One last time with the Minolta SRT-MCII

Back in 2012 I was hitting my local Goodwill like I was wont to do, looking for deals you used to be able to find back then, and in the display case was a new camera that I hadn’t seen yet, and evidently it had been there for a few weeks because it was already marked down too…maybe I hadn’t been in in a while.  I was familiar with my mom’s Minolta so it thrilled me that I had finally found a camera that was her brand and I might be able to use her lenses!  The best part was the price, I think tax included I spent less than $7.50 for this all-mechanical marvel.  It came with a little case, a Quantaray zoom lens, a flash, the camera body, and a 50mm f/2 Minolta MD lens.  When in the checkout line the music playing over the store speakers was some awful song by Nickelback and the stupid cunt in front of me was singing along which completely soured the whole experience.  But that’s the story of how I acquired this particular camera, as much as I can remember considering it was a decade ago.  This Minolta was my constant companion through my Intro to Photography class by virtue of being the only camera that had completely accurate shutter speeds, though after that I pretty much went to my Pentax Spotmatic and never looked back.

It and a lot of other cameras I never used much ended up being stored in a box in my mom’s garage, she made me put them out there because she wanted more storage space for her own stuff; I suppose I was a bit upset at the time but figured those boxes were going to be things I’d never end up using, and I was almost right.  I’d brought those boxes down to sell at the local used camera store, and then one day I had a massive brain fart and forgot to bring my camera with me, something I almost never do, but thankfully they were willing to let me grab a camera for a few days just to have on hand…I’d feel naked without one!  Not that I actually ended up needing it but it did give me the opportunity to use the old girl one last time before passing it on.

In fact I shot two partial rolls of film through this camera, partial because I got frustrated with it not being the Nikon F2 and eventually rewound the film and loaded it into one of my F2s.  It’s not the Minolta’s fault, I mean what camera comes close to the Nikon F2?  The SRT’s shutter advance has a quite longer throw and the lens focuses the other direction, those were my biggest gripes, but they’re the only bad things I have to say about the camera.  And even if I was about to let it go, the camera was there for me when I needed it, and I’m in the point experience-wise where I can pick up just about any manual camera with a roll of ASA400 film and just shoot it without ever having to worry about not having batteries, getting proper exposure, etc, even if the ergonomics aren’t quite familiar to me anymore.

I don’t know the state of thrift stores these days and don’t know if the deals still exist that did 10 years back, but for a time Minolta cameras were the bargain if you could find one, nearly always cheaper than other brands, and with no real sense behind it besides not being as well known.  An all-manual (battery only for light meter) camera like this is exactly the kind that is recommended to photography students across the country (the world?) and it’s telling that even though it’s 50 years old it just works, and probably will long after all the fancy battery-dependent electronic cameras have bit the dust.  I can’t turn my nose up at this camera; it’s just that in the end I knew it needed to belong to someone else.

COVID diaries 2

This was how I found my mom’s house when I arrived the day after she died; she’d been in the hospital for about a week and a half at that point.

It still gets me how differently people can be affected by the virus.  I currently have it myself and am almost back to normal already after just a week.  But because of that there will definitely be a Part 3…

COVID Diaries 1

Territory Days is back

Memorial Day weekend, 2022 which is hot and current as far as The Resurrected Camera is concerned.  After a two-year shutdown for COVID the local festival is back.

I photographed it for the first time in 2019 here and here.  As I didn’t live close anymore I only went once for a couple hours but I enjoyed myself and finally got to try the alligator I’d missed out on last time: it was anticlimactic.  I will hopefully be able to attend the Teller and El Paso County Fairs this year as well.

Evolution of style: Self-centered 2

2021 was the year that I started dressing better thanks to working a construction job: I would wear the same clothes every day without washing for a week, and they would get so grimy with concrete dust, that I just felt disgusting all the time, plus it was all kind of samey.  In my initial search for a good pair of steel toe work boots I started watching a lot of videos online, and mostly they were oriented toward fashion boots rather than work boots, but that gave me plenty of ideas for nice clothes that I could enjoy when I wasn’t wearing my construction gear.  That carried over into going back to the job I actually enjoy.  I have to thank Carl Murawski, Stridewise, Rose Anvil, and maybe one or two other channels on the youtube, plus facebook groups like the Alden Shoes Enthusiasts and Selvedge & Quality Supply.  A lot of the pictures that follow were ones that I took to post on one of those two groups; a few were mimicking the standard shots that get posted there but I do try to give them my own personal flair, and I’m sure I’m the only one shooting on film.

Most of all I was concerned with buying new items that were not made in China, but also staying away from companies that don’t offshore their production, and prioritized American-made wherever possible.  By October I could put together an outfit that was 100% Made in USA and I wear that most days.  Brands featured in these photos include: Stetson hats, Brave Star Selvage, Alden Boots, Schaefer Outfitters, Ruddock Shirts/Flying R Ranchwear, Sugar Cane jeans, Nama Denim, Legacy 92.  And this year there is another new pair of jeans from Brave Star plus a pair of White’s cowboy boots.

And since I was adding a lot of color to my look (thanks to the shirts) I started shooting more color film, also handy considering it was Fall.  It seemed to be at the start of the film shortage and I was going around to Wal-Marts and Walgreens in the area and buying up whatever stock they had of Fuji Superia and Kodak Ultramax.  I’m glad I did because it might be the last time I get to use Superia 400 since Fuji shut down their factory in 2020 and we still don’t know right now if they are reopening it or having other companies manufacture film for them from now on.

2021 off-season cowboys

Not only did I probably shoot more color film last year than I ever had before, I shot more C-41 in general, in fact nearly exclusively.  These are all Ilford XP2.  I think that for the photo project itself black & white works better and I’ve experimented with turning my color film grayscale as well.

Most of these guys are coworkers of mine, one or two might be passengers and even more of an authentic cowboy than any of us.

2021 off-season jeep tours

It’s incredible to me that what started off as current up-to-date posts has kept going and I’m already behind again, with the 2022 season about to take of.  That’s a good problem I suppose, it means I’m not about to run out of material soon!

But shooting around 40 rolls of film for this project every year, I suppose it’s to be expected.