Reader’s Digest

Marcy’s Reader’s Digest Camera Review:

    I’ve been using my cameras way more than writing about them. I decided it was time to break this block using a true classic. Not a Diana. Looking back, I didn’t really have many good things to say about them. Well, that, and the fact that they’ve all been sitting on the shelf for so long their shutters are dry and sticky. I can’t help, when I look at them, to feel … not so much responsible but, somehow, as if I have contributed to their demise. Maybe sort of like Jack Kevorkian (Dr. Jack once said, “it just seems that the ladies were asking for it.” – shades of “One of these days, Alice. One of these days…”) but, unlike Doctor Death, I’ve got just a touch of sentimentality.

    Anyway, I’d been in denial about my lack of writing. Not that it matters so much, but once I realized that I’d had nothing seriously good (like a 110 shoot-out or something) to contribute to the world in months … well, that’s when the feelings of guilt began. Feelings of guilt. Feelings of failure. *sigh*

    Denial is underrated.

    So I decided to shoulder up a crappy camera and my crappy vernacular and head out to see what I could see. I chose the Reader’s Digest camera. A Diana, yet not. She’d been sitting on the shelf since Mike Levy sent her to me a few months ago and, hey, that shutter wasn’t getting any younger. Wouldn’t want to Kevork her like I’d done the rest.

   Here’s the Reader’s Digest condensed version:

The first thing I noticed about the Reader’s Digest Camera is its lack of a focus ring. Dianas have that little focus selector thing going on, but not so the RD. 16 exposures on a roll of 120 film. I tucked a roll of Kodacolor VR-G 120 into her (she’ll accept 120 film, by the way). The package said, “best if used by 02/1989” It was supposedly at its best then. I wondered if it’ll be even better now? Hey, I’m game. In preparation for the light leaks that were sure to follow, I wrapped her tightly in Gaffer’s tape. Looking more like a black-taped mummy, than a crappy camera, she managed to come away with the following images:

The take-up spool took up real loose. Hence, the terrible edge fog.

I’m sharing this “review” I wrote in February of 2005. I’ve updated the photos. Mike Levy, the person who gifted me this camera, passed away in 2011. I miss his witty writing and many entertaining typos. Like, “I spent the morning in a dickblind.” He meant “duckblind”.

Spending some time with the Reader’s Digest in the outhouse … errr ..I mean … reading room!

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