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Meet Faustine, my Canon F-1, she's straight out of the 70's but it wasn't until about 2 years ago, till I finally get my hands on her, and haven't let go since. I still use Film as it's what I grew up with. I shoot digital too, but there is nothing like loading up a roll, and then the smell of developer when I hand develop my photographs at home, in pure anticipation of what moments I just captured. It's a lost art, I know! I searched and searched everywhere one can imagine, countless camera shows, websites, trading boards, .etc and the elusive F-1, I thought, was never in my cards.
One weekend, my husband and I drove about 4 hours north to Orlando to visit one the "largest" camera shows in the state, and an hour into meticulously looking at each table did I spot this magical piece of history and to my delight in PRISTINE condition. The russian man behind the table barely spoke English, but I managed to get the price out of him, and without thinking - I almost just handed over the money, but I held out. I was second guessing his price, and dying inside with thoughts of the foolish choice I could make by walking away after years of searching, but I did.
The man promised that he would be down in the Miami show the following weekend, and that I could pick it up there, but what if it sold by then? It was one of the hardest decisions I remembered making in a long time, but I walked away. The price was too steep, and they seemed solid about it.
As we drove off, I was overwhelmed with regret, an emotion I'm not used to. I knew that I had made a mistake but thought "if it is meant to be, it will."
The next weekend, we went to the Miami show, and sure enough the same Russian couple was there, and I diligently looked for my white rabbit, over looking it a few times in the glass case that caged it this time. He remembered me, and made a comment that I came back..and smiled warmly.
My eyes so wide, gazing at this heavy gorgeous camera, such a rare find and in phenomenal condition? right here.. in my hands. I asked him again about the price, and this time he wasn't letting me walk away without it, he knew that my desire for this beauty was just to strong to let it be. I think he saw the passion and love in my eyes, (and the money in my pocket) and without a second breath - I finally handed over my cash at his lower offer.
It was mine, finally. My white rabbit, my lucky charm, my Faustine.
Faustine is a French name, meaning Lucky, Fortunate, and to have fortune.
I couldn't think of a better name that could describe this camera.
Long live analog photography.
In the story My White Rabbit.
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