“aren’t you going to take me today?”
the RB67 implored as i picked up Dad’s Canon
“well,” i said, wondering what on earth a therapist would make of me talking to my cameras at 530 in the morning, or even worse, them talking back, “i was going to take the Canon. i thought id go light today and shoot some 35mm”
‘which camera shall i take with me today?’ is a question that has plagued photographers ever since the words disposable income and cameras got connected. i never had this issue because until a few months ago, i only had one camera. however, since getting Dads cameras, i’ve tried not to play favourites. im a firm believer that the camera has to speak to you and you need to kind of feel, which one is going to pony up the goods, i mean, let your inner self and the outer world connect. so this type of conversation, is quite normal, at least for me.
“please take me, pleeeeeeeease”
said the RB in a watery sad voice. i stood there frowning at this unruly child of mine and before the RB could launch into a sob story i put down the poor, soft-spoken, unprotesting Canon and picked it up. an hour later, we had settled into a good rhythm taking pictures where nothing got stuck (mechanical bits) or lost (dark slide) - hurrah.
“J is selling his Mamiya 7 - you should definitely take a look at it,” said C, one of the leaders of my photography group. i raised my eyebrows through the roof. this was not a good sign. well for me yes, for my pocketbook no. much coveted, the Mamiya 7 is a beautiful and expensive piece of kit, weighs nothing next to the RB, is still medium format and
technically one of the best cameras made
“umm hmm okay” i said in an ‘im a lot less surer than i sound voice’. since im not a buyer of camera equipment, these types of purchases tend to throw me off kilter and as the 1.5 hours of waiting dragged on, i got more and more anxious, fidgety and apprehensive. you see, for me, its not about buying a camera, its about the commitment, and that, i take very seriously.
i was at the point of screwed up courage to cowardly message J with, ‘lets take a look and let me think about it,’ before fleeing to relative safety, when he arrived and in one breath said ‘hi’ and handed the Mamiya 7 over to me. i stood still for several moments as everything went dead quiet and i retreated from the world. the thumpity-thump-thump-thump of my heart beat in my ear alongside the conversation which was happening at another level:
“hello, i hope you will like me and take me home because [insert long list of why yes]”
“i like you but to be honest i really don’t know how to use your system and i have other cameras which i’ve barely used and [insert long list of reasons why no]”
“i am different, you’ll see, and i think we are going to get along just fine. and besides i like you”
now i knew what Marilla Cuthbert felt like in Anne of Green Gables.
when my conscious mind returned, J was deep into explaining the camera system which was a total mystery to me - this being a rangefinder, i had no idea how to use it - but haven’t we heard that story before…
“you look like you are holding a baby,” said C, walking by and observing my body protectively hunched over the camera. J just smiled.