So the only reason it's "vintage" day down here is because Whitney is prepping the studio for a handcrafts-product shoot, and what better background could there be to take some shots of this truly vintage Nikon Photomic F? It's the perfect backdrop for this blog about one of the all-time perfect cameras, and this one has a great story to tell.
This Nikon -- this very one -- is one of two that my brother Jim brought home from the war. Yes, that one. A Navy man at the time, he picked these up duty-free on the carrier he served on, the USS Hancock, for a couple hundred bucks apiece. Pretty sweet deal. This is the only one that survives in our family; the other, alas, having been stolen some years ago. It served with Jim on three Viet Nam deployments in '71, '72. and '73. It has been in action in Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, the Phillipines, Taipei, and Australia. Jim says he's going to start going through that amazing collection of negatives and get them digitized so he can begin sharing them. I am definitely keen to see them.
Pictured above is the ubiquitous 50mm f/1.4, which I think every photographer of my generation ran a million frames through. On the left is one of the first great Nikon zooms, the 80-200 f/4.5. I used one of these during my apprenticeship in '73 and '74 when we shot rodeo events in Wyoming and Colorado, and I gotta tell you they were damn near indestructible. Oh, and that leather half-case: why aren't those made anymore?
So just for grins and giggles I thought I'd throw the collection of cameras we have down here today together for a quick shot. It's interesting, yes, but barely tells the story of the lives of our cameras from 1971 to today. I ended up with so many different cameras from 35mm to 8x10. In fact, the last Nikon I personally owned was the F2A and a nice handful of lenses, my favorite being the 105mm f/2.5. So sweet, so sharp.
But enough tech talk, and enough teary-eyed reminiscences. Duty calls. We have lights to set up, and a session to shoot in around an hour.
Let me tell ya, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.