Quality Craftsmanship

Today, I’m thankful for quality craftsmanship, for people and businesses that take time to do things right, to make things that last, to produce things they can be proud of, that don’t waste the precious resources we’ve been blessed with. May Allah guide us to return to a time where we cared about what we made and what we bought, and respected the things enough to take good care of them, Ameen.A case in point is the Yashica Mat-124 I picked up last month. It’s a finely crafted thing: everything oozes quality and craftsmanship, and it’s a joy to shoot with.

I just need to learn how to shoot it properly…

I focused on Garry first, then took a meter reading and realized I would need stabilization from the cubicle wall, which was about 3 inches closer to Garry than where I first focused. I then used the sport finder to frame the shot, without thinking that I’d need to refocus.

I managed a bit better with Ms. Kem. I still needed some stability from her desk, but fortunately, it was about chest high and I could easily focus with the ground glass.

With these next two, I read reviews that mentioned flare issues with the lens, but I didn’t take the hood along. Now I know: use the hood and don’t shoot directly into the sun! If I do, I risk some major ghosting.

This isn’t the camera’s fault: the engineers and manufacturing personnel at Yashica knew what they were doing, and they did it very well with what they had, MashaAllah.

It’s down to me: I don’t konw what I’m doing with this camera, and I tried to force it. I didn’t rush, that’s hard to do with a TLR. But I did force it. I said “I have n shots left and I’m going to take them all today.”

I also overexposed everything a bit, I think. I put the red match needle maybe 1mm to the left of the yellow needle, and thought I was underexposing. But everything came out about a half stop over. It’s fine, I guess, but I need to be more careful, and do some testing too. Really, I probably need to feed this camera 4 or 5 rolls in quick succession, shoot only it for a couple of months, and then I’ll get a feel for it.

This Yashica Mat-124 isn’t a Nikon FG/E/M3a or other 35mm that all pretty much work the same. The viewing image is backwards, you look down to compose and focus, it’s much heavier than small 35mm cameras and you pretty much have to wear it slung around your neck due to the shooting position. It’s a wonderfully different animal, Alhamdulillah.

I did, with some difficulty in post, get a couple of shots that I’m happy enough with, all thanks be to God. I’ve shared them before.

I’m very thankful for quality craftsmanship, when I’m on the receiving end, but I’m not quite so good at giving it out. May Allah guide me to learn to use tools appropriately, take good care of them, take my time, and produce well-crafted things. He made me, the least I can do to give Him glory is to try to produce high quality photographs, meals, gardening, and with my professional work too.

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