Saturday, August 7, 2010

about the throwback camera

The heavens opened up when UPS finally showed up on Tuesday.

I swear I was his very last stop. UPS and I don't get along very well. My husband used to work for FedEx and I think UPS has knowledge of this and for this reason, they seek out reasons to torture me. 

Such as waiting until 7pm to deliver something I have been waiting for. Anxiously! 

When I opened the box this is what came out...

How old school is this? Isn't it awesome? My grandfather, whom I didn't know very well at all, was a amateur photographer. He even took the pictures of my mom and dad's wedding. This case which originally was NOT a camera case was made by him. The label on the front is so retro and fun. It makes me happy. 

He was good enough to have equipment like this and serious enough to make sure his precious camera and lenses had a good place to sleep at night. I like to think about what he was thinking about when he cut out the foam forms and glued them in place. 

So here's what I found...


My first thoughts. #1 oooh, a Nikon. I have a Canon. No hopes on being able to use the lenses. #2 This thing is old school. No auto-focus here folks. #3 How the hell to you turn this thing on? 

It looks intimidating to say the least. I sooooo know what all these numbers and buttons do. What's that? You don't? Silly you. 

So here's what I found out about this Nikon FA that I just inherited. 

1. This was a pretty kick butt camera back in 1983. (I was 5.) It has it's own Wikipedia page that calls it a "historically significant camera" for some reason.  

2. It is a 35mm camera, meaning it takes something called film. I barely remember the term. 

3. I can get about $150 for it on ebay. (if that's what I wanted to do) 

Here's the inside of the case and all the goodies. Three lenses in all.  Four filters. A flash and a lens hood. 

The lenses for those of you who are in the know were a 35mm-105mm 3.5/4.5, a 50mm 1.8, and a really cool 28mm 2.8.

So now I can't decide what to do with this thing. I WILL be trying it out even if I have no clue what I am doing. I need to find a battery first, and get over the fact that I will have to be patient while I wait for this film stuff to come to print. It did take me about 45 min and some good google searching to figure out how to open the film door. Loading it will be another thing entirely.

There was no manual with this thing. But you have to love our times when I can find a scanned copy online for free and better yet a website where someone has put it in baby terms for me!  God bless the world wide web!

For those of you who don't love cameras, I am sure this was the most boring blog post ever. I feel like an old fart just for writing it.

Oh and of course, if you do love camera's and have any tips on this camera for me please do share. Leave a comment or feel free to email me at

And I just have to say. I have a new found respect for old school film photographers. Can you imagine having to be selective about the pictures you take because you won't know what it's going to look like. And you'll have to pay for it just to find out if it's any good. In a nutshell, Ansel and the like had it tough. What a talent!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Later gators!



  1. Rob (my hubby) actually bought an old school 35mm camera like that a few months ago on Ebay. He has taken some artsy black and white shots with it that came out very cool.

  2. Cody! This is so cool! You're a lucky girl. Enjoy it.

  3. This is awesome! I love the lens selection. I wonder if they would work on Nikon digital SLRs. Love the case too and the punched out name tag. We used to have one of those and I loved it. Have fun with the camera- I guess it will be difficult for you to post the photos you take with it, well, except to your fridge. :)

  4. Thanks guys! It's fun just learning about it! Kate...if I get any good shots I will find a way to post! Don't you worry! :-)

  5. Cody, that is awesome!! I am waaaaaayy jealous. I cannot wait to see all of the cool shots!

  6. And, hey, come see me in Texas. Please.

  7. Oh man, don't tempt me Kate S. I might just move in. How's that TX heat treating you?

  8. Cody, the next step is to start developing your own photos... that is the one thing I think is great about film - all of the possibilities... My dad used to do that in his dark room...

    That said, I love my digital camera for the simple fact that I can take 200 pictures and not sweat it if 175 of them are "not so great"... Just delete and keep going! :)

    Enjoy your new camera...