Yet another simple plan that mutated. This one cost me ¥32,000, and we'll see if it's worth it.
The simple plan was the notion that I should, in case my digital camera became inoperative (due to dead/unavailable battery, full-to-capacity Memory Sticks, equipment failure, theft) bring a film camera as a back-up. I had in mind something like a disposable camera or two, but...
1) ...while shopping at Yodobashi Camera, I stumbled over their hobbyist film section. Slide film, black-and-white print film, large-format film, papers, developing chemicals -- all the sort of stuff I hadn't seen since high school. I remembered my feeble efforts to emulate Ansel Adams, and my particular fondness for Ilford black-and-white film.
2) Somewhere in a box at home, I still had my old Canon FTb SLR camera, which my dad bought sometime during the Nixon administration. Primitive by today's standards -- all metal construction, no electronics except for the light meter, and manual focus -- it's been absolute brick of a camera, in performance and -- sadly -- weight.
3) So I bought a couple of rolls of Ilford black-and-white film, dug the Canon out of a box in the back of the closet, and loaded her up. Years of neglected maintenance took their toll on the camera: it took one shot, then immediately jammed.
4) And of course, I still had that idea stuck in my head of taking black-and-white photos with a film camera. So I was susceptible, while browsing in Yodobashi Camera with Liz, when I encountered an in-store special: a Pentax MZ-60 35mm SLR body, with two Tokina lenses (28-80 mm and 100-300 mm zoom) for ¥31,900, tax included.
5) Which I bought, along with a dozen assorted rolls of film (Ilford XP-2, HP-5, and FP-4; Kodak Kodachrome 64 and 200). Liz was also tempted, but she called her husband, who managed to talk her out it.
So I managed to go, in only a few easy steps, from pondering a disposable back-up camera to an entire retro-technology system and the requisite retraining. Now I have a couple weeks to relearn basic photography principles and how to operate this camera. I did quickly learn to stop flicking my thumb onto the non-existent film-advance lever, a habit ingrained by years of using my old-fashioned Canon. Let's see if I can figure out the rest before I leave.