Have you ever come across an old camera, but weren't sure what to do with it?
Follow this blog, read the post below, and leave a comment for your chance to win this vintage Brownie Holiday camera - only produced by Kodak for one year.
|Kodak Brownie Holiday camera|
Let's set the scene.
|Vintage Cardboard Suitcase|
Opening the old cardboard suitcase in Grandma's attic, you root through travel brochures and receipts, a few favorite linens, postcards and newspaper clippings, to discover near the very bottom of the pile... one old camera. Great. Perfect.
Not what you were hoping for? Well, maybe you didn't find that elusive stock certificate, but don't give it to the kids to play with quite yet.
|Yashica D - 120 Film|
The point is, this old camera is probably more connected to family history than you may have considered. Sure, everyone wants to inherit Grandma's fine china and the Antique Victrola Player, but how often would you "use" them? And a better question... How often did Grandma use them? Was the fine china there when your uncle won his first college football game? Was the Victrola there when your parents got married? Which one was at the family reunion at the lake house? Not only was that old camera a part of the important events in your families history, it probably recorded them.
Besides, if you find a camera like the Yashica D shown at left, it may be worth more than you think.
So, now that you're seeing this old camera in a different light, let's look at it a little closer.
Go ahead. Pop open that leather snap. Blow the dust off the top. Wipe it down with a tissue.
Did you find the manufacturer? The model? Where was it made?
Don't open it! Part of the fun could be to find undeveloped film still inside.
For the purpose of this article, we're going to assume that the camera was bought between 1945 and 1965, but due diligence can uncover information on just about any age of camera. Below you'll find three different film type cameras that were popular during each decade, how to handle them, and how to use them today.
1945 - Argus C3 "The Brick"
|(1945) Argus C3 - "The Brick" Rangefinder - 35mm Film|
This camera is tough, but still handle it as you would any vintage camera. Wash your hands first, clean off all exterior dust, and make sure there isn't film inside before opening. If there is film, rewind the film and take it to your nearest photo shop - Quick!
Here's a video tutorial from Andrew on how to use the Argus C3. You can find other tutorials on handling, loading, and using vintage cameras all over the web. This is one of my favorites.
|(1955) Brownie Holiday - 127 Film|
1955 - Brownie Holiday
The Brownie Holiday camera produced by Eastman Kodak from 1954 to 1962 was one of the favorite take-a-long cameras of its time. Although this particular model, shown with the Dakon Lens vs. the original Kodet lens, wasn't produced until 1955, it outsold the original twenty to one, but was quickly replaced in 1956 with the Brownie Holiday Flash.
Handle this camera as above, but keep in mind that with a Bakelite body, the Brownie Holiday will be much more easily damaged. You probably won't be able to walk into Walmart and buy 127 speed film. The good news is that it is still available and simple to load and unload. If you do a quick internet search for "127 film", you'll find a few sites that offer both film for sale and developing.
Blue Moon Camera is one that I've used and have been happy with their service.
1965 - Polaroid "Swinger"
|(1965) Polaroid "Swinger" - Instant Film|
Get over it. Not everyone in the 1960s had $500 to spend on a camera. The Polaroid Swinger was only $19.95!
Film is still available for many of the instant cameras thanks to the people at The-Impossible-Project , but the 20-series Roll Film used by The Swinger isn't currently in their product lineups. As soon as it is, I'll be one of their first shoppers. (Many thanks to ReclaimVTG for correcting my mistake)
Love this vintage Polaroid Swinger Commercial!
(with "Love Story" actress Ali Macgraw)
So, don't just set Grandma's old camera on a shelf or put it back in the suitcase. Clean it up, find some film and start creating your own memories. You'll be happy you did.
If you weren't lucky enough to inherit Grandma's old camera, but want to try your hand with a vintage camera, you still have a chance. The Etsy Vintage Elite will be giving one away!
Rules: Eligibility is contingent on meeting both requirements; being an active follower of the EtsyVintageElite blog and commenting on this post. The contest will run from 6/23/12 to 12/8/12. On 12/9/12, we will submit all entries into a 3rd party draw service, Random.org, send the winner an email and announce the winner on the EtsyVintageElite blog