The Old Ones

Don and Ann's Antique Roe
Don and Ann’s Antique Roe

I used to see old film cameras in antiques shops now and then, but never so many in one place. This is a small selection that was in Don and Ann’s Antique Roe in Bird In Hand, a fantastic little shop that is now closed. He had four shelves filled with old cameras, lenses, bags, and tripods. There was even a shelf of video equipment including 8 and Super 8 millimeter movie cameras and projectors.

I wondered about all the people that loved these cameras and the places they took them. Vacations, fishing trips, birthday parties, weddings, or maybe even to photograph bald eagles at the Conowingo Dam in Maryland, where $10,000 lenses are now as common as the vultures that chew on cars.

One day I decided to capture these with my digital camera, but in a way that was reminiscent of the film camera experience. I set up my tripod in the narrow isle, moved a few of them around, and in aperture priority took a total of eight of what I felt were carefully composed shots.

I would have taken more but Don was making me nervous standing behind me whistling. I forgot to check my settings and in the dim light my camera decided that ISO 800 was best. I also didn’t realize that I was shooting JPEG instead of RAW. It was a lot like the days of using my old Canon Sure Shot 35mm, which is now considered vintage and is selling on Etsy for $90. Take a few shots and hope for the best.

These days I can take 100 shots of whatever, edit them in 100 ways, and keep the best one or two. Maybe photography is too easy now, less challenging. I’ll think about that later when I have to make the life changing decision of which method to use to convert to black and white. Note: there are as many ways to convert to black and white as there are people selling 35 year old 35 millimeter cameras online.

9 thoughts on “The Old Ones

  1. I love the photo. I love the look of old cameras. They are one of those things in antique shops I am drawn to though I never buy one. I have a Canon Sure Shot. It quit working one day. I don’t know why but with kids and stuff maybe it was dropped or something. I still have it. Oddly it’s sitting right here by my keyboard due to a move and things not being in order. I think sometime I’ll try to get it fixed but it’s been years. I can’t be a photographer because I don’t make a point of learning everything and because I’m not brave enough to take a camera every place and take photos in places like antique shops. I don’t know if it’s easier to be a photographer today. I think it’s still hard. It takes talent and hard work – despite all the new stuff :-). peace

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          1. I felt mine really did take good photos – considering my lack of any kind of skill. To prove that point I never felt the photos from the little more expensive camera I used after were as good in some ways. I have a digital now. Not a bad camera but my lack of skill still shows. And honestly I use my phone most of the time. And of course with film you don’t know what you have until all that money for processing has been spent. I believe Walgreens and Walmart still processes film but I haven’t had to do it in awhile. I admire photography but don’t take the time to learn.

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  2. Until recently I still had my first Canon F1, brass body 35mm. It was considered top of the line back in its day. For a long time I shot with it and using a 50mm lens. Ah the good ole days.

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    1. The good ole days indeed. These cameras were once worth having but getting thrown into piles didn’t help. I would think all the lenses were scratched beyond repair. Great shelf pieces though.

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