Tourmaline Surfing Park on a Summer's Morning as Seen Through a Nikkor-Q Auto 1:3.5 f=13.5cm
Everything about this is little project has been a test of will. Nothing wanted to go right without a lot of coaxing. But what would you expect from ancient artifacts, anyhow...?
I had done a little bit of shooting with another Nikon in an Ikelite housing, but that was an N-8008 body with autofocus, auto exposure, and auto film advance. Once that rig was set up, the only thing that really mattered was that the shutter button did its thing.
But with the F, I have to also make sure the film winder (big lever on top) and focus knob (the one with the red octopus) work without a glitch. And just for laughs (and a measure of control over exposure settings) I also decide to hook up the aperture knob (you can see it set at f8 in some of the pics).
Oh and did I mention that when I first put it all together, the shutter button lever was misaligned, and that when I tried to coax it back into position it snapped in two? Luckily it was made from 1/4" round stainless rod, so a little trip to Industrial Metal Supply and an hour or four later on my lathe, and I have whipped up a new one.
To get the focusing working I have to find a better way to attach Ikelite's black plastic collar to the lens barrel than just the little springs that they somehow believed were up to the task. Enter some black cloth electrical tape to the rescue!
The clear plastic geared collar for the aperture ring turns out to be a piece of cake in comparison. They did a pretty decent job of designing that I must say - just find the right position and clamp it down with one little screw.
So now the thing's finally all rigged up and ready to sit in my trunk for months on end until the stars align and I have both the free time and the motivation to use it.
That moment finally arrives in early July when everyone's new favorite parking lot sweetheart Josephine (or Joy as she is aptly known) is about to embark on a new journey away from our shores and off to a whole new set of adoring fans on the east coast. But before many tears of joy and sadness are shed by her and those who knew her and love her, we all paddle out for a farewell session at the Pump House. And as a nod to joy from Mother Nature, conditions are absolutely stunning. The camera is loaded with Fuji Velvia 100 and ready to go.
I quickly realize how much shooting this thing requires full engagement. It takes at least two hands. An assistant would be great. Preferably bikini clad.
And forget about fins, you have to stand amongst the stingrays and take your chances. Pre-focusing helps until you realize that people actually move when they're surfing. Oh yeah, and waves are coming. And like most F's I've used, occasionally the shutter button sticks and you miss the Shot Of Your Lifetime. And don't forget to wind the film after each frame!