Sunday, 24 October 2010

Buried treasure

I have whinged in a few sympathetic ears recently about my frustration with the limitations of my Canon PowerShot point and shoot camera and my lust for a brand new digital SLR.

I'm an SLR girl at heart. I used to have an ancient Zenith SLR and a 135mm lens which I took all my pictures with in my youth. I even had it with me when I photographed the Queen on her visit to Solva many years ago. My main camera that day was the newsroom's Canon EOS and it's that one I used to take the shot of Her Majesty for the front of the paper's Royal visit supplement - a copy of which is by Royal appointment in the Buckingham Palace album.

Then our lovely friends Nicola and Andrew lent us a Canon EOS to take photographs on our honeymoon in Scotland which was fantastic. I really didn't want to give it back and today my love affair with the Canon EOS remains undimmed but unrequited.

When the girls were babies we sold all our SLR equipment to a camera enthusiast and used the proceeds to buy a digital point and shoot - which was entirely the right thing to do at the time - but I miss my SLR. I wanted to take pictures of the diamond-like raindrops on the fennel seed heads. My point-and-shoot managed this on its macro setting after several hundred attempts.

Nearly - but not quite - what I was after.

So yes I've been whinging. Have you seen the price of digital SLRs? The current entry level digital Canon EOS is £343.70 on Amazon which isn't horrendous but I haven't got that sort of cash for a camera at the moment.

Then my mother, who is probably immune to most of my whinging after 44 years, suddenly had a lightbulb moment.

"I've got a Canon EOS," she said.

"You've got a WHAT???!!!!"

She then rummaged in the space underneath the stairs and produced this little hoard of buried treasure*:

A Canon EOS 650D and on the left a Canon T70 attached to its macro lens. Oh joy! Neither of them digital, but I had a roll of film left over from pre-digital days and batteries and Bob's your uncle. I have already been out to photograph the fennel with the T70. I can't show you here, of course, because the film has to go to be developed, but it's an SLR (or two) and so many lenses I don't know what half of them are. They'll keep me quiet and stop me whinging while I save up for a digital. All I have to do now is remember how to work them...

* The EOS belonged to Mum's late partner Michael and was put away - as things are - after he died in 1997. I don't think he'd mind me using it now. The T70 is Mum's.


  1. Isn't it amazing the things other people (although never those in my family!) have tucked away, be it under the stairs or elsewhere? I'm sure Michael would be very happy to know that his former camera is getting some action again. Are you planning to scan in some of the shot you take with your new treasures? If so, look forward to seeing them.

  2. Ian discovered that the lenses he had for his old SLR from pre digital days will fit a digital body so all he had to buy was the right digital body, which he did on ebay for about £100. Don't know whether your mother's lenses might do the same?

  3. So glad you got your treasures...what a lovely surprise. I am not very 'up' on cameras, but was mighty impressed to read about your photography. I look at the young ones and how they use the digital cameras and your blog reminded me of the long wait to get our holiday snaps as children.

  4. Recycling at its best. Perfect solution.

  5. Wow, wonderful, Mags!

    We have a film 35mm film Cannon EOS T7, and now a digital EOs 500D. The best thing about them is that the lenses are completely interchangeable. I bought the digital as a retirement present, and I'm slowly learning how to use it, as I want to focus more on photography, and multi-media art. I'll probably use the film camera for b&w. Those film cameras still have a use.

    BTW, I blogged about mine back in mid-September.

    Hope you have great fun with your "finds." Too bad they've taken our Kodachrome away. Paul Simon would not be amused; nor am I.

  6. How fantastic. Great that they'll be used again. I've just got a Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 (bridge camera). Couldn't justify a dslr as I haven't got the time to learn all the ins and outs at the moment. New camera takes lovely photos. Just have to find time to get out and get the shots now.

  7. Ah what a brilliant story. I bet Michael's nodding with approval somewhere. And wouldn't it be marvellous if you had a lovely new digital model to compare the two... someone? Anyone? Just saying, you know, that Mags would put both to good use!

  8. Oh the advantages of coming from a long line of hoarders... marvellous.


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