LENS AND REPRO
There was a man, a big cheerful good looking guy named Stu Kay who worked for Arkin-Medo a photographic supplier. He would drop in at my bosses studio and find that we needed toorder a case of Dektol or a case of Fixer, or see if they could get us some Edwal NoScratch or some exotic material.
He would apparently be told that some body would have
a camera or something to sell or wemight ask if he knew
of anybody selling a 12 inch Ektar in a shutter for example, and he would hookup equipment between studios.
Eventually he was in the business long enough that he had
many contacts. Studios go out ofbusiness, new ambitious young photographers come on the scene and he found that there was a needfor his services.He started his own business, quit Arkin-Medo and opened Lens and Repro. He dealt with only professional equipment. And he knew a lot. He would know not only about Ziess Protar Lenses, hemight know of somebody who had some. And, might consider selling them.
I knew him in his first loft as Lens and Repro, and like in
ten minutes it was too small.He would buy a whole studio.
A guy in business 40 years, decides to retire and sell theequipment that was new 40 years ago. But stainless steel sinks do not go bad with constant normal use.
So as you strolled around L&R among tripods, dry-mount presses, darkroom enlargers, contactprinters, easels and everything a studio needed to stay in the game you might find what you werelooking for or something that would give you ideas. It was a wonderland. Glass cases full of lenses, some in shutters, some that could be, some you never heard of, like 90 millimeter Angenieux in anExacta mount!
Or a Pacemaker Speed Grafic with 127 Millimeter Ektar in
a Compur shutter that could giveprofessional result might
So for quality equipment, used, this is where I went.
Jeff was Stu's oldest son. As a teen he worked for his father which is where we met. I do not remember just how it happened but I seem to recall that Jeff was a typical sullen teenager and we ended up at my apartment in Washington Heights in my darkroom. I would show him rudiments of darkroom techniques while we listened to jazz records and smoked pot.
He went on to became an accomplished photographer and print maker. Because he had access to all the equipment of Lens and Repro he was able to explore large format cameras and the lenses required to make pictures. And because he was a big young guy he could carry all that heavy equipment that was needed.
We have remained friends for many years. I once had medical problems and he loaned me $1000 for that purpose, which I eventually paid back without interest.
He now claims me as his first teacher and I am proud that he feels that way.