In the 1980s, while teaching horticulture at Weston Creek in Canberra, Richard Windsor considered himself lucky enough to have resorted to the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of Nikon cameras.
He used the school’s photographic equipment to help teach his classes, taking close-ups of plants and vegetables to explain how they function as perfect teaching aids for the subject.
âI was using their cameras,â he said, âand then I thought, fuck, I’m going to buy mine. “
He found a Nikon F3T, also known as the âWar Correspondent’s Special,â as well as an interchangeable Rolleiflex for $ 2,000 together, âand it’s been going downhill for me ever since. “
He ended up buying the Nikon, but not the Rolleiflex, and developed a love for the old brand that he maintains to this day.
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âI just thought the Rolleiflex was awful,â he said. âIt was built about the size of two bricks and looked like him. “
This long-standing love for the Nikons took the man from Kambah, now 74, everywhere, taking photos mostly in the wild, but also in places he probably should have avoided.
It was a place called Craven, near Gloucester, where his mother lived. Unfortunately, it was also a popular destination for ticks – since then Richard has been bitten five times in his life and as a result now suffers from poor health.
âIt was during those years that collecting cameras probably helped me stay sane,â he said.
“I guess I have more mechanics than a lot of photographers, I find the way they work absolutely fascinating.”
He’s never spent so much on a Nikon again, luckily finding a lot for his growing collection in op stores or online sales.
At the height of his collector’s career, Richard had between 600 and 700 cameras and lenses – most, with the exception of the Nikons, were kept in the garage. It was a small consolation for Richard when, about three years ago, a fire destroyed the garage – and everything in it.
âI lost them all, everything except the ones I kept in the house,â he said.
With his collection of force reduced to around 50, Richard now finds he has more time to cherish the operation of traditional cameras and less of digital ones.
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âWith mechanical cameras you have about three things to sort out,â he said. âIn digital, there are about 500 things.
âI just find that you get a much nicer result with film than with digital.
âBut it’s a personal thing.
âAnd these days, as movies fade from the market, I’ve found that the only good source of movies like this is in South Australia. He does high quality development.
âI used to do mine and seriously considered making a darkroom in my shed, but unfortunately I can’t stand for too long and you have to be able to stand to develop. “
With only a basic collection of cameras these days, is there anything on her wishlist?
âMy pride and joy is still the first Nikon I have ever had,â he said. “But what if I could choose anything?” Well, I would like a new knee. This one is bone to bone and I can’t walk or carry much.
âI have all the lenses I want, but I guess if there was one more to buy it would be the Nikon Nikkor 200mm. “
The perfect camera, he says, for photographing his new favorite subject – the peacock spider.
“It is only about 1-3mm long and they dance with flaps on the abdomen, which they can wave like peacocks.”
And if there was another place on his wish list – he would love an electric scooter so that he can move around more to indulge his true love – photography.
Do you like to collect? Historic, kitsch, tasteful, bizarre – there’s no judgment here, except we’re not immune to bad taste. Just email a few details about what you’re collecting and why [emailÂ protected], and you may well see your collection displayed here for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
Original article published by Sally Hopman on Riotact.