For Christmas, the girl's mom was kind enough to give me her old 35mm film camera (complete with 50mm f/1.4 prime lens, 28-80mm f/3.5 zoom lens, and flash). It's a late 60's or early 70's era Minolta SR-T 101. Mostly manual operation, with a battery operated TTL light meter, so you'll at least get an idea if your chosen aperature and shutter speed combinatin will produce a photo. The only downside of it is the mercury battery for the light meter. Mercury batteries aren't produced anymore (a good thing), and there is no off-the-shelf replacement. It looks like the best bet is a little $30 battery converter thingy, which will allow the use of modern button-cell batteries in the old-skool camera.
After receiving this fine camera, my first thought was "what the hell do all these buttons and levers on the body, and pointers needles in the viewfinder do?". So I went online to try and find a user's manual. After a lot of digging, I found this guy's site, which has just about the only user's manual available online without a fee. The downside is that it's available as 43 individual JPG files. Not the most convenient format. So thanks to the magic that is OpenOffice.org, I created a new document, imported all of the JPG image files, and exported the final product as a single large (11MB) PDF file.
Thanks to Ben and the generous hosting of www.someguysserver.com (hosting service coming soon), I now present to you my first ever potentially useful PDF creation:
The PDF user's manual for the Minolta SR-T 101 camera.
Hopefully, one day, somebody on the net will Google looking for a copy as I did, and this will prove beneficial.