“K” is for “Kodachrome”: A Parting of the Ways

“I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph, Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away . . . “ –Paul Simon

Resize_P04-19-13_11.49Well, it was bound to happen one day. And I suppose, in the end, the parting was relatively painless, with no hard feelings on either side.

I received my trusty 35 mm Nikon camera more than 20 years ago–a Christmas or birthday present, I can’t remember which–and we’ve been semi-inseparable ever since. On holidays, on vacations, on other notable occasions, I’d whip it out to capture a moment or an image–or try to, at the very least. People, places, and things, immortalized as 4 x 6 glossies, suitable for framing, passing around, putting in albums (although that last part tends to be indefinitely put off).

Time marches on, though, and digital cameras have taken over to the point where my loyalty to my Nikon has become something of a family joke. I shrugged it off, reasoning that it didn’t matter as long as I was satisfied with the picture quality or my camera’s performance.

Over the years, my old partner in memory-making has become a bit less reliable. At one point the shutter stuck and would not budge. I took it to a camera shop and had it repaired. Then, a few years ago, the counter was off by a few shots. I learned to adjust and work around this issue and still took some damn fine pictures.

Unfortunately, on this last trip, the counter let me down completely, to the point where I was happily taking pictures with film that wasn’t there: the photographic equivalent of shooting blanks! If it weren’t for my newly acquired cell phone, I would have had no photos of our recent Palo Alto trip and the friends we’d come up to visit. And while I’m still learning the ropes of operating the camera in my phone–resulting in several wobbly out-of-focus pictures–I did end up with some nice shots, which is preferable to having nothing at all.RoseEmilyEleanor

The Birthday Girls (right)

So, regretfully but with a sense of inevitability, I am retiring my Nikon from active service. It’s been a great twenty-something years, old pal–thanks for the memories! I hope whatever (digital) camera succeeds you gives me as much joy as you have.

(All preceding photos, courtesy of my trusty cell phone!)

Do you own a favorite bit of outmoded technology? And are you still together, or have you put it out to pasture?


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