Monday, June 3, 2013

A Priceless Relic!

Well, a relic, anyway!  When we are in Illinois and our visits coincide with the first weekend of the month, one certainty is that we will attend the monthly "Flea Market" held at the Kane County Fairgrounds.  Really just a big swap meet, any given visit you will find something that will hold your interest and tempt you to spend a few dollars.

Case in point is the subject of this post.  Towards the end of the day of our last trip there, I spotted a familiar shape - my first "Big Boy" camera - a Mamiya/Sekor 500 DTL!  I remember it well - it was the summer of 1968, I was 14 years old, working the summer at my Grandfather's farm and I was interested in upgrading from my little point-and-shoot Instamatic.  So I did my shopping and pulled the trigger on this camera for $150, almost 3 week's pay for me!  Through my high school years it took a majority of the pictures for our yearbook, it spent many nights with me under the stars, and survived my college years and for my relocation to Arizona.  Eventually I upgraded to a used Nikon system in the 80s, but when I saw it on that table in St Charles, the memories of that first 35mm camera came back in a rush.

This one appears to be almost unused, with a soft case, original neck strap, owners manual (!), and a working light meter!  I'm not sure the meter worked on my camera long ago when it was 12 years old, let alone 45 years later!  This unit was listed at $30, and it was mine for $25...  Interestingly enough, there is even a partially-exposed roll of film in it!  Now I've not shot a frame of film in what, over 8 years, and I'm not too tempted to get back into it to use this unit.  But I just like having it on the bookshelf looking down on me to remind me of those fun days when I first learned to record memories to film...

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