Holding a Spotmatic F reminded me of my first encounter with an M16 rifle.
Could something that felt so clunky really work?
After having learnt how to disassemble the rifle and put it back together, I felt no better.
It looked suspiciously uncomplicated – I actually understood how the rifle worked.
How could that clicking sound when I pull that trigger be taken seriously?
As I eventually discovered, after zeroing that rifle (aligning the sights to my eye for projectile accuracy) at a 300m range, it was powerful indeed, and not something to be taken lightly. I’ve never forgotten that feeling (and the recoil).
It’s the same with a camera – after all, it involves training, preparation, positioning, proper gripping, sighting and shooting.
And you’ll need to control your breathing to maximize shot accuracy.
The rifle (and camera) is supposed to be an extension of your self and will.
Did I mention I was a marksman in my previous life (2 decades ago)?
In case you think I’m some kind of gun-crazy nut, it’s actually a common experience, if you’re a combat-fit Singaporean male who had to do national service (30 months of it in my time).
As you can see, I’m sublimating all that weapons training, channelling it into street photography.
It’s all about vision, discipline and decision points.
You are what you shoot.
You are how you shoot.
Street photography, especially with film cameras, have taught me to respect mechanical tools and appreciate the history that came with them.
The evolution of Leica, Asahi Pentax, Voigtlander, and so on, is a history of modern life.
It is this history that gave us our Henri Cartier-Bresson, Vivien Maier, Diane Arbus, Martin Parr, Bruce Gilden, etc.
Thanks for reading.
Camera: Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic F
Lens: S-M-C Takumar 24mm F 3.5
Film: Kodak UltraMax 400