Goodbye lil' K

My first 35mm film camera was a Pentax K-1000, the Toyota Corolla of photography in terms of reliability, longevity, and getting the job done without impressing anyone-ity. I bought it on e-Bay for what seemed like a steal, and I soon grew to love my lil' K. A few years later my uncle offered me his Ricoh, but despite luxurious (to me) features like auto-rewind and a great zoom lens, it never fully replaced the Pentax, either in my camera bag or in my heart. Part of the problem was just old fashioned bad timing. By this time I was shooting quite a bit, and while the film expense was tolerable, the processing expense was considerable, especially since at my skill level I was lucky to end up with one good print per roll. I loved shooting, but it was turning into an expensive hobby I simply couldn't afford. I began paying attention to ads for digital cameras, but a few things held me back. I knew the picture quality of the cameras in my price range would fall well short of even my lowly Pentax. I also knew they devoured batteries, and I just liked the feel of an SLR - I wasn't interested in a camera the size of a credit card that I'd only sit on or drop down a sewer or something equally stupid. I was just starting to devote some serious thought to the topic when an opportunity came along - my friend Joey was selling his Digital Rebel, and was I interested?

Of course I was. This was the answer to all my problems... the familiarity of an SLR, the photo quality of a professional level camera, the convenience and thrift of shooting digitally, a rechargable battery pack, yes of course I was interested. But I knew a digital SLR wasn't cheap, and even second hand this camera was likely to be well above my price range. And I was right. I crunched the numbers, and though it was hard to justify (even after factoring in the all important "I deserve a treat" variable), I went ahead and got it and never looked back. The digital format I'd resisted for so long was like heaven on Earth. I could shoot as much or as often as I wanted, and only pay for prints I knew in advance were what I wanted. Since my shots were already digital, there was no loss of quality in the scanning process. Best of all was the instant feedback so important for anyone trying to learn and improve. I felt disloyal even admitting this to myself, but after a day with the Rebel I just didn't miss the Pentax. At all.

Years went by, and after quite a bit of heavy use the Rebel died; replaced by a Nikon D40. Through it all my Pentax and Ricoh sat unused in a desk drawer, taking up space and collecting dust. I finally decided it was time to try and find a home for them, and it was surprisingly easy. I said goodbye to them today, and I hope their new owner enjoys using them as much as I did.

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