Some time ago now, I was strolling the aisles at a local antique show held periodically at the country fairgrounds. My husband and I were tired, probably hungry, and were almost done, having peeked into all of the booths in which we were interested and not found much. And then, right near the very end of the last aisle, I saw her. A beautiful black TLR camera. Approaching, I realized it was, in fact, the camera I'd had a mental eye on for some time but could never afford on eBay: a Yashica Mat 124G.
Lifting it and looking it over, I determined two things: 1) It seemed to be in pretty good condition and 2) There was no price tag. So, on the off-chance I could actually afford it, I asked, "How much for the camera?" She glanced up, seeming disinterested. "Twenty bucks." My response was an immediate "SOLD!" Yashica Mat 124 G cameras regularly go for at least $200 online, and sometimes upwards of $400! Thank Hera for antique sellers who don't do their research, eh?? Whether the camera worked or not, I figured, this was the deal of a lifetime and I could probably still get it fixed for less than buying one on eBay would have cost me.
Here she is, my baby:
However, I purchased this camera in November. I don't personally do a lot of shooting in the colder months of the year...on the one hand, I have a weird phobia about taking my expensive, delicate gear out into the kind of brutally cold temperatures we get here in Chicagoland, and on the other, I'm generally just so depressed by the grey and the cold that I just don't feel like shooting. So my prize sat in a place of honor on my "camera" shelf, unused and untested, waiting...like me!...for spring. But spring came and went without her being used, either...around that time, I was much too wrapped up in the wild wonderful world of Polaroids and The Impossible Project film to want to lug one more camera along with me...especially one I was just testing.
And then, finally, in July, I got off my behind and went for it. I located a manual online, printed it out, and poured over it. I acquired and installed a new battery and loaded some Kodak T-Max 400 b&w film. And then...I shot. A few images at a time, here and there, over the next couple of months. (If the camera worked, I didn't want to waste the film on crappy photo subjects, now did I?) Then, once the roll was spent, I sent it off to Dwayne's Photo for processing, on a recommendation I found online.
It came back a few days ago. SUCCESS! My darlin' works! Other than a few double exposures near the beginning of the roll, when I was still figuring out just how the darned thing worked, everything came out crisp and lovely. I just love it when a plan comes together. :-D