Can you help find these stolen cameras?

On Sunday morning, I visited the Albany Camera Show at the Comfort Inn in Glenmont.  I wasn’t really looking for a new camera; instead, I wanted to acquire some accessories – maybe some filters for the Rollei, some flash bulbs for the Ansco (I did find those, three boxes of “new old stock” flash bulbs for $2 total), those kind of things.  Besides, I wasn’t expecting to find any of my “goal” gear – i.e., a Yashica 44LM as a possible new 127 shooter; a Nikon F100 as a possible new 35mm shooter, a 1930’s Kodak Beau Brownie art deco box camera, a Nikon Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 lens, etc.  At least not in a price that I could afford.

Still, when I attend any type of swap meet or show, I always make sure to walk around the place at least once.  That way, I don’t get caught up in impulse buying.  I always tell the dealer that I will walk around the floor at least once; if the item I looked at from their table is purchased by someone else, so be it; if I come back and the item is still there, then let’s talk purchase.

And yeah, there were a few things that caught my eye – one person had a really swank FED 5 rangefinder camera – FED cameras are decent Russian knockoffs of Leica cameras; however, the majority of workers at the Fedka plant in Kharkov were either political prisoners or child labor.  I can’t in good conscience buy a FED camera, knowing its manufacturing history.  I put the camera back on the table.

The next camera I eyeballed was a Baby Rollei.  The Baby Rollei is similar to the Rolleiflex that I currently have, except that the Baby Rollei takes smaller 127 film.  I thought about it.  I’ll see if it’s still there on the next pass.

The third camera that garnered my interest was a Hasselblad – which, unfortunately, was half-Hassy, half-Kiev 88.  Just what I need.  A Hasselbladski.

But at the end of the gallery, I saw someone trying to sell her camera equipment to a dealer.  The dealer and the customer couldn’t agree on a price.  “See that gentleman over there?” the dealer said to the customer, pointing at me.  “Why don’t you ask him if he would be interested in buying your equipment?”

“Okay,” I replied.  “What are you selling?”

The customer showed me a brownish-gold box.  “The camera’s mint inside,” she replied.

On the side of the box, in a red-black imprint, were the words Nikon F100.

That’s right – an F100.  The camera that camera expert Ken Rockwell calls one of the best 35mm shooters ever made.  “There is no other 35mm camera on Earth offering a better combination of practical features and performance (for me anyway) to get you the images you demand,” said Rockwell.  And because so many people hate his camera reviews, he must be right about this one.

Remember what I said earlier in the blog about how an F100 would be one of my goal acquisitions?  Well, to be totally honest, my two 35mm shooters – the Kiev-19 and the Nikkormat FTn – have developed some problems of late.  In my last days of shooting Kodachrome, my Kiev-19 actually seized up in the middle of a shot.  That’s right – it just froze.  How in the world can a camera made in the chilly Ukraine seize up?  And as for the Nikkormat, when it works it’s a great camera, but I’m getting tired of the internal take-up spool not functioning every fourth roll – shots are taken but the film doesn’t advance.  I would have had more shots of the Latham Water Tower had the Nikkormat not had the photographic equivalent of a temper tantrum.  Not cool.

But acquiring an F100 ha been difficult; I kept getting outbid on eBay for used F100 cameras, and now here’s one being offered mint in box.  The seller and I agreed on a price.  I took out my wallet.  A few minutes later, the F100 was mine.

But that doesn’t explain the headline for this blog post.

I will explain that now.

See, the person I purchased the F100 from is photographer Linda Conley – she also skates for one of the local roller derby teams as K.D. Bang.  A couple of weeks ago, her car was vandalized and her camera equipment – which was inside her car, as she was on her way to photograph a wedding  – was stolen.  That’s right, some worthless baloney-brain took her camera equipment and is now probably trying to sell or pawn it.

The stolen camera equipment consists of the following items and serial numbers:

  • Nikon D700, serial number 2094223
  • Nikon D90, serial number 3354550
  • Nikon 10.5 lens, serial number 326638
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens, serial number 4598424
  • Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens, serial number 305640
  • Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens, serial number 360756
  • Pocket Wizard, serial number 402068
  • Quantum turbo battery, serial number Q578 c057
  • SB900 speedlight
  • SB800 speedlight
  • MB-10 vertical grip for D700

Anyone with information regarding the location of these items is encouraged to contact the police immediately.

In addition, there will be a fundraising get-together, “The Bang Benefit,” at McGeary’s on Friday, April 15, to help Linda Conley defray the costs of replacing her camera equipment (apparently she’s replacing her gear with Canon equipment).  The fundraising benefit will also include a performance by the band Slick Fitty.  Tess and her Lark Tavern girls will be there as well.  As more information on the event becomes available, I will share same with you on the blog.  If you can’t attend the event, but you want to help Conley out, donations are accepted at this link.

Apparently only her digital equipment was poached; the F100, which was barely used, was still in Conley’s home.   And now the F100 has found a new home as part of my camera arsenal.  I hope the money I paid for the camera will help Conley toward purchasing new gear and give her some peace of mind.

And I also hope that someone out there who happens to read this column might have some knowledge of the whereabouts of Conley’s stolen cameras and gear.

Come on.  Let’s help a fellow photographer out.