Muhammad Ali and my Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL
In the summer of 2011 I found a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL at a Wilmette, IL, garage sale.
Greg the owner had a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL. I didn’t know much about it but I knew it was a heavy, metal SLR from about 40 years ago. Perhaps I would make an offer on it.
And then Greg showed me a photograph he took of Muhammad Ali during the early 1970′s at a civil rights rally in Kansas City. Muhammad Ali was surrounded by huge African-American men (security guards?) and Greg was within that circle as he took his photo. So here’s my question for Gregg, the previous owner of this Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL:
Gregg, can you scan your Muhammad Ali photos from 40 years ago and send them to me? Can you give me a date and location for the photos? Perhaps a little background information? I certainly won’t share your name on this website. Thanks Gregg.
That was it for me, I had to buy this Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL that had photographed Muhammad Ali in the early 1970′s.
Provenance or History
This camera photographed Muhammad Ali at a civil rights rally. It’s a wonderful photo. I hope the past owner will share that photo with me for this blog post.
My Repairs for the Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL, Broken Light Meter
Bad light meter
Bad light meters are a way of life for old cameras. This camera is 40-45 years old (manufactured (1968-1973). That’s why I carry a light meter with me at all time.
I don’t know of any way to repair a bad light meter on a 40 year old camera. Sometimes its just better to accept the limitations of an old camera and just shoot with it as best you can.
Missing part on film advance
The shutter was missing a top piece when I purchased it. The shutter advance on the left is missing a top piece. I constantly had to hand tighten the visible spherical part of the shutter advance counter-clockwise so it wouldn’t fall off the camera.
The owner said that wasn’t a problem. He was kind of right. I was able to take photos with my light meter. But I’ll never know if that missing part from the shutter re-wind somehow controlled the light meter.
How does the Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL feel?
It feels heavy and awkward. But that’s just one person’s opinion.
Nice features of the Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL?
This camera photographed Muhammad Ali during a civil rights rally in the early 1970′s. For me, it’s history is its best feature.
- Light meter. Even with a fresh battery, the light meter refused to operate properly. I used my light meter for everything.
- Missing part on film advance. As mentioned earlier, this part was missing.
Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL Sample Photos
Let’s just say this camera had 3 strikes against it during its test roll.
- On board light meter didn’t work.
- My light meter was 30 years old (but has worked just fine in the past).
- Expired film. I used my 5-10 year old expired film.
This may have been my best photo of the roll. A quirky shot taken on a rainy day from the inside of my car going eastbound on Chicago Avenue just as you cross Halsted (Chicago, IL). Once again I was using my hand held meter.
These are some town homes on one of my walks in the neighborhood. It’s not a great photo but it’s decent. If you purchase a 40 year old camera that works manually, you hope to take decent photos with your light meter.
Teenagers Boxing on a Chicago Street
I wish I had the photo, I should have been bolder and took a photo.
Bicycling around Kilbourn Park on Chicago’s northwest side I passed two teenagers sparring on the street. Not a real fight but two friends flicking jabs at each other as kids do in my neighborhood.
I wanted to take their photos but I doubted they had ever heard of Muhammad Ali, or had they? But while testing all my old cameras, the only time I ever saw two kids boxing on the street was with a camera that had photographed Muhammad Ali.
Perhaps that would put a smile on Muhammad Ali’s face in his retirement.
My Favorite Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL Photo – My Wife
I know my wife reads my blog posts. She’ll say:
I read your blog today. It’s a little long but it’s OK.
She may not think this photo is a pretty one but I do. Using a 40 year old camera, hand held light meter, and expired film, she looks wonderful with one of her passions: cooking.
Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL - Summary
I had high hopes for this camera. After all, it had photographed Muhammad Ali. (I am still grateful for the purchase and this camera’s fine story.) But perhaps, for some cameras, their best times are behind them.
In practice, this camera and I didn’t get along too well. The light meter was dead, It was unbalanced, and I didn’t like how the viewfinder went dark whenever I set the aperture to F16. I’ve tested other cameras that had dead light meters, somehow I wanted to enjoy this camera greatly but it didn’t work out. My test photos were OK but they certainly couldn’t compare with Gregg’s photo of Muhammad Ali from 40 years ago.
Thanks for reading my Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL review today. Although I was a bit disappointed in this camera as of 2012, it created happy memories for its previous owner in the early 1970′s. Gregg, thanks for your Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL and its Muhammad Ali story.
Thanks for visiting What is a Film Camera today.