Thursday, October 7, 2010

film cameras, and what i'm learning.

Today, I went on a little adventure around West Philadelphia with two vintage cameras and I have nothing to show for it.  Well not until the film is developed, anyhow.  So, in the meantime, I figured that I'd snap a couple shots of the cameras themselves and tell you why I'm so giddy.

Kodak Pony 135 (Model C) - This little fellow actually belonged to my great-grandfather and has been living a quiet, solitary life in my mom's closet for a number of years now.  Last time I visited Pittsburgh, Mom stuck all of her old cameras and film in a bag and sent them home with me.  This guy was definitely the most interesting in the bunch.  This particular model came out between 1955-1958.  It's super lightweight and almost feels like a toy.  I read over the owner's manual online, loaded it up with some film and suddenly wanted to snap shots of everything.  Partly, because it's so old and "vintage-y", partly because it's film and the last time that I shot with film was way back in middle school before the digital revolution.

Minolta SRT 101 - I bought this handsome guy on Ebay nearly a year ago and have only taken a few shots since that time.  Growing up, my mom owned a Minolta camera (my dad bought it for her while she was in art school) and I've always had a great fondness for that camera.  Not that I ever used it.  I was too young at the time.  But she took some really great shots with that camera.  It's all just sentimental stuff, but I've always had it in my mind that I wanted to own a Minolta film camera, so when it appeared on Ebay, I snatched it up.  This particular model is likely a lot older than the one that my mom owned.  In comparison to the Pony (above), which barely makes a sound when you press the shutter release, the Minolta sounds like you're snapping a tree branch in the middle of a quiet, peaceful forest.  It's startling.  I tried taking a few photos of Random while he was sleeping but it woke him up and he went running into the other room.

I'm not sure if it's cool or if it's clich√© to be walking around with vintage cameras strapped around your neck.  But for me, it felt like a connection into my family's past.  One camera that's been passed down from my great-grandfather.  The other, a reminder of my mom--her days in art school, her days snapping childhood photos of my brother and I--a reminder that she was once younger than I am now; time keeps ticking.

So, though I've wanted to do it for a while, today I was finally brave enough to venture out into the world with both cameras and I'm anxious to see the results.

O the days of waiting for your film to be developed.  They're back again...


  1. Wonder where my comment went from yesterday? I think I said, :).

  2. those are some prettttyyy cameras :)