All images by Parker Roan. Used with pemission.
Photographer Parker Roan runs the Used Sales Dept and eBay at Precision Camera in Texas, and recently shared photos of a well worn Nikon F3 that he owns. When he first got into photography, he bought a kit, went to YouTube to learn and started shooting full time within 5 months. But it burned him out–until he scored himself a film camera.
“It made me slow down and just enjoy it. Even now I still just shoot for myself and mostly film, so I kind of went backwards than most when it comes to digital, film and business.” Parker tells the Phoblographer. “The Nikon F3–I have always loved anything faded, worn or old. So when I found out the F3 did it, I had to have one.” To Parker’s delight, his co-workers got him one for Christmas and they went ahead and sanded it all the way down.
What you see here is the brass exterior of the camera. What they (the collective camera manufacturers) used to do is make cameras from metal and paint the exterior. In contrast to today’s cameras which are made of plastic, if you sanded a DSLR or mirrorless camera down, you’d get through the plastic and down to an aluminum/magnesium chassis after a while. The more modern process really started with the Canon AE-1.
Just imagine if one of today’s cameras were made with brass though? Forget about the aluminum or magnesium chassis instead, just painted brass instead of anything else. No plasticss really to speak of with the exception of maybe a part or two. The cameras would last much longer.
Nikon surely wasn’t the only camera manufacturer that did this though!
Earlier this year, I attended an event at the Bronx Documentary Center and saw Michael Kamber’s Leica camera, which is essentially the same. Modern Leica cameras are still built this way; and that is a testament to just how expensive they are.