Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Old Thing?

I was out shooting a bit this afternoon, finishing off a roll in my Nikon F. The weather was f/16 at 1/500 so I headed down to Java Beach for some coffee and people watching.

I was sitting outside, camera in hand, when a fellow in his mid 20's came out of the cafe talking with his girl friend. When the couple passed in front of me the fellow interrupted his conversation and quietly said, almost to himself, "Cool camera." He immediately resumed his discussion with his girlfriend and they walked on down the street.

It took a second for me to register what he had said and that he was referring to my beat up, 40 year old F with it's equally beat up, mold infested, 24mm lens. I looked down at my camera and I thought, "This old thing?" I mean, I know why a Nikon F is cool. I know it's history, I know what it's capable of, I appreciate the fact that after 40 years and who knows how many owners, that my F may be beat all to hell but it still works almost perfectly. But what did this kid know? I'm guessing he just saw an "old" camera, and old stuff, stuff one might consider "vintage," is in style, is cool, is even hip, as it were.

It's odd, there was a time when I would have been almost embarrassed to show up certain places with my old F hanging on my shoulder. Photographers I knew were ragging each other for still using the F3 and not popping for an F4s. But today, here I am lugging around an ancient film camera and I'm the hippest old dude on my block. Now that's cool.

Photo: ©2011 David W. Sumner

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