Neither can we Al: I will never forget he took the time to go out and buy a cane, work on it and write the Merlin Stick article, just to give me and all Nikonians a solution to a concern for a solid camera support before I took off for Paris' museums in December 2000, where tripods are not allowed. And we never met in person. Only Bo had that chance.
Thanks for posting the Merlin article about his F3HP. Reading Merlin's article reminded once again why I can't, or won't sell my F5 just to go digital. I sold my F3HP to go AF by getting the N90s and immediately missed the F3's unique qualities that just weren't there with the N90s. Sure, the N90s is a great camera for what it was designed for, but the F3 with it's impeneterable hull and stead-fast durability, mirror lockup, removable prism, and silky smooth winder mechanism puts it in a class all by its little lonesome. Even the FM3a I had, didn't meet the standards of Nikon's Pro F line. Still, I agree with Merlin, I wish my F3 would have had a faster flash sync. I miss my F3HP, and I think someone should take a formal portrait of Merlin's F3HP that he posted in his article as a testament to why Nikon is so special. I will try not to make that same mistake again.
It must seem strange to some people that you can feel a real loss for someone you never met in person. It's like losing a favorite uncle. I'm retired now, after 35 years in photography, and having MERLIN and his love of "real" cameras. Bill Papet
Mike Graham, "Merlin" here at Nikonians, was a true Nikonian and for me, help establish what Nikonians was all about. If you ever want some great reading, dig into the archives. There is a thread (in the Cafe or MF bodies, definately between 1999 and 2001 - sorry the cobwebs are still thick back there) where he, Mike, acquired a used MF body and two tiny passengers that could be seen wandering about the mirror when one looked in the viewfinder. Mike posted a question on how to deal with them and the responses were classic.
The orignal post informing the community of his passing can be found here. As then, details into his passing were not forwarded out of respect for his family. Thanks for understanding.
If you haven't seen his website, it is still up and running.
I never personally met Mike Graham, "Merlin" to us here, but I will always remember him. Mike Graham was always there with an answer, ready to help, to add humor, and brighten everyones day. In the photos posted of him, I would say that his smile was infectious. I wish I could have met him personally.
To paraphrase the US Marines: Good night, Merlin, where ever you are!