Monday, 23 August 2010

Canon F1

I've been using digital cameras for a few years now. They're so simple to use, and the ability to see the results instantly, and stick them on the PC/web etc. make them perfect for a casual snapper like me. Its no wonder that 35mm camera's are now like LP's; an almost forgotten technology with a dwindling (but vocal) band of users.

However, the other weekend I was at the Vintage at Goodwood festival, and to mark the occasion I dug out my old Canon F1 SLR from the bottom of its particular hiding place. After a bit of searching in my local High Street I even found a roll of 400asa film to use. The old Canon was one of the last all metal camera bodies - the brass is beginning to show through in places, and it weighs a ton (well, 1.45kg with its Tamron zoom lens).

Even the simple act of loading the film gave pleasure, the mechanical feel of the buttons to open the back, the precision of the film speed setting, the lovely 'double-click' as the mirror moved and the shutter worked, the soft click of the aperture ring on the lens, and seeing the settings change through the viewfinder as I decided on shutter and aperture settings. I even got a kick of carrying its reassuring weight around in the crook of my arm - straps are soooooo not on!

In fact, there was as much pleasure in using the machine as in any results I was going to get; it was like a mechanical watch. You just know its not as accurate as the quartz one, yet its somehow so much more satisfying to own.

I must do it more often.


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