Roll up, roll up, all you fellow collectors, vintage chicks and retro swingers. There’s a little somethin’ I’d like to talk to you about. My current obsession (other than the fabulous Morrissey or Jeff Buckley) is classic cameras. Well, it’s not so very current as the piles of metallic bodies have been growing since 2011, but it’s something I’d like to share and let you in on some tips with, what with it being such a trend in the current vintage climate.
(Above – Your’s truly with the current collection, featuring a Polaroid 330)
I bought my first film camera, the Miranda MS-1 Super from a small car boot sale in Berwick – upon – Tweed for around £30. She was beautiful and it was love at first sight. I really didn’t know a lot about photography or cameras at the time (I took photos on a Fujifilm bridge camera with the battery held on with an old hair bobble because the hinge had been melted following a battery explosion), but it seemed like a natural decision. I wanted to know more and I wanted to explore visual discourse from a different direction to just pen and paper. I don’t think she was especially a bargain, but I was lucky that she was in such a good condition as I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at when I bought her! I don’t think you really need to know a lot about cameras to collect them, but if you’re wanting to use them, or in turn to sell them on, then I’d make sure you read up on some basics about the internal workings, rare camera makes and how NOT TO BE RIPPED OFF!
(Above – 1930′s AGFA Bilindar Art Deco Folding Camera)
I’ve got about 90 cameras to date, ranging from 50p Kodak Instamatics from carboot sales around Yorkshire to classic Russian TLR’s donated from friends and family. My favourites include a vest pocket Kodak ball-bearing shutter from 1907 which belonged to my granddad previously; and a Lomo Lubitel 166 bought from Wetherby car boot sale for £12 (A BARGAIN IF I’VE EVER SEEN ONE).
Carboots are definitely the place to be. Charity shops and junk shops are also great hunting ground, but watch out, people are pricing these bad boys up. Ebay is always a super star, but for me, I prefer to actually touch the camera before making a decision rather than be disappointed when it’s not what I thought it would be.
Oh, that’s another thing. LOMOGRAPHY. If you’ve not heard of them before, they’re a company making NEW retro-chic cameras, and boy are they dreamy! They’re a great alternative for those wanting to use film but not a rusty body, or for those just wanting to join the trendilicous hype… Here’s their classic Diana:
There are some super sweet ideas for displaying cameras out there and some really lovely shooters about – check out some of these Pinteresting beauties!
Pretty and interesting little pieces of history.