My old cameras collection is something I have build up over the years. They are very beautiful to look at and come with a long history. The stories can go back years and years of different owners, locations maybe even countries. I like to collect and display them through the house. For me, they are a piece of art and I like to admire them. Every scratch or dent tells a unique story and some rather more than the other. I picked three cameras to talk about for this blog. These cameras were found and bought on second hand markets over the years. Unfortunately I don’t know much about the personal history of each camera, but I did found some interesting historical facts. Let’s go back in time and learn about old school photography.
This is one of the first cameras I bought on a market. It caught my eye because of the retro style and the good condition it still is in. I have certainly tried taking pictures, because the buttons seem to work fine. But I think something inside the camera isn’t working anymore. The case however is still very well intact, only the lens is a bit damaged and doesn’t work properly.
The Fujica is made in Japan by Fuji in 1976, which makes this model over 44 years old. When we go into the technical side of this camera I can tell you that it’s a 35mm SLR camera which comes with batteries to operate the internal light metering. The lens is a Fujinon 1:2.2 55mm. Even the shutter can be adjusted from 2 to 700, which wasn’t always an option for some older cameras. I personally like the quality the lens still has, even after all these years it still looks sharp and bright. Two years after releasing this camera, Fuji released another updated model called the ST605N. However, the improvements were very minimal. While this camera is already old, it is still being sold online for up until €40,-. These prices are probably for the types that still work and take pictures.
Six-20 Brownie C
This camera is made by Kodak between 1946 and 1953, which makes this model over 67 year old. It is also one of the oldest cameras in my collection. I like the way it is build with the two ‘view finders’, one on top and the other on the side looks. To me it looks rare and like a brilliant idea for that time to slightly expand the horizon of photography. The glass isn’t so clear anymore, but you can still see a little. The camera model I own is the C version. There were actually a lot of different models released after each other. Model C, D, E and F all looked very similar but had different possibilities. Kodak started producing these cameras in 1937 in England.
Like I said, my camera is model C and has a film size of 620. The Menisus lens is 100 mm and has an aperture of F11. Around the internet I can find varies prices going from €10,- up to €50,-. I don’t think mine would be worth that much anymore. It’s been through a lot and is now quiet rustic. Besides that I wouldn’t want to sell it anyway.
One of the most recent cameras I own is the Agfa Clack. This camera was produced from 1954 to 1965, which makes it over 55 year old. The design is very basic in contrast with the other two cameras. Not only the look, also the material and overall quality is very minimal. This box camera uses 120 film and only has one shutter speed. The aperture varies from f/13 to f/10. Even though the basic appearance, there are a few interesting functions which you can find around the lens. This Meniscus lens is 95mm and comes with a switch to flip a different lens in place especially for close-up photography.
Back in the days, Agfa sold this camera in North America. I really wonder how this piece eventually ended up in The Netherlands. It’s safe to say this one has been through a lot. The writing is faded and it has some scratches and rust. When I checked the pricing, these cameras aren’t worth a lot and I don’t think they were made with that intention to begin with. You can still buy them second hand for around €10,-.
The moment when I bought these cameras I had no idea about where they came from and the history behind it. For me, I like to collect them and picked these because I was interested in how they looked and curious to dig out the internet to find some historical information. I hope you enjoyed it too and have your eyes open next time you visit a second hand shop or market. Also check out the short video I made about these three cameras by clicking here.