New For Broken (Part 1)
If it’s broke, don’t fix it, replace it. That’s the attitude of the society in which we live (well, where I do in Australia).
My Dad’s old SLR film camera, the Konica—you know, the one that gave him trouble on his Central Australian safari, Travelling with the T-Team 1977—after he passed, mum found it in its leather case. The light-metre on the camera was broken.
‘What do I do with this?’ asked Mum.
A few years before, I’d attempted to get the camera fixed for Dad. A man who lived locally, repaired old-style SLR film cameras. Dad and I had tried the regular camera shops in town. No joy. Too old, they said. Parts not available.
Anyway, I took the light-metre-challenged Konica to this local guy who worked in his home fixing cameras.
He examined the camera and then remarked, ‘Oh, Konica, these cameras are in demand now. They’re an excellent camera.’
So there, Mr. B, I thought, not cheap-made junk after-all.
Two weeks later, I went to collect the camera.
‘Oh, sorry,’ the repair man said, ‘you can’t get the battery for this particular model. They don’t make it any more.’
I took the camera from him. ‘I can keep using a portable light-meter, though.’
‘Sure,’ he said. ‘It works perfectly well. I cleaned it all out and it’s in good mechanical order.’
I paid the repair man for cleaning it and, staring at Dad’s less-than-perfect camera, I shuffled out to my car.
Back the camera went to Dad who filed it away in his walk-in-wardrobe. Nothing thrown out in Dad’s world. He was born just before the Depression and lived through one World War. On top of that, his parents were missionaries in Sudan. So yeah, no money, no waste and lots of recycling went on there.
Fast-forward several years, and here Mum and I stood; Dad gone and all his stuff remaining.
I cradled the Konica in my hands. ‘It still works, but you need to use a portable light-metre. You can’t get the battery for it.’
‘Oh, well, throw it out,’ Mum said.
‘Not sure that’s a good idea. The camera-repair man said there’s lots of demand for Konicas. Perhaps we could sell it on eBay.’
Mum sighed. ‘And who’s going to do that?’
‘My brother?’ I replied.
‘Oh, alright, we’ll ask him when he has time. He’s so busy.’
Mum then packed the Konica back into the walk-in wardrobe to await its fate in the cyber-community.
In the meantime, when the topic of Dad’s camera surfaced, people kept telling us, ‘It’s a digital age. No one’ll want a film camera. You can’t give film camera’s away.’
Mum became disheartened and mentioned she’d chuck the camera away.
Months passed while the Konica awaiting its new fate for the tip, languished in Dad’s old wardrobe.
The turning point came, when, on the counter-lever of the Tahune Airwalk, Tasmania, I captured some views of the rainforest with my Nikon film camera.
A couple nearby looked at me. Then the young man in his twenties nodded. ‘Now, that’s a real camera.’
Something clicked for mum who was with me at the time. Soon after we returned to Adelaide, she gave Dad’s Konica to my nephew who’s a keen photographer.
Later, when they caught up she asked, ‘How’s Dad’s old camera? Are you able to use it?’
‘Oh, yes,’ he said. ‘I have a friend who looked at it and was able to fix up the light-metre in it. It’s working like new, now.’
A thought from God’s Word, 2 Corinthians 5:17—
“Therefore, if anyone’s in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away.”
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016
Photo: Broken beauty: Waikerie, South Australia © Lee-Anne Marie Kling (nee Trudinger) January 1983 with Konica SLR film camera—scanned from slide.