atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3726: Film cameras

I found two rolls of film in my Mom's room while cleaning it last week.

I'm not sure which was which, but one roll's film was unspooled; it was wound around itself and wrapped in two envelopes. The other was jammed in the camera and I had to work to get it out--in the dark, no less. One was basically unexposed--there are perhaps two pictures on it, faint, and they couldn't get a decent print out of them; the other was a few pictures short, either because some got exposed to ambient light, or were never exposed at all.

The camera seems to work, but Mom must have stopped using it for a reason; I still have it but may get rid of it rather than test it. I've got some older 35mm film laying around (from 2007) so it would only cost me the price of the right kind of battery for the thing--but I have quite a nice automatic film camera already that takes AAA batteries...and which I don't use because my digital camera suffices rather nicely for casual photography.

I did get rid of the old Pentax, vintage--what--1987? I don't even remember how old it is; I just remember that it stopped focusing reliably which is why Mom and Dad got a new camera later on. It was another full-auto camera, not an SLR or anything. It took AAA batteries and had snap-on lenses for zooming and panoramas, but otherwise it was just a typical "point and shoot" 35mm camera.

Somewhere in my room is my Pentax K-1000. I think it's a K-1000; it's a 35mm SLR and I bought it used one year (2000?) with my tax refund. Its problem? Approximately at random the shutter defaults to something like 1/125th second, and lots of my pictures come out looking like shit. If I set up a low-light shot with a long exposure, sometimes the shutter will remain open the right amount of time and sometimes it'll just go "snap" as if it were bright daylight. And I never did figure out why.

...and I had a lot of other things to worry about in 2000-2003. I was going to take it to a shop and see about getting it fixed, but I never did, and now I could probably get a nice used digital SLR for what it would cost me to fix this one.

There are a few pictures I took with it that I really like, though. I got the "existing light photograph" bug from my brother, and when I had the opportunity to borrow an SLR camera in the late 1980s I took a bunch of pictures of Christmas lights and stuff that were very nice. The colors come out saturated and rich, and you find yourself wondering, "Does it really look like that?"

With my camera, I only ever got to take a couple pictures of my apartment complex at night, but the leaves of the trees came out in this incredible green. It really is a different way of looking at everyday things.

While cleaning my Mom's closets out, I found my grandfather's old light meter. I don't see how it could be newer than 1950, and since modern cameras include light meters that auto-adjust for aperture and shutter speed, it's pretty well obsolete unless you're a hardcore photography nut.

And I have perhaps two or three other 35mm cameras of various quality--point-and-shoot, fixed-focus, and so on...and I don't use any of 'em because digital is so much easier and economical.

Well, that's progress, I guess.
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