Enter The Nikonos V
Filling the gaps
I’ve spent the last few years working on a photo essay about the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, and last January I set a goal to finish and publish the project in the form of a zine by the end of this year.
With only three months left, I began an editing round of organizing the images and placing them into a rough storyline, a process intended to reveal any potential gaps that I can then focus on filling the next time I’m out shooting.
One major gap that has since surfaced is a lack of water photography. The story of Florida is a story of water; and Juniper Prairie Wilderness, with its springs and rivers and ponds, is no exception. I knew I needed to address this gap, and since I’m photographing the entire project on film, there was only one real solution to the problem.
Enter the Nikonos V.
I’ve come close to buying a Nikonos V on several occasions, but the nightmare of fiddling with o-rings — a horror that’s remained fresh in my dreams since a brief experience with paintball 17 years ago — has prevented me from committing. But with my project deadline fast approaching, I did some research and found a man who specializes in repairing and selling Nikonos V cameras. I reached out, purchased a copy and had it shipped to Jenny, who then wrapped it and gifted it to me a week later for my birthday. O, the joys of adulthood!
This past weekend Jenny and I headed to Hidden Pond, a small but popular pond located just off the Florida Trail, to put the camera to the test.
A premature end
Hidden Pond was full and murky, so after an hour we hiked back to the truck and drove south to Juniper Springs Recreation Area where the water was clear and refreshing.
Unfortunately, I started having trouble with the shutter after loading the second roll of film. I contacted the seller and he helped me troubleshoot the camera. He concluded a soldering point had come undone, so I shipped it back for expedited repair. It’s not an ideal situation, but things do happen.
My brief encounter with the Nikonos V whet my appetite for more. I plan on writing an in-depth review after I’ve had more time with it, but for now I’m just looking forward to getting it back!