that sounds like my wife. I think she was born with butter ooozing out of her fingers.
I have had a Yashica T4 for almost 20 years. For the longest time it lived in my car and much of that was spent on the dash. Every corner I went around the camera would slide from one side to the other. It eventually was so scratched up I couldn't see throughout the viewfinder but a little plastic polish cleaned it up. I lent it to a friend of mine for a trip to Thailand and she spilled bug spray on it. Melted the plastic all over the body. Dang thing still works, but it sure is ugly.
The only camera I ever ruined was a Nikon F2. Dropped it less than a foot onto a studio floor and the resulting tiny fall crushed the corner and jammed the camera. So much for indestructible.
Nikkormat FTN, I've dropped it, it's been in the water, hot direct Florida sun, freezing cold, rain, etc. I can't kill it.
5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit / Meyer Gorlitz 13.5cm/4,5 Trioplan / Bausch & Lomb Zeiss-Tessar 5x8 f4.5
Mamiya 645 / 150 f3.5 N, WLF, metered prism finder, left grip
FED-2 / 50 2.8 Industar 26m / 85/2 Jupiter-9
Canon 300v / 5D d*****l / L lenses
I have two. My old trusty Nikon FG and a Mamiya C33.
Everyone seems to drop the C33 when I hand it to them. I guess they just don't expect it to weigh so much. It's built like a tank, though, so it always pulls through just fine.
I look at the FG almost as a disposable camera. They cost so little these days, if something bad happens to it, I can replace it for about $20. That being said, it always ends up on my backpacking trips since it's so cheap and so light. It's tumbled down mountainsides, been rained on, snowed on, had the film door frozen shut, survived dust storms in the desert, etc... No matter what I do to it, it refuses to die. Even the meter is still spot on!
I think my F bodies are probably better built, but I'm not interested in finding out for sure.
I have two, a Voigtlander Dynamatic II, the meter even still works well. I bought it in 1985 from a camera repair guy. Never did anything but take pictures with it since. The other is my OM-4 I bought new when it came out. Never had any service on it, just on one lens. Fell off a rock climb with it around my neck, it worked fine, I could walk one year later. It's been through blizzards at 4200 meters, and all over the mountains on week and longer trips. It just keeps working though it has some duct tape on it.
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One thing I discovered about the doors at the Carmel Mission is they open on two different sets of hinges. When you open the doors for the bride, the inside hinge opens all the way to the wall.
The bride was a bit surprised when the doors came back shut on her... As I raced to grab my OM-4 from the crunching corner. Got the doors open again within less than a second. But the 50 f/1.4 was smashed.
The body is still my main 35mm body, didn't faze it one bit.
The legendary camera that you can "knock nails in with" and will still work is the Nikon F, an American friend of mine who lives here in England has an F that was shot out of his hands in Vietnam, the prism has a bullet score across it but it still works more than forty years later.
For me it's been my Zorki 4K and my Flexaret. Both survived being thrown out of the window of a moving vehicle into a ditch. Both cameras were in a camera bag in my truck and were stolen one night when I forgot to lock the doors. Apparently when the thieves discovered what was inside the bag wasn't, they threw them out the window at the end of the drive. I had Bill at Pro Camera readjust the rangefinder on the Zorki, and with the exception of a small dent on the Flexaret both cameras work just fine.
I forgot to share the story of the medium format camera of mine that got hit by a truck. I was taking a 60 minute exposure in the desert, and I had the tripod in the middle of a dirt road in 29 Palms. 40 minutes in, I had to pee. I decided, ah hell, it's 4 in the morning. Nobody but me has come down this road all day and night. I can go run inside real quick. Of course, that is when I hear an old truck rattling down the road. I ran outside ASAP, waving my flashlight, but it was too late. The driver and I had a good chuckle about it. Apparently he didn't see the camera, because he was looking around trying to figure out what all the shoutin' and flashlight wavin' was about.
The Bogen 3051 was destroyed, but the camera lived without any issues. I just had to spend an hour cleaning the dirt out of it. Still haven't developed that film.
The moral of the story: Just pee in the dirt.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Chinon DSL that has been through a tornado in a trailer and being sucked in, chewed up and spit out by a semi truck. The tornado comment should be self evident, a friend owned the camera and after we cleaned up after his trailer got hit, we found the camera and it still worked even the 50/2 lens.
After that, the camera became mine and I was helping another friend of mine work on his semi, I set the camera down on the fan shroud and forgot about it. The truck eventually started up and we both heard this horrid noise then a thunk about fifty feet away. The camera survived but it tore up the fan and fan shroud of the truck. The only damage to the camera was a smashed lens, a few scars and the rewind crank was torn off but it is still light tight and taking good pics.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.