Friday, July 13, 2007

Saying goodbye to Kodachrome

When I think back
On all the crap I've had developed

It's a wonder I still snap at all


Years off the pace, I now have my first semi-respectable digital camera: a
Nikon D80.

Along with film in general, I'm also specifically saying goodbye to my old Canon AE-1. It never got much respect, back in its day. It still doesn't - its Wikipedia entry begins "The Canon AE-1 was an amateur level..." No matter, it served my needs. And you get used to things. It was and remains comfortable. Sheesh, I've only schlepped it around with me since the late 70s...it had to be comfy.

I wonder what I should do with it now. We've bought and subsequently donated earlier digital cameras to family members, but I expect a film camera isn't going to garner similar gratitude.
It's a new era and passing on throwback products is a dicey proposition. As a kid, my friends & I would pedal our Stingrays around the neighborhoods on 'junk day' and inevitably we'd find all sorts of passe' box & bellows TLRs. People throw out great stuff on junk day.

My grandfather, a bit of a photo-freak, once handed down to me his Polaroid Land 800. That got me through the summer of '68. I still have a few pics from that era... when 'hippie' wasn't always preceded by 'dirty.' Actually, my grandfather was more generally a technology freak. In addition to buying each new camera innovation, he had reel to reels and hi-fi long before I saw them in other homes. He also had a thing for Cadillacs - each year he'd trade in. The diner business was good, I guess.

We've owned a series of compact digitals, but this Nikon is the first with sufficient quality capability to finally make the Canon AE-1 obsolete to me. The professional/amateur schism is being blurred everywhere in marketeering-land, and cameras are no exception. I am probably supposed to feel better about myself, knowing the D80 is a prosumer product. Thanks, Alvin Toffler.

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