Tag Archives: MP Correspondent

Battered…

World © Geoff Wilkinson - All rights reserved

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

….and I’m not talking about fish. I have a pair of very old cameras, old by digital standards anyway. They are Nikon F80’s dating from around 2001, see what I mean by old. They have gathered a lot of air miles and have had a lot of film put through them. I don’t think this model was ever thought of as ‘professional’ but then again I have rarely used big heavy professional cameras.

The point of this post is that after 14 years both still work perfectly, for anyone starting out and wanting to use film they would be great. Interesting I have been looking on Amazon and secondhand they still fetch between £55 and £125 which surprised me.

The point I wanted to make was that the exterior appearance is still perfect. I have no idea what they make modern camera bodies out of, I expect I could find out with a little research, but this pair of bodies look pristine. When I was a staff photographer on the Daily Mail in the 60’s I had the original Nikon F bodies in black finish. It was amazing how quickly the black finish wore off, got scratched and scuffed in the day to day hurly burly of Fleet Street. Within a few months they looked very sad and battered, mechanically of course they worked perfectly and having a battered Nikon body with brass shining through the black was the height of professionalism, or so I thought at the time.

Have a look at my F80’s at the top of the page and then click here to see Elliott Erwitt’s Leica M3 from the 60’s and you will understand what I am talking about…which finish do you prefer..

As a point of interest you can now buy a brand new Leica, the Leica MP Correspondent designed by the singer and Leica user Lenny Kravitz. It arrives having had ‘an elaborate wearing process completely by hand has carefully rubbed, scuffed and scratched the black enamel finish away in several places on both the camera and lens to let the bright brass surface shine through’ The nostalgia almost brings a tear to my eyes but be prepared to pay $24,500 with lens for this limited edition beauty, you can click here to have a look…ah the price of the good old days…