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Tachikoma Nov 7, 2011 2:05 PM

While I was away - Camera additions (film)
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During my non-damselfly shooting absence I was still doing camera-y stuff, just slightly more retro camera stuff than usual. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before (trying to keep it "on topic") but I collect old cameras as well, partly inspired by BigDawg and his love of old lenses and partly just because I love the smell, sound and feel of old, solid mechanical cameras. A few months ago I was offered the cameras of a gentleman that passed away a few years ago. Naturally I was interested and asked if they could send me a photo, so I could see if there was anything I liked the look of.

The reply was "there's too many, it's better if you just come over"

I estimate there to have been around 74 cameras, but there may have been a few more, I got them for an almost insulting (to the seller) price because I wouldn't split them up and try to make a fortune, and because she could see I loved them as much as her departed husband. I already had about 25-30 cameras, so now I easily have over 100, which is becoming a problem storage-wise!

I am still going through them, some I can't identify, some need repair, some are away for repair, some scare me by their age. I have some cameras dating back to 1897. As mole asked to see them, and seeing as BigDawg also made a post about his film cameras, I thought I would share as well. Mods please forgive me if you want to move/delete/lock the thread.

Here's some pics, there's more than this, I have about 1/3 more in a storage box.

Tachikoma Nov 7, 2011 2:07 PM

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I never thought in all my years I would ever say this, but... I have too many Zeiss :eek:

Next time your significant other says "you have too many cameras" when you are eyeing up the next Pentax DSLR, just show them this thread and say "it could be worse, look at this sad sack" :p

mtngal Nov 7, 2011 2:18 PM

Wow! I'll never be able to say I have too many Zeiss, since I don't have any. Are you going to try to return all of them to working condition? That's quite a collection - how much is medium format film these days?

Tachikoma Nov 7, 2011 3:46 PM

Hi Harriet!

Medium format film is pretty cheap these days, only a couple of /$ a roll, but a lot of the cameras on display use obscure, discontinued films. I'm getting a (non permanent) adaptor made to use 120 film in the oldest camera:

But most of them are just going to be for display only unless I get something similar made. A few of them are in pretty bad condition with regards to leather and enamel and would cost a fortune to get back up to scratch sadly, but some I can repair/restore on my own.

I'm going to look at developing my own film with the "Caffenol" technique:

That way I will save money as I only need to buy fixer, and can knock up a slide duplicator to scan the negatives with my K7 and a macro lens.

lesmore49 Nov 7, 2011 4:58 PM

A wonderful collection. I'm sure the original collector, the gentleman who passed away would be very pleased if he knew that his collection is in good hands.

I have a comparatively modest collection of cameras and lenses and also a small vintage motorcycle collection.

Many collectors, including myself, tend to see ourselves as 'custodians' of our respective collections.

We all appreciate that our time on Earth is but a temporary situation and many of us hope that our collection will be passed to another, equally appreciative custodian, when that time comes.

mole Nov 7, 2011 5:31 PM

Les - very well said...

Tachikoma - Thanks for posting these - an incredible collection! Hope these bring you many hours of pleasure (along with the dust...)

Tachikoma Nov 7, 2011 6:47 PM

To be honest I'm both humbled and ashamed of the cameras I have, the previous owner obviously spent a great deal of time, effort and money assembling this collection, and I acquired it for barely a fraction of it's true value. The lady selling them was just happy they went to someone who would appreciate them, but at the same time I feel ashamed I could never offer her what they are worth. Just the shutter on the Bausch and Lomb is worth more than I paid for the entire collection.

And yes, the dust is a real issue lol, chrome, brass and mahogany seem to attract detritus more than modern plastic!

nhmom Nov 7, 2011 7:01 PM

Quite impressive. I'm sure the previous owner is looking down from heaven thanking you for watching over them for him.


Tachikoma Nov 8, 2011 4:43 PM

Thanks Patty!

I have considered selling the excess (my interest is mostly in turn of the century up to 1940's cameras) but just can't do it. I have sold one of the cameras that was broken to another collector and have disposed of one really damaged camera, but other than that I just can't make any serious effort to get rid of any of them. The original collector was much like myself, basically don't leave any camera behind even if it's a rubbish Kodak plastic piece of rubbish. I have spent quite an amount just on developing old film found in these cameras, not that the photo's have any artistic merit, but I prefer "home photos" to a roll of carefully stages studio prints.

pboerger Nov 8, 2011 8:05 PM

Don't sell them. We have a man in our town with a similar collection. Every so often he puts his entire collection in our small local museum and folks really enjoy it.

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