When I was a kid growing up in the St. Vincent & the Grenadines1 my dad would take us on road trip out to the countryside. Note, this was on an island that is 345 kilometre 2 (133 miles2). A road trip isn’t more than a 10-15 minutes drive. But as a kid, it felt as though we were travelling for hours over great distances.
Sometimes, these trips were to the top of a part of the volcanic ridge that bisects the island. Other times it was to a previous unexplored beach along the coastline. For me, it always felt like an adventure.
My father often brought his camera, an Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II film camera. The Spotmatic was introduced by Asahi in 1964 and was the first camera to sell well with Through-the-Lens light metering many ways; my dad is the first photographer I knew personally. My dad was an aloof father when I was a kid, so I can’t say he taught me much about photography but knowing he took photos of us during our mini-adventures is a pleasant memory.
The camera in this photo is the same Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II, and Asahi SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens Dad used when I was a kid. My mom found it a few years ago while doing some spring cleaning. I was excited to have it. But it’s broken. I replaced the battery but stripped the screws on the battery compartment in the process. The shutter works but the latch that keeps the back door closed doesn’t work. Mould grew over the pentaprism making it difficult to focus the camera. The camera is broken.
I love the controls on this camera. Want to change the ISO? Turn a dial. Want to set the aperture? Turn the dial on the lens. From my search on Google, the Fuji X series cameras are the only modern digital cameras that operate this way.
- Saint Vincent is a volcanic island in the Caribbean. It is the largest island of the country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, between Saint Lucia and Grenada. ↩