Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Instant Obsolescence

If you cruise Craigslist, you can get great deals on recent digital and film cameras. People are practically giving away terrific film cameras, probably because they're too lazy to get film processed. Someone in my town was selling a Yashica T4 with a great Tessar lens for $50. A year ago, you couldn't touch one of these cameras for under $100.

But if someone's offering you a Polaroid "One-Step" camera that uses instant film, run.

Polaroid -- which invented instant photography in the last century, and got a billion-dollar damages payment from Kodak in a patent case -- announced earlier this year that they'll stop making instant film for their cameras. That would leave Fujifilm, which makes the stuff overseas, and doesn't import much of it to the U.S., as the sole source.

So, unless you need another dust-magnet that resembles a camera, keep hunting for that Yashica T4.

(Full disclosure: I work for Kodak, but not in camera or film sales. My first camera was a Polaroid folding camera, and I never recovered from exposure to the "fixing" lacquer that you used to coat you black-and-white photos.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Abandoned Sites

Want to know what's going on in photography, 15 months ago?

Hop over to SLR Today, which somehow seems to have halted publication in August, 2007.

Meanwhile, over at MJU-MJU, someone started out saying nice things about the Olympus Stylus Epic -- a really great film camera that's sadly no longer in production. Then, in 2006, the world changed. And that's all he (or she) wrote.

Someone should catalog some of these timeless sites, devoted to photographic marvels that once showcased the technology at its pinnacle. Given all the '70s - era rangefinder cameras I own, you'd think I'd take on the job.

But, no. I just have to delete them from my bookmarks list.