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A few wonderful hours with a photographic legend
Old 08-12-2015   #1
deldridg
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A few wonderful hours with a photographic legend

Hi all,

yesterday I took my new (old) Rolleiflex 3.5F out to meet Sargon Evanian - now almost 90 and still working on Rolleiflexes and other mechanical cameras out in western Sydney.

What I didn't expect was to spend several captivating hours with such a legend - one of the few remaining Rolleiflex trained repairmen left on this planet. He had endless wonderful stories of his younger days, a very cheeky smile and tons of Rolleiflex gear - tools, parts, Rolleis in pieces etc. which he willingly showed me - I even got to check my own camera's lens alignment and its ability to focus to infinity and 5m!! (It was perfect, thankfully).

I marvelled as I watched his arthritic but nonetheless highly dexterous hands perform some gentle magic on my baby. A bit of an adjustment here, little polish there, check this, check that etc. Complete focus and a kind of magic that takes decades and decades of attention to create.

Sargon graciously let me take a few photos of him as he worked. I just happened to have my grandmother's old OM-2n and a roll of Tri-X with me so I did indulge! Just between you and me I think he enjoyed having his pic taken!! :-)

As I left this lovely old man I couldn't help but feel sad that when my new (old) friend Sargon finally decides to hang up his apron, that many decades of irreplaceable experience and knowledge will simply evaporate and give way a little more ground to the more plastic, electronic and disposable world that is replacing his world of brilliant engineering, timeless precision and loving repair-ability. Is it likely that today's world will produce any Sargons that my kids will enjoy meeting in 40 or so years?? I don't think so. Progress rolls on...

So there it is - I am a very lucky guy to have had this little glimpse into a world to which some of us are still attached in some way through our love of film and old cameras!

Cheers and thanks for reading my nostalgic reflections this far!
David E (Sydney, Australia)
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Old 08-12-2015   #2
CMur12
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Thanks for sharing this glimpse into photographic history and tradition, David!

- Murray
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Old 08-12-2015   #3
p.giannakis
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Sometimes i am thinking all those wonderful stories and their life experiences that those people can tell us before they are gone.
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Old 08-13-2015   #4
ChrisLivsey
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It is one of the great human tragedies that accumulated skills, particularly manual, go with our passing, celebrate them while you can, thank you for sharing.
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Old 08-13-2015   #5
jwicaksana
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Thanks for sharing, I have deep respect for old school technician. In my country, surviving camera repairmen are not well equipped with precision instrument, they often depend on feeling and experience. So they cannot charge very much and none of them have websites, email, or anything like that. In turn, they don't charge much and don't earn much. So they don't teach their kids to repair cameras, instead telling them to go to college, study economics, design, or something else, so they can have a 'bright future'. A few younger ones flourish, but these new guys are good in cleaning fungus, machining new mounts or making modifications. But the old guys still rule for mechanical issues, gears springs and levers that we all love.
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Old 08-13-2015   #6
shadowfox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deldridg View Post
Sargon graciously let me take a few photos of him as he worked. I just happened to have my grandmother's old OM-2n and a roll of Tri-X with me so I did indulge! Just between you and me I think he enjoyed having his pic taken!! :-)
David, I am assuming that you are finishing the roll, develop and would later hopefully share a couple of pictures with us
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Old 08-14-2015   #7
deldridg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
David, I am assuming that you are finishing the roll, develop and would later hopefully share a couple of pictures with us
Of course goes without saying, though I wasn't certain about the OM-2n's battery and thus metering on the day - fingers crossed!

Thanks to all for your responses. It was a great privilege for me and I hope to meet with Sargon again sometime. It would be best to return and photograph him with the Rolleiflex of course!

Cheers,
David
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