I'm Hopeless: More Retro-Tech


What was the sigh for? Film photography.

More specifically, SLR film photography.

I’m fairly high-tech without being cutting edge. I have devices with all three of the major cellphone operating systems–iPhone (my iPod Touch–still used daily), Android (my personal cell phone) and BlackBerry (for work–just got it and I’m surprised at how much it rocks). But none are bleeding-edge. I have an ebook reader, but it’s a first-generation Nook. I have a laptop that will run the games of 2007 (specifically, Oblivion).

So I tend to like yesterday’s technology. Or yesteryear’s.

Here is my SLR camera, equipped with its monstrous flash. It’s a Minolta XG-1, purchased in 1984, for my high school graduation:

Yeah, so I’m old. Anyway. My husband just got the camera that took this picture. A Nikon D3100 Digital SLR. Nothing beats being able to look in that viewfinder to compose your shot, especially when you know that you are looking at what the picture will look like. Somehow, I never got into using a viewscreen. I just couldn’t seem to see it as well. So this may be the digital camera that rekindles my interest in photography.

Yeah, like all I need is another hobby.

Anyway, my husband asked if my XG-1 still works. I said sure, it just needs batteries. However, it did have this problem with mold–there was mold in the eyepiece lens and I suspected there was some in the shutter, because every once in a while, you would see a ghost of the shutter curtain across the frame, as if the shutter had paused or slowed down as it was flying back and forth.

But we got us some batteries anyway, along with some film (3 bucks for 2 rolls!), and some batteries for the flash. Here’s a closer picture of the camera, itself:

It’s in such good shape because I got a custom-fitted leather case for it the same year it was purchased. Nowadays, you would call it a skin. It’s cool because you just unsnapped a button (yeah! A genuine button!) and the cover over the lens would flip down, and you could take your picture with the camera still in its case. In addition to the flash, I have a zoom/macro lens. It’s huge and weighty, but not as huge and weighty as my husband’s zoom from 1982. The technology had shrunk up a bit by 1995, when I bought the zoom, used.

I decided to clean the camera up with a can of air. I’m holding it so close to my face because I’m nearsighted, and I see really well extra close up.

I’m cleaning the tracks of the curtain. I also held the shutter open and cleaned out the guts of the shutter mechanism. I’m thinking that humidity probably caused the mold. I’m not sure if the blasts of air did any good, but I figured I’d test with a couple of rolls of film and see if the shadow returns.

After that, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Because I kinda like my hubby’s new camera.


2 Thoughts to “I'm Hopeless: More Retro-Tech”

  1. OMG, I had that exact same camera!

    In addition to the standard lens, I had a zoom lens, flash, at least 5 fancy filters, the case like yours plus the larger bag to hold all the goodies, and cleaning kit. Sadly, I sent it all off to Goodwill.

    When I went digital, oh I guess it was 6 years ago now, I asked my BIL (a professional photographer) about the camera. He thought I’d be lucky to get $100 for the lot.

    1984…good year, that’s when I graduated too 🙂

    What a blast down memory lane! Cheers.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Small world! Same graduation year, same camera, same equipment! I actually had red and blue filters for black and white photography. Plus, I always have a UV haze filter on it. I also had an autowinder, but it was a pain and I soon reverted to manual winding.

      And ugh–I still haven’t used up that roll of film!

Comments are closed.