Camera woes

Voice Card  -  Volume 19  -  Paul Card Number 3  -  Sun, Mar 24, 1991 9:01 PM

This is a response to VC 18 Drury 9 ("Pictures!")...

(I'll try hard to resist the temptation to respond to your last sentence, on replacing computers and men.)

I suppose that Nikon repaired the camera to my satisfaction: it seems to be fixed, and I didn't get a bill. On the other hand, it never should have broken in the first place - and the three months they kept the thing seem a bit excessive.

With Robert, I'm tempted to blame the whole affair on the use of these newfangled, computerized autofocus lenses.

(Aside: someone is now talking of the day when an almost unbelievably small and powerful computer will be assigned to each person at birth. The idea is that this "PC" would be a part of you: learning your likes and dislikes, acting as your private tutor, learning along with you. Call me a technophobe, but my first reaction to this idea is one of horror. My second reaction ... but enough of this aside. Suffice it to say that I'm suspicious of creeping technology).

Actually, Robert's comments on this subject are as much jealousy as anything: for the first time in over a dozen years, I have a few significant camera toys before him. And perhaps the true measure of my satisfaction in the repair work lies in this statistic: in the four months since the camera was fixed, I've spent significantly more on camera lenses than I did in the previous ten years.


To follow up on my initial note on this subject: Amazing things are being done with camera technology these days. One measure of the complexity of my new camera is the size of the manual: 110 pages. (Gone are the days when I could claim to know how to operate any camera, even before knowing its make and model).

I will probably carry the manual around with me for years, to help answer obscure questions: what does the code FEE in the viewfinder mean? What is the exposure compensation when I use my 500-mm reflex lens? The amazing thing is that with a manual of this size, there's very little wasted space.

But wait, there's more: the electronic flash came with an additional 100 pages of instructions. And my new "Multi-Control" camera back came with a 130 page manual. How could a camera back possibly require a manual at all? Please don't ask.

But Drury, please give me a call before your next trip to the Galapagos: I can promise to keep your Minolta Maxxum purring, and loaded with film.