After marvelous experiences with my Holga and Brownie Starflex, I leapt at the opportunity to buy three old cameras this week in a thrift-store. They were ridiculously cheap which is a major attraction. Hobbies are fun when they don't cost much money.
I got an Imperial Mark XII (made in the 1960s), Brownie Starmite II (same era) and a much older Foth Derby (from the 1930s). All look terrific. The Imperial has super-cool retro styling from the Sixties and it's made from real Bakelite. The Starmite, to keep its cost down, was manufactured from cheap plastic. The Foth is very, very heavy metal; it feels like a barbell.
I'm learning the history of these cameras and how to use them. Some take 120-roll film which I have since it's what my Starflex uses. Some take 620 film which sadly isn't made anymore. The solution for that are workarounds where you load different sized film and make adjustments.
The Imperial and Brownies embody mid-century American life -- newly-ubiquitous use of plastic, hip designs, and emphasis on light weight and convenience. In deep contrast, Foth Derby reflects the ethos of Germany in 1930 -- primitive materials (steel and leather) and complicated analog design. It makes you feel like you're holding the Weimar Republic in your hands.
I'll give these beauties a go and show you photos later. Even if the cameras no longer work, they are tangible pieces of history that make great home decorations.
That Imperial triggers a lot of memories of my grandfather - I'm pretty sure he had one. First the typewriters, now the cameras, Ally! What's next? ;-PReplyDelete
I love old tech! My plan is to explore and learn about other old stuff. Reviving the past is my real goal and hobby. There's so much value in how things were done before. Today most products are made more cheaply (even disposable) with less focus on quality.Delete
Those cameras were great finds, and I love it that you've got the intention to use them. I should do a post about mine some day! xxxReplyDelete
They were. And using them gives them respect as machines, not hunks of metal or plastic. Plus I like the odd effects you get taking photos with old cameras; they're magical!Delete
Beautiful! Even if they don't work, you fully have a collection now worth display.ReplyDelete
Oooh so pretty! I'm feeling the same way with typewriters, I think I might want to start a typewriter collection!ReplyDelete
You should! Many can be found cheap.Delete
They are super attractive! Not surprised you are enjoying collecting them!ReplyDelete
Yes, they're as decorative as anything else.Delete
These are so cool and definitely display-worthy even if they don't work!! The designs are amazing.ReplyDelete