I woke up this morning and saw a link someone sent me to Chris Sherlock’s YouTube channel and I thought, hmm, I wonder what exciting new camera Chris is taking on today.
Quickly though, I saw the purpose of the short 46 second clip, in which Chris announces his retirement from repairing cameras. Chris, for the few people reading this who might not know who he is, has been the world’s authority in Kodak Retina repair. In addition to his skill and huge supply of spare parts for all Kodak Retinas, Chris would often take on other leaf shutter cameras like the Kodak Bantam Special, and the Suzuki Press-Van, which are two cameras I’ve reviewed that were once serviced by Chris.
I had a chance to talk to Chris for a One Hour Photo article back in December 2019 and I learned more about how he got started, his history working for Kodak in Wellington, New Zealand, and how he became to be such a respected member of the film community. In Chris’s own words, repairing Retinas doesn’t require magic, as other technicians are capable of servicing them, but what sets him apart from most others was his huge supply of spare parts that he had access to when the need arose.
Chris’s announcement didn’t include an explanation for his retirement, not that he needs to have one, but simply that he would no longer be accepting cameras from other people, but that he still planned on making more YouTube videos for everyone’s enjoyment.
While any announcement of retirement should be celebrated as a positive life milestone, without his services, the film community will definitely lose a valuable resource. As everyone who collects cameras knows, the number of people alive and capable of working inside a camera are dwindling, and without a new generation of younger technicians ready to take on work, the day will soon be here where our beloved cameras will no longer have anyone to repair them.
So to Chris, I congratulate you on whatever path life has in store for you, you will be greatly missed. Thanks for everything you’ve done for all those wayward Retinas out there and the owners who are keeping them alive!