIa, and my Konica Autoreflex T3. Share your recommendations in the comments for anyone and everyone you have used and can vouch for.
The view from the castle at Kylemore Abbey
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak T-Max 400
I’ll write about Kylemore Abbey eventually. It’s stunning. As is this view from the front door of the castle on the property.
Ireland has no shortage of cliffs overlooking the ocean. Some of the highest — nearly 2,000 feet above sea level — are at Slieve League, in western County Donegal.
For Margaret and me, this was the last stop of a very long day. We’d packed too much in: Ardara, Glengesh Pass, Glencolmcille. And by the time we got here, the weather had taken a turn toward strong wind and spitting, stinging rain. But along with our raincoats and waterproof shoes we had a stubborn desire not to miss this place. We were pooped, and looking back on this selfie of us now I think we look pretty wrung out. But we were happy to be here.
I shot both my Canon S95 and my Nikon N2000 here. Even though it was hazy cloudy, I got pretty good definition and contrast from the T-Max 400 film.
Descending and heading toward our car, we realized we’d pushed too far. We were exhausted and famished. We drove to the nearest town, Carrick, to discover the one pub was taken over by a wake. We drove on to Killybegs, another half hour along a winding road, to finally find sustenance and rest.
It’s Saturday in America. Well, I suppose if you’re not in America it’s probably Saturday where you are too. Whatever; I’ve still got a few blog posts for you, good ones I read around the Net this week.
John Wreford made a compelling portrait of a Syrian farmer, pressing on in the face of drought. Go look. Read Syrian Resillience, A Portrait
The Pentax K1000 isn’t all that great of a 35mm SLR. So says Josh at Casual Photophile, running directly against the grain of the many fawning reviews of this camera elsewhere on the Internet. But he thinks he knows why everybody loves it so much. Read Pentax K1000 – Camera Review
“Only when we make sure that being single can be potentially as secure, warm and fulfilling as being in a couple will we know that people are choosing to pair up for the right reasons.” So says the author of The Book of Life, in an insightful post about choosing our partners well. Read Good Solitude: The Origin of a Good Relationship
Penelope Trunk writes a provocative and infuriating, but cogently argued, post that our nation’s shock at Trump’s election says we’re very comfortable hiding from the truth. Read Trump’s election tells us that we’re all a bunch of liars
I don’t enjoy poetry. I don’t know why. So it’s rare when verse touches me, as seven concise lines by Ruby Pipes did this week. They remind how we can find security even when the world doesn’t make sense. Read Them
I could live without a lot of things I currently own. I know this to be a fact because I sold, gave away, or otherwise lost most of my possessions during my divorce ten years ago. It shocked me how much I loved the lightness of not owning things.
But I don’t want to live without my photographs. Thankfully, every last photo I took as a kid and young adult survived. I keep them in boxes; I digitized them all a couple years ago. They connect me to memories I might otherwise have lost.
Since the divorce I’ve returned to photography in a big way. Between film and digital photos, and including scans of all of my old photos, I now have well north of 20,000 images on my computer’s hard drive.
Holy backup, Batman! And I do back them up, to a wee external hard drive. But if my house burns down, both computer and external drive are toast.
So I became interested in uploading my images to “the cloud” (i.e., someone else’s server, via the Internet).
I investigated a few solutions, none perfect, but quickly settled on Flickr. As a Flickr Pro customer, I have unlimited storage. And their Flickr Uploadr automatically uploads every new photo. It marked them all private so you can’t see them.
It was occasionally useful, as it let me find an old photo much faster than searching through folders on my hard drive.
But I use Flickr primarily to host images I share here, and those private photos just clogged my camera roll and intruded into every search result. And because I upload for public consumption a processed version of each photo, I see duplicates everywhere.
It made Flickr hard for me to use. This week I decided I’d had enough. I uninstalled the Uploadr and deleted all of the private photos.
And so I’m back to looking for a way to store my photo collection in the cloud. Do you do this? If so, what solution are you using and how well is it working for you?