Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Haven't updated for a while because I was in Laos, in the cities of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, where I shot this:

before doing this:

Yes, it's broken. The viewfinder is snapped off and the focusing glass (on the black piece of cloth) came loose and was pretty badly scratched. I had to yank it out to shoot the rest of the film inside the camera and unload the roll without damaging what I had shot.

The camera fell in a cave from atop roughly three stories of natural rock steps. It took forever to come to a stop. In the near total darkness, all I could hear was a fading "tunk tunk tunk tunk". The camera was fastened to a tripod that was fastened to a shoulder strap and slung around my neck. Something caught the tripod head's quick-release and for some reason the safety pin was down (it should snap automatically into position when you engage the camera). The camera came right off the tripod before I could even think "oops". This is why people fasten their strap to the camera, not to the tripod. Unfortunately, I tried finding a strap for my camera from New York to Bangkok and no one could get me one. I can't even blame myself for not looking harder. I can assure you if you don't have the strap this camera comes with when sold, you might as well throw it down a bottomless pit of rock.

step-up rings allow you to use all your lenses with a single set of filters all in a single size, that of your lens with the biggest thread (77m for Canon, Nikon, and Mamiya). Apparently, they can protect your camera too!

I doubt my camera can be fixed for a reasonable price even though it held up remarkably well for such a long fall down scores of stone steps. The step-up rings and the very rigid rubber hood prooved to be excellent bumpers and this is in part why I had bought them. Rubber hoods are much more efficient at protecting your lens than the UV filter camera shops force on you everytime you buy a camera or lens. The camera didn't even have its lens cap on when it fell and the UV filter doesn't have a scratch which shows it didn't do a thing towards protecting the lens. All the credit goes to the rubber hood and the step-up rings.

Except for the smashed viewfinder, the body itself is not even cracked. There is a slight resistance when you screw in the lens which might mean the lens is no longer perfectly aligned with the film but what do I know. I'll have Niks, Bangkok's one and only Mamiya dealer, look at it tomorrow. In France, the repair guy would insult me. In Thailand, he'll just laugh at me.

16 Rolls of film x 15 (that's how many pictures you get when shooting 120 film in 6x4.5 format) = 240 pictures. It should take several days for me to scan them all but please check back to see the results because there's bound to be some good stuff in all that film. After that, it might be a while before I have any new pictures to share...


Blogger Ana-chan said...

all i say: made in Japan

3:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home