Harrumph. Two members of the TOP "family"—is it too much of a stretch to call it that?—the TOP fellowship, if you will—bought new cameras, and both wrote to tell me all about it, and neither one included a picture. Wah!
Ctein spent some of his Saturn Run royalties and bought a brand new Olympus OM-D E-M5II. John Lehet sold two Porsches and bought a Sony A7rII. (No, he doesn't actually have any Porsches. He's an art photographer....)
Just for some idle Saturday fun—show us your new camera! Points for a good (or creative, or different, or beautifully made) picture, but a quick (Facebook-worthy) snapshot is okay too.
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If you don't have a new camera and you'd still like to play, then show us your oldest camera if you have any old ones. I'm hoping John and Ctein will send portraits of their new ones, but if they don't, maybe Carl and Oren (and Herman K., and Jim Hughes, and several others I can think of) will show us their oldest ones.
I'll kick it off. I haven't bought a new camera in a while, and you've seen my oldest camera before, but I'll show it to you again:
It's a Rochester Optical Co. Pony Premo No. 6 whole-plate "self-casing" camera built between 1903 and 1906, and I am inordinately fond of it. It's a survivor, in spectacular condition for its age. It resides in the "front hall," meaning, the southern side of my little living room between the front door and the foot of the stairs.
So c'mon, what did ya get!
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
NOTE: I have "featured" a few comments, but you should click on the "Comments" link below to see everyone else's pictures. But do read Doug Chadwick's written comment below. —Ed.
Featured Comments from:
Joseph Brunjes: "Sorry, nothing that artistic: My old digital camera (Canon 1D Mk3 manufactured in 2007) shot with my newer 8x10 (Chamonix 8x10 made in 2012) on tintype:
and my newer 8x10 shot with my old digital camera:
Mike replies: That's wonderful. Thanks very much.
[Michael tells me this double portrait was made with his iPad. —Ed.]
Earl Dunbar: "The OM-1 may not be my oldest camera, but it enjoyed the day and the visit.
"iPhone 4s, so not great dynamic range."
Doug Chadwick: "My prettiest camera looked very much like your Pony Premo, and might well have been a close relative. The front of it was a Century Grand Senior, and it had a Century #8 Cirkut "Attachment" on the back. And of course it had the 12" cog-wheel head and legs. And it had a little tag on the front standard to remind you to set the front standard to the center before closing the camera. A hang tag. And it had all the little booklets and sales brochures that convinced the first owner to take the plunge.
"He took the plunge in 1906 and kept a faithful log of the exposures he made with the apparatus, in yet another provided booklet, but it just amounted to about 6 photographs. I got one negative and one print out of that set. Both Central Park circa 1906.
"It was, and is, about as 'mint' condition as anyone will find. I would guess that is is the best early Cirkut extant. It recently sold at auction for a respectable price. I have not bothered to get in contact with the new owner. I didn't own it for a long time and the rest of the ownership chain are well enough known. I was an insignificant custodian for something like 10 years. I got it on television once, good enough.
"I am not a collector, and that's what a camera like that needs.
"Oh, and it had a really good lens. Probably the most 'important' looking lens I have ever seen. It was a hugely expensive optional upgrade in 1906. A Zeiss triple convertible Protar. I have never looked at a lens that just from its very appearance conferred such quality. It cost, at the time, as much as the house where I was living. It kind of took my breath away. I never exposed film with it.
"We are impressed these days with the traditional engraved lettering filled with paint on lenses. This was not good enough for Zeiss in 1906. The 'engraving' was raised writing done with some sort of electrical welding. Or something like that. I am sure the experts know something about how it was done. Very exceptional.
"But there was something about the look of the glass, and its 'natural' coating that just stood out from anything I have owned or seen before or since. Some sort of brilliance or clarity, I am not sure what.
"I am still quite sure that lens is capable of something really special.
"I am equally sure it will never be used to expose film and prove what it can do."
David Miller: "You swine, Johnston! I have no photograph of my newest camera because, after rising to the top of the wait-list at my local camera store yesterday, I finally got my hands on a Fuji X-Pro2. However, after an hour playing with it, I reluctantly concluded that—beautiful though it is—the Fuji X-Pro2 is not the right camera for me. For now. I think…I could have done without having salt rubbed in the wounds of my disappointment. By way of asserting my independence, I bought the Fuji XF 90mm lens whose usefulness you disparaged in a recent well-reasoned post. There—I can think for myself! (Buying a three-wheeler Morgan would have been even better….)"
Mike replies: And buying an electric three-wheeler Morgan would have been even better still.