25 October 2010

Ear rings, and other archaeologies

When I posted "Spotmaticked", three weeks back, I got a surprising number of responses amongst which a common element was the same question – phrased amusingly by Julie Heyward in a comment to the post as ...why does your camera have earrings?

The answer lies in a discovery made with the Zorki which preceded the Spotmatic: that the split metal D rings to which camera straps are attached will, over time, wear away the body lugs through which they are threaded. A camera carried all the time* by those D rings shows considerable wear very quickly.

So, starting with the Zorki (already showing definite lug grooves), I adopted a habit of replacing the D rings with loops of strong braid covered nylon cord (originally, as you see, white, but later a less obtrusive olive green). The neck strap is fitted with snap hooks (originally metal, later giving way to lighter and quieter black nylon) which attach in turn to the cord. The cord wears instead of the lugs; I monitor the wear, and replace the cord regularly. With the exception of the LX (which has a different attachment system), it's an arrangement which I've continued and still use.

To start with, I attached split rings (the "ear rings" to which Ms Heyward refers) to the cord and clipped the strap to those. Later I switched to simply clipping onto the cord itself. The Spotmatic, which has not been carried routinely for a long while, still has the metal rings; recent bodies have only the nylon cord.

On an entirely different tack, Julie H mentioned in the same comment the groundhog teeth which she collected and, in two Unreal Nature posts ("Personal anthropology" and "Lost and found") documented last month. I am envious of those teeth ... not the teeth themselves, but what they represent: evidence of the passionate amateur scientist which she (and I, but in my case without the evidence) once was, in chrysalis form, before becoming imago. At the time of those posts, in the instant ache of recognition (not to mention vivid memory of bird skulls, lumps of congealed Eucalyptus camaldulensis or E globulus resin, recycling oranges...) I wanted very much to respond but the comments form was closed – so I'm very glad to do so here, now.

* And I do mean all the time. The first person to refer to my beautiful Spotmatic as “your growth” was Elaine Fisher. We were eighteen, I was dancing a slow number with her at the time, and the camera was getting in the way...

† These teeth, as it happens, date from roughly one year after the above mentioned dance with Elaine Fisher.

1 comment:

Julie Heyward said...

I used to hate neck straps and always carried my camera in hand, so my lugs remained intact. I've never gotten used to a flopping camera, but I do use my neck straps, now that I've slowed down. (The ID tags on my dogs' collars wear through just as you describe.)

On "comments off" on my blog, that's because the Wordpress spam filters seem to be leaking badly lately. I thought about turning off all comments but settled for a two day expiration.