This is a shot from the top of the Vessel at Hudson Yards, taken with a 16mm wide-angle lens on a full-frame camera body. it looks wild but it doesn’t really capture how big or how high this thing is. I do know that after having climbed it with a 60-lb. camera bag on my back, my calf and glute muscles were singing. More on that experience later.
One of the things I put aside in the Great Cleanout was my Dad’s camera bag, a big poofy faux-leather monstrosity that was more zippers than usable space. Inside, I walked back through his digital camera history, which included the following:
- A Nikon Coolpix 995, their millenial attempt at a consumer-friendly point-and-shoot hobbled by an inane menu system and a confusing button layout. Maddeningly, though, in a world where two of my newer-vintage Nikon prosumer DSLRs have died from mechanical failures, this camera from 2001 still boots up and takes pictures. Dad bought a couple of specialty screw-on lenses for it at some point, which are mostly fun for novelty value, and also a slide digitizing attachment. There are also about 10 aftermarket batteries of varying age and quality available. I think this might be Finn’s beater digital camera after I get it cleaned up.
- A Nikon D80 I’d just given him a year and a half ago to have fun with. On the card inside were several pictures of his dining room table, the kitchen, and the front walk, when he was getting used to the features and controls. He’d bought a handful of new batteries for this camera as well. I wish I’d given it to him much earlier, because I don’t think he was comfortable with it yet. This will replace the aforementioned DSLRs I’ve got laying about the house.
- A Canon Vixia HF R300, a tiny HD-quality video camera he’d bought last year at some point, and about six new off-brand batteries. It’s the kind of camera I would have killed for about 15 years ago but I don’t entirely know what I’ll do with it just yet; Finn can certainly have fun with it, and we may use it for things like school events or maybe I can bring it in for work events. This also came with a handful of batteries.
- Finally, I inherited his Konica Auto S2, the camera he used to shoot most of our family photos up until the early 1980’s. After examining the outside of the case I realized it’s a lot different than the other 35mm rangefinders I’ve used in the past. This article goes into some good detail about the design and setup of the camera, and mentions that the lens (a 45mm f/1.8) is both excellent quality and fixed to the camera body, so my dad was shooting a fixed prime before all the hipsters were. I will need to scare up a new battery for it, as well as give the whole case a good cleaning, but I’m excited to put some film through this body and see how it turns out.