Mine’s bigger than yours

Sometimes situations arise that restore your faith in human nature and confirm the inexorable progress of technology all at the same time.

Following a feature on local BBC radio a couple of days ago about the photography training courses I run, one of their listeners called the station to ask if I would be interested in having their collection of cameras a lenses. Not the sort of offer you get every day!

I duly called and spoke to lively 89 year old who proceeded to tell me the┬ástory of his photography passion stretching back 70 years and the mass of equipment he had acquired. He wasn’t able to get around anymore and just wanted all his gear to go a good home. When he heard the piece on the radio, he though I might be able to use it.

PentaxWhen I turned up at his house a few hours later, he opened a cupboard and started to pull out one camera bag after another, all in ‘as new’ condition. A Pentax ME Super and SFX bodies, three flash guns, more than a dozen lenses, box loads of filters, instruction manuals, remote cables, even a JVC VHS camcorder and a bunch of other stuff that I have yet to unpack.

Of course, none of it is compatible with anything I use (Canon) but it struck me just how much cameras have grown since the advent of the Digital SLR. I confess my knowledge of Pentax cameras is sketchy at best – practically non existent to be honest – but a quick google gave me a few pointers. The two bodies need servicing according to their owner and as far as I can tell the lenses will only fit a Pentax camera.

I’m sure the lens quality is fine but they look so tiny in comparison to modern stuff. It makes me wonder just why new lenses are so much bigger. When technology over the years has been so brilliant at getting more and more features into smaller and smaller spaces, why do pro spec cameras especially get bigger and heavier with each new model? Just look at the comparison picture between a Canon 7D and the Pentax.

Does it all come down to “Mine’s bigger than yours”.

The kind and very generous old gentleman was most anxious that all the equipment went to a good home – he thought I could use it in my training courses! – or if I sold it, any money would go to charity. So, if anyone out there is a Pentax fan, please get in touch

Mine’s bigger than yours