Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Possibly it was over the top ~ but we didn't think so at the time

Years ago - decades, as I recall - the Swedish manufacturer of the Hasselblad camera took a full-page ad to anatomise the device for the purpose of discussing the finishing of its mechanical parts. Hundreds of pieces had been subjected to the refinements, variously, of horse-hair, chamois, pumice, feathers, dusts, cloths, solvents and even wood, to say nothing of grinding stones. Of course one paid for this character, this promise.

One sensed nothing so much as the tack of a fine boat, when all was said and done, and what was cherished about the Hasselblad was its sympathy for the sensual quest.

Nothing much more than a weighty box with a very good lens, the camera lacked the speed of some and the unobtrusiveness of others. But there wasn’t an anchor or a garage door lifted on the planet to greater delight than one could know in focusing with that eloquent machine. The famine for this world was in that thing.

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