Like most photographers I’m always looking for my next fix, that shiny new bit of kit to add to my armory. However…there’s also a hankering back to the old days of film and plates and yes, even winding on to the next shot and over the last couple of months I’ve been able to completely indulge that craving for nostalgia. An old neighbour and friend died suddenly and my parents and I went back to help his family with the house. As a thank you they gave me the pick of what was a huge collection of vintage cameras, going back as far as the 1920s.
Almost every weekend since then I’ve been out with my friends Caleb and Fiona, trying out these period pieces, not quite knowing what, if anything, would emerge when we took the film in for processing. It has been a copmplete revelation, so exciting, and while there have been times when we’ve literally drawn a blank, some of the cameras have produced gorgeously atmospheric images of the old warehouses and canals we’ve photographed.
Above we have the beautiful Mockba-5 which dates back to the late 1950s. No idea what the pictures will look like but they’re back at the weekend so I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes out.
Here we have a name most people will be familiar with – the Hasselblad 500c which was introduced in 1957. Hasselblad wasl renowned for innovative, precision engineering which is probably why one of their cameras ended up going into space! Leeds canals should be a piece of cake then but…we’ll see!
I love the look of the twin lens, Russian Lubitel. It was made between 1955 and the 1970s but the design is based on an earlier thirties model. In it’s day it ranked almost as a toy due to the bakelite construction and the cheap price but I’m reliably informed they can achieve great results and it is next on the list for a weekend shoot.
Another familiar name and this looks a lot more modern but again, the Olympus above was introduced in 1959. Maybe an early indication that Japan was emerging as a powerhouse of the photography world.
From the mid-60s and originally marketed by Canon, we’ve used this Bell and Howell twice now and it really is an amazing little camera. Then last but not least we have the Mamiya C33 Pro from the mid to late 60s and utilising a cunning interchangeable lens system.
And believe it or not….there are more! I’d love to show you some of the pictures now but the plan is to organise an exhibition where the images will sit alongside their respective cameras. I’ll let you know where and when and in the meantime if you need me I’ll be hanging out with my new and very cool best friends, Hasselblad and Lubitel. Caleb and Fiona are quite nice too…