TOKYO -- When consumer durables like cameras start to show their years, they tend to be left collecting dust as the high-tech market marches on. Does an old camera have what it takes to capture the nostalgic sights of Tokyo? Ditching the single-lens reflex camera I normally use for my job, this old soldier of a reporter who grew up commuting by locomotive, drinking powdered skim milk and eating whale meat took my classic twin-lens reflect camera to the streets to find out.
As the name suggests, a twin-lens reflex camera -- the kind granddads surely loved -- has two lenses. The bottom lens captures the picture and the top one serves as a viewfinder. Looking through it, the image is reversed left to right, which can result in a lopsided picture if you're not used to it. Strangely enough the past all came back to me and I remembered it well -- though admittedly I can't even recall what I had for dinner last night.
The lens of the camera I used is a little cloudy, so shooting into the sun results in flare and the images tend to lack sharpness. But there's still that unique flavor to them.
When people age, their bodies no longer move like they used to. But perhaps older readers out there can fish out their old gear and find out that an accumulation of experience -- and perhaps a bit of cunning -- actually count for something, as I found with the images here.
Equipment used: Yashica Mat-124G
Sales of this camera, the last of Yashica's light and compact twin-lens reflect cameras, began in 1971 and ended in the 1980s. The concept of this camera differed greatly from that of the Mamiya twin-lens reflex camera that allowed lenses to be changed.
(Story and photos by Takuma Nakamura, Mainichi Shimbun Publishing)