Saturday, May 23, 2009
You like-a, me Leica
I think it was last year or maybe the year before that I heard that a certain 35mm Leica camera of not a very vintage age was worth thousands dollars on eBay.
I called Florida and asked my mother and asked if she knew where my father’s cameras were. I had known that he had bought a Leica back in the 70’s but I didn’t know what model it was. I did remember that it was a nice piece of work. It was the type of workmanship that would have made Himmler proud and brought a tear to his eye. A solid example of German engineering with a smooth action and movement that made you feel confident in whatever activity you were about to participate in. I would stare through the view finder and watch the little circle in the middle focus and refocus as I played with the lenses mesmerized by the control that I seemed to have over light and images and maybe the future.
Unfortunately, I never really used the camera and now that I think about it, I never saw my father use it either. He was more of a cheap, plastic throwaway camera user back before people bought disposable cameras and still turned their noses up at anything plastic. In fact later on in life he would thrill at the idea of having as many forms inexpensive cameras as possible. He would have Polaroids of course, as well as cameras with a revolving disk of film or something. He had many others that came in a box that you mailed back somewhere when you were done and others that I swear looked like they came out of a box of cereal or free with a purchase of under arm deodorant.
So as far as I knew the Leica was untouched and in pristine condition in its shiny black leather and red velvet lined case, or at least it would have been if my mother hadn’t thrown everything out when my father had died.
I bring this up only because a couple of weeks before my last trip I bought a video camera. It was Panasonic that cost way to little for something that was supposed to brand new from Amazon and yes when I opened the box I had the distinct feeling that someone else’s hand touched the merchandise before mine and I was sort of upset. But for $300 less than the cost at Best Buy was $300 that I could use elsewhere so I kept it and moved on. However, what I also noticed was that the lens for the Panasonic was made by Leica. I had finally gotten my own Leica product and even if it was just a little lens, it still made me feel a little warm inside. Funny that, I think I’m still competing with a dead man that I don’t think I ever liked.
Anyway, here below is the reason that I bought the thing. It’s much too long but I didn’t want to make 2 or 3 videos. If you watch it enjoy, if not, trust me you’re not going to miss anything that you haven’t seen before and I promise, this will be the last time on this subject.